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Richard White

Dr Richard White B.A., MSc, PhD

Reader in Human Geography


I joined Sheffield Hallam University as Lecturer in Economic Geography in 2006, before successive promotions to Senior Lecturer (2008), and then Reader in Human Geography (2016). Before coming to the university, I completed my doctoral thesis at The University of Leicester (Department of Geography), and worked as a Research Assistant at The University of Warwick (Institute for Employment Research). 

At Sheffield Hallam my contribution to the Department of The Natural and Built Environment generally, and the Human Geography course specifically, actively draws on my academic research and scholarship. A strong commitment to research-informed teaching helps ensure that my classes are positioned on the cutting-edge(s) of cultural, economic, social and geographical debate that inform and animate contemporary society. 

  • About

    Greatly influenced by anarchist praxis, my main critical research agenda explores a number of key ethical, economic and activist landscapes rooted in themes of social justice, direct action, non-violence and the politics of total liberation. In this context my teaching, research and scholarship is firmly focused on two intersectional areas of human geography, namely: anarchist geographies and critical animal geographies. Elsewhere, I also have a long-standing interesting in the critical sociology of space and place.

    In addition to publishing my work in peer-reviewed books and journals, I have presented to a range of UK, European and international inter-disciplinary academics, policy makers and activist communities. In recent years I have delivered seminars, workshops and conference sessions in London, Edinburgh, Prague, Barcelona, Mexico City, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston. In 2017  I was invited to present at The City Talks on “Anarchism in  The City” in Victoria, Canada. 

    I can be contacted at:

  • Teaching

    Undergraduate Courses and Supervision
    • Advanced Field Research (77-6139-00L)
    • Critical Geographies  (77-5380-00L)
    • Dissertation (77-6580-00L)
    • Globalisation, Democracy ad Change (26-6504-00L) 
    • I am also a Personal and Professional Development (PPD) Tutor for Human Geography students.
    Postgraduate Courses and Supervision
    • Alternative Approaches to Regeneration (77-7436-OOS
    • I also supervise MSc and PhD Dissertation students

  • Research

    • Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research

    Anarchism and Anarchist Geographies
    Over the last 15 years I have contributed to an important body of empirical research that explores the anarchist economies of household work practices in the UK. Drawing on this research to explore the complex geographies of community self-help, my key contribution to anarchist geographies has been to demonstrate how non-capitalist and ‘anarchist' forms of organisation are deeply woven into the fabric of everyday life in a 'capitalist society. Understanding anarchist forms of organisation to be rooted in the principles of mutual aid, reciprocity, co-operation, collaboration and inclusion, I place my research here firmly within a broader, emancipatory, anarchist geography of freedom.My work on anarchism and anarchist geographies has been published in a range of international interdisciplinary journals (including 'AREA', 'Antipode' and 'Social Economy'), and other publications, including 'The Handbook of Neoliberalism' (Routledge, 2016) and 'The Accumulation of Freedom' (AK Press, 2012)). I recently co-edited a trilogy of volumes on anarchist geography, titled: 'The Radicalization of Pedagogy', 'Theories of Resistance', and 'The Practice of Freedom' (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

    Critical Animal Geographies
    Critical Animal Geographies provides new geographical perspectives on critical animal studies, exploring the spatial, political, and ethical dimensions of animals’ lived experience and human–animal encounters. It works toward a more radical politics and theory directed at the shifting boundary between human and animal. My contribution to the field of critical animal studies broadly, and critical animal geographies in particular, has been to argue how both can engage with anarchist praxis of non-violence to better (a) problematise human power and human species identity and (b) confront, challenge and subvert the often exploitative and violent interlocking systems that underpin the treatment of both humans and other animals in society.My research on critical animal geographies has been published in a number of books, including 'Animal Oppression and Capitalism' (Praeger Press, 2017); 'Critical Animal Studies' (Lanham, 2017); 'Critical Animal Geographies' (Routledge, 2015),' Anarchism and Animal Liberation' (McFarland Press, 2015); and 'A Critical Animal Studies Reader: An Introduction to an Intersectional Social Justice Approach to Animal Liberation' (Peter Lang, 2014).

