School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Dr Jane Midgley

Senior Lecturer - DPD MSc Town Planning & MSc Planning for Sustainability and Climate Change

Background

Introduction

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist working across human geography, socio-economics, and environmental planning, researching issues within and across food and waste systems and their functioning. Before joining the School in 2008 I led the rural policy and food policy research at the IPPR (the UK’s leading think tank).

Roles and Responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Planning.

I am Degree Programme Director for three programmes MSc Town Planning/Pg Diploma Spatial Planning and MSc Planning for Sustainability and Climate Change, and MA Regional Development and Spatial Planning.  During semester 1 17/18 I am also acting DPD for MSc International Spatial Planning, MA Planning and Environmental Research and MA Architecture Planning and Landscape. I act as personal tutor to students on these programmes. 

I am the School Ethics Convenor and member of the Faculty Ethics Committee.

Qualifications

BA (Hons): Land Economy, University of Cambridge
MPhil: Land Economy, University of Cambridge
PhD: University of Newcastle upon Tyne, socio-economics/geography


Research

Research Interests

In more detail, my research has consistently explored the critical relationship between vulnerability, insecurity and responsibility in contemporary society, and how these concepts are ascribed, understood and practiced. There are two empirical foci to my work: (i) everyday care practices, underpinned by feminist ethics of care theory to critically consider what vulnerability, insecurity and responsibility mean for individuals focusing on food provisioning offers and their acceptance within community settings; and (ii) surplus food and food waste, here I focus on the transition of food to waste and the interplay between institutions, values and practices that inform this process, I particularly look at the work of industry and charitable actors in identifying and redistributing surplus food, and draw from socio-economic theory to explore the socio-technical arrangements of surplus and waste.  Throughout my research I bring together ethnographically grounded work in a variety of settings with critical policy analysis.

Recent projects: 

I have recently completed research funded by the ESRC and FSA ‘Making provisions: anticipating food emergencies and assembling the food system’, with my colleague Dr Andrew Donaldson.  This research examined how uncertain futures are made manageable both in the day-to-day running of the food system and in expectation of more exceptional circumstances. The project developed a critical understanding of the forms of anticipatory action that exist in the food system, how these are undertaken, who and what they involve and the ways in which they help create and stabilise the relationships that underpin the food system.

Postgraduate Supervision

Jane would welcome any postgraduate applications to study issues that with fit with her research interests.

Jane is currently supervising:

  • Montse Ferres 'Reconfiguring open spaces as workshops of cooperation in deprived areas' (ESRC funded, supervised with  Dr Tim Townshend)
  • Dugyu Okumus 'The implications of rural tourism in Turkey' (supervised with Dr Suzanne Speak) 

 Completed students:

  • Helen Coulson 'Ecologies of care: An ethnographic study of collective urban food gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland' (ESRC funded, awarded 2016)
  • Alan Hunt 'Civic engagement in food system governance: A comparative perspective on American and English local food movements' (Fulbright part-funded, awarded 2013) 
  • Elizabeth Brooks 'Are country towns sustainable for older people?' (ESRC/DCLG funded, awarded 2011)

Funding

ESRC FSA (2014-16, Co-Investigator) Making provisions: anticipating food emergences and assembling the food system, see http://research.ncl.ac.uk/makingprovisions/

Catherine Cookson Foundation (2011-12) Serving society? The role of soup kitchens and soup runs in urban social order 

Newcastle University HASS Faculty funding (2009-10) Exploring responses to household and community food insecurity

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2004-5) Socio-economics of the household
ESRC Postgraduate Studentship (open competition, 2000-3) Women's access to financial services in rural households

Industrial Relevance

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching

TCP2027 Research Skills (module leader)

TCP3099 Dissertation (module leader and dissertation supervisor)

Postgraduate Teaching

TCP89034/44 Planning and Sustainability (contributor - session on sustainable food planning)

TCP8934/8938 Cities, Security and Resilience (contributor - session on food security and the city)

TCP8911 Evaluation, Analysis and Research (contributor)

TCP8099 Dissertation (supervisor) 

Publications