Dr Clare Madge
Reader in Human Geography
- Tel: 0116 252 3643
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 0116 252 3854
- Office: Bennett Building F64a
I am a feminist geographer with interests in critical development geographies and cyberspace. I have three interconnected research interests.
1. Critical Development Geographies
Forestry in rural West Africa. My past research in rural West Africa has explored the relationships between forests, trees and people. To this end, I have tried to find answers to the following questions: how are local and global discourses on forestry constructed and practiced in the West Africa region?; what indigenous technical knowledge is used with respect to trees and tree products by different social groups?; what are the multiple uses people make of various natural resources and how and why are these changing in relation to global political-economic restructuring?; what values and meanings do rural people attach to forestry, forests and trees and how do these vary across the region?; what are the gender differences in access to and perceptions of forest resources? Through this research I attempted to build up a more complex understanding of the use and value of forest resources, particularly with respect to dynamic gender relations. My approach was to combine detailed ethnography within boarder social, political and economic transformations. See Madge, 1994a; 1995a; 1995b; 1996; 1998; 2000; Cline-Cole and Madge, 2000.
Postcolonial geographies. Recently I have been working with Parvati Raghuram (Open University) and Pat Noxolo (University of Sheffield) on thinking about the methodological and conceptual issues raised in the thinking about postcolonial geographical spaces. I have focused on trying to theorise the simultaneity of connections and disconnections that shape postcolonial spaces, arguing that being ‘a part of’ but also ‘apart from’ is forcefully brought out as a condition of our postcolonial world. Publications so far explore five themes: the use of pregnancy as a metaphor for postcolonial geography (Noxolo et al, 2008), engaged pedagogy and a postcolonial analysis of international students (Madge et al, 2009), the relationship between responsibility and care in a postcolonial world (Raghuram et al, 2009), the possibility of a postcolonial method (Raghuram and Madge, 2006) and poetry as a postcolonial research tool (Madge and Eshun, in press).
One key feature of my research profile is my aim to be responsive to contemporary geographical changes and challenges. Thus in the mid 1990s I became increasingly interested in the changes that the internet was starting to have on British society. From these interests a second research strand has developed- that of Cybergeographies. I have gained rapid recognition in this field both in terms of exploring the changing socio-cultural impacts of the internet on different cyberspaces and examining the internet as a methodological space for research.
Online research methods. The project 'Exploring Online Research Methods in a Virtual Training Environment' is funded by the ESRC Research Methods Phase 2. Although I was the PI, this was a team project with Henrietta O'Connor, Rob Shaw, Julia Meek, Jane Wellens, and Tristram Hooley. The project aimed to enhance understanding of online research methods through the production and evaluation of a training portal targeted at the social science community. This training portal provides a self-supporting online training package covering theoretical, practical and technical aspects of online research methods including web-based questionnaires, virtual synchronous and asynchronous interviews. It also draws on successful good practice case studies, covers associated ethical issues and provides important resource links. The training portal can be accessed from the following link: http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/. Associated training events can be located under news. Related publications include Madge, 2010; Hooley et al, 2010; O'Connor et al, 2008; Madge, 2007; Madge and O'Connor, 2002; 2004 O'Connor and Madge 2002; 2003; 2004. This training in online research methods has been expanded since 2007 through the TRI-ORM project (Training Researchers in Online Research Methods) funded by the ESRC through the Researcher Development Initiative.
Cyberparents. In addition to methodological innovations, another strand of my Cybergeographies work that has gained international acclaim is that which explored newly developing cyberspaces and their reiterative relationships with `real’ geographical spaces. This research was undertaken at the early stages of internet development and argued that we can simultaneously inhabit both cyberspace and `real’ geographical space. This `Cyberparents' project (with Henrietta O'Connor) focused on the impact that the Internet is having on restructuring social relations and altering parenting practices in the new millennium. More can be found at our website. See Madge and O'Connor, 2005; 2006; O'Connor and Madge, 2004.
