Photo of Dr Shelda-Jane Smith

Dr Shelda-Jane Smith PhD

Lecturer in Human Geography Geography and Planning


Personal Statement

My research interests coalesce around social studies of medical practice, science and technology [STS], health, and critical psychology. I received my PhD from The University of Liverpool, Department of Public Health and Policy (2020). This was an ethnographic study of UK institutional healthcare practices for young people with epilepsy and co-morbid learning disabilities as they transitioned from paediatric to adult services.

I joined the Geography and Planning Department in 2020 as a PDRA working on the In Defence of Maya Land, Lives, and Dignity: Co-Creating Pathways out of Structural and Slow Violence via Community Mobilising, Mapping, and Art project based in southern Belize. My current focus explores anti-colonial/capitalist resistance movements as a means of community empowerment, youth engagement as well as a way of supporting physical and psychological health.

I continually aim to build a research practice that centres emancipatory commitments, whilst exploring anti-colonial/capitalist resistance and environmental justice as a path toward radical healing and psychological wellness. In this regard, my work attends to three broad areas:

1) Exploring decolonial approaches to health and psychology. In particular, I’m interested in understanding and amplifying perspectives of mental health, disability, and caregiving practices "from below".

2) Critically analysing the socio-political and institutional processes that shape the lives of young people.

3) Developing interdisciplinary methodologies and projects that bring together creative/arts, community, and ethnographic methods.