Jennie Middleton is Associate Professor in Human Geography and Tutorial Fellow at St Anne's College. Prior to this she was a Senior Research Fellow in the Transport Studies Unit (2013 - 2021). Jennie holds a BA (Hons) in Geography (University of Wales) and an MSc in Human Geography Research (London School of Economics). Following the completion of her PhD at King's College London (2007), Jennie was awarded an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Royal Holloway, University of London (2007 - 2008). She has also held research and lecturing posts at Cardiff University, Kingston University, and the University of Plymouth, and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Western Sydney. Jennie's work to date has been funded by the British Academy, ESRC, John Fell Fund, and the Wellcome Trust.
Jennie's research relates to three overlapping themes, all of which are underpinned by concerns with the relationships between theory, policy and practice:
1. Geographies of mobilities
The intersections between everyday mobile practices and the geographies of gender, class, race, ethnicity, age and disability are central to Jennie's interests in the geographies of mobilities. In particular, she is concerned with how mobile practices are situated in the complex coordination of everyday life. Jennie's work on urban walking has made a significant contribution to understandings of the relationship between walking, urban space, and critical urban politics. Her re-conceptualisation of walkability as being socially and materially co-produced in relation to unfolding habits, routines, and practices is central to an interpretive framework in which walkability is not reduced to where or what is walkable but the ways in which urban space is consumed and produced through different ways of walking. Jennie is particularly interested in the implications of this work for urban and transport policy. For example, in her previous role as Course Director of the Global Challenges in Transport Leadership Programme she created, in collaboration with her team, a space for critical dialogue between transport/ mobilities scholarship and transport policy/practice.
2. Care in the city
A prominent theme of Jennie's work is how care is delivered and received in the austere city. Previous research includes a British Academy funded project (with Richard Yarwood, University of Plymouth) on Street Pastors in relation to their role as Christian volunteers who patrol urban places at night to provide practical support and care for users and providers of the night-time economy. Whilst she has led Wellcome Trust funded research on urban austerity, care and new parenting practices. In building new interdisciplinary research at the intersection of human geography and social psychology, this work makes fundamental contributions to advancing understandings of the physical and mental well-being of new parents whilst providing new understandings of care in relation to contemporary urban socio-economic and political landscapes. This programme of work is informing the development of future research on care, family mobilities, and non-visible disabilities.
3. Innovative methodologies for urban research
Jennie has critically drawn upon/developed a range of qualitative methods in her work including diary-interviews/photo diaries, video methods, photo apps, and mobile methods. For example, a John Fell Fund grant, in collaboration with the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), explores the relationship between in/interdependent mobility and the everyday lives of visually impaired young people in London through the use of video methods. A series of participatory filmmaking workshops with research participants has resulted in six short films which highlight their experiences (please see: www.vi-mobilities.co.uk). This work is key in the development of her ongoing critical engagement in the growing interest across the social sciences with mobile methodologies.
Jennie teaches on the Preliminary Examination (Prelims) and Final Honour School (FHS) in Geography. She lectures on the 'Networks and Mobilities' course of the Human Geography Prelmins programme and coordinates and teaches on the FHS Option 'Transport and Mobilities'. Jennie is also responsible for coordinating and providing tutorials at St Anne's College for the Preliminary Examination and Final Honour School in Geography.
Jennie teaches on the Nature, Society and Environmental Governance (NSEG) MSc programme on the core 'Research Design' module. She also teaches on the 'Transport and Sustainability' module on the MSc in Sustainable Urban Development in the Department of Continuing Education. Jennie is actively involved in all of the short courses of TSU's Global Challenges in Transport executive education programme.
Current Graduate Research Students
Rethinking therapeutic landscapes: diverse encounters with nature for care experienced young people
Caring in the night-time city: filling the spatio-temporal gaps in childcare
Toxic Territories, Health Futures: Geographies of Drug Epidemics in Los Angeles County, US