Professor Rachel Pain
Born in Northumberland and brought up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I have lived in the North East for most of my life. I completed my first degree in geography at Lancaster University and PhD at the University of Edinburgh, then worked as a Lecturer in Geography at Northumbria University before moving to Durham in 2000. Here, I teach at undergraduate level, supervise PhD students, and serve as Director of Education for the Geography programmes, and Co-Director of the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action.
I'm a social geographer whose research is informed by feminist and participatory theory and practice. I work on a range of issues around fear, violence and community safety; emotions and geopolitics; and participatory practice, politics, theory and activism.
My research, teaching and public engagement activities are underpinned by a commitment to social justice. Recently I've worked on a number of participatory action research projects in the North East, with partners including refugee-led organisations, youth groups, Rivers Trusts and survivors of violence.
As well as locating my own research and some training and teaching locally outside the University, I am involved in a number of initiatives to encourage two-way research collaborations, including the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action which develops and supports theory and practice around participatory action research at local, national and international levels.
I'm also interested in the challenges that the idea of work life balance presents for academic business and cultures, and in supporting fairer institutional policies and practices for fractional, flexible and non-traditional workers.
Rachel with participants at a PAR training event, May 2012.
Prizes and Awards
Philip Leverhulme Prize 2005.
Royal Geographical Society Gill Memorial Award 2008, for contributions to social geography and participatory research.
2009 Julian Minghi Outstanding Research Award of the Political Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers. Awarded jointly with Susan J Smith for 'Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life'.
2012 Durham University Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award
2014 Durham University Excellence in Research Impact Award
Report: Everyday Terrorism
Everyday Terrorism: How Fear Works in Domestic Abuse contains the findings of a research project conducted in 2012 in collaboration with Scottish Women's Aid.
- Centre for Social Justice and Community Action
- Culture-Economy-Life (CEL)
- Geographies of Health and Wellbeing (GoHWell)
- Politics - State - Space (PSS)
- Fear, violence and community safety
- Emotions and geopolitics
- Domestic violence and terrorism
- The wellbeing and safekeeping of young refugees
- Gender, youth, old age and intergenerational relations
- Participatory practice, politics and theory
- Pain, R., Phillips, D., Nagel, C., Mohammad, R., McLean, J., Dunn, K. & Hopkins, P. Reading Peter Hopkins’ The Issue of Masculine Identities for British Muslims After 9/11: A Social Analysis. Political Geography. 2011;30:339-348.
Journal papers: academic
- Pain, R. Embodying intimate war: a response to Sjoberg, Massaro and Bernazzoli. Political Geography. 2015;44:82-83.
- Whitman, G.P., Pain, R. & Milledge, D.G. Going with the flow? Using participatory action research in physical geography. Progress in Physical Geography. 2015;39:622-639.
- Pain, R. Intimate war. Political Geography. 2015;44:64-73.
- Pain, R. Everyday terrorism: connecting domestic violence and global terrorism. Progress in Human Geography. 2014;38:531-550.
- Pain, R. Impact: striking a blow or walking together?. ACME: an International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 2014;13:19-23.
- Pain, R. & Staeheli, L. Introduction: intimacy-geopolitics and violence. Area. 2014;46:344-347.
- Pain, R. Seismologies of emotion: fear and activism during domestic violence. Social & Cultural Geography. 2014;15:127-150.
- Pain, R., Finn, M., Bouveng, R. & Ngobe, G. Productive Tensions: Engaging Geography Students in Participatory Action Research with Communities. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 2013.
- Olson, E., Hopkins, P., Pain, R. & Vincett, G. Retheorizing the Postsecular Present: Embodiment, Spatial Transcendence, and Challenges to Authenticity Among Young Christians in Glasgow, Scotland. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 2013;103:1421-1436.
- Pain, R., Kesby, M. & Askins, K. The politics of social justice in neoliberal times: a reply to Slater. Area. 2012;44:120–123.
- Vincett, G., Olson, E., Hopkins, P. & Pain, R. Young People and Performance Christianity in Scotland. Journal of Contemporary Religion. 2012;27:275–290.
