The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Professor Rachel Pain

Professor of Human Geography

Background


Rachel Pain is Professor of Human Geography and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.


RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Gender-based violence and its impacts on women, men and children

  • Trauma and fear

  • Social housing and dispossession

  • Transgender youth and feminist theory

  • The relationships between domestic violence and international terrorism/warfare

  • Participatory action research

Born in Northumberland and brought up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I have lived and worked in North East England for most of my life. I began my career as a Lecturer at Northumbria University, before working at Durham University where I was promoted to Chair in Human Geography, was a founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and ran the Participatory Research Hub. I have been at Newcastle University since 2017.

I am a social geographer whose research is founded in feminist and participatory praxis. Most of my research over the last two decades has focused on fear, violence and community safety, with gender-based violence an enduring interest as it affects women, men and children (including transgender people). I have also worked with older people, young people, refugees and asylum seekers to understand experiences of violence, harm and trauma, and to collaborate towards social change using Participatory Action Research. The conceptual thread running through these projects explores the social politics of what are commonly seen as personal and private experiences of violence and trauma. Equally, international forms of violence, such as war and terrorism, are recast as having intimate roots. Through developing concepts such as ‘globalised fear’, ‘intimacy-geopolitics’ and ‘intimate war’, the work unpicks common ideas that persist about scales of violence and harm.

Through this research I have collaborated with community organisations, charities, activists, and engaged local and national policy-makers. I have led projects which forge new participatory approaches in sites as diverse as the housing crisis, museums, climate change activism and river conservation. On a transdisciplinary project on the future of social housing, I have recently worked with a range of organisations in Horden Colliery, County Durham, local photographer Carl Joyce and the folk band Ribbon Road to track the effects of national housing policy and growing divisions in housing wealth and access.

This research is united by a long-standing interest in impact, imagined not as an add-on to traditional research, but as an ethical commitment at the heart of scholarly work so that it contributes something tangible to movements for social justice. Since ‘impact’ became mainstream, I have been a leading figure in debates on what impact means for co-produced research, and what socially just impact might look like within and outside Universities, as well as helping to build infrastructure to support collaborative research between Universities and the public and voluntary sectors.

PRIZES AND AWARDS

  • Philip Leverhulme Prize 2005

  • Royal Geographical Society Gill Memorial Award 2008, for contributions to social geography and participatory research

  • Julian Minghi Outstanding Research Award of the Political Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers 2009. Awarded jointly with Susan J Smith for 'Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life'

  • Durham University Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award 2012

  • Durham University Excellence in Research Impact Award 2014

  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences 2018

RECENT REPORTS

 

