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Our PhD students

Postgraduate research is a central and exciting part of our research culture. Comprised of our MSc and PhD students, the postgraduate student community forms an important and lively part of that culture. Our PGR community is thriving and we are able to nominate applicants for funded studentships through the AHRC’s Northern Bridge and the ESRC’s NINE consortiums. We offer a stimulating environment for discussions of research, for instance at regular Staff-Postgraduate research seminars. Students participate in the full range of on-campus research and are seen as valued members of the Departments of Social Sciences and Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing. 

Our PhD students are undertaking a diverse range of cutting edge projects. Further details of our PhD students, including details of their research and contact information, can be found below. 

If you are interested in commencing postgraduate study, please contact Dr. Ruth Lewis.

Photo of Angelica Ribichini

Angelica Ribichini 

Title: Exploring the role of gender in shaping young people’s abilities to engage with climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Mekong Delta 

Summary: Despite being a group disproportionately affected by anthropogenic climate change, to date the voices of youth have been largely ignored in literature on climate change. With their unique insights into their local environments, young people can (and frequently do) meaningfully contribute to climate action efforts, resulting in beneficial impacts for their households and wider communities. Having the ability to positively engage with climate change can have a plethora of positive effects on youth, but due to the different societal expectations and lived experiences of males and females, there is a discrepancy in their ability to do so.  

Employing a range of participatory and ethnographic research methods, this project seeks to explore the role that gender plays in shaping young people’s engagement with climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Mekong Delta.  

Supervisors: Dr Oliver Hensengerth and Prof. Matt Baillie Smith 

Email: angelica.ribichini@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Thomas Chukwuma Ijere

Title: Personalized Political Communication in the era of Media Abundance: A comparative study of practices in the United States, United Kingdom and Nigeria 

Summary: The research project is a multi-method qualitative comparative study of modern campaign practices in the United States, United Kingdom and Nigeria. Designed to contribute to the gap in knowledge on the technological dimension and features of modern campaigns, the study focuses on the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns as a technologically innovative exemplar to explore changes and emerging practices in campaigning across three democracies. 

Publication: Ijere, T. C. (2020) Directions of Political Communication in Africa: Methodology for the search of an African Model and Epistemology. In Ndlela M., and Mano W. (eds) Social Media and Elections in Africa, Volume 1. Palgrave Macmillan.

Supervisors: Dr. Andrew Mullen (principal supervisor)/ Dr. Gabriel Moreno-Esparza (second supervisor) 

Email: thomas.ijere@northumbria.ac.uk  

 

Benita Siloko  

Photo of Benita Siloko

Title: Human Security, Livelihoods and Environmental Degradation in the Niger Delta Region, Nigeria  

Summary: My research seeks to understand and address the complex connection between vulnerability, human security and livelihoods in the context of environmental degradation, using the Niger Delta region, Nigeria as a case study. 

Supervisors: Dr. Oliver Hensengerth; Dr. Helena Farrand Carrapico and Dr. Aisling O’Loghlen  

Email: benita.e.siloko@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Bianca Fadel 

Title: “We Are Together”: Experiences of Belonging and Being a Local Volunteer in Burundi 

Summary: The aim of my research project is to conceptualise the practice of local volunteering during a protracted crisis and understand the implications for humanitarian and development discourses and practices. Based on evidence from Burundi, East Africa, it questions traditional explanations about volunteering centred on service delivery and giver-recipient dichotomies by focusing on agency and reciprocity at community level. When vulnerabilities are mobile and widespread, volunteers are often in similar positions to those they are supporting. The research looks at different dimensions of belonging that shape local volunteering practices and particular rhythms and routines of urban and rural areas. This qualitative study makes use of creative methodologies such as participatory mapping and innovative community dialogues to maximise volunteers’ voices, including the provision of opportunities for research participants to feedback on findings and shape analysis. 

