The bodywork of consumer boycott movements and the production of race; anti-Apartheid citrus (1972 – 92), and anti-slavery chocolate (2006-present)
Funder: Royal Holloway Thomas Holloway Scholarship
I'm a third year PhD student at the Royal Holloway Geography Department, funded by the Thomas Holloway Scholarship, with Professor Phil Crang and previously Dr David Lambert as my supervisors. I've been a part of the Geography Department here since 2004, when I arrived as an enthusiastic undergraduate with the aim to eventually work in development studies. Cultural and historical geography got me instead (although I'm still getting them!), and the wide range of human geography courses taught at both undergraduate and during the cultural geography MA, really caught my imagination. There are some fantastic geographers working here with a wide range of specialisms, many of whom I've been lucky enough to learn from at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The substantive research projects that I've conducted in the last few years are reflective of the rigour and diversity of the department. My BA dissertation thesis on the performance of femininity at the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938 was awarded the national first prize by RGS Women and Geography Research Group for dissertations relating to gender in 2007, and my MA thesis on the contestaton of place and the performance of passion and suffering by charity fundraisers will be converted into a substative paper for Cultural Geographies.
My PhD research focuses on two consumer boycott/advocacy movements; Boycott Outspan Action (1972-94), an anti-apartheid and anti-racist organisation who had their headquarters in Holland and boycotted South African citrus, and Stop The Traffik (2006 to the present) who front a global anti-slavery chocolate campaign. I've spent much of the last two years arranging and recording interviews with boycott activists from the UK, South Africa, Holland and Sweden. I'm particularly interested in how through boycotting foods (oranges and chocolate), the two organisations contribute to everyday geographies of race and 'whiteness' in their differing historical and geopolitical contexts.