Publications

  • Pain R. Chronic urban trauma: The slow violence of housing dispossession. Urban Studies 2019, 56(2), 385-400.
  • Pain R, Hadjiyianni C, McLeod G. After the Auctions Impacts of the Disposal of Social Housing in a County Durham Village. Newcastle upon Tyne: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2017.
  • Rezwana N, Pain R. Understanding Gender-based violence during disasters in the coastal region of Bangladesh. Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle University, 2017.
  • Pain R, Heslop J, Ormerod E, Butler-Rees A, Crawshaw H, Davisson H, Dawson L, Fairhurst M, Galin M, Harman D, Holloway E, James T, Liu A, Chau C, Qing H, Read F, Smith M, Somerset C, Sporik E, Turner I. DISPOSAL: The Housing Crisis in Horden’s Numbered Streets. Durham University: Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, 2016.
  • Pain R. Embodying intimate war: a reply to Sjoberg, Massaro and Bernazzoli. Political Geography 2015, 44, 82-83.
  • Whitman GP, Pain R, Milledge DG. Going with the flow? Using participatory action research in physical geography. Progress in Physical Geography 2015, 39(5), 622-639.
  • Pain R. Intimate War. Political Geography 2015, 44, 64-73.
  • Pain R. Everyday Terrorism: Connecting Domestic Violence and Global Terrorism. Progress in Human Geography 2014, 38(4), 531-550.
  • Pain R. Gendered violence: rotating intimacy. Area 2014, 46, 351-353.
  • Pain R. Impact: striking a blow or walking together?. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 2014, 13(1), 19-23.
  • Lave R, Wilson MW, Barron ES, Biermann C, Carey MA, Duvall CS, Johnson L, Lane KM, McClintock N, Munroe D, Pain R, Proctor J, Rhoads BL, Robertson MM, Rossi J, Sayre NF, Simon G, Tadaki M, Van Dyke C. Intervention: Critical physical geography. The Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe Canadien 2014, 58, 1-10.
  • Pain R, Staeheli L. Introduction: intimacy-geopolitics and violence. Area 2014, 46(4), 344-347.
  • Pain R. Seismologies of emotion: fear and activism during domestic violence. Social and Cultural Geography 2014, 15(2), 127-150.
  • Curtis S, Pain R, Fuller SK, Khatib Y, Rothon C, Stansfeld SA, Daya S. Neighbourhood risk factors for Common Mental Disorders among young people aged 10-20 years: a structured review of quantitative research. Health & Place 2013, 20, 81-90.
  • Pain R, Finn M, Bouveng R, Ngobe G. Productive tensions: engaging geography students in participatory action research with communities. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 2013, 37(1), 28-43.
  • Olson E, Hopkins P, Pain R, Vincett G. Retheorizing the Postsecular Present: Embodiment, Spatial Transcendence, and Challenges to Authenticity Among Young Christians in Glasgow, Scotland. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 2013, 103(6), 1421-1436.
  • Pain R, Kesby M, Askins K. The politics of social justice in neoliberal times: a reply to Slater. Area 2012, 44(1), 120-123.
  • Alexander C, Pain R. Urban security: Whose Security? Everyday Responses to Urban Fears. In: Springer, ed. Ceccato V (ed) The Urban Fabric of Crime and Fear. Springer, Dordrecht, 2012.
  • Vincett G, Olson E, Hopkins P, Pain R. Young people and performance Christianity in Scotland. Journal of Contemporary Religion 2012, 27(2), 275-290.
  • Askins K, Pain R. Contact zones: participation, materiality and the messiness of interaction. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2011, 29(5), 803-821.
  • Pain R, Kesby M, Askins K. Geographies of impact: power, participation and potential. Area 2011, 43(2), 183-188.
  • Hopkins P, Olson E, Pain R, Vincett G. Mapping intergenerationalities: the formation of youthful religiosities. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 2011, 36(2), 314-327.
  • Jarvis H, Pain R, Poolley C. Multiple Scales of Time-Space and Life Course. Environment and Planning A 2011, 43(3), 519-524.
  • kinpaisby-hill mrsc. Participatory praxis and social justice: towards more fully social geographies. In: Del Casino, V; Thomas, ME; Cloke, P; Panelli, R, ed. A Companion to Social Geography. Blackwell, 2011, pp.214-34.
  • Pain R, Phillips D, Nagel C, Mohammad R, McLean J, Dunn K, Hopkins P. Reading Peter Hopkins' The Issue of Masculine Identities for British Muslims after 9/11: a social analysis. Political Geography 2011, 30(6), 339-348.
  • Russell A, Cattermole A, Hudson R, Banks S, Armstrong A, Robinson F, Pain R, Gollan S, Brown G. Sustaining Community-University Collaborations: the Durham University Model. International Journal of Community Research and Engagement 2011, 4, 218-31.
  • Pain R, Askins K. Engaging communities in research. In: Gardner et al, ed. Communicating geographical research beyond the academy. London: RGS/IBG, 2010.
  • Smith SJ, Pain R, Marston S, Jones JP. Handbook of Social Geographies. Sage, 2010.