 

Desiree (Daisy) Campbell   

Title: Motorsport, Media and Women: British sports media's representations of women racing drivers between 2010 and 2020    

Summary: I am a Sociology PhD student based in the Media Department at Northumbria University. My research project is interdisciplinary drawing connections between sport, sociology and media studies. Underpinned through a gendered lens, this research investigates how the British sports media has represented women racing drivers over the past decade and explores women racing drivers' experiences with the media. My research project is comprised of both qualitative and quantitative research methods in the shape of a mixed-methods media analysis of British national newspapers and motorsport magazines, and qualitative semi-structured interviews with women racing drivers. My research interests cover a range of sport and exercise disciplines including sports sociology, sports media studies and sports history.   

Education/Academic Qualifications: MSc Sport and Exercise (Distinction), School of Health and Social Care, Teesside University, Oct 2018  

Supervisors: Mr Roger Domeneghetti and Dr Ruth Lewis    

Email: desiree.campbell@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Gulnar Hasnain MEng MSc MBA 

Title: A development approach to tackling violent crime in major cities: The role of mayors, populism, charisma, and evidence on policy interventions 

Summary: Gulnar Hasnain's research is focused on the policy interventions used to address rising urban violence in major cities. Taking a comparative urbanism approach with a focus on Bogotá, Medellin, London, Chicago, and NYC, Gulnar seeks to understand how the success of Medellin and Bogota can be applied to cities across the world.  

Gulnar holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London, an MSc in Development Studies from Birkbeck University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. After initially developing her career in the private sector, she spent eight years working in city government for the Mayor of London’s economic development division (working for the administrations of both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson) and over seven years as a political candidate campaigning for ‘safer, greener, fairer’ cities.  

Supervisor: Professor Kate Maclean  

Email: gulnar.hasnain@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Shannon Allen 

Photo of Shannon Allen

Title: Examining differences in the impact of moral injury between UK Service Police and non-Service Police veterans 

Summary: The aim of this research is to replicate and extend previous findings by investigating differences in how moral injury manifests across various military populations at risk of exposure to potentially morally injurious events. The study will explore the processes underlying moral injury, the impact of moral challenges on psychological wellbeing and the strategies used by UK Service Police and non-Service Police veterans to cope with subsequent distress. This will inform the development of interventions to mitigate the harmful consequences of moral injury and address gaps in the wider moral injury literature. 

Achievements (Publication): 

Williamson, V., Murphy, D., Stevelink, S. A., Allen, S., Jones, E., & Greenberg, N. (2020). The impact of trauma exposure and moral injury on UK military veterans: a qualitative study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 11(1), 1704554. 

Supervisors: Gavin Oxburgh, Matthew Kiernan 

Email: shannon.allen@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

(Dr) Heather Sutherland Photo of Heather Sutherland  

Title: Student Stories: Self Reflections on Mental Health and Wellbeing Across Undergraduate University Experiences  

Summary: With increasing numbers of undergraduate students reporting lower levels of wellbeing and poorer mental health, this research aims to explore and examine the elements, events, shape and timepoints, indeed the overall experiences, that are important to students themselves in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Drawing on narrative interviewing methods, this project provides current first and final year undergraduate students uninterrupted time to reflect on and talk about their mental health and wellbeing experiences, as a means to both enhance broader understanding of student mental health and wellbeing and inform university support mechanisms and resources in this area.    

Achievements 

My PhD is based within the Office for Students funded project “Mental health and analytics: a continuum approach to understanding and improving student mental health”, based at Northumbria University. 

