Professor Cheryl McEwan, BSc (Loughborough), PhD (Loughborough)
Born and brought up in Yorkshire, I completed my first degree and PhD in Geography at Loughborough University, then worked as a Lecturer in Geography at University of Wales, Swansea and Birmingham University before moving to Durham in 2003.
My research interests are focused around the intersections between cultural, political and development geographies. At a conceptual level, my work has sought to explore the productive tensions between postcolonial and other radical approaches within geography. These theoretical concerns are also grounded in empirical research in South Africa and the UK.
My research is organised in three particular sub-themes. The first concerns ethical consumption in the global South. I am currently working on an ESRC funded project entitled 'Sustainable Consumption and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South' [ES/R005303/1 with Hughes (Newcastle), Crang (Durham), Doherty, Fastoso & Himenez (York) and Kleine (Sheffield), 2018-2020]. The research is an international study (Brazil/China/South Africa) to evaluate the mobilisation and practice of sustainable consumption in global South countries through an examination of systems of food provision and regulation, everyday consumer habits, trends and fashions, and the potential of digital technologies influencing food consumption. It aims to fill a gap in understanding sustainable food consumption spaces and practices in the global South, which are of critical importance as middle-class consumption expands rapidly. It also responds to the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production), which recognises the need to support developing countries in strengthening their technological capacity to enable more sustainable patterns of consumption, to promote sustainable public procurement practices, and to ensure that consumers have relevant information and awareness for sustainable lifestyles. For more information, see the project website: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/scarfethics/.
The second area of research is focused on wider issues of citizenship, democracy and transformation in South Africa. This began with an ESRC project on "Gendered spaces of democracy in South Africa", which examined the understandings and lived experiences of citizenship of black women in South Africa, and (with David Bek) two research projects on ethical trade and empowerment in South Africa's wine industry (funded by Nuffield Foundation and British Academy). A Leverhulme Trust funded project (with Alex Hughes at Newcastle) investigated ethical production, cultural economy and politics of place in rural South Africa. An ESRC Knowledge Exchange funded project developed the initial impact of this research concerning sustainable wildflower harvesting in the Western Cape and we are now, with the support of ESRC IAA funding and in collaboration with our partners in the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, developing a mobile application. By improving supply chain governance and building local capacity, the app will support the sustainable management and conservation of a valuable, unique and threatened indigenous resource in a World Heritage Site and global 'Biodiversity Hotspot'.
Finally, running through all of my research is an interest in the significance of postcolonial theory and decolonial politics within the discipline of geography. This is explored in my forthcoming book on Postcolonialism, Decoloniality and Development (Routledge 2018).
I am currently engaged in developing strategies for advancing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. I teach on the undergraduate and masters programmes and supervise numerous postgraduate researchers. I am a Trustee and Secretary of the Ruth First Educational Trust at Durham University. In my spare time I may be spotted on long distance runs or bike rides in the hills of Northumberland and County Durham.
Grants Awarded (recent)
- 'Sustainable Consumption and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South' ESRC Responsive Mode [with Dr Alex Hughes (Newcastle), Professor Mike Crang (Durham), Professor Bob Doherty, Dr Fernando Fastoso, Dr Hector Gonzalez Himenez (York) and Professor Dorothea Kleine (Sheffield)], [ES/R005303/1] £584,899.94 (01/05/18-30/04/20)
- 'Sustainable consumption and agri-food ethics in the global South: developing pathways to impact' N8 AgriFood Strategic Pump Priming grant (with Dr Alex Hughes (Newcastle), Professor Mike Crang (Durham), Professor Bob Doherty, Dr Fernando Fastoso, Dr Hector Gonzalez Himenez (all York) and Professor Dorothea Kleine (Sheffield) £22,384 (01/05/17 to 31/03/18)
- 'Sustainable Wild Flower Harvesting for Global Supply Chains: Developing and Promoting Best Practice' ESRC Knowledge Exchange Programme [with Dr Alex Hughes and Dr David Bek, Newcastle University] £74223.15 (31/03/13 - 31/03/14)
- 'Sustainable solar energy for rural development in South Africa' EPSRC "Bridging the Gap" (EP/K503368/1), [Pl with Dr Douglas Halliday (Physics), Dr Marek Szablewski (Physics) and Dr Neal Wade (Engineering) £14,221 (01/11/12 - 31/03/13)
- 'Ethical production in South Africa: Advancing a cultural economy approach' Leverhulme Trust (F/00 128/BE) (02/01/10 - 30/06/12) [PI with Dr Alex Hughes, Newcastle University and Dr David Bek, Durham University] £180,722
Department of Geography
Department of Geography
- Ethical Production in South Africa: Advancing a Cultural Economy Approach
- Alternative economies and ethical trade
- Citizenship and transformation
- Cultural and development geographies
- Feminist and postcolonial theory
- Memory and social justice
- Qualitative methods
- McEwan, Cheryl (2019). Postcolonialism, Decoloniality and Development. Routledge.