  • Pain R, Panelli R, Little J, Kindon S. Moments in everyday/distant geopolitics: Young people’s fears and hopes. Geoforum 2010, 41(6), 972-82. In Preparation.
  • Pain R, Panelli R, Little J, Kindon S. Moments in everyday/distant geopolitics: Young people’s fears and hopes. Geoforum 2010, 41(6), 972-982.
  • Pain R. The New Geopolitics of Fear. Geography Compass 2010, 4(3), 226-240.
  • Pain R. Ways beyond disciplinarity. Children's Geographies 2010, 8(2), 223-225.
  • Pain R. Globalised fear? Towards an emotional geopolitics. Progress in Human Geography 2009, 33(4), 466-486.
  • Pain R. Introduction: doing social geographies. In: Smith,S et al, ed. Handbook of Social Geographies. Sage, 2009.
  • Pain R, Smith S. Introduction: geographies of well-being. In: Smith,S et al, ed. Handbook of Social Geographies Sage. Sage, 2009.
  • Smith S, Pain R, Marston S, Jones JP. Introduction: situating social geographies. In: Smith et al, ed. Handbook of Social Geographies. Sage, 2009.
  • Pain R, Hopkins PE. Social geographies of age: landscapes, lifecourses, equity and justice. In: Smith SJ; Pain R; Marston S; Jones JP, ed. The SAGE handbook of social geography. London: Sage, 2009, pp.78-98.
  • Pain R. Working Across Distant Spaces: Connecting Participatory Action Research and Teaching. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 2009, 33(1), 81-87.
  • Pain R, Smith SJ. Critical geopolitics and everyday fears. In: Lee,M; Farrell,S, ed. Fear of Crime: Critical Voices in an Age of Anxiety. London: Routledge, 2008.
  • Pain R. Ethical possibilities: towards participatory ethics. Children's Geographies 2008, 6(1), 104-108.
  • Pain R, Smith SJ. Fear, critical geopolitics and everyday life. In: Pain,R; Smith,SJ, ed. Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life. Ashgate, 2008.
  • Pain R, Smith S. Fear/hope and reconnection. In: Pain,R; Smith,S, ed. Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life. Ashgate, 2008.
  • Pain R, Smith SJ. Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life. Ashgate, 2008.
  • kinpaisby-hill mrsc. Publishing from participatory research. In: Blunt, A; et al, ed. Publishing in Geography: a Guide for New Researcher. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.
  • kinpaisby-hill mrs c. Taking stock of participatory geographies: envisioning the communiversity. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 2008, 33(3), 292-99.
  • Pain R, Smith S. Whose fear is it anyway? Resisting terror fear and fear for children. In: Pain,R; Smith,S, ed. Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life. Ashgate, 2008.
  • Pain R, Bailey C. British social and cultural geography: beyond turns and dualisms?. In: Kitchin,R; (ed), ed. Mapping worlds: international perspectives on social and cultural geographies. 2007.
  • Kesby M, Kindon S, Pain R. Conclusion: the space(s) and scale(s) of participatory action research: constructing empowering geographies?. In: Kesby,M; Kindon,S; Pain,R, ed. Connecting People, Participation and Place: Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods. Routledge, 2007.
  • Hopkins PE, Pain R. Geographies of age: Thinking relationally. Area 2007, 39(3), 287-294.
  • Kindon S, Pain R, Kesby M. Introduction: connecting people, participation and place. In: Kindon,S; Pain,R; Kesby,M, ed. Connecting People, Participation and Place: Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods. Routledge, 2007.
  • Kesby M, Kindon S, Pain R. Participation as a form of power: retheorising empowerment and spatialising participatory action research. In: Kesby,M; Kindon,S; Pain,R, ed. Connecting People, Participation and Place: Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods. Routledge, 2007.
  • Kindon S, Pain R, Kesby M, ed. Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge, 2007.
  • Kindon S, Pain R, Kesby M. Participatory action research: origins, approaches and methods. In: Kindon,S; Pain,R; Kesby,M, ed. Connecting People, Participation and Place: Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods. Routledge, 2007.
  • Alexander C, Beale N, Kesby M, McMillan J, Pain R, Ziegler F. Participatory diagramming. In: Kesby,M; Kindon,S; Pain,R, ed. Connecting People, Participation and Place: Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods. Routledge, 2007.
  • Cahill C, Sultana F, Pain R. Participatory ethics: politics, practices, institutions. ACME: An International E-journal for Critical Geographies 2007, 6(3), 304-18.
  • Pain R, Kindon S. Participatory geographies. Environment and Planning A 2007, 39(12), 2807-2812.
  • Pain R. Paranoid parenting? Rematerializing risk and fear for children. Social and Cultural Geography 2006, 7(2), 221-243.
  • Pain R. Social geography: seven deadly myths in policy research. Progress in Human Geography 2006, 30(2), 250-259.
  • Pain R, MacFarlane R, Turner K. 'When, where, if, and but': qualifying GIS and the effect of streetlighting on crime and fear. Environment and Planning A 2006, 38(11), 2055-2074.