Publications: 

  • Sutherland, H. (2009). ‘The BBC: A Public Service Sound?’ in Harper, Graeme et al. (Eds). Sound and Music in Film and the Visual Media: An Overview. Continuum. 
  • Sutherland, H. (2010) ‘Competitive Writing: BBC ‘Public Service’ Television Light Entertainment and Comedy in the 1970s and 1980s’. Journal of Screenwriting, 2(1), 7-23. 
  • Sutherland, H. (2010). “It Ought To Be A Dream”: Archives and Establishing the History of BBC Light Entertainment Production, 1975-87. Critical Studies in Television, 5(2), 154–170 
  • Sutherland, H. (2011). ‘“Embedded Actors” as Markers of Authenticity: Acting the Real in “Troubles” Docudramas’, Studies in Documentary Film, 4(3), 267-282.  
  • Bignell, J., Paget, D. J., Sutherland, H. A.and Taylor, L. (2011) ‘Narrativising the facts: acting in screen and stage docudrama’. In: Tönnies, M. and Flotmann, C. (eds.) Narrative in Drama. Contemporary Drama in English (18). Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Trier, pp. 21-52 
  • Sutherland, H. (2013). ‘‘Trousered’ and ‘Sexless’ at the BBC: Women Light Entertainment Makers in the 1970s and 1980s’. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 10(3), 650-663.  
  • Sutherland, H. (2019).‘The Clef and the Hummingbird’ in Heilmann, L. (ed.) Still With Us: Voices of Sibling Suicide Loss Survivors. 
  • Sutherland, H. (2020) ‘Student-ing, Parenting and Locking Down During the COVID 19 Pandemic
  • Sutherland, H. (2020). ‘Reflections on Student-ing and Parenting during the COVID 19 Pandemic
  • Sutherland, H. (2020). ‘Embracing the Not Normal
  • Blog: ‘Sibling After Suicide
  • Blog: ‘HigherEd Minds

Previous PhD (2007, Supervised by Professor David Hendy and Professor Jean Seaton): ‘Where is the Public Service in Light Entertainment? An Historical Study of the Workings of the BBC Television Light Entertainment Group, 1975–1987’. Completed with AHRC funding as part of the official history of the BBC Vol. VI project led by Professor Jean Seaton (University of Westminster).  

Supervisors: Professor Peter Francis and Dr James Newham  

Email: Heather.Sutherland@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Kate Mukungu  

Photo of Kate Mukungu

Title: ‘A Relational Analysis of Women's Anti-Violence Activism in Post Conflict Namibia and Northern Ireland' 

Summary: The positioning of violence against women and girls (VAWG) as a global human rights issue is a major achievement of global women’s activism. Armed conflict regularly involves conflict-related VAWG, whilst narrowing the opportunity for women’s activism against it. Research shows political actors tend to pay insufficient attention to VAWG post conflict, posing complex challenges for activists. This feminist research analyses activism relations in two societies that experienced deep ethnic and enthonational division, Namibia, and Northern Ireland. Informed by life history interviews with activists, it analyses how women come together in post conflict environments to address the challenges they face.   

Biography 

Kate is a Social Sciences Lecturer and prior to becoming a full time academic, had an extensive career in the voluntary and community / non-governmental sector including. Kate has managed services and organisations addressing domestic and sexual violence, race and gender discrimination, and support for people with mental health, HIV, and substance misuse issues. Kate's long-term participation in activism, particularly relating to the rights of women and girls, provided the inspiration for her research topic.  

Publications 

  • Mukungu, K. and Kamwanyah, N.J. (2020) Gender-Based Violence: Victims, Activism and Namibia's Dual Justice Systems. In Davies, P. and Tapley, J. (eds.) Victimology: Research, policy and activism. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 81-131 
  • Mecinska, L. James, C. & Mukungu, K. (2020) Criminalization of Women Accessing Abortion and Enforced Mobility within the European Union and the United Kingdom, Women & Criminal Justice, DOI: 10.1080/08974454.2020.1758868 
  • Mukungu, K. (2019) Building a Victim Centred GBV Activist Movement across Namibia. Sister Namibia 31:2, pp. 16-18  
  • Mukungu, K. (2017) "How Can You Write About A Person Who Does Not Exist?": Rethinking pseudonymity and informed consent in life history research. Social Sciences, 6(3) 86 
  • Mukungu, K. (2016) Review of ‘The Struggle for Food Sovereignty: Alternative Development and the Renewal of Peasant Societies Today’, Herrera, R. and Chi Lau, K. (eds) Journal of International Development, 28 (7), pp 1194–1195. 
  • Mukungu, K. (2014) ‘Third Sector Commentary: A view on neo-liberalism of the sector’. North East Third Sector Research Group 2014 Digest Review, pp 31-34. 
  • Mukungu, K. (2014) Sustaining Livelong H.I.V. Treatment in Namibia and Beyond. Focus Magazine, Issue 94, p3 - 4.  