- Askins, K. & Pain, R. Contact zones: participation, materiality and the messiness of interaction. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2011;29:803-821.
- Pain, R., Kesby, M. & Askins, K. Geographies of impact: power, participation and potential. Area. 2011;43:183-188.
- Hopkins, P., Olson, B., Pain, R. & Vincett, G. Mapping intergenerationalities: the formation of youthful religiosities. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2011;36:314-327.
- Jarvis, H., Pain, R. & Pooley, C. Multiple scales of time–space and lifecourse. Environment and Planning A. 2011;43:519 – 524.
- Russell, A., Cattermole, A., Hudson, R., Banks, S., Armstrong, A., Robinson, F., Pain, R., Gollan, S. & Brown, G. Sustaining Community-University Collaborations: the Durham University Model. Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement. 2011.
- Pain, R., Panelli, R., Kindon, S. & Little, J. Moments in everyday/distant geopolitics: Young people’s fears and hopes. Geoforum. 2010;41:972–982.
- Pain, R.H. The new geopolitics of fear. Geography Compass. 2010;4:226-240.
- Pain, R. Ways beyond disciplinarity. Children's Geographies. 2010;8:223-5.
- Pain, R. Commentary: Working Across Distant Spaces: Connecting Participatory Action Research and Teaching. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 2009;33:81-87.
- Pain, R. Globalized fear? Towards an emotional geopolitics. Progress in Human Geography. 2009;33:466-486.
- Pain, R. Ethical possibilities: towards participatory ethics. Children's Geographies. 2008.
- Pain, R. Mrs Kinpaisby: Taking stock of participatory geographies: envisioning the communiversity. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2008;33:292-299.
- Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory action research. International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography. 2008;90-95.
- Hopkins, P. & Pain, R. Geographies of age: thinking relationally. Area. 2007;39:287-294.
- Cahill, C., Sultana, F. & Pain, R. Participatory ethics: politics, practices, institutions. ACME: an International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 2007;6:304-318.
- Pain, R. & Kindon, S. Participatory geographies. Environment and Planning A. 2007;39:2807-2812.
- Pain, R., MacFarlane, R., Turner, K. & Gill, S. 'When, where, if, and but': qualifying GIS and the effect of streetlighting on crime and fear. Environment and Planning A. 2006;38:2055–2074.
- Pain, R. Paranoid parenting? Rematerializing risk and fear for children. Social and Cultural Geography. 2006;7:221-243.
- Pain, R. Social geography: seven deadly myths in policy research. Progress in Human Geography. 2006;30:250-260.
- Pain, R., Grundy, S., Gill, S., Towner, E., Sparks G. & Hughes, K. 'So long as I take my mobile': Mobile phones, urban life and geographies of young people's safety. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 2005;29:814-830.
- Birnie, J., Madge, C., Pain, R., Raghuram, P. & Rose, G. Working a fraction and making a fraction work: a rough guide for geographers in the academy. Area. 2005;37:251-259.
- Smith, S.J., Pain, R., Marston, S. & Jones, J.P. The SAGE Handbook of Social Geographies. Sage; 2010.
- Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge; 2007.
- Alexander, C. & Pain, R. Urban Security: Whose Security? Everyday responses to urban fears. In: Ceccato, V. The urban fabric of crime and fear. Springer; 2012:37-53.
- kinpaisby-hill, C. Participatory praxis and social justice: towards more fully social geographies. In: Del Casino, V., Thomas, M.E., Cloke, P. & Panelli, R. A Companion to Social Geography. Blackwell; 2011:214-34.
- Pain, R. & Askins, K. Engaging communities in research. In: Gardner, R. Communicating geographical research beyond the academy. RGS; 2010.
- Smith, S.J. & Pain, R. Critical geopolitics and everyday fears. In: Lee, M. & Farrell, S. Fear of Crime: Critical Voices in an Age of Anxiety. London.: Routledge; 2008:45-58.
- Pain, R. & Smith, S.J. Fear, critical geopolitics and everyday life. In: Pain, R. & Smith, S.J. Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2008:1-24.
- Pain, R. Whose fear is it anyway? Resisting terror fear and fear for children. In: Pain, R. & Smith, S.J. Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2008:211-222.