    The Sociology of Space and Place
    Drawing on a range of mixed methods, including an innovative use of 'mental mapping', I have continued to engage with the literature around the sociology of place and space by emphasising how social networks and attachment to place shape can influence spatial horizons and affect aspirations. In calling for broader recognition of 'the role of geography' in inter-disciplinary analysis, my research continues to inform practical policy interventions that may help widen social and spatial horizons of young people more effectively to enable them to take in a broader range of employment and training opportunities beyond their immediate locality.
    Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, my research here has been published in international journals (including 'Urban Studies', and 'Work, Employment and Society'); and in the Palgrave publication 'Innovations in Youth Research' (2011)

  • Publications

  • Other activities

    Conference Organising

    1. White RJ (2017) 1st International Conference of Anarchist Geographies and Geographers (ICAGG) – Geography, social change and antiauthoritarian practices. Reggio Emilia (Italy). Co-organised as part of the inaugural ICAGG Organising Committee.
    2. White RJ (2017) Vegan Geographies. Co-Organiser with Professor Simon Springer (Univ. of Victoria) and Dr. Ophélie Véron. AAG Annual Conference, Boston, USA. April 2017.
    3. White RJ (2016) The Interdisciplinary Promise of Anarchist Geographies. Co-organised with Federico Ferretti and Anthony Ince. Anarchist Studies Network, Loughborough, Sept 2016. 

    4. White RJ (2016) Anarchism and Animal Liberation. Co-organised with Livia Boscardin and Will Boisseau (3 sessions); Anarchist Studies Network, Loughborough, Sept 2016.

    5. White RJ (2016) Fulfilling the Promise of Anarchist Geographies (3 sessions). Co-organised with Anthony Ince, Simon Springer, Nathan Clough, Patricia Wood, Vanessa Sloan Morgan, and Marcelo Lopes de Souza. AAG Annual Conference, San Francisco, USA. March-April 2016.

    6. White RJ (2016) Vegan Geographies. Co-organised with Simon Springer and Ophélie Véron; AAG Annual Conference, San Francisco, USA. March-April 2016.

    7. White RJ (2015) Geographies of activism and protest. Co-organised with Patricia Wood. AAG Annual Conference, Chicago, USA. April 2015.

    8. White RJ (2014) Anarchism and Nonhuman Animal Liberation. (2 sessions) Co-organised with Erika Cudworth and Will Boisseau, Anarchist Studies Network, Loughborough, September 2014.
    9. White RJ (2013) Demanding the Impossible: Transgressing the Frontiers of Geography through Anarchism  (3 sessions); Co-organized with Simon Springer, Federico Ferretti, Alexandre Gillet, Philippe Pelletier, and Colin Williams. RGS-IBG Annual Conference, ‘New Geographical Frontiers’, sponsored by the Participatory Geographies Research Group; London, UK. August 2013.

    10. White RJ (2012) Anarchism and other animals - making connections across species boundaries. (2 sessions) Co-organised with Erika Cudworth. Anarchist Studies Network, Loughborough, September 2012.

    11. White RJ (2012) Wanted, Dead or Alive: Critical Geographies of Human-Animal Encounters (2 sessions) Royal Geographical Society (RGS), July Edinburgh. 

    Conference Presentations

    1. White RJ (2016) Session Chair. Anarchist Studies Network (ASN) Conference, Loughborough University, Loughborough. September

    2. White RJ and Springer S (2016) For Spatial Emancipation in Critical Animal Studies: a veganarchist politics. Anarchist Studies Network (ASN), Conference, Loughborough University, Loughborough. September

    3. White RJ (2016) On the need to recognise the Beautiful Flowers of Anarchy (as well as the seeds beneath the snow), Association of American Geographers (AAG) Conference, San Francisco, April 2016.

    4. White RJ (2016) Vegan Geographies, Association of American Geographers (AAG) Conference, San Francisco, April 2016.

    5. White, RJ (2015) Critical Animal Geographies and Anarchist Praxis: a call to move beyond the animal “question” and toward the animal “condition”. 
    Critical Animal Geographies Panel, American Association of Geography (AAG) Conference, Chicago, 22-25th April. 

    6. White, RJ (2015) Activist spaces: the resistance of community self-help and the household, American Association of Geography (AAG) Conference, Chicago, 22-25th April. 

