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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Miss Vanessa Schofield, MGeog

Research Postgraduate (PhD) in the Department of Geography
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: Christopherson Annexe

Contact Miss Vanessa Schofield (email at


I graduated from the MArts programme in Durham in 2014 and began my PhD within the ESRC NEDTC in 2014. 

Broadly, my interests lie in political geography and the governance of (public order) events including protests and riots, and also theory and philosophy of the event. 



PhD: A Genealogy of Riot Governance in the UK
This project has two key aims; the first is distinctly theoretical and is to develop a new theoretical articulation of the riot as an event. Through this aim I am seeking to shift the focus from the causal to the constitutional within riot research. Rather than thinking about what causes the breakdown of law and order, as much riot research does, this project dwells on the more contemplative question: what is a riot? I draw on theory and philosophy of the event, specifically from Badiou, to explore this question.

The second aim of the project is more distinctly empirical and is to construct a genealogy of the governance of riots in the UK. The project engages the method of genealogy in order to look back over a series of events and think about their governance as riots. This entails archival research that looks specifically at the legal governance of public order events.

Masters: In Response to the 2011 Riots: Evental Security, Anticipation and the Norm
Taking the response to the rioting events in the UK in 2011 as a starting point, this project looked at the failure to anticipate widespread national rioting in 2011. It then looked at how this failure was consequential and so how the anticipation of riots takes place post-2011. In this section, it explored community tension monitoring in relation to a community norm as a means of anticipating unrest.


Level 1 Human Geography: Space and Place in a Changing World
Level 1 Geographies of Crisis
Level 1 Introduction to Geographical Research
Level 2 Social Research in Geography