I am an early-career sociologist and joined WISERD following the completion of my ESRC funded PhD at the University of Warwick (awarded in 2020). My research focuses on academic libraries and considers their role at the intersection of two interrelated live debates: that concerning the so-called crisis of Higher Education, and that concerning the crisis of post-austerity public services in general, and public libraries specifically.
My PhD built upon a longstanding interest in libraries and the social life of classifications. My academic background is multi-disciplinary: my undergraduate degree was in History and was awarded by University College London; my MA was in Librarianship and was awarded from the University of Sheffield; and my PhD was in Sociology and was completed at the University Warwick. Across this movement between disciplines has been a continuous thread of interest in how knowledge is organised and communicated, and in how this organisation effects different groups of people.
In addition to my empirical interests in libraries, public space and education, I am also very interested in creative qualitative research methods and am inspired by the recent (re)turn to “crafty sociology” and “Live Methods” research methods in sociology. This includes undertaking ethnographic research which centres voice, art, and storytelling at the stages of data collection, analysis and communication.
My postdoctoral fellowship will contribute to the work of WISERD’s Civil Society Research Centre. In addition to working on various research outputs, I intend to carry out workshops and events which bring university policy makers, library workers, and sociologists together to consider public engagement in HE through academic libraries. Finally, I am undertaking pilot research which intends to extend the findings of my doctoral research by applying similar methods and questions regarding public engagement in academic knowledge to further and more diverse HE library sites in the UK post-covid.
My working days with WISERD are Monday-Wednesday. Outside of academic work (and these three days) I am involved in two co-operatives: Stirchley Co-operative Development, which is a community led housing and worker co-op project in South Birmingham, and Bartlebys Brewery, a vegan craft brewery co-op.