Facebook and the student experience. A second project, ‘Facebook and the University Student Experience’, is one of the earliest published geographical works exploring new education spaces associated with Web2.0 technologies. This recent project is just being finalised with Jane Wellens (University of Nottingham) and Tristram Hooley (University of Derby) to explore how undergraduate students use online social networks for support and socialisation at university and to explore ways in which it can be used to support their learning. The research has employed an online methodology. Find out more or view a press release. A range of publications from this work have been recently published or are in press (Madge et al, 2009).
3. Feminist geographies
Underlying all of my research is a thorough grounding in Feminist Geographies, my third research strand. This has inspired my uncovering of hidden (often gendered) spaces, my commitment to challenging unequal power hierarchies which underlie the different valuations of different spaces, my urge to methodological innovation and my theoretical impetus to think about space differently. This interest in feminist geographies has influenced substantive enquires into the gendered nature of West African forestry and cyberspace (see above) but it has also crystallised around an active interest in feminist methodologies, ethical issues, geographies of the academy and engaged pedagogic interventions (See Madge, 1993, 1994b; 1997; Madge et al., 1997; Madge and Bee, 1999; Birnie et al 2005; Raghuram and Madge, 2006). Such pedagogic innovations are based on a feminist pedagogy, including the novel use of virtual synchronous discussion boards to improve student learning (funded by the University’s Enterprise Learning Initiative 1993), research exploring the potential of Facebook as a site for teaching and learning at University (funded by the Teaching Enhancement Forum 2007) and a project enabling PGR Geography students to develop their own seminar series (funded by the Research Training Innovation Fund 2009).
I am on the advisory board for ReStore.
- Asha Gangadharan - 'Paradoxes of Agricultural Transformation: women's changing roles and identities in Kerala, India', 2009.
- Gabriel Eshun - 'Ecotourism Development in Ghana: A Postcolonial Study with Focus on Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary and Kakum Nation Park, Ghana', 2010 (supervised until 2009).
- Roger Few - 'Conservation, participation and power: community involvement in protected area planning in Belize', 2000.
- Francis Gbedemah - 'Gender and domestic water resource management in the Southern Volta region of Ghana', 2010 (supervised until 2009).
- Enjee Hariri - 'Socio-economic determinants and health consequences of fertility patterns among Saudi women in their reproductive ages', MPhil, 2010 (supervised until 2009).
- Kate Moore - 'Tugen Trails: cultural changes, wildlife conservation and local livelihoods in the Rift Valley of Kenya', 2010 (supervised until 2009).
Research Areas for PhD Supervision
Postcolonialism; gender and environmental change in West Africa; geographies of cyberspace; internet mediated research; feminist methodology and ethical issues; Creativity and geography, especially with respect to methodological innovations; International students/`globalisation' of Higher Education.
Enquiries: If you are interested in studying for a PhD in one of these research areas, please make informal enquiries via geogPhD@le.ac.uk
Most Recent Publications
- Noxolo, P., Raghuram, P. and Madge, C. (in press), Unsettling responsibility: postcolonial interventions. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00474.x. http://hdl.handle.net/2381/10373
- Eshun, G. and Madge, C. (in press), “Now let me share this with you”: Exploring Poetry as a Method for Postcolonial Geography Research. Antipode. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00968.x https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/10372
- Hooley, T. Wellens, J. Madge, C. and Goss, S. (2010) Online research methods for mental health In Anthony K Nagel DAM and Goss S (eds) The Use of Technology in Mental Health: Applications, Ethics and Practice. Charles C Thomas Ltd. Chapter 24.
- Madge, C. (2010) Internet mediated research. In Clifford N French S and Valentine G (eds) Key Methods in Geography. Sage. London. pp. 173-188.
- Madge, C. Meek, J. Wellens, J. Hooley, T. (2009) Facebook, social integration and informal learning at University: ‘It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’. Learning, Media and Technology, 34, 2, 141-15 https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/9016
- Madge, C. Raghuram, P. Noxolo, P. (2009) Engaged pedagogy and responsibility: A postcolonial analysis of international students. Geoforum, 40, 1, 34-45. https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/9577
- Raghuram, P. Madge, C. Noxolo, P. (2009) Rethinking responsibility and care in a postcolonial world. Themed special issue. Geoforum, 40, 1, 5-13. https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/9578