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Professor Nicola Gregson

Emerita Professor

Emerita Professor in the Department of Geography


I returned to Durham University's Geography Department in October 2011, having left it in 1983. My previous appointments have been at Exeter (1983-84), Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1984-1990), and Sheffield (1990-2011).

Once upon a time I was a historical geographer. So, I used to work in archives. My PhD research was on the transition to agrarian capitalism in North-west England. If you dig around hard enough in the archives of Economic History Review, you will find an article on that. For reasons to do with needing a job, in 1986 I reinvented myself as an interdisciplinary social scientist, working on the interface between human geography and sociology. My first contemporary social science project was on waged domestic labour. It appears as the book Servicing the Middle Classes (Routledge, 1994). My main research interests are in the fields of 'recycling' and waste economies and consumption as devaluation, divestment disposal. The approaches that I take to those fields can be identified with traditions of work in material culture studies, cultural economy and STS and they typically involve working ethnographically. Taking an ethnographic approach to economy produces different insights to what frequently counts as economic knowledge; it highlights economy in action and as an achievement. This kind of ‘edgy’ economic work also focuses the spotlight on the spaces seldom seen, or economic borderlands. It is highlighted by some of my more recent work on logistics and the circulation and movement of goods as well as by my work on waste and recycling.

As an Emerita Professor I can no longer offer either PhD or post-doctoral positions.

Anyone else wanting to know any more or to get in touch with me at:

Research Interests
External Supervisions
Previous Supervisions


Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article