Supervisors: Prof Matt Baillie Smith and Prof Katy Jenkins. 

Email: Kate.mukungu@northumbria.ac.uk  

 

Hope A Birch 

Title: (provisional) Student perceptions on the use of their data for mental health and wellbeing support 

Summary: This thesis forms part of a larger project funded by the Office for Students which is using advanced educational data analytics to examine student mental health and wellbeing. Focusing on the workstream ‘Helping students in difficulties’ the aim of my research is to understand university students’ perceptions of the university using their data for delivering mental health analytic nudges. Given evaluations of data analytics typically rely on quantitative methodology, a mixed-methods approach will be used to understand the impact from the student perspective. This thesis will produce a piece of student-informed research with practical recommendations on how students want support services to be designed and delivered and how the relationship between students and the university in relation to their mental health can be improved. 

Publications:

  • Haigh, M., Birch, H. A., & Pollet, T. V. (2020). Does ‘Scientists Believe…’Imply ‘All Scientists believe…’? Individual Differences in the Interpretation of Generic News Headlines. Collabra: Psychology, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.17174 
  • Birch, H., Mcgann, D., & Riby, L. (2019). Perfectionism and PERMA: The benefits of other-oriented perfectionism. International Journal of Wellbeing, 9(1), 20-42. https://doi.org/10.5502/ijw.v9i1.749 

Supervisors: Professor Peter Francis and Dr James Newham 

Email: hope.a.birch@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Jane Brough 

Title: What is the motivation of food bank volunteers? A North East Case Study

Summary: This project examines the motivation of food bank volunteers in three different settings in the North East. It is an ethnographic study using Grounded Theory. Participant observation and interviews have been employed as the principal forms of data collection.   

Supervisors: Jamie Harding, Rachael Chapman and Siobhan Daly 

 

Jo Curtis 

Photo of Jo Curtis

Title: The paradoxical persistence of torture by States who condemn it

Summary: State-sponsored torture is internationally condemned, yet reportedly occurs in 141 of the world’s 195 countries. To gain a full picture of why this might be, my PhD studies perpetrators, victims, bystanders, whistle-blowers, and advocates in multiple countries who have ratified the UN convention against torture, yet reportedly persevere in its use. It aims to explore: 

  • How and why states/individuals justify torture despite the wide-spread knowledge that torture is ineffective, immoral, and illegal. 
  • What state agents believe are true acts of torture, and vulnerabilities pre-empting torture. 
  • How access to justice can be increased by understanding what motivates people to act against torture despite having much to lose. 
  • Mechanisms of victimisation by exploring demographic and socio-economic characteristics of victims. 

Publications: 

  • Peer-reviewed publication in Law and Human Behavior doi: 10.1037/lhb0000227 
  • Provisional acceptance of manuscript for a Special Issue of the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology on Police Investigations and Investigative Practices  
  • Reviewer for Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking (Aug 2020 – present) 
  • Two poster presentation submissions accepted for the inaugural BPS Cyberpsychology Conference, delayed to July 2021 
  • Symposium presentation: International Association of Conflict Management (2015); Clearwater Beach, FL  
  • Individual Presentation: “Summer School” (2015); University of Twente, Netherlands 

Supervisors: Prof. Gavin Oxburgh, Dr Javier Trevino Rangel

Email: Joanna.Curtis@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Ruth Stevenson Photo of Ruth Stevenson

Title: Transnational migration and gendered development in Kerala, India 

Summary: My research seeks to critically explore the relationship between international migration and women’s development within Kerala, India, where overseas migrants provide 40% of state income. The international migration process in India is still largely male dominated, and dominant discourses celebrate the positive relationship between migration and Indian development. This research will make a distinctive contribution to an emerging body of literature focusing on migration and inclusive development by focusing on Keralan women ‘left behind’, the challenges they face, and the longer term impacts on women in the Keralan model of development which has seen vast improvements in health outcomes and literacy rates in Kerala.   

