I earned my PhD in cultural geography at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2017. 

I’m particularly interested in how “place” is experienced, interacted with, and written, and my thesis, "Bodies of Water: Writing the Cultural Geographies of Indoor Lane Swimming", combines this interest with my love for swimming laps. The project explores the geographies of lane swimming and the convergence of bodies, practices and materialities of the indoor swimming pool. So I’m interested, for instance, in the stuff that constitutes the pool – from water and air to mold and tiles to caps and goggles – and in what people do in the pool, what the significance of the pool to their lives is, what they notice about it, how they feel about and use it as a place. I'm also particularly interested in the way people experience places via their bodies, and vice versa – the way they experience their bodies via certain places.

My research took several forms – autoethnographic participation, for instance, which involved turning the researcher’s eye on myself and exploring my own relationship to the pool, as well as more traditional ethnographic research, including observations of swimming practices and a series of in-depth interviews with regular swimmers. Drawing on wider arguments about writing as a methodology for place research within the discipline of geography, these materials were brought together textually in a series of essays on the pool and its swimming bodies.

I posted notes and updates about my project on my research blog, and this post is a good place to start if you're curious about what I hoped to achieve.