  • Pain R, Grundy S, Gill S, Towner E, Sparks G, Hughes K. ‘So Long as I Take my Mobile’: Mobile Phones, Urban Life and Geographies of Young People's Safety. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 2005, 29(4), 814-830.
  • Birnie J, Madge C, Pain R, Raghuram P, Rose G. Working a fraction and making a fraction work: a rough guide for geographers in the academy. Area 2005, 37(3), 251-259.
  • Bailey C, Pain RH, Aarvold JE. A 'give it a go' breast-feeding culture and early cessation among low-income mothers. MIDWIFERY 2004, 20(3), 240-250.
  • Pain R, Bailey C. British social and cultural geography: beyond turns and dualisms?. Social and Cultural Geography 2004, 5(2), 319-329.
  • Pain R. Introduction: children at risk?. Children's Geographies 2004, 2(1), 65-67.
  • Pain R, Francis P. Living with crime: spaces of risk for homeless young people. Children's Geographies 2004, 2(1), 95-110.
  • Pain R. Social geography: participatory research. Progress in Human Geography 2004, 28(5), 652-663.
  • Pain R. Old age and Victimisation. In: Davies,P; Francis,P; Jupp,V; (eds), ed. Victimisation: Theory, Research and Politics. London: Macmillan, 2003.
  • Pain R, Francis P. Reflections on participatory research. Area 2003, 35(1), 46-54.
  • Pain R. Social geography: on action-orientated research. Progress in Human Geography 2003, 27(5), 649-657.
  • Shirlow P, Pain R. The geographies and politics of fear. Capital and Class 2003, 60, 15-26.
  • Pain R. Youth, age and the representation of fear. Capital and Class 2003, 60, 151-171.
  • Pain R, Townshend T. A safer city centre for all? Senses of 'community safety' in Newcastle upon Tyne. Geoforum 2002, 33(1), 105-119.
  • Pain R. Gender, race, age and fear in the city. Urban Studies 2002, 38(5-6), 899-913.
  • Pain R, Gill S. Where can children turn?. Criminal Justice Matters 2002, 50, 16-17.
  • Pain R. Writing essays and related assignments. In: Rogers,J et al, ed. he student's companion to geography. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.
  • Bailey C, Pain R. Geographies of infant feeding and access to primary health care. Health and Social Care in the Community 2001, 9(5), 309-317.
  • Pain R, Bailey C, Mowl G. Infant feeding in North East England: contested spaces of reproduction. AREA 2001, 33(3), 261-272.
  • Pain R, Barke M, Gough J, Fuller D, MacFarlane R, Mowl G. Introducing Social Geographies. London: Arnold, 2001.
  • Townshend T, Pain R. Community safety in the city centre. Town and Country Planning 2000, 69(4), 120-1.
  • Pain R, Mowl G, Talbot C. Difference and the negotiation of 'old age'. ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING D-SOCIETY & SPACE 2000, 18(3), 377-393.
  • Pain R. Place, social relations and the fear of crime: a review. Progress in Human Geography 2000, 24(3), 365-387.
  • Koskela H, Pain R. Revisiting fear and place: women's fear of attack and the built environment. GEOFORUM 2000, 31(2), 269-280.
  • Mowl G, Pain R, Talbot C. The ageing body and the homespace. AREA 2000, 32(2), 189-197.
  • Bailey C, White C, Pain R. Evaluating qualitative research: dealing with the tension between 'science' and 'creativity'. AREA 1999, 31(2), 169-178.
  • Pain R. Women’s experiences of violence over the lifecourse. In: Teather, E, ed. Embodied geographies. Routledge, 1999.
  • Pain R. ‘Old age’ and ageism in urban research: the case of fear of crime. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 1997, 21(1), 117-28.
  • Pain R. Social geographies of women’s fear of crime. Social Geographies of Women's Fear of Crime 1997, 22(2), 231-244.
  • Pain RH. Social geographies of women’s fear of crime. Social Geographies of Women's Fear of Crime 1997, 22(2), 231-244.
  • Pain RH. Whither women’s fear? Perceptions of sexual violence in public and private space. International Review of Victimology 1997, 4(4).
  • Pain R, Mowl G. Improving geography essay writing using innovative assessment. JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHY IN HIGHER EDUCATION 1996, 20(1), 19-31.
  • Pain RH. Elderly women and fear of violent crime: the least likely victims?. British Journal of Crimonology 1995, 35(4), 584-598.
  • Pain R. Local contexts and the fear of crime: elderly people in north east England. Northern Economic Review 1995, 24, 96-111.
  • Mowl G, Pain R. Using self and peer assessment to improve students' essay writing: A case study from geography. INNOVATIONS IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING INTERNATIONAL 1995, 32(4), 324-335.
  • Pain R. Women's fear of sexual violence: explaining the spatial paradox. In: Jones,H, ed. Crime and the Environment: the Scottish Experience. Aldershot:Avebury, 1993.
  • Pain R. Space, sexual violence and social control: integrating geographical and feminist analyses of women's fear of crime. Progress in Human Geography 1991, 15(4).