Dr Gemma Sou

Lecturer in Disaster Studies

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I’m an interdisciplinary development studies scholar working at the intersection of development studies; disaster studies; and media sociology. I research the public representations of human vulnerability; the everyday lived experiences of disasters; and disaster risk policy-making processes in postcolonial societies.

I’m absolutely passionate about communicating my research in engaging, thoughtful and socially responsible ways.

I am on the editorial board for the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs, and am Secretary for the Developing Areas Research Group at the Royal Geographical Society. I am also a Fellow of the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown University, U.S.A.


I am interested in supervising doctoral students on postcolonial approaches to disaster studies, grassroots disaster risk reduction and media representations of human vulnerability.


  • Global south, Postcolonial theory, Disaster risk reduction, Media representations , Socio-cultural approaches to disaster risk management, Risk perceptions, Human vulnerability

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2015 - Doctor of Philosophy, Development studies, Global Development Institute
  • 2009 - Master of Planning, Urban Development Planning in the Global South, The University of Manchester
  • 2008 - Bachelor of Arts, International Relations and Politics, The University of Sheffield
  • 2007 - Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (study abroad year), Virginia Tech

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