Funding awarded by AHRC’s Northern Bridge Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership 

Supervisors: Steve Taylor and Katy Jenkins 

Email: ruth.stevenson@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Jeannie O'Beirne Photo of Jeannie O'Beirne

Title: Correlation between literacy and crime: Is the inability to read and write a predictor for criminal behaviour? 

Summary: The ability to read and write is fundamental to an individual's social mobility; it can help individuals escape poverty and impact health and employment opportunities. While reading and writing can drastically affect relationships in business, friendships, and families, it can crucially contribute to the breakdown of family relationships, particularly the relationship between parent and child.  

Equally, the ability to read and write effectively can help individuals make sense of their role in society, gain self-respect, and increase personal confidence. This study investigates the relationship between literacy skills and criminal behaviour to determine whether the inability to read and write is a predictor of criminal behaviour. The study will explore the life experiences of male prisoners aged 21 and over.  

Supervisor: Professor Simon Winlow 

Email: Jeannie.obeirne@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Nick Gibbs Photo of Nick Gibbs

Title: Insta-muscle: Examining performance enhancing substance trade and male gym culture 

Summary: Working within the schools of ultra-realism and deviant leisure, my PhD concerns the supply and consumption of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. The project is a connective ethnography, as fieldwork took place both online and offline, in order to capture a fuller picture of the local market and how patterns of supply and use fit within our globalised, digitised world.  

Supervisors: Dr Alexandra Hall (principal supervisor); Dr Thomas Raymen; Professor Simon Winlow 

Email: nicholas.gibbs@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Rachael Giles-Haigh  Photo of Rachael Giles Haigh

Title: Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse Amongst Men Who Have Sex with Men and the Criminal Justice System  

Summary: The purpose of my research is to investigate the experiences and perspectives of men who have sex with men (MSM) and have been victims of intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) when in a same-sex romantic relationship, including the role of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The thesis focuses specially on sexual minority men as the majority of previous research investigating IPVA, and sexual minorities has focused on the LGBTQ+ community as a whole or same-sex couples.    

This research will explore men’s experiences of violence and abuse, their help seeking strategies and their experiences/perceptions of police responses, using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The remaining studies will be analysed using thematic analysis and will investigate police and judicial responses to male same-sex IPVA. Specifically, perceptions and attitudes, decision-making processes, rates of attrition and barriers to achieving a conviction.   

The intention of this thesis is to gain a unique insight into the lived experience of sexual minority men who have been in violent and abusive relationships. A key aim of this research is to make recommendations to the CJS based on the research findings to aid future best practice.   

Supervisors: Professor Gavin Oxburgh and Dr Ruth Lewis  

Email: r.giles-haigh@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Lynne Graham 

Title: A qualitative, mixed methods, ethnographic study of organised fox-hunting and anti-hunt activism in England and Wales 

Summary: From an insider perspective, this qualitative ethnographic study examines Fox Hunting with Hounds. Exploring power relations, I approach fox hunting as a “crime of the powerful” examining what happens when the law is at odds with the interests of the powerful? Likewise, when crimes of the powerful are directed towards non-human animals?  

Through the perceptions and lived experiences of those involved, I investigate how power dynamics playout on the front line and if/how they shape the policing of fox hunting and anti-hunt hunt activism in practice. Conclusions aim to propose species centred interventions.  