- McEwan, C. (2009). Postcolonialism and Development. London: Routledge.
- McEwan, C (2000). Gender, Geography and Empire. Ashgate.
- Pollard, J., McEwan, C. & Hughes, A. (2011). Postcolonial Economies. Zed.
- Blunt, A. & McEwan, C. (2002). Postcolonial Geographies. Continuum.
Chapter in book
- Nabulime, L. & McEwan, C. (2017). Using Art to Fight HIV/AIDS in Uganda. In Contemporary Perspectives in Art and International Development. Stupples, P. & Teaiwa, K. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 151-164.
- McEwan, C., Hughes, A., Bek, D. & Rosenberg, Z. (2017). Why ‘place’ matters in the development and impacts of Fairtrade production. In Fairtrade Impacts: Lessons from Around the World. Nelson, V. Rugby: Practical Action Publishing. 29-44.
- McEwan, C. & Daya, S. (2016). Geography, Culture and Global Change. In An Introduction to Human Geography. Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D., Sidaway, J. & Hall, T. New York: Pearson. 273-289
- McEwan, C. (2012). Mary Kingsley. In Dictionary of African Biography. Gates, H.L. & Akyeampong, E.K. Oxford: OUP.
- McEwan, C., Bek, D. & Binns, T. (2010). The South African wine industry: meeting the challenges of structural and social transformation. In Geography of Wine. Douglas, P. Berlin: Springer.
- McEwan, C. (2009). Development: Postcolonialism/Postcolonial Geographies. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Kitchin, R. & Thrift, N. London: Elsevier. 1: 327-333.
- McEwan, C. (2009). Social and Cultural Geography: Subaltern. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Kitchin, R. & Thurift, N. London: Elsevier. 11: 59-64.
- McEwan, C. (2008). Geography, Culture and Global Change. In Human Geography, Issues for the 21st Century. Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D. & Sidaway, J. London: Pearson. 273-289.
- McEwan, C., Pollard, J, & Henry, N. (2007). The non-'Global City' of Birmingham, UK: a gateway through time. In Migrants to the Metropolis: The Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities. Benton-Short, L. & Price, M. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. 191-224.
- McEwan, C. (2006). Mobilizing culture for social justice and development: South Africa’s Amazwi Abesifazane memory cloths program. In Culture and Development in a Globalising World: Geographies, Actors and Paradigms. Radcliffe, S. London: Routledge. 203-227.
- McEwan, C. (2006). Using Images, Films and Photography. In Doing Development Research. Desai, V. & Potter, R. London: Sage. 231-240.
- McEwan, C. (2005). Gendered Citizenship in South Africa: Rights and Beyond. In (Un) Thinking Citizenship, Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa. Gouwns, A. Aldershot/Cape Town: Ashgate/UCT Press. 177-198.
- McEwan, C. (2005). Geography, Culture and Global Change. In Human Geography, Issues for the 21st Century. Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D. & Sidaway, J. Pearson. 265-283.
- McEwan, C. (2004). Transnationalism. In Companion of Cultural Geography. Johnson, N., Schein, R. & Duncan, J. Blackwell. 499-512.
- McEwan, C. (2003). The West and Other Feminisms. In Handbook of Cultural Geography. Anderson, K., Domosh, M., Pile, S. & Thrift, N. Sage. 405-419.
- Blunt, A. & McEwan, C. (2002). Introducing postcolonial geographies. In Postcolonial Geographies. Blunt, A. & McEwan, C. Continuum. 1-6.
- McEwan, C. (2002). Postcolonialism. In The Arnold Companion to Development Studies. Potter, R. & Desai, V. Arnold. 127-131.