- Pain, R. & Bailey, C. British social and cultural geography: beyond turns and dualisms?. In: Kitchin, R. Mapping worlds: international perspectives on social and cultural geographies. London.: Routledge; 2007.
- Pain, R., Kesby, M. & Kindon, S. Conclusion: the space(s) and scale(s) of participatory action research: constructing empowering geographies?. In: Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge; 2007:225-230.
- Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Introduction: connecting people, participatory and place. In: Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge; 2007:1-6.
- Kesby, M., Kindon, S. & Pain, R. Participation as a form of power: retheorising empowerment and spatialising participatory action research. In: Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. : Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge; 2007:19-25.
- Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory action research: making a difference to theory, practice and action. In: Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge; 2007:26-33.
- Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory action research: origins, approaches and methods. In: Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. London: Routledge; 2007:9-18.
- Alexander, C., Beale, N., Kesby, M., Kindon, S., McMillan, J,, Pain, R. & Ziegler, F. Participatory diagramming. In: Kindon, S., Pain, R. & Kesby, M. Connecting People, Participation and Place: Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods. Routledge; 2007.
- Kesby, M., Kindon, S. & Pain, R. Participatory research. In: Flowerdew, R. & Martin, M. Methods in Human Geography. Pearson; 2005.
Other publications: research
- Pain, R., Whitman, G., Milledge, D. & Lune Rivers Trust Participatory Action Research Toolkit: an introduction to using PAR as an approach to learning, research and action. 2012.
- Durham Community Research Team. Community-based Participatory Research: Ethical Challenges 2011.
- Pain, R. & Hopkins, P. Common ground: a space of emotional wellbeing? Report to East Area Asylum Seekers Support Group. 2009.
- Curtis, S., Daya, S., Khatib, Y., Pain, R., Rothon, C. & Stansfeld, S. Mapping links between young people, neighbourhoods, schools and families, with respect to adolescent mental health. Final review report to the Nuffield Foundation. 2009.
- Pain, R, Askins, K & Kitoko, G Connecting places, connected lives: an anti-bullying art project. 2007.
- Pain, R Intergenerational relations and practice in the development of sustainable communities: Report to Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. 2005.
Available for media contact about:
- Crime: Violence and fear
- 2013: Engaging with communities: Arts and performance-based collaborative training (£2434.00 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
- 2012: Connection, Participation and Empowerment in Community-Based Research: The Case of the Transition Movement (£22922.57 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
- 2011: Community-based Participatory Research: Ethics and Outcomes (£391.15 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
- 2011: Everday Terrorism: Domestic Violence and the Politics of Fear (£5878.00 from The British Academy)
- 2010: Building adoptive strategies for environmental change for rural land managers (£153120.48 from ESRC)
- 2010: Contact Zones: The Musuem as a space of encounter (£6000.00 from Tyne & Wear Museums)
- 2009: Discovery Re-Visioning: Research, Analysis & Reporting for Stakeholder Group 1 (£28131.16 from Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums)
- 2009: Marginalised Spiritualities Faith and Religion (£8301.00 from Arts & Humanities Research Board)
- 2007: RELATIONAL RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES (£2452.00 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
- 2006: INTERNATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL UNION (£800.00 from The British Academy)
- 2006: PHILIP LEVERHULME PRIZE (£50000.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
- 2006: PLACING FEAR AND HOPE (£6696.00 from The British Academy)
- 2004: LIFEMAPPING: YOUNG PEOPLE'S ROUTES (£8253.37 from Durham County Council)
- 2001: CONSULTATION WITH HARD TO REACH YOUNG PEOPLE (£10953.00 from Co Durham Youth Offending Service)
- 2001: HOMELESSNESS TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION RESEARCH (£500.00 from Sustainable Cities Research Institute)
- 2001: NEW MOTHERS' EXPERIENCES OF BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT (£18320.00 from NHS Regional Office - Northern & Yorkshire)
- 2001: NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL CRIME AND DISORDER AUDIT (£750.00 from Sustainable Cities Research Institute)
- 2001: PARC (£11023.00 from Sunderland Youth Offending Service)