Supervisors: Dr Nathan Stephens-Griffiths, Professor Tanya Wyatt  

Website: www.Lynne-a-graham.co.uk 

Email: lynne.graham@northumbria.ac.uk 

Twitter: LynneAGraham1 

 

Lee Moffett 

Title: Keeping our wits about us: The development of a bespoke interview model for police informant de-briefs 

Summary: With the growing emphasis on protecting public safety, there is an ever-increasing demand to detect criminal or terrorist conspiracies at an early stage. Consequently, senior law enforcement officers are increasingly reliant on well validated intelligence from Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS). As such there is a growing need for intelligence interviews with CHIS to incorporate a psychological approach to gathering and assessing the information they provide. My research will examine the conversational management perspectives of both police 'handlers' and CHIS to develop a bespoke interview model which can be employed in police informant de-briefs with greater efficacy than existing interview models. 

Achievements: International Investigative Interviewers Research Group (IIIRG) Conference Presentation 2016, "Are all lies alike? A comparison of linguistic cues to deceit among suspects and informants." 

International Investigative Interviewers Research Group (IIIRG) Conference Presentation 2019, "Inside the shadows: A practitioner’s view of human source interactions." 

Supervisors: Prof. Gavin Oxburgh, Dr. Paul Dresser and Dr. Fiona Gabbert 

Email: lee.moffett@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Michael Smith 

Title: Increasing the Diversity of Police Officers: A Misguided Approach to Improve Perceptions of the Police, or a Legitimate Method of Enhancing Confidence in the Police? 

Summary: The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the potential relationship between the perceptions and attitudes towards the diversity of police officers and confidence in the police in England and Wales. The results of this research may help identify the extent to which (if any) the topics are related and the circumstances or groups of the population in/to which the topics are most closely interlinked (if any). The findings will additionally identify the factors which most strongly influence confidence in the police in 2021.  

Supervisors: Professor Mike Rowe and Doctor Ali Malik 

Email: michael9.smith@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Robert Olet EgweaPhoto of Robert Olet Egwea  

Title: The impact of illegal trade in charcoal from endangered tree species on livelihoods in Uganda  

Summary: This PhD project will explore the impact of illegal charcoal trade on livelihoods in Uganda. It will contribute to knowledge in international development and criminology. Charcoal is a source of income for many households in developing countries. However, large-scale production, perpetuated by illegal trans-national trade in the product, is a threat to the environment and thus a catalyst of poverty, contrary to UN sustainable development goal one – ending poverty in all its forms.  Shear trees (vitellaria paradoxa), one of the endangered tree species in Africa, produce nuts that are a rare source of fat used for cooking and producing various essential beauty products sold around the world. Yet, the destruction of shea trees to produce charcoal endangers the trees’ existence and impacts livelihoods. This project will make recommendations to alleviate the problem.  

Supervisor: Prof Matt Baillie Smith  

Email: robert.egwea@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Michael Smith 

Title: Increasing the Diversity of Police Officers: A Misguided Approach to Improve Perceptions of the Police, or a Legitimate Method of Enhancing Confidence in the Police? 

Summary: The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the potential relationship between the perceptions and attitudes towards the diversity of police officers and confidence in the police in England and Wales. The results of this research may help identify the extent to which (if any) the topics are related and the circumstances or groups of the population in/to which the topics are most closely interlinked (if any). The findings will additionally identify the factors which most strongly influence confidence in the police in 2021.  

Supervisors: Professor Mike Rowe and Doctor Ali Malik 

Email: michael9.smith@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Sophie Mitchell

Photo of Sophie Mitchell

Title: The traumatic impact of maternal imprisonment 

Summary: This project has been funded by Lady Edwina Grosvenor in order to research the impact of imprisonment on mothers and their families in line with the work of her charity One Small Thing. My background has been in working for a women’s mental health charity, particularly focusing on domestic abuse and those involved with the criminal justice system. During the project I have volunteered with the charity Birth Companions, working with pregnant women in prison and also NEPACS. 

The research is a qualitative project examining the impact of imprisonment on mothers and their families with particular regard to the inter-generational trauma that it produces. Taking a socio-ecological approach it will look at trauma as a wide-ranging concept that has both individual, family and wider societal implications at different stages of women’s contact with the criminal justice system. The research will focus on narratives from mothers who have been in prison and in addition views of staff working with women in the community. 

