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School of Geography


I am an interdisciplinary researcher interested in cities, food and cultural memory.


Research interests: London; marketplaces; urban memory; photography; food, nationalism and diversity; “on-demand” food; the post/colonial history of meat.

See my Linktree for an up-to-date selection of publications and projects.


PhD research. Smithfield Market: Place, Friction and the “Shape of Meat”

(LAHP/AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Studentship with the Museum of London)

My PhD research explores the history of Smithfield since the middle of the 20th century, tracing its contested transformation from a meat market at the heart of a global empire to a museum at the heart of a “Culture Mile”. From decolonisation in the mid-century to globalisation at its end, Smithfield has been complexly implicated within broader historical processes remaking the city.  I’m primarily interested in how the relationship between “meat” and “place” has played out at Smithfield in the context of these broader urban, national and global transformations. How has London’s “meat architecture” (Geier, 2017) – the means through which meat is produced, distributed and consumed – changed over this period? How have these transformations shaped urban space in and around the market? How, in this changing context, has meat made Smithfield such a distinctive place? 

The project is primarily archival, tapping into a wealth of underexplored material: from the market committee’s records held at the London Metropolitan Archives to a collection of oral histories held at the British Library (Food: From Source to Salespoint). These two primary collections will be supplemented with an array of film footage, photography, literature and journalism that I have located within other archives, museums and online collections. I’m working collaboratively with the Museum of London as they relocate into a derelict wing of the market: thinking about how Smithfield’s past(s) will be approached in the new museum as well as reflecting on the significance of this latest transformation in the context of the market’s longer histories. 



Dr Regan Koch, QMUL

Professor Alastair Owens, QMUL

Dr William Monteith, QMUL

Alex Werner, Museum of London


Academic Publications

Hanlon, J., Reading, A., Bjork J., and Jakeman, N. (2021). ‘The labour of place: Memory and extended reality (XR) in migration museums’, Memory Studies 14(3): 606-621.



Talks and conference papers

Winner of 3-minute thesis competition at the annual LAHP PhD conference, 2021. Smithfield, London and the changing "shape of meat"


Museum collaboration and artistic practice

  • My most recent project was with the Museum of London and Being Human Festival (November, 2021). I staged the launch of a fictional on-demand grocery app (Barrow) that was inspired by the world of Victorian street sellers. This stunt was meant as a provocation to explore some of the uncomfortable similarities (e.g. precarious work) and important differences (e.g. social interaction) between the “on-demand” food economy and London’s long history of itinerant food trading. See the Barrow section on my linktree.



  • Member of AMP ART – our main project to date was “refuge/e” in 2017.


Educational Background

BA History, University College London

MA, Modern History, King’s College London



2021 (Forthcoming) - Reading, A., Bjork, J., Hanlon, J., & Jackman, N. ‘Remixing Migration: (Dis) Connecting Memory Places through Extended Reality (XR) in Migration Museums’, Memory Studies.

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