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Geography and Environmental Science
(023) 8059 3470

Dr Eleanor Wilkinson BA, MA, PhD

Associate Professor in Human Geography

Dr Eleanor Wilkinson

I am a feminist cultural and social geographer. My research is concerned with the political life of emotions and affect, with a particular focus on intimate life, affect, power and ideology.

I am currently the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead for the Faculty of Environmental & Life Sciences.

Prior to joining Southampton I was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds.


2011: PhD, Human Geography, University of Leeds
2006: MA, Gender Studies, University of Leeds
2004: BA, English and American Studies, University of Manchester

2019-present: Associate Professor in Human Geography, Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton
2014-2019: Lecturer in Human Geography, Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton
2011-2014: Member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, University of Leeds
2006-2011: Teaching Fellow, Cities and Social Justice, School of Geography, University of Leeds

Visiting Positions
2013: Visiting Scholar, Geography, University of Waikato
2010: Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Excellence in Gender Research, University of Örebro
2007: Visiting Scholar, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney

Research interests

My work centres around the various ways in which normative ideals of the 'good life' can fail and falter— the gaps, fissures, and moments when we desire something more. My work is interested in how power is secured and maintained, but also, how power is challenged and transformed through the emergence of new forms of affective relationality. I am particularly interested in expanding the affective registers through which progressive social change can be imagined, thinking in particular about how feelings of disaffection and ambivalence can help us imagine other life-worlds.

My recent research has focused on political impasse, and the slow violence of austerity and housing insecurity. This work examines the ordinary affects of welfare reform, asking what happens when infrastructures fail and people find themselves violently cut off from the world.

My current research examines the feminist politics of loneliness, asking what a specifically feminist theorisation might bring to contemporary conceptualisations of loneliness. This work starts from the proposition that loneliness is not just personal but political. This strand of work emerges from my previous research on single-life, queer friendship, and the geographies of solitude.


Understanding young single women's experiences of housing welfare reform (ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant, 2018-2019)
Hitting Home: Single people, housing benefit reform and equalities law (ESRC Future Research Leader's Grant 2015 - 2018)
Solitary Spaces? Single People's Networks of Care in Contemporary Britain (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011 - 2014)

PhD supervision:

I would welcome potential PhD applicants interested in the following areas: feminist geographies; the politics of affect and emotion; LGBTQ+ intimacies; queer world-making; precarity, slow violence and crisis; shadow infrastructures of care; housing and home; feminist activism; racial justice and urban lIfe; loneliness; spaces of solitude. Please get in touch if you have a potential topic you'd like to discuss.

Research group

Population, Health and Wellbeing (PHeW)

Affiliate research group

Economy, Society and Governance

Research project(s)

Care theme

Faculty Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead (Faculty, of Environmental & Life Sciences)
School, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead
Athena SWAN committee

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Book Chapters




GEOG3070: Gender, Sexuality and Space (Convenor)

GEOG2027: Geographies of Wellbeing (Convenor)

GEOG2008: Researching Human Geography

GEOG1003: Society, Culture & Space

GEOG3018: Geography Research Project


PhD supervision

2014-2017: Eleni Bourantani, 'Re-gendering care in the contemporary UK: experiences of male primary carers'

2016-2020: Angharad Butler-Rees, 'My Existence is Resistance': Exploring spaces and forms of disability activism during a time of austerity'

2016-2020: Eliza Garwood, 'Narrating kinship and connection: the life stories of adult children raised by LBTQ parents'

2018-present: Laura Paddon, 'An investigation into the lived experiences of intergenerational homeshares'

Dr Eleanor Wilkinson
Building 44 University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/2074

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