    7. White, RJ (2014) Anarchism and non-human animals: visions, hopes and fears .Anarchist Studies Network Conference, Loughborough University, Loughborough. September 2014.

    8. White, RJ (2014) Employing Everyday Contestations to Neoliberalism through the Anarchist Geographies of Community Self-Help. Anarchist Studies Network Conference, Loughborough University, Loughborough September 2014.

    9. White, RJ (2014) Whole Life Economics: implications for thinking about, valuing and harnessing “alternative” (non-commodified) economic  practices in a “capitalist” world. Invited speaker, Centre for Philosophy and Political Economy, School of Management, University of Leicester. 7th May.

    10. White, RJ (2013) Governance-from below: anarchism and a "postneoliberal" urbanism.  Presented at the Interrogating Urban Crisis Governance Contestation and Critique conference, Local Governance Research Unit, De Montfort University, Leicester. 9-11th September.

    11. White, RJ (2013) Beyond the frontiers of capitalo-centric economics: harnessing a "post-capitalist" anarchist society. Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) Annual Conference, London. August 2013.

    12. White, RJ (2013) Hidden in Plain Sight: recognising the centrality of anarchist spaces of work and organisation in "capitalist" society. Critical Management Studies conference: Extending the Limits of Neo-Liberal Capitalism, University of Manchester. July 2013.

    13. White RJ (2012) No Milk, No Meat, No Masters: Animals, Anarchism and the Purity of Rebellion. Presented at the 2nd Anarchist Studies Network Conference, Loughborough University, Loughborough. September 2012.

    14. White, RJ (2012) Critical Animal Geographies and Anarchist Praxis: a call to move beyond the animal “question” and toward the animal “condition”. Annual International Conference of the RGS-IBG, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh. July 2012.

    15. White, RJ (2012) Beyond capitalist hegemony: exploring the persistence and growth of "alternative" economic practices. Left Forum, Pace University, New York City. March 2012.

    16. White, RJ (2012) Occupy Economics: toward post-capitalist futures. Presented at the National Occupy Conference, Sheffield. January 2012.

    17. White, RJ (2011) 'Let Us Become Beautiful': anarchist perspectives on deconstructing the human/ animal binary and developing effective strategies of resistance. 2nd Annual European Conference for Critical Animal Studies, Prague, Czech Republic. October 2011.

    18. White, RJ (2010) Building Alliances between Academic and Activist Communities. 1st Annual European Conference for Critical Animal Studies. University of Liverpool, Liverpool, April 2010

    19. White, RJ (2010) Transcending the depiction of market and non-Market Labour Practices, harnessing community engagement and the implications for de-growth. 2nd International Conference on Economic Degrowth, Barcelona, Catalonia. March 2010.

    Invited Talks and Guest Lectures

    1. White, RJ (2017) Anarchy in the UK! Envisioning and Enacting the Anarchist City, The City Talks, Victoria, Canada, 26 January. 

    2. White RJ and Clare N (2016) Striking Out! Forms of resistance within the neoliberal university. The Free University of Sheffield, Sheffield 2016.

    3. White RJ (2015) The Pervasive Nature of Community Self-help in a ‘Capitalist’ Society: implications for future visions of work and organisation” Neoliberalism, Employment, and the Law In association with the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford and Wolfson College. Oxford 2015.

    4. White 2015 Anarchism, Animals & Animal Liberation. Free University of Sheffield, Sheffield 2016.

    5. White RJ (2015) Post-capitalism, anarchy, and the geographies of community self-help. Commons Convivium, The Centre for Social Justice and Change, University of East London, London. April 2015.

    6. White, RJ (2013) Harnessing Community self-help in (post-capitalist) visions of inclusion and employment. Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research Seminar Programme. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield. February 2013.

    7. White, RJ (2013) Anarchism and Other Animals. Inaugural presentation at The Department of Sociological Studies and The Department of Geography, Univ. of Sheffield for on reading group focused around anarchist praxis.

    8. White, RJ (2013) We are one lesson: thinking critically about women, animals and the interlocking natures of (in)justice. International Women's Week, Sheffield University, Sheffield. March 2013. 

    9. White, RJ (2012) Escaping the capitalist hegemony by re-reading the economic landscapes of the western world. ICOSS, Sheffield University, November. 2012.

    10. White, RJ (2012) Beyond capitalist hegemony: exploring the persistence and growth of "alternative" economic practices. Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair, Sheffield, May 2012.

    Grants and Contracts 

    2017 £6670 QR Funded Writing Release bid.  

    2008-2017 Town and Country Planning writing release funding for publications related to the Research Excellence Framework (£13,653/ annum). 

    2006 - 2007   Joseph Rowntree Foundation, with Anne Green (Principal Investigator, University Of Warwick), for the research project focused on Attachment to Place, (Im)mobility and labour market prospects. (£50,000)

    2001 - 2004 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 
    PhD Studentship


    PhD students

    1. Director of Studies (October 2016-) Abi Woodward Community Self-help in an Age of Austerity, Fully funded Sheffield Hallam University PhD scholarship
    2. Director of Studies (October 2014-) Kiri Langmead - PhD 'Problematising the relationship between ‘economy’ and ‘democracy’ in worker cooperatives' 

    3. Supervisory Team Seham Elmansuri Sustainable Urban Housing

    4. Supervisory Team (October 2010-September 2016) Mike Foden - PhD - 'Reclaiming unwanted things: alternative consumption practices, social change and the everyday', ESRC funded.

    • I have acted as a PhD Rapporteur, Chair and Internal Examiner for several postgraduate PhD students.

    Editorial Responsibilities


    Editor-in-Chief for The Journal for Critical Animal Studies (2009-2012)

    I am currently a member of the following journal editorial boards:
    2015-present ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies
    2013 - present The Journal of Social Justice
    2012 - present The Journal for Critical Animal Studies
    2012 - present Leadership and Policy Quarterly
    2011- present Green Theory and Praxis
    2011 - present The Journal of Management Decision 
    2010 - present Green Criminology and Security Studies
    2009 - present Peace Studies Journal
    2005 - present The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy *By Sept 2016 I had reviewed over 140 manuscripts for the Journal of International Sociology and Social Policy.

    Book Series

    Editorial board for the Critical Animal Studies Book Series, Rodophi Press.

    Research reviewer and examiner positions



    Journals Antipode, AREA, Finance and Society, Gender Work & Organisation, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Open Urban Studies and Demography Journal

    Book Publishers Palgrave MacMillan, Oxford University Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Routledge


    • I have reviewed articles for a wide variety of geography and multi-disciplinary journals including: Antipode; AREA; Children's Geographies; Debatte; Economics Research International; Economics Research International; Ephemera; Entrepreneurship and Public Policy; Evidence & Policy; Foresight; Gender, Work & Organisation; International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal; Journal of Contemporary European Studies; Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship; International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal; Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy; Journal of Rural Studies; Journal of Social Policy; PhaenEx: a journal of existential and phenomenological theory and culture; Journal of Urban Affairs Political Media Review; Social Policy and Society; Studies of Transition States and Societies; The Brock Review, Sustainability; Urban Studies and The Voluntary Sector.

    • I have been invited to review book proposal, monographs and updated editions for Earthscan, Minnesota Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave MacMillan, Polity Press, SAGE, and The University of Michigan Press
    • I have been invited to write Endorsements, which have been published in the following books:

    1. Springer, S. (2016) "The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Towards Spatial Emancipation" University of Minnesota Press.

    2. Aitken, SC and Valentine, G. (2015) Approaches to Human Geography: philosophies, theories, people and practices, 2nd edition. SAGE: London

    3. Socha, K. (2014) Animal Liberation and Atheism: dismantling the procrustean bed. Freethought House: Minneapolis.

    4. Best, S., Kahn, R. Nocella, AJ and McLaren, P. (2011) The Global Industrial Complex: systems of domination. Lexington Books: New York

    Grant assessor

    I have acted as a reviewer for academic grant giving bodies, including:

    1. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, UK) First Grants Competition 2009/10 and 2015/6

    2. ISRF Political Economy Research Fellowship Competition 

    3. The Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) Ph.D. Bursaries 2012/2013.

    Committee Groups

    2016 - Scientific and Promoting Committee: Anarchist Geographies and Geographers (ICAGG)

    2015- present I am representing DNBE on the Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies (SIPS) advisory group, Sheffield Hallam University.

    2013- present I am on the Research Advisory Committee for the Vegan Society (UK)  

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