- McEwan, C. (2001). Geography, culture and global change. In Human Geography Issues for the 21st Century. Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D. & Sidaway, J. 154-179.
- Hindle, C, Brown, H, McEwan, C, Boliver, V, McIarnon, A & Simpson, B (2021). Experiences of first-generation scholars at a highly selective UK university. Learning and Teaching
- McEwan, Cheryl (2020). Taking on the tweed suits: Reflections on the ‘How the other half lives’ and its critique of masculinist geography. Area 52(4): 770-777.
- Kumar, A., Ferdous, R., Luque-Ayala, A., McEwan, C., Power, M., Turner, B. & Bulkeley, H. (2019). Solar energy for all? Understanding the successes and shortfalls through a critical comparative assessment of Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Mozambique, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Energy Research & Social Science 48: 166-176.
- Bek, D., Binns, T., Blokker, T., McEwan, C. & Hughes, A. (2017). A High Road to Sustainability? Wildflower Harvesting, Ethical Trade and Social Upgrading in South Africa’s Western Cape. Journal of Agrarian Change 17(3): 459-479.
- McEwan, C., Mawdsley, E., Banks, G. & Scheyvens, R. (2017). Enrolling the private sector in community development: Magic bullet or sleight of hand?. Development and Change 48(1): 28-53.
- McEwan, C., Hughes, A. & Bek, D. (2017). Fairtrade, place and moral economy: between abstract ethical discourse and the moral experience of Northern Cape farmers. Environment and Planning A 49(3): 572-591.
- McEwan, C. (2017). Spatial processes and politics of renewable energy transition: land, zones and frictions in South Africa. Political Geography 56: 1-12.
- Hughes, A., McEwan, C. & Bek, D. (2015). Mobilizing the Ethical Consumer in South Africa. Geoforum 67: 148-157.
- Hughes, Alex, McEwan, Cheryl & Bek, David (2015). Postcolonial Perspectives on Global Production Networks: Insights from Flower Valley in South Africa. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 47(2): 249-266.
- McEwan, C., Hughes, A. & Bek, D. (2015). Theorising middle class consumption from the global South: A study of everyday ethics in South Africa’s Western Cape. Geoforum 67: 233-243.
- Hughes, Alex, McEwan, Cheryl, Bek, David & Rosenberg, Zaitun (2014). Embedding Fairtrade in South Africa: Global Production Networks, National Initiatives and Localized Challenges in the Northern Cape. Competition and Change 18(4): 291-308.
- McEwan, C., Hughes, A. & Bek, D. (2014). Futures, ethics and the politics of expectation in biodiversity conservation: A case study of South African sustainable wildflower harvesting. Geoforum 52: 206-215.
- Nabulime, Lilian & McEwan, Cheryl (2014). Using Art and Everyday Objects to Fight HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Development in Practice 24(2): 272-285.
- McEwan, Cheryl, Hughes, Alex, Bek, David & Rosenberg, Zaitun (2014). Why ‘place’ matters in the development and impacts of Fairtrade production. Food Chain 4(1): 78-92.
- Silver, Jonathan, McEwan, Cheryl, Petrella, Laura & Baguian, Hamidou (2013). Climate change, urban vulnerability and development in Saint-Louis and Bobo-Dioulasso: learning from across two West African cities. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 18(6): 663-77.
- Hughes, A., McEwan, C. & Bek, D. (2013). Retailers, Supply Networks and Changing Articulations of Ethicality: Lessons from Flower Valley in South Africa. Journal of Economic Geography 13(2): 211-230.
- McEwan, C. & Mawdsley, E. (2012). Trilateral development cooperation: power and politics in emerging aid relationships. Development and Change 43(6): 1185-1209.
- McEwan, C. & Nabulime, L. (2011). Art as social practice: transforming lives using sculpture in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in Uganda. Cultural Geographies 18(3): 275-296
- McEwan, C. & Goodman, M. (2010). Place Geography and the Ethics of Care: Introductory remarks on the geographies of ethics, responsibility and care. Ethics, Place and Environment 13(2): 103-112.
- Pollard, J.S., McEwan, C., Laurie, N. & Stenning, A. (2009). Economic Geography Under Postcolonial Scrutiny. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34(2): 137-142.
- McEwan, C. & Bek, D. (2009). Placing ethical trade in context: WIETA and the South African wine industry. Third World Quarterly 30(4): 723-742.
