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School of Geography


I am an interdisciplinary researcher primarily interested in cities and food. My research addresses the historical evolution of the global food system from the perspective of urban space and public culture. I am particularly interested in how infrastructures and technologies that were built to facilitate the global circulation of commodity food – cold stores, docks, warehouses, supermarkets – have also shaped the landscapes and cultures of urban life. My work addresses the contested histories of taste, ecology, labour, and migration that are embedded in the spaces that emerged between modern ‘farms and forks’.


The Rise and Fall of Global Smithfield (1880-1970): Markets, Meat, and Masculinity in the Imperial Metropolis (PhD thesis, set to complete mid 2024)

Pairing extensive archival research with theoretical interventions from the environmental humanities, my PhD connects the imperial history of the British meat trade to the cultural politics of whiteness that would later put Smithfield at the centre a post-colonial far-right. Focusing closely on this one place over a hundred-year period, I aim to move beyond the familiar timeframes that structure the writing and telling of British history.

My PhD is organised in collaboration with the Museum of London who are currently relocating into a derelict section of Smithfield. I have been working closely with lead curators on a project called ‘Smithfield Stories’, through which my research has been shaping the way the museum are interpreting and representing their new home. In 2021 I ran an event and delivered a public talk at the museum as part of the ‘Being Human Festival’ which explored the parallels between the ‘on-demand’ food sector in contemporary London and the city’s long history of street selling and itinerant food economies.

Moving beyond my PhD, I am interested in further exploring the relationship between modern food systems and mass culture. Early twentieth century newsreels and radio broadcasts played an important part in narrating the trade routes and technologies of the modern food system. In the context of a 21st century culture within which ‘food stories’ have a seemingly endless appeal – Instagram reels; Netflix series; the experience economy – I am interested in historicising the relationship between the circulation of food-as-flesh and food-as-narrative.



Dr Regan Koch, Professor Alastair Owens, and Dr William Monteith (QMUL)

Dr Domenico Sergi and Alex Werner (Museum of London)



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


Publications / Research output

Meat and Museums’, History Workshop Online (17 August, 2023).

A Rhyme for Beef,’ Rewinder, BBC Radio 4 (22 July, 2023).

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.

Making the past present: Reflections on memory and photography , Still Point journal.


Talks and conference papers

‘Rituals of Hygiene in the Cathedral of Meat’, Oxford Food Symposium, 2023.

‘The Story of Our Food Supply: Smithfield Market and the Narratives of Food Infrastructure’, Institute of Historical Research Food History Seminar, 2022.

‘Smithfield, London and the changing "shape of meat", LAHP PhD conference 2021 (winning 3 minute thesis competition).


Educational Background

BA History, University College London

MA, Modern History, King’s College London



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