Dr Emma CardwellLecturer in Economic Geography
I am a lecturer in economic geography in Lancaster Environment Centre, with a specialism in social justice, property rights and food production. I engage with the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and feminist and decolonial theory to explore Britain's potential for agroecological transition.
I am interested in studying socio-economic organization, and struggles over socio-ecological relationships, particularly around the production of food. This includes: labour and work in food production; property rights; state discipline and violence; land access; community rights and food justice; economic subject formation; the ontological and metaphysical aspects of economy and environment; rural and peasant economies; the legal, economic and political infrastructures of food systems, and the impacts these insitutional structures have 'on the ground'.
My research focuses on the socio-economic relationships that order community and land, and I'm interested in what sub-altern and post-colonial theory can tell us about the 'colonial core'. As such, I conduct research primarily in the UK, but work closely with Majority World academics, theories and movements, particularly in Brazil and Mexico.
With colleagues across Latin America, I am currently working on the UK strand of the project "Socioterritorial Movements in Comparative Perspective" comparing agrarian movements around the world. In the UK, I work with the Landworkers' Alliance and Solidarity Among Land Trades (SALT). I am part of the LEC Political Ecology research group.
I am course convenor of the level 2 Economic Geography module in LEC, which teaches economic geography from feminist and postcolonial standpoints, and level 1 Society and Space, which is an overview of the key themes in human geography. I co-teach Food and Agriculture in the 21st Century with James Fraser.
I am particuarly interested in the expansion of education and creative educational methods beyond traditional classroom settings and methods. I contribute to the Sustainable Agriculture and Responding to Environmental Challenges modules of the JWL BA in Sustainable Development: this is a free online degree designed for, and delivered to, students in refugee camps across the world. I have delivered pedagogic sessions at Black Mountains College, The MST's Florestan Fermandes National School, The Apricot Centre, The Plot, Kindling Trust, and have collaborated with Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca. I am currently working with the Land Workers' Alliance to develop socioeconomic and political education for agroecology.
Along with Sally Cawood, I run the Many Worlds Film Club, a LEC funded initiative screening international films and discussions on the topic of environment and social justice at the Gregson Community Centre in Lancaster.
I joined Lancaster Environment Centre in 2022 as a Lecturer in Economic Geography. Before this, I was a Lecturer in Human Geography in Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences at Nottingham Trent University from 2020 to 2022, where I led the human geography content of the geography degrees, and a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow from 2018 to 2020, where I designed and co-convened the Earth Futures MSc.
Prior to this, I worked as a research associate on a SARIC-funded project on the socio-ecological metabolisms of nutrient cycling and pollution in UK agriculture in the Sociology Department of Lancaster University, and an an ESRC funded project on the socio-legal infrastructures of UK marine conservation at the University of Bristol Law School.
I studied a DPhil in Economic Geography at the University of Oxford, an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy also at Oxford, and a BSc in Environmental Policy at the London School of Economics. I won best MSc research dissertation at Oxford, best dissertation in Geography and Environment at LSE, and highest final-year marks university-wide at LSE.
I am a qualified Playworker, and have worked with children in a range of play settings. This includes out of school clubs for 5-16 year-olds in South and East Yorkshire, free youth schemes in Edmonton, North London, the family-run Love Kids children's home in Nkoranza, Ghana, the Toybox charity for children of inmates at Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow, and Global Link in Lancaster, working with the children of refugees and asylum seekers. This experience and training means I am very interested in haptic, experiential and non-traditional learning, among both children and adults, particularly in outdoor settings.
PhD Supervision Interests
I am available to supervise PhD students interested in working on land, economics, farming, fisheries and food production from feminist or postcolonial standpoints.