I am an International Development specialist with a background in social anthropology, geography and gender analysis. I joined the Open University as a Lecturer in International Development in March 2020, where I contribute to teaching on the Futurelearn platform.
I gained my Ba, MRes and PhD in International Development from the University of East Anglia, where I studied as a mature student. Since then I have held a variety of teaching and research positions in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway College University of London, and the Schools of International Development, Environmental Science, and Art History and World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia. Alongside these roles I have remained firmly engaged in practice, advising on projects and portfolios across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Gender, Development, Social Change
Broadly speaking my research focuses on unlocking puzzles of gender identity and difference in contexts of socio-economic change.
I draw on feminist scholarship to ask questions about the social and cultural (re)production of masculinities. This means thinking through how large-scale social transformations, such as in the flow of goods, ideas and imagery, inform and are informed by gender as an everyday social practice infused with relations of power.
I am particularly interested in the intersections of gender and generation and how they play out in the context of young men’s relationships within the household.
Masculinities, Housholds, Consumption
More specifically, I explore marriage as site of production, consumption and exchange, considering goods and ‘things’ through the lens of material culture. I trace objects and their movements in terms of the stories they tell and the relations they come to imply to explore how young men ‘imagine’, make and position themselves in larger social orders.
With a focus on Hausa societies in Nigeria and Ghana, and an emphasis on everyday social practice, I approach these conundrums though ethnography.
Qualitative Research Methods
Alongside this work, I am currently engaged in a critical evaluation of focus group methodologies and how they are applied by development organisations in practice.
I have an enduring interest in the widening participation agenda, particularly as it relates to mature student retention and success and the study of geography and international development in higher education.
I have played an active role in outreach, engagement and recruitment activities with groups under-represented in higher education, as well as producing internal widening participation policy research at the University of East Anglia.
My teaching experience is broad, drawing on inter-disciplinary expertise to consider a wide range of themes within and beyond the field of international development, from gender analysis, social development and humanitarian communication to courses in practical academic skills, research methods and analysis.