Professor Peter Jackson

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

Professor Peter Jackson is the Co-Director of the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food.

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. 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 coordinated 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, published as Reframing Convenience Food (Palgrave, 2018).

He is currently completing an ESRC-funded study of the enactment of freshness in the UK and Portuguese agri-food sectors – see the ‘freshness’ website for further details.

Food Words coverReframing Convenience Food CoverAnxious Appetites


Peter Jackson currently teaches on several undergraduate modules including:

  • GEO114 Introduction to Human Geography
  • GEO118 Geographical Methods
  • GEO356 Geographical Research Project
  • GEO387 Geographies of Consumption

Key Publications

Other information

Peter Jackson directs the Sheffield Sustainable Food Futures research group (SheFF). He is a member of Defra’s Social Science Expert Group and previously chaired the Food Standards Agency’s Social Science Research Committee. He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2017.

Postgraduate Supervision

Peter Jackson is currently supervising four PhD students funded by ESRC, the Grantham Centre and other sources. Enquiries from prospective PhD students are always welcome.