I'm currently working towards a PhD in cultural geography at Royal Holloway, University of London.
I’m particularly interested in how “place” is experienced, interacted with, and written, and my PhD project, provisionally titled "Bodies of Water", combines this interest with my love for lap swimming. The project explores the geographies of lap 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 takes a few forms – autoethnographic participation, for instance, which involves 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, the idea is to bring these materials together textually in a series of essays on the pool and its swimming bodies.