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Dr Judith Tsouvalis

Formerly at Lancaster University

Judith Tsouvalis

Research Interests

My main research interests are:

  • the production of socio-natures, hybrids, and cyborgs and how to do politics with things;
  • the relevance of STS for human geography;
  • the formation of knowledge-cultures and associated power-relations;
  • material manifestations of socio-cultural and economic processes and their spatio-temporal aspects;
  • symbolism, visualization and questions of representation of non-human actants in society;
  • the philosophy of time and space.

Prior to my involvement in the current project, these theoretical passions were pursued in the context of forestry (Oxford University) and agriculture (Nottingham University) in Britain. Publications in both areas are listed below.

I joined the Sociology Department's Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC) in 2008. Prior to that I was a lecturer at the University of Oxford's School of Geography and the Environment, where I was in charge of the Postgraduate Research Training Seminar and taught the history and philosophy of geography, postmodern- and poststructural approaches in geography, qualitative research methods, and processes underpinning the social construction of nature.

The present research (Understanding and Acting in Loweswater) in a remote part of the Lake District - Loweswater - involves an interdisciplinary team of social and natural scientists and is funded bythe Rural Economy and Land-Use Programme (RELU). Inspired by STS and Latour's ideas about doing politics with things (elaborated in "Politics of Nature", 2004), the project is experimenting with new forms of environmental governance key to which has been the founding of an institutional mechanism which we initially called the Loweswater Knowledge Collective. The collective was formed around the problem of periodically occuring and potentially toxic blue-green algal blooms that seem to appear ever more frequently in Loweswater. Although there is some evidence of a link between farm management practices and lake water quality, a scoping study indicated that matters are far more complex. This complexity drives the Loweswater Knowledge Collective, a collective made up of local people, farmers, institutional representatives, ourselves, and anyone else with an interest in sustainable catchment management in Loweswater. We hold meetings every two monthslocally on issues decided upon by participants, and my main role has been to facilitate and run thiscollective (meanwhile renamed the Loweswater Care Project - LCP) and carry out ethnographic research into unearthing and disentagling the (his-)stories, factors and relations that people link to the algal blooms. Apart from trying to discern the various links, relations and assemblages that form Loweswater, I am also involved in the disemination of research findings from the project and the process ofknowledge transfer. For further details see www.lancaster.ac.uk\fass\projects\loweswater.

Additional Information



Tsouvalis, J. (2000) A Critical Geography of Britain's State Forests. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Three articles currently in progress; submission date end of this year.

Tsouvalis, J., Seymour, S., and Watkins, C. (2000) 'Exploring Knowledge-Cultures: Precision Farming, Yield Mapping, and the Expert/Farmer Interface'. In Environment and Planning A, 32, 5, 909-924

Gerber, J. (1998): 'Beyond Dualism - the Social Construction of Nature and the Natural and Social Construcation of Human Beings'. In Progress in Human Geography, 21, 1, 1-17


Tsouvalis, J. (2005): 'Cyborg Cultures' in Sibley, D., Jackson, P., Atkinson, D., and Washbourn, N. (eds.) Cultural Geography - A Dictionary of Key Ideas, I.B. Tauris

Tsouvalis, J. (2005): 'State Management and "Scientific Forestry". Chapter 15 in Langton, J. and Jones, G. (eds) Forests and Chases in England and Wales c. 1500-1800: Towards a Survey and Analysis. St. John's College/Oxbow Books. 118+ xviii pp.

Tsouvalis, J. (2000): 'Socialized Nature: England's Royal and Plantation Forests'. In: Cook, I., Crouch, D., Naylor, S., and Ryan, J. (eds.) Cultural Turns / Geographical Turns: Perspectives on Cultural Geography. London: Longman

Tsouvalis, J. and Watkins, C. (2000): 'Imagining and Creating Forests in Britain, 1890-1939. In: Angoletti, M. and Anderson, S. (eds) Forest History: International Studies on Socio-Economic and Forest Ecosystem Change. CABI Publishing

Tsouvalis, J. (1998): 'Making the Invisible Visible - Ancient Woodlands, British Forestry Policy, and the Social Construction of Reality'. In: Watkins, C. (ed.) European Woods and Forests: Studies in Cultural History. CABI Publishing

Gerber, J., Holloway, L., Seymour, S. Steven, M., and Watkins, C. (1998) Environment et Nature Dans Les Campagnes. Nouvelles Politiques, Nouvelles Practiques. Rennes: Presses Univgersitaires de Rennes.


Tsouvalis, J., Seymour, S., Watkins, C., Holloway, L., and Steven, M. (2000) Farmers and Precision Farming. A Study of Attitudes and Practices in Lincolnshire and Suffolk. Working Paper Nr. 34, University of Nottingham, Department of Geography, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Seymour, S., Turner, R., Gerber, J., and Kinsman, P. (1998): Research into Cost-Effective Methods of Influencing Attitudes within the Agricultural Community in the Upper Hampshire Avon Catchment. The Case of Non-Point Source Agricultural Pollution and 'Best Management Practices'. A Report commissioned by the Environment Agency, March 1998.


Gerber, J. (1997): Book review of William Cronon's (ed) 'Uncommon Ground - Towards Reinventing Nature'. In Progress in Human Geography, 27, 1



  • Hermann, Thora: International Environmental Policy Making and Indigenous Forest Use: The Case of the Pewenche Indians, Chile', 1999-2002 / 1st Supervisor;
  • Morrison, Zoe: Britain's Shameful Places: Examining Constructions of 'Social Exclusion' - Towards Spaces Beyond Social Divisions' 1999-2002 / 1st Supervisor;
  • Pedynowski, Dena: A Case Study of the Glacier Wateron Lakes Biosphere Reserves', 1999-2002 / 1st Supervisor


  • Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)

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