I am Reader in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and prize-holder of the 2014 Royal Geographical Society-with IBG Gill Memorial Award for my contributions to the study of gender relations. For the past ten years, my research and teaching has focused on contemporary domestic life bringing together approaches from social and cultural geography on ‘home’ with those of development geography on the ‘household’. My expertise lies in the qualitative analysis (through visual methods) of gendered injustices which manifest in, and emerge from, the interactions between macro and micro level socio-economic change in Southeast Asia. I completed an ESRC-funded PhD at the London School of Economics in 2007 entitled “Gender Relations in the Khmer ‘Home’: Post-Conflict Perspectives” and followed this with a 3 year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Royal Holloway between 2008-2011 which extended my regional expertise to Vietnam and Laos. Click here for more detail on these and subsequent projects.
I am currently working on three books. I am writing my first monograph Home SOS: Gender, Injustice and Rights in Cambodia (Wiley, Royal Geographical Society-IBG Book Series 2016) which brings together my longstanding interests in the unmaking of home via domestic violence, marital breakdown and forced eviction. The domestic violence element of the book is based on a 3 year study (2012-2015) I am principal investigator of, funded by the ESRC and UK Department for International Development (DfID), entitled ‘Lay and Institutional Knowledges of Domestic Violence Law: Towards Active Citizenship in Rural and Urban Cambodia’. Collaborating with Simon Springer I am also co-editing the Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia (Routledge 2016) which offers a comprehensive overview of the current situation in the country through broad coverage of social, cultural, political and economic developments within both rural and urban contexts during the last decade. 2016 will also see the publication of a second co-edited book (with Melissa Fernandez and Alex Vasudevan) on Geographies of Forced Eviction: Dispossession, Violence, Insecurity. It represents the first collection of international academic research on contemporary forced evictions. In bringing together accounts from across urban Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, it will breach a significant geographic and conceptual divide that has tended to frame forced evictions either as an overwhelmingly Global South phenomenon, or as an experience more common to the rural, landless poor.
My newest project is in my home city, London, and is focused on the phenomenon of ‘pop-up’ housing. More information can be found here.
My teaching at undergraduate level covers research methods (interviews, focus groups, visual methods); field trip leadership to Kenya/Malawi; and a third year course option I designed on ‘Geographies of Home’. On the MSc Practising Sustainable Development I teach a module on ‘Households and Development’. At doctoral level I sole or co-supervise 5 current PhDs – Tianfeng Liu (Chinese academics in the UK/British campuses in China); Laura Prazeres (Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada award for study of international student mobility to the Global South); Mary Cobbett (ESRC CASE award with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on non-formal education and the ‘Stop the Violence’ campaign in Kenya); Melanie Nowicki (RHUL Crossland Award for research on squatting and the bedroom tax in the UK); and Naomi Graham (ESRC CASE with CAFOD on faith-based and secular safe houses in Cambodia).
I act as editorial board member for the journal Gender, Place & Culture; as secretary to the RGS-IBG Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group (GFGRG); and as invited member of the ESRC Peer Review College.