School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Dr Ruth Raynor

Teaching Fellow in Planning


Ruth Raynor draws on a background in theatre-making and feminist theories from cultural studies and human geographies to explore urban life. In particular she develops novel approaches to 'form' to re-think / do contemporary theoretical and 'real-life' challenges. She has recently developed from new theories of habit using theatre games and exercises to think about a politics of 'small changes' for ‘Geohumanities’ (2017).

Ruth's doctoral research engaged with un(der) employed women at a family support centre in the North East of England. Together through theatre practice they shared and explored everyday experiences from the onset of austerity. This work was disseminated to local audiences in a professional production funded by the ESRC IAA, with support from Gateshead Council, the Washington Arts Centre, Theatre of Moths and Alphabetti Theatre. In her thesis Ruth reflected on women’s fragmented encounters with austerity, which became in tension with and disruption possibilities for a collective encounter with the 'genre' austerity. She thought the slow, insidious and fracturing effects of austerity through the form of a play: a process documented in ‘Dramatising Austerity: Holding a Story Together (And Why it Falls Apart…)’ for ‘Cultural Geographies,’ (2016).

With funding from the ESRC IAA and N8 Research partnership on 'Knowledge that Matters: Realising the potential of Co-production'  Ruth worked with Prof. Rachel Pain to develop thinking and doing on 'impact' as process- drawing on her own  collaborative theatre-making to centre the power of dialogue facilitated by research practice. Ruth has also supported activities and events for Durham University 'Participatory Research Hub,' and 'the Trust Map,' with Nottingham University, Northumbria University, Durham University and Newcastle University .

As well as continuing to publish from previous research, Ruth is currently developing a project on ‘Everyday Urban Recovery’ as part of a post-doctoral fellowship at the Global Urban Research Unit in SAPL. 


Raynor, R (2016) Dramatising Austerity: Holding a Story Together (and Why it Falls Apart...) Cultural Geographies [online first]

Raynor, R (2017) (De)Composing Habit in Theatre As Method Geohumanities [online first]

Pain, R and Raynor, R (2016) A soup of different inspirations: Co-produced research and recognising impact as a process not an outcome:

Raynor, R (2016) Holding Things Together (and Why they Fall Apart...) Encountering and Dramatising Austerity with Women in the North East of England


Previous Teaching Includes Modules in: 

People, Participation, and Place

Using Geographical Skills and Techniques

Research Frontiers

Social Research in Geography

Geographies of Everyday Life.


Environment and Society

Space and Place in a Changing World

Introduction to Geographical Research

Social Research in Human Geography module