Julien Debonneville

Curriculum Vitae


Biographical Note

After having studied Sociology (University of Geneva, 2005-2008) and Social sciences (University of Lausanne, 2008-2010), I was hired by the University of Lausanne as a junior researcher on SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) and SNIS (Swiss Network for International Studies) research projects (2009-2011). These projects focused on the role of the World Bank in the transfer of development policies in Brazil and the Philippines (SNSF), the feminization of the fight against poverty in Brazil and the Philippines (SNIS). I subsequently completed a doctoral thesis devoted to transnational migrations at the University of Geneva (2011-2016), which was based on 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Philippines, unpicked the processes of sexualization and racialization of Filipina women as they go through recruitment, training and deployment as migrant domestic workers. From 2016 to 2019, I expanded my field of research into the nexus of Mobilities and Migrations through an SNSF-funded project. This innovative research focused on the processes of racialization and sexualization that take place in the European artistic field. In particular, I explored the ways in which the normative regime of transnational mobility shapes artistic careers. By studying the transnational field of the arts in so-called “(post)multicultural“ societies, I demonstrated how the construction of cultural, ethnic/racial and gendered differences has become an aesthetic norm which structures the biographical, professional and mobility trajectories of artists in the field of contemporary dance. Since 2020, I have kept contributing to the fields of Transnational Mobilities and Migrations studies, Gender studies, Sociology of Public spaces, Sociology of Work and Sociology of Art.

Academic employment

Since 2016:     Senior researcher and teaching assistant. University of Geneva.

2011-2016:       Phd. Candidate and teaching assistant. University of Geneva.

2009-2011:       Junior researcher. University of Lausanne.

Secondary visiting positions and fellowships

2017-2018 (Sept-Aug): Visiting scholar (FNS early.postdoc mobility). Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen). Department of social and cultural diversity. Sponsor: Pr. Steven Vertovec

2011 (July-August):Visiting scholar(FNS doc.mobility). Department of Ethnic studies, UC Berkeley. Sponsor: Pr. Evelynn Nakano Glenn

2008 (July-Sept.): Visiting scholar. Department of Women and Development Studies, University of the Philippines. Sponsor: Pr. Judy Taguiwalo.


2011-2016: Ph.D. in Social sciences. University of Geneva.

Thesis directors: Pr. Delphine Gardey and Pr. Elisabeth Prügl.

Dissertation topic: “Les écoles de la servitude aux Philippines: des carrières migratoires de travailleuses domestiques aux processus d’altérisation. Pour une approche socio-anthropologique des études postcoloniales”. 599 p. [Schooling for Care in the Philippines: from Migration Career to the Othering of Filipina Domestic Workers. For a socio-anthropological approach of postcolonial studies]

2011-2016: CUSO doctoral programme in Sociology, Gender studies, Transversal skills

2008-2010: Master degree in Social Sciences. University of Lausanne.

Dissertation topic:“Les ‘mères’ au secours du développement? Une étude des Conditional Cash Transfers aux Philippines” [The Figure of the Mother to the Rescue Development Policies? A Study of Conditional Cash Transfers in the Philippines].

2005-2008: Bachelor in Sociology. University of Geneva.

Dissertation topic: “Professionnalisation des ONGs ou comment concilier autonomie et financement? Le cas de l’ONG Imbewu“. [Professionalization of NGOs or how to negotiate autonomy and fundraising? The case of the NGO Imbewu].

Continuing and Distance education

Continuing Education

  • 2021                MOOC. Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management. University of Virginia.
  • 2021                Crash-Course. Quantitative Methods for Social Sciences. University of Geneva.
  • 2020               Crash-Course. Teaching skills to improve interactivity. University of Geneva.
  • 2018                Workshop Proposal Preparation and Submission. SBSM - Science Management.

Langage skills 

  • English: advanced C1 (Writing academic articles, conferences, teaching, fieldwork).
  • German: intermediate B1.
  • Tagalog (Filipino): elementary A2.

Other skills

  • Highly well versed in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
  • Skilled with data analytics tools (SPSS and R).

Research and Scientific Activities 

Approved Research grants


  • FNS Agora , as co-applicant with Pr. Marylène Lieber

Project: “ ’Minorities’ in the city: a visual participatory ethnography of Geneva public spaces by Muslim women“ (01.08.2021-01.07.2022)

Photography Exhibition: "Invisibles / Survisibles. A nos histoires", with Cindy Bannani, Amel Benkara, Inès El-Shikh, Aïda Hammad, Vlora Imeri, Mariam Mussa, Nidonite, Rabab Nour, Marylène Lieber, Eva Marzi, Laetitia Gessler.


  • FNS early.postdoc, as principal applicant:

Project: “Corps en mouvement: Mobilité, Cosmopolitisme, Multiculturalisme. Ethnographie des élites artistiques transnationales dans le milieu de la danse contemporaine“ [Bodies on the move: Mobility, Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism. Ethnography of Transnational Artistic Elites in Contemporary Dance] (01.09.2017-31.08.2018)


  • FNS doc.mobility, as principal applicant:

Project: “Les écoles du care aux Philippines: le devenir travailleuse domestique au prisme de l’altérité. Discours institutionnels, carrières migratoires et frontières sociales et symboliques dans la production de l’Autre“ [Schooling for care in the Philippines: becoming a domestic worker and otherness] (01.01.2015-31.08.2015) 

Involvement in collectif research 


  • “Genève, une ville égalitaire? Les pratiques féminines des espaces publics“, [Geneva, an egalitarian city? Women's practices in public spaces], Mandate from the City of Geneva (Service Agenda 21), Applicant: Pr. Marylène Lieber (University of Geneva).


  • “Undoing the Web-Narratives: for a Better Understanding of Gender and Migration in Europe“ (We.GeMiN@), Horizon 2020, (not funded) Applicant: Pr. Caroline Ibos (University of Paris 8).


  • “Migration, Racialization, and Gender: Comparing Filipino Migration in France and the United States“, Social Sciences Matrix Projet, Applicant: Pr. Catherine Choy (UC Berkeley).


  • “Les “Chinois“ au Mali, au Cameroun et en Sierra Leone“ [Chinese migrants in Mali, Cameroon and Sierra Leone], Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), Applicant: Dr. Antoine Kernen (University of Lausanne).


  • “Les transferts de politiques innovatrices dans les “pays en développement” et les organisations internationales. Le cas des politiques de transferts conditionnels en espèces et des politiques de décentralisation dans quatre pays“ [Policy Transfers in ‘Developing Countries’ and International Organizations. The case of Conditional Cash Transfer Policies and Decentralization Policies in Four Countries], Fonds national suisse de la recherche scientifique (FNS), Applicant: Pr. François-Xavier Merrien (University of Lausanne).
  • “Development Myths in Practice: The feminization of Anti-Poverty Policies and International Organizations“, Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), Applicant : Pr. François-Xavier Merrien (University of Lausanne).


  • Journals: Revue internationale des études du développement; L’Homme et la Société; Terrains et théories; Arabian Humanities; GLAD! Revue sur le langage, le genre, les sexualités.
  • Research grant: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Projects Division 1
  • Books: Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) (300 pages), Éditions Seismo, collection Question de genre (300 pages)

Membership of editorial Board

  •   Member of the editorial boardof Question de Genre (Seismo, Zurich) since 2017.

Conferences, Congress, and workshops (organizer)


  • “Social Justice in Uncertain time“, Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association (Scientific committee), June, University of Geneva.


  • “Migration, racialisation and gender: a Philippine perspective“, organized with Catherine C. Choy (UC Berkeley) and Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Panel, International Conference on Philippine studies (ICOPHIL XI 2020).


  • “Mouvoir, se mouvoir, émouvoir Polysémies féministes, noires et décoloniales du mouvement“ [To move, to be moved. Feminist, blacklness and decolonial polysemies], organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Noemi Michel (University of Geneva). March, University of Geneva
  • “Les groupes vulnérables et les rapports de pouvoir. Perspectives éthiques“ [Vulnerable groups and power relations. Ethical Perspectives], organized with Lorena Parini (University of Geneva), Journée d’étude “L’éthique (en) pratique : la recherche en sciences sociales“, February, University of Geneva.


  • “Le genre tout terrain. Des sexualités au religieux : quelles approches anthropologiques du genre ?“ [From Sexualities to Religion : what anthropological perspective on gender ?], organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Saba Mahmood (UC Berkeley), May, University of Geneva.


  • “Gender, Migrations and Racialisation in Southeast Asia”. organized with Gwenola Ricordeau (UC Chico) and Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (Université Libre de Bruxelles). Panel, ASEASUK Conference, September, University of Brighton.


  • “What is coalition? Reflections on the conditions of alliance formation with Judith Butler’s work, organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Cynthia Kraus (University of Lausanne), Judith Butler (UC Berkeley), May, University of Geneva.
  • “L’intersectionnalité à l'épreuve du terrain“ [Intersectionnality on the field], organized with Iulia Hasdeu (University of Geneva), 6ème Congrès international des recherches féministes francophones, September, University of Lausanne.


  • “Gender and the Global Care Economy“, organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Elizabeth Prügl (IHEID). SNIS Annual Conference, October, Geneva.
  • Gender Meets Sociology“, organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva), Panel. Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association, September, University of Geneva.



  • SNIS Award (Swiss network for international studies) for the best PhD thesis in international studies.


  • University of Lausanne Award for the best Master thesis in social and political sciences.

Academic Service

Since 2019

  • Member of the research committee of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Geneva

Since 2016

  • Member of the scientific committee of the master for Gender studies, University of Geneva

2015 - 2017

  • Coordinator of the certificate of Advanced Studies in Gender studies, University of Geneva

2014 – 2016

  • Member of the scientific committee of the Doctoral School for Gender studies (CUSO)

2012 – 2016

  • Member of the scientific committee of the Doctoral Program in Gender studies, University of Geneva

2012 – 2013

  • Elected member of the University Assembly, University of Geneva