Professor David Evans

Professor of Human Geography

David Evans

Room number: E4
Telephone (internal): 27963
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 7963
Telephone (international): +44 114 222 7963

David Evans is a Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Deputy Director of the University’s Sustainable Food Futures group (SheFF). He joined the Geography department in September 2016 having worked at the University of Manchester for over 8 years.

Research Interests

My research explores the role of material and cultural practices in the making and co-ordination of moral and political economies. This reflects core theoretical interests in material culture, questions of value (and waste), and the nature of exchange. Much of work is located within the geographies and sociology of consumption with a particular emphasis on sustainability, food and responsibility.

Current Research

Enacting Freshness in the UK and Portuguese Agri-Food Sectors

This project is funded by the ESRC [2016 - 2018] and it brings together researchers from the Universities of Sheffield and Lisbon to explores the significance of ‘freshness’ as a key attribute of food production and consumption in two different national contexts. This project empirically interrogates the paradox of ‘industrial Freshness’, varied and conflicting enactments of ‘freshness’ as a quality of food, and the politics of these multiple ontologies.

Reshaping the nexus at home: engaging policy understandings of kitchen practices and how they can change

This project is funded by the ESRC [2016-2017] and it brings together researchers from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester to consolidate new academic perspectives on household dynamics and the sustainability of everyday life. Working with key policy partners, it considers how these insights might be translated into real-world policy processes.

Supermarkets and the politics of sustainable food

I am currently in the process of consolidating insights from a number of previously funded projects to re-think the politics of sustainable food. I am interested in the relationships between strategic and collective actors (corporations, NGOs etc.) and the ways in which these are mediated by the real and discursive figure of ‘the consumer’

Theories of consumption

I maintain long-standing interests in social theory and consumption, and I am currently engaged in two ongoing writing projects that reflect these. The first relates to the ways in which different theories of exchange (gift, commodity, barter) can be used to animate contemporary debates about the sharing economy. The second is more general and concerns the relationships between different theories of consumption and their influence on sustainability research and policy. These ideas have been developed across a number of papers and I am currently researching material for a monograph on consumer culture and the Anthropocene


GEO387 Geographies of Consumption

He is also contributing to the new Masters course on Food Security and Food Justice.


Evans, D. (in press) Rethinking material cultures of sustainability: Commodity consumption, cultural biographies and following the thing, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Evans, D. Welch, D. & Swaffield, J. 2017. Constructing and mobilizing ‘the consumer’: Responsibility, consumption and the politics of sustainability Environment and Planning A

Campbell, H. Evans, D. & Murcott, A. 2017. Measurability, austerity and edibility: Introducing waste into food regime theory Journal of Rural Studies

Yates, L. & Evans, D. 2016. Dirtying Linen: understanding household laundry habits, Environmental Policy and Governance 26(2): 101-115

Evans, D. 2015. Researching (with) major food retailers: levelling and leveraging the terms of engagement, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 15(3): 33-39

Evans, D. 2014. Food Waste: Home Consumption, Material Culture and Everyday Life (materializing culture book series) London: Bloomsbury
[trans. German 2017 Verschwendung: Wie aus Nahrung Abfall wird Liepzig: Konrad Theiss Verlag GmbH]

Evans, D., Campbell, H., Murcott, A. (eds.) 2013 Waste Matters: New Perspectives on Food and Society Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell

Evans, D. 2012. Binning, gifting and recovery: the conduits of disposal in household food consumption Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30(6): pp. 1123-1137

Evans, D. Southerton, D and McMeekin, A 2012. Sustainable consumption, behaviour change policies and theories of practice, COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 12: 113-129