Geography

Staff

Dr Sarah Mills Ph.D. (Wales)

Photo of Dr Sarah Mills

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Academic career

2015 onwards: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University
2012-15: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University. 
2011-2: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Leicester. 
2007-10: PhD, Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Professional responsibilities

2016 onwards: External Examiner (Human Geography), National University of Ireland, Galway
2016 onwards: SSPGS School Athena SWAN Team
2016 onwards: University Teaching Assessor (SSPGS)
2016 onwards: Editorial Board Member, Environment and Planning A
2015-2018 – Chair, GCYFRG, RGS-IBG
2012-5 – Secretary, SCGRG, RGS-IBG.
2011-5 – Committee Member, GCYFRG, RGS-IBG (Treasurer 2011-14)

Prizes and awards:

2015 - AAG Political Geography Speciality Group's 'Outstanding Research Award' (Virginie Mamadouh Publication Prize)
2014 - ‘Inspiration Award’, Loughborough University Academic Teaching Awards

My research focuses on the geographies of youth citizenship, informal education and volunteering in both contemporary and historical contexts. Current ESRC-funded research (via an FRL award 2014-17) examines the state’s motivations behind, the voluntary sector’s engagement with, and young people’s experiences of, National Citizen Service (NCS) since its launch in 2011.  My previous research projects have been funded by the ESRC, AHRC (Co-I) and Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and explored the gendered citizenship projects and educational philosophies of several British youth movements across the twentieth century, including the Scouts, Girl Guides, Woodcraft Folk, and Jewish Lads’ Brigade. This work has been published in a number of journal articles, with my broader research interests captured in two co-edited collections: on ‘Informal Education, Childhood & Youth’ (2014, Palgrave Macmillan) and ‘Politics, Citizenship and Rights’ (2016, Springer). I have also published on the geographies of youth work, faith, archival research methods and public historical geographies. A recent research project funded by the Institute of Historical Research has drawn these interests together to consider the ‘sonic geographies of childhood’.

My teaching focuses on cultural, social, political and historical geography.

Current postgraduate research students

Laura Crawford: A cultural-historical geography of Leonard Cheshire Disability
Rosie Austin: Youth Leadership in the Scout Association
Jo Hickman Dunne: Youth, Outdoor Learning and Life Skills
Tim Fewtrell: Youth Volunteering in Muslim Communities in Britain
Jonathan Duckett: Youth Citizenship and National Identity: A Case Study of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Scottish Independence Referendum

Mills, S. and Waite, C. (2017) Brands of youth citizenship and the politics of scale: National Citizen Service in the United Kingdom, Political Geography (open access)

Mills, S. (in press) Voice: Sonic Geographies of Childhood, Children’s Geographies

Mills, S (2016) Jives, jeans and Jewishness? Moral geographies, atmospheres and the politics of mixing at the Jewish Lads’ Brigade & Club 1954-1969, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 34 (6): 1098-1112.

Jones, R, Merriman, P, Mills, S (2016) Youth organizations and the reproduction of nationalism in Britain: the role of Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Social and Cultural Geography 17 (5): 714-734.

Kallio, K. P. and Mills, S. (2016) (eds) Politics, Citizenship and