- McEwan, C. & Bek, D. (2009). The political economy of alternative trade: Social and environmental certification in the South African wine industry. Journal of Rural Studies 25(3): 255-266.
- McEwan, C. (2008). A very modern ghost: postcolonialism and the politics of enchantment. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26(1): 29-46.
- McEwan, C. (2008). Feminisme 'occidental' et autres feminismes: politique postcoloniale et transversale. Pensées Féministes. Special Issue: Diversité des Féminismes 4: 133-152.
- McEwan, C. & Butler, R. (2007). Disability and Development: Different Models, Different Places. Geography Compass 1(3): 448-466.
- McEwan, C. & Bek, D. (2006). (Re)Politicizing empowerment: Lessons from the South African wine industry. Geoforum 37(6): 1021-1034.
- McEwan, C. (2005). New spaces of citizenship? Rethinking gendered participation and empowerment in South Africa. Political Geography 24(8): 969-991.
- McEwan, C., Pollard, J. & Henry, N. (2005). The 'global' in the city economy: multicultural economic development in Birmingham. International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies 29(4): 916-933.
- McEwan, C. (2003). 'Bringing government to the people': women, local governance and community participation in South Africa. Geoforum 34(4): 469-481.
- McEwan, C. (2003). Building a Postcolonial Archive? Gender, Collective Memory and Citizenship in Post-apartheid South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies 29(3): 739-757.
- McEwan, C. (2003). Critical theory and culture in the practice of historical geography: a British perspective. Historical Geography 31: 99-103.
- McEwan, C. (2003). Material geographies and postcolonialism. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 24(3): 340-355.
- Henry, N., McEwan, C. & Pollard, J. S. (2002). Globalization from below: Birmingham - postcolonial workshop of the world?. Area 34(2): 117-127.
- McEwan, C. (2001). Gender and citizenship: learning from South Africa. Agenda 16(47): 47-59.
- McEwan, C. (2001). Postcolonialism, feminism and development: intersections and dilemmas. Progress in Development Studies 1(2): 93-111.
Indicators of Esteem
- ESRC GCRF Peer Review College member :
- International Advisor to South Africa’s National Research Foundation:
- International Advisory Panel Member, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission:
- International Expert Reviewer for the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT): Social Sciences :
- 2018: ‘Sustainable Consumption and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South’ ESRC Responsive Mode [Co-Investigator and PI on South Africa work package, with Dr Alex Hughes (PI, Newcastle), Professor Mike Crang (Durham), Professor Bob Doherty (York) and Professor Dorothea Kleine (Sheffield)], [ES/R005303/1] £584,899.94
- 2018: 'Sustainable Consumption and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South' ESRC [Co-Investigator on China work package, with Dr Alex Hughes (PI, Newcastle), Professor Mike Crang (Durham), Professor Bob Doherty (York) and Professor Dorothea Kleine (Sheffield)]
- 2017: North East ESRC Societal & Economic Impact Acceleration Fund: ‘Converting sustainable wildflower harvesting resources into a mobile app’ £21,003 [Principal Investigator with Alex Hughes, Newcastle University] (Sept 2017 – August 201
- 2017: RF150427: Sustainable Consumption and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South: Developing Pathways to Impact, N8 Agrifood Research Partnership pump priming, 2017-05-01 - 2018-01-31
- 2017: Sustainable consumption and agri-food ethics in the global South: developing pathways to impact’ N8 AgriFood Strategic Pump Priming grant, Co-investigator with Prof Mike Crang (Durham), Dr Alex Hughes (Newcastle), Prof Bob Doherty, Dr Fernando Fastoso, Dr Hector Gonzalez Himenez (all York) and Prof Dorothea Kleine (Sheffield) £22,384 (1st May 2017 to 31st January 2018)
- 2013: Developing Sustainable Wildflower Harvesting for Global Supply Chains (£6563.28 from ESRC)
- 2010: Ethical Production in South Africa: Advancing A Cultural Economy Approach (£165524.84 from The Leverhulme Trust)
- 2009: Tackling ignorance through Fine Art - Visiting Fellowship (£7470.00 from The British Academy)
- 2006: EVALUATING ETHICAL TRADE (£7459.00 from The British Academy)
- 2003: NEW BEGINNINGS AND OLD IDENTITIES (£5949.00 from The Nuffield Foundation)