In much of my teaching, the topics, concepts and knowledge which I help students learn about are related to my own research on themes of sustainability, governing, technologies and consumption. Through modules like Environment, Society and Politics or Geographies of Consumption, a key aim is to engage students critically with big geographical themes, like climate change, food security, well being and social justice, and with contemporary ways of thinking about them, by reflecting upon their own lives as members of the society which produces and responds to these challenges.
I taught with Open University, Lancaster University and Durham University before arriving in Sheffield. In addition to topical teaching like that above, I have taught research methods from 1st year undergraduate through to PhD training.
Current and recent teaching includes:
Environment, Society and Politics
Environmental issues are a key area of contemporary public concern and current political debate. They raise fundamental questions about the relationship between society and environment. This second year module provides a geographical introduction to these issues and debates with examples from a range of scales from the global to the local. After a review of key concepts, the module is developed in three inter-related sections covering energy, food and housing.
This third year module explores the critical, contested and controversial debates about environmental and ecological issues. Ecologies encompass the relationships and interactions between organisms (people, animals, plants, etc) and their environments, including other organisms. Using a range of examples of research undertaken by staff in the department from a variety of different countries this module develops a critical geographical approach to understanding environmental controversies. I contribute teaching on biodiversity and on the Anthropocene.
Uganda Field Class
This third year module involves students in undertaking a research-led project with communities in Jinja, Uganda. through which to develop and apply critical thinking and research skills in relation to the geographies of the global south. The module develops research skills, understandings of theories of development and context-specific knowledge through lectures and practical experience during fieldwork projects. I have written an account of staffing one of these field classes here.
Geographies of Consumption
Exploring the spaces and places of contemporary consumption provides a critical perspective on modern societies and cultures. This third year module examines some key debates about material culture and mass consumption, including an investigation of commodity chains, actor-networks and other object-centred approaches. The module studies the social relationships which converge in consumption, at a variety of scales from the body and the home to the national and the trans-national.
Nepal Field Class
This Masters module takes an international group of students for a 12 day field class in Nepal. At the core of the field class is 5 days primary research by students, working in small groups with a Nepali research colleague and local guides, to research topics like maternal health, migration or forestry with communities in Dhading district. I have written an account of leading one of these field classes here.