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University College London Featured PhD Programmes

Situated Geographies of Housing Politics (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/GES/FERRERI)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A new wave of geographical scholarship on practices and politics of housing has recently entered what was traditionally the purview of housing policy, planning and urban studies. Building on feminist theories of housing as home, and expanding the notion of housing to include informal practices of dwelling and home-making, contemporary housing politics require critical and situated knowledge-production that addresses its implications for social and spatial justice. Critical geographical scholarship has addressed housing politics through the lens of evictions, displacement, stigma, marginalization and precarization, but also through the study of housing movements and collective counter-proposals by residents and civil society organizations, offering new openings for the advancement of disciplinary and interdisciplinary debates.

This call seeks a candidate interested in undertaking a research project to advance, theoretically and methodologically, a situated, critical understanding of the geographies of housing politics in (a) place/s of their choice. Topics and approaches could include:

• Subjectivities and struggles emerging from new rent relations
• Geographies of precarious urban dwelling practices
• Intersectional approaches to housing inequalities and resistance
• Struggles for emplacement against gentrification, eviction and displacement
• Real estate geopolitics and glocal resistance
• Platform economies and their impact on housing policy, planning and everyday life
• Potentialities and challenges of formal and informal collaborative housing initiatives
• Power dynamics and the linkages between housing movements and other forms of organising for social and spatial justice
• Theories of the common/s and commoning applied to housing and home

We would particularly welcome proposals that engage with critical social theory and seek to develop an innovative qualitative methodological approach, including working with non-traditional research techniques and participatory and/or action research frameworks.

This project will be supervised by Dr Mara Ferreri. The second supervisor will be Dr Kathryn Cassidy.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/GES/FERRERI) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020

Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


Ferreri, M. (forthcoming, 2020) Contesting displacement through radical emplacement (book chapter). In Desai, V. et al. (eds) Handbook of Displacement. Palgrave MacMillan.

Ferreri, M. and Vasudevan, A. (2019) Vacancy at the Edges of the Precarious City, Geoforum 101, May, pp. 165-173.

Camila, C., Thörn, C. Palmer, J.S., Ferreri, M., García-Lamarca, M. (2019) Interrogating stuctures, struggles and subjectivities of rent, Radical Housing Journal 1.2, pp.1-7.

Ferreri, M. (2018) Refurbishment vs demolition? Social housing campaigning for degrowth. In Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities. Edited by A. Nelson and F. Schneider. Routledge: London, p. 109-119.

Ferreri, M. and Sanyal, R. (2018) Platform economies and urban planning: Airbnb and regulated deregulation in London, Urban Studies, 55(15), pp. 3353-3368.

Ferreri, M. and Dawson G. (2018) Self-precarization and the spatial imaginaries of property guardianship, Cultural Geographies, 25(3) 425–440.

Ferreri, M., Dawson, G. and Vasudevan, A. (2017) Living Precariously: Property Guardianship and the Flexible City, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42 (2), pp. 246–259.

Ferreri, M. (2017) Beyond ‘Staying put’: reflections on discursive strategies in recent anti-gentrification movements, Urbanistica 3, 5(13), pp. 89-93.

Lees, L. and Ferreri, M. (2016) Resisting gentrification on its final frontiers: the case of the Heygate Estate in London (1974-2013), Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 57, pp. 14-24

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