I joined Manchester in 2015 as a Lecturer in Human Geography and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2019. My research engages with voices excluded or marginalised in discourse, policy and practice in the cultural and creative economies. In particular my work attends to geographies of creativity and difference, with especial interest in matters of faith and religion, issues of gender, 'race' and culture, and spaces of education and labour.
From October 2017 I was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellowship (2017-2020). For this award, I am leading a programme of research for the project: Geographies of Muslim Women and the UK Cultural and Creative Economy (AKA 'CreativeMuslimWomenUK'). Related to this research, I was awarded best paper and presentation by the Nordic Geographers' Meeting held in Stockholm in 2017, for “Placing faith in creative labour: work-based activism of Muslim women in the UK cultural and creative economy” in the session Cultural Production Within, Against and Beyond Inequalities. I co-curated a major research-led exhibition, Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at The Whitworth (June 2019- February 2020; 200,000 visitors), and spoke as invited academic contributor with artist Usarae Gul on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Allowed. Films produced for the exhibition are available to view here. A monograph is under contract with Edinburgh University Press. For more on this research and related news see: http://www.creativemuslimwomen.manchester.ac.uk/
Prior to taking my current post, I held the position of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. During my time at Birmingham I worked on a flagship multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral AHRC-funded research project, Cultural Intermediation: Connecting Communities in the Creative Urban Economy. I was further Principle Investigator on a Communities and Culture Network+/EPSRC project, Birmingham Surrealist Laboratory.
Practice is an important aspect of my research. To date I have curated exhibitions at Henry Moore Institute, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Stanley Picker Gallery and the Royal Geographical Society. In 2019, Beyond Faith, an exhibition of contemporary Muslim women artists in dialogue with the historic collection opened at The Whitworth, with its run extended twice. It was supported by an ambitious programme of public and educational events.
My research and consultancy has been funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Collections Trust, Arts Connect, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
I have peer reviewed widely for high profile international journals in Geography and cognate disciplines, including: Progress in Human Geography, Antipode, Cultural Geographies, Social and Cultural Geography, Area, International Journal of Heritage Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Cultural Trends. I have also widely reviewed funding applications, including for the Irish Research Council. I am a nominated and serving member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2019-23).
The research I undertake on issues of inequality and diversity informs the administration role I hold of Geography lead for Athena Swan, SEED, University of Manchester (awarded Bronze 2018), and my previous role on the committee for Athena Swan, GEES, University of Birmingham (awarded Bronze 2014).
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham
Ph.D. Cultural Geography, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
BA (Hons), English Literature and Language, University of Oxford