Class, race, and gender identities and inequalities
Educational and social policy
Historiograpy and oral history
History and sociology of poverty and working-class culture
History and sociology of schooling and education
Socio-cultural studies of childhood and youth
Jessica is Senior Lecturer in Education, Equity and Politics. She works across the disciplines of sociology and history, with particular interest on: the relationship of education to social change and politics; the shifting - but persistent - experiences of inequality and injustice; and critical theories and methodologies. In 2012-2015 she was awarded the McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Melbourne. Within this fellowship Jessica lead a three-year interdisciplinary study on marginalised experiences of work and learning, focusing on the homeless and unemployed women and men who sell homeless street press, such as The Big Issue. Her most recent book presents the main findings of this research: Precarious Enterprise on the Margins: Work, Poverty and Homelessness in the City (2017, Palgrave Macmillan). In 2012 she completed her doctorate at the University of Cambridge, which examined the histories of community-based radical education in Britain, including the Socialist Sunday Schools and Black Saturday/Supplementary School movements. This research formed the basis for her book, 'Radical Childhoods: Schooling and the Struggle for Social Change', published by Manchester University Press in 2014. Jessica has won a number of awards in recognition of her research. In 2015 she received an Early Career Researcher Commendation from The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Her article in the British Journal of Sociology of Education, 'Counter narratives of excellence: free schools, success and community-based education' (2014) was awarded the Best Early Career Article. In addition, the journal Urban Studies shortlisted her paper co-written with Dr David Farrugia, 'The "lamentable sight' of homelessness and the society of the spectacle' (2105) for the journal's Best Article Prize.