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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Jill Fenton, PhD (London)


Associate Lecturer in Human Geography



I completed my PhD in 2005 in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway University of London. The empirical research for this doctorate focused on the urban and utopian geographies of the contemporary surrealist movement in Paris. In my post-doctoral phase at Queen Mary’s School of Geography I disseminated my research, tutored undergraduates and taught undergraduate modules in human geography. I continue to teach in the School of Geography on the Masters module ‘Art Performance and the City’.

From 2008 until 2016 I was the London Director of the University of Connecticut in London study abroad programme where I convened courses for its Global Citizenship curriculum. As a result of this role I have considerable experience and enthusiasm for teaching international students. From time to time I am invited to teach on a number of semester and summer study abroad programmes in London, most recently: about the British cultural landscape to students from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of the Arts London; about the history and development of modern London to students from Guelph University, Canada.

From 2008 until 2015 I convened at QMUL the two IFP Human Geography modules and from 2015 until 2018 co-convened these with my colleague in human geography, Dr Oliver Zanetti. In 2019 I will be co-convening the modules with Dr Phillip Katsinas who is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics. In the academic year 2019 I am welcomed to the Language Centre at Queen Mary as a Teaching Fellow member of faculty.

Since completing my PGCAP and attaining FHEA, my research interests have developed in pedagogy, and, currently, I am collaborating with Dr Antony Aleksiev (former Head of Educational Development at QMUL, now Senior Lecturer in HE Research at the University of West London) on a project that evaluates student learning gain as a tool for learning and teaching enhancement. In terms of the IFP at QMUL I will be developing my contribution to this research project through examining students learning gain on modules in human geography and business management.

Co-convening the IFP human geography modules with Dr Katsinas promises to bring to their content and teaching some exciting and innovative research as well as critical thinking. My own approach to this teaching is in terms of narratives of life and lives, how these are written on the earth through human activity. I find that understanding of this in the lecture and seminar rooms forms a building block for thoughtful exchanges of learning between teacher and students.


Research Interests:

Currently, I am researching about recent and ongoing collaborations between the Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London and international street artists who have reinterpreted some of the Gallery’s European masterpieces on the streets of Dulwich and neighbouring boroughs. Whilst creating some controversies, these installations have had great impact both locally and beyond including the launch of the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, an official outdoor "gallery" of street art in Dulwich. They really speak to the research specialty of cultural geography.


Fenton Jill (Forthcoming), ‘Surrealist Ethnographies of Walking in the Game of Slight Disturbances by the Leeds Surrealist Group’, in Risco Revista De Pesquisa Em Arquitetura E Urbanismo (Online), Special Issue

Fenton Jill (2014) ‘The Artform of the City’ in Gray, E., Rock of Eye Painter of City Life, London, UK: GX Gallery

Fenton Jill (23.05.2012) ‘Stik’s Street Art – Making the City by Claiming the Space’

Anderson Ben and Fenton Jill (2008) ‘Editorial Introduction: Spaces of Hope’, Space and Culture, Vol 11(2), pp76-80

Fenton Jill (2006) ‘Contemporary Surrealist Imaginary Geographies of Utopia and Dystopia’, Cultural History & Literary Imagination – Imagining the City, Vol 1, pp273-293

Fenton Jill (2005) ‘Le Tarot des Rues – a surrealist ethnography’, Analogon (review of the Czech and Slovak surrealist movement)

Fenton Jill (October 2005) ‘Space, Chance, Time: Walking backwards through the hours on the Left and Right Banks of Paris’, Cultural Geographies, 12:412-428

Fenton Jill (2004) ‘ “A World where Action is the Sister of Dream” Surrealism and Anti-Capitalism in Contemporary Paris’, Antipode, 36.5:942-962

Fenton Jill (2004) ‘Re-enchanting the City: the Utopian Practices of the Paris Group of the Surrealist Movement’ in Mical, T. (ed), Surrealism and Architecture – An Anthology, New York & London: Routledge

Fenton Jill ‘Clovis Trouille, 1889-1975 – 57 avenue Mathurin-Moreau’ in Auzias, C. (ed), (2001), Un Paris Révolutionnaire, Paris: L’Esprit Frappeur

Fenton Jill (2001) ‘Contemporary Surrealism, dérive and rêverie in the passages of Paris’ in Journal of Psychogeography and Urban Research, 1st edition (online publication)

Fenton Jill (2000) ‘The Contemporary Surrealists and Passage du Caire’ in Proceedings from the Living in a Material World Conference, June 1999, Coventry, UK: Coventry School of Art and Design

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