Achievements: Forthcoming chapter in the Handbook of Women’s Experiences in Criminal Justice  

Supervisors: Prof Pamela Davies, Dr Pauline Ramshaw 

Email: sophie2.mitchell@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Sarah Lea 

Photo of Sarah Lea

Title: "An investigation of Holiday Clubs and Household Food Insecurity in North East England" 

Summary: My research study will offer an analysis of the rising phenomenon forcing families to access food provisions and utilise local holiday clubs for their children/dependants. An interpretive phenomenological analysis underpins this detailed ethnographical study, aiming to provide a deeper understanding of how families navigate their circumstances and reflect on their experiences surrounding food insecurity. The thesis will also evaluate to what extent the available or accessed provisions help to alleviate holiday hunger as well as the impact on their finances, societal status, and mental health. The methodology will embrace digital ethnography, using participants photographs as a main part of the analysis.  

Supervisors: Professor Paul Stretesky and Professor Greta Defeyter 

Email: sarah.lea@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Nikhil Panicker 

Title: The production and reproduction of inequalities in spaces of migration: A study of migration infrastructures and migrant mobilities between Kerala and the Middle East 

Summary: The research reads international migration as a product of infrastructures, and critically investigates how different migrant mobilities emerge due to differential access of social categories to these infrastructures. The research, with fieldwork in Kerala, India, and Dubai, UAE, studies inequalities that may be created and recreated in the migration of social categories based on religion, caste, class, status, gender, and region while navigating a hybrid political order, with both state and traditional modes of ordering, that controls and organizes migration infrastructures.   

Any achievements: Research Development Fund 2019 

Supervisors: Dr. Steve Taylor and Dr. Darryl Humble 

Email: nikhil.panicker@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Tom RatcliffePhoto of Tom Ratcliffe 

Title: Contested cultural-natural landscapes in the Anthropocene: connecting community influence, landscape and heritage within the North York Moors National Park 

Summary: This is an AHRC funded PhD research project which investigates how people identify with the landscapes within the North York Moors National Park and the role communities have in influencing decisions about landscape change or protection in a National Park. The project examines the power structures within these politicised, contested landscapes including the mapping of land ownership in the park.  

Using data collected from qualitative interviews, including walking interviews as the primary method, with key stakeholder organisations and a wide range of communities across the National Park, the project investigates three case studies in the North York Moors:  

  • Goathland parish 
  • The Woodsmith Mine 
  • Fylingdales Moor Conservation Area

The thesis argues that North York Moors communities could be better represented in landscape change and management negotiations. 

Supervisors: Prof. Keith Shaw, Dr. Joan Heggie (Teesside University) 

Email: Thomas.ratcliffe@northumbria.ac.uk 

 

Floor van der HoutPhoto of Floor van der Hout 

Title: Women’s activist trajectories in Bolivia: the spatialities and temporalities of everyday resistance against extractivism 

Summary: My research looks into how the activist trajectories of women territory defenders in Bolivia unfold over time and space. I’m interested in how the women sustain their activism over a long period of time, the relational, affective and spatial politics of their resistance, and how the women activists engage in the inwards and outwards contestation of different sets of power relations characterised by intersections of class, ethnicity and gender that mark the spaces that they move through on their activist journeys. I employ a decolonial feminist methodological approach that I call acompañar, an approach that explores if and how research can be an act of solidarity.  

Supervisors: Dr. Katy Jenkins, Dr. Hilary Francis  

  • Winner of the Society for Latin American Studies Travel Grant 2020.  
  • Ypeij, A, Krah, E. & Van der Hout, F. (2018). Women Weavers and Male Tour Guides. Gender, Ethnicity and Power Inequalities in the Selling of Handicrafts in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Ethnología Europaea 48(2), 68-81.  

Email: floor.hout@northumbria.ac.uk 

 


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