Irene Zempi

Irene Zempi

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Dr Irene Zempi is a Lecturer in Criminology at Nottingham Trent University. Irene teaches on a number of modules including:

  • Explaining Criminal Behaviour (Level 1)
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice (Level 1)
  • Penology (Level 2)
  • Diversity of Crimes and Prejudice (as module leader) at Level 2.

Career overview

Irene joined Nottingham Trent University as a Lecturer in Criminology in September 2015. Prior to this position, Irene worked as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester for five years.

She has a PhD in Criminology and an MSc in Criminology from the University of Leicester, and a BSc in Sociology from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens, Greece. As a practitioner, Irene has extensive experience working with victims of hate crime, domestic violence, volume crime and anti-social behaviour at Victim Support in Leicester.

Research areas

Irene's research interests include hate crime, victimisation, intersectionality, gender, policing and qualitative research methods. For her doctoral research, Irene examined the topic of Islamophobia and the targeted victimisation of Muslim women who wear the niqab (face veil).

The study included individual and focus group interviews with niqab-wearing women at mosques, Muslim schools and Islamic centres, as well as an ethnographic approach whereby Irene wore the full veil in public. This study was the first to examine the experiences of women wearing the niqab as victims of anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK and therefore is an important piece of work in the field of hate crime studies.

Irene has published widely on issues of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime. Her most recent project involves the first ever study to examine both online and offline experiences of anti-Muslim hate crime of ‘visible' Muslim men and women in the UK, with Dr Imran Awan from Birmingham City University. This study was commissioned and funded by the Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (Tell MAMA) Project.

External activity

  • Member of Advisory Board Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks)
  • Member of Nottinghamshire Hate Crime Steering Group
  • Member of Leicestershire Police Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel
  • Member of Associate Editorial Board, Sociological Research Online
  • Member of Sociology Consultative Forum OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA)


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Zempi, I. (2018) '"Looking back, I wouldn't join up again”: The Lived Experiences of Police Officers as Victims of Bias and Prejudice Perpetrated by Fellow Staff within an English Police Force' Police Practice and Research: An International Journal DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2018.1525381

Mason-Bish, H. and Zempi, I. (2018) 'Misogyny, Racism and Islamophobia: Street Harassment at the Intersections' Feminist Criminology 1–20 DOI: 10.1177/1557085118772088

Mawby, R. C. and Zempi, I. (2018) ‘Every time it happens, you question continuing as an officer’: The Experiences of Police Officers as Victims of Hate Crime Policing: An International Journal 41 (5).

Zempi, I. and Awan, I. (2017) Doing ‘Dangerous’ Autoethnography on Islamophobic Victimisation Ethnography DOI: 10.1177/1466138117697996

Zempi, I. (2016) 'Negotiating constructions of insider and outsider status in research with veiled Muslim women victims of Islamophobic hate crime' Sociological Research Online, 21 (4): 8 DOI: 10.5153/sro.4080

Zempi, I. (2016) 'Doing autoethnography: Researching victimisation through wearing the Muslim veil in public' Methodological Innovations

Zempi, I. (2016) “It's a part of me, I feel naked without it”: choice, agency and identity for Muslim women who wear the niqab Ethnic and Racial Studies DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2016.1159710

Awan, I. and Zempi, I. (2016) The Affinity between Online and Offline anti-Muslim Hate Crime: Dynamics and Impacts Aggression and Violent Behaviour 27: 1-8.

Awan, I. and Zempi, I. (2015) ‘I will Blow your face off’—Virtual and Physical World Anti-Muslim Hate Crime British Journal of Criminology DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azv122

Zempi, I. and Chakraborti, N. (2015) “They Make Us Feel Like We're a Virus”: The Impact of Islamophobic Victimisation upon Veiled Muslim Women International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 4 (3): 44-56.

Chakraborti, N. and Zempi, I. (2013) Criminalising Oppression or Reinforcing Oppression? The Implications of Veil Ban Laws for Muslim Women in the West Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 64 (1): 63-74.

Chakraborti, N. and Zempi, I. (2012) The Veil under Attack: Gendered Dimensions of Islamophobic Victimisation International Review of Victimology 18 (3): 269-284.


Zempi, I. and Awan, I. (forthcoming 2019) Routledge International Handbook of Islamophobia, London: Routledge.

Awan, I. and Zempi, I. (forthcoming 2019) Student Textbook of Islamophobia, London: Routledge.

Zempi, I. and Awan, I. (2016) Islamophobia: Lived Experiences of Online and Offline Victimisation, Bristol: The Policy Press.

Zempi, I. and Chakraborti, N. (2014) Islamophobia, Victimisation and the Veil, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book chapters

Zempi, I. (2016) 'Exploring the impacts of Islamophobia on veiled women globally' in J. Schweppe and M. Walters (eds) The Globalisation of Hate: Internationalising hate crime?, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zempi, I. (2014) 'Responding to the Needs of Victims of Islamophobia' in N. Chakraborti and J. Garland (eds) Responding to Hate Crime: The Case for Connecting Policy and Research, Bristol: The Policy Press.


Mawby, R. and Zempi, I. (2016) "Every time it happens, you question continuing as an officer': The experiences of police workers as victims of hate crime", Leicester: Authors.

Awan, I. and Zempi, I. (2015) We fear for our Lives: Offline and Online Experiences of Anti-Muslim Hostility, London: Tell MAMA.

Short film

Tell MAMA (2015) Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes: Experiences of Muslims Online and Offline, London: Tell MAMA.

See all of Irene Zempi's publications...