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Dr Francesca Ghillani

Research Fellow

It is with great sadness that the Institute of Population Ageing has learnt of the death of  Dr Francesca Ghillani.

Dr Francesca Ghillani died 8th September 2021

Francesca joined the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing in 2017 as a Research Fellow.

Francesca was awarded a DPhil in Sociology from the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Harper. Her doctoral research, "Migrating Bodies: the Effects of Transnational Movement on Women's Bodily Practices in Later Life", identified four key dynamics that regulate the interplay between ageing, migration, and bodily practices.
Prior to Oxford, Francesca successfully passed the postgraduate degree “Consultant in Autobiographical and Self-Analytical Writing in Assistance Relationships” at the University of Milan - Bicocca, a multidisciplinary course where she learnt life-writing theories and techniques.
Earlier, she graduated in Humanities (BA and MA) with 110/110 summa cum laude (full marks with honours) at the University of Parma, Italy. Her thesis, a personal account about critical autobiography and otherness, was selected as one of the winners of the national thesis prize “Antonio e Luigi Goi”.

Additional experience
During her time as a student at the University of Oxford, Francesca has held several positions of responsibility:

  • In 2015 and 2016, Francesca was elected President of the Oxford University Italian Society and, in this capacity, she has established a network with the Italian Embassy and the Italian Consulate in London. Under her presidency, the Society has won the Prize as “Best Society of the University”.
  • At the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, Francesca has been the founder and the Chair of the Life-Stories Society (2011 – 2014), which held regular meetings and workshops on life-writing and an annual “Life-Stories Day” at Wolfson College.
  • As a student in Wolfson College, Francesca has been elected as member of various committees: Governing Body (2012 – 2014); Academic Committee (2011 – 2013); Social and Cultural Committee (2011 – 2014).

Before joining the OIPA, Francesca worked at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Parma, carrying out studies about Qualitative Methods and the relationship between identity and narration.

Conference presentations

  • “Transnational Bodies: Migration and Bodily Practices in Later Life”, BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group 6th Annual Conference 2014: Researching Bodies, 28 November 2014
  • “Ageing, Migration and the Dynamics of Body and Self”, British Society of Gerontology 42nd Annual Conference, University of Oxford, September 2013
  • “Ageing, Migration and the Body”, Invited speaker at the President's Seminar, Wolfson College, University of Oxford, 26th November 2012
  • “Transnational Bodies: Can Migration Affect the Dynamics of Body and Self?”, Seminar at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, 16th May 2012
  • “The Dynamics of Bodily Changes and Self in Older Women: A Comparative Study”, NGender Seminar Series, University of Sussex, 17th April 2012
  • “Life-Writing and the Body”, Workshop at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, 5th February 2012
  • “Narrating Trauma: The Influence of Otherness in Autobiography”, Invited speaker at the International Gender Studies Centre, University of Oxford, 26th January 2012