Professor Peter Jackson

Image of Peter Jackson

Room number: C12
Telephone (internal): 27908
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 7908
Telephone (International): +44 114 222 7908

Research Interests

Social and cultural geography, consumption and identity, families and food.

Current research

Peter Jackson's research focuses on commodity culture and the geography of consumption with a particular interest in food. Previous projects include an ESRC-funded project on consumption and identity in North London (published as Shopping, Place and Identity, Routledge, 1998); ESRC-funded research on the production, content and readership of men's lifestyle magazines (published as Making Sense of Men's Magazines, Polity Press, 2001); a collaborative study (with colleagues at Royal Holloway and UCL) of commodity culture and South Asian transnationality, funded through ESRC´s Transnational Communities Programme and culminating in the publication of Transnational Spaces (Routledge, 2004); an ESRC-funded study of retail competition and consumer choice (with colleagues at Lancaster and MMU); and a study of food commodity chains, funded via the AHRC-ESRC Cultures of Consumption programme, culminating in the Food Stories website (see link, right).

In 2008, he completed a three-year period as Director of the Changing Families, Changing Food research programme. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the programme involved collaboration with colleagues from Clinical Sciences, East Asian Studies, Geography, Nursing & Midwifery, ScHARR and Sociological Studies at Sheffield, together with colleagues in Health & Social Care at Royal Holloway, University of London. For further details and publications from this project, see the Changing Families, Changing Food website.

Beginning in 2009, he led a four-year research programme on "Consumer anxieties about food" (CONANX), funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The programme involved a team of seven researchers with co-investigators in Sheffield (Dr Matt Watson) and Sweden (Professor Helene Brembeck), plus a PhD student (Nick Piper, also based in Sheffield). The research focused on consumer anxieties about food at a range of geographical scales, from the global scale of international food markets to the domestic scale of individual families and households. This research was taken forward through an additiona year’s Proof of Concept funding from the ERC to explore the practical application of the CONANX research findings (see the link to the FoodFutures website). Outputs from these projects include two books: Food Words: essays in culinary culture (2013) and Anxious Appetites: food and consumer culture (2015), both published by Bloomsbury.

Peter is currently coordinating an ERA-Net project on Food, Convenience and Sustainability (FOCAS) with colleagues in Denmark, Germany and Sweden, as part of a European programme on sustainable food. With colleagues in Manchester and Sheffield, he is also participating in an ESRC-funded network on the domestic nexus, exploring the interconnections between food, energy and water security at the household level.

See the links below for some short extracts from a recent talk I gave in Lisbon. The first discusses the inspiration for Food Words; the second discusses the idea of 'freshness' and the third provides some thoughts on the nature of 'convenience' food.

Food Words cover

Food Value and Gender: mediated consumption, anxiety and potentiality: Listen to a recent discussion between Joanne Hollows and Peter Jackson at the Science Museum's Dana Centre (March 2013).

Listen Here


Peter Jackson currently teaches on several undergraduate modules including:

  • GEO112 Introducing Social and Cultural Geography
  • GEO165 Horizons in Geography
  • GEO241 Social and Cultural Geographies
  • GEO356 Geographical Research Project
  • GEO360 Geographies of Consumption

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

Key Publications

  • Jackson, P. (2015) Anxious Appetites: food and consumer culture. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Jackson, P., Watson, M. and Piper, N. (2013). Locating anxiety in the social: the cultural mediation of food fears. European Journal of Cultural Studies 16, 24-42.
  • Jackson, P. and Everts, J. (2010). Anxiety as social practice. Environment and Planning A, 42(11), 2791-2806.
  • Jackson, P. (2010). Food stories: consumption in an age of anxiety. Cultural Geographies, 17(2), 147-165.

Other information

Peter Jackson is Chair of the Food Standards Agency's Social Science Research Committee and, in 2016, will serve as Chair of the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society (with the IBG).

Postgraduate Supervision

Peter Jackson is primary supervisor for six PhD students, funded from a variety of sources. He also serves as secondary supervisor for four other students – see link (right) for further details. Enquiries from prospective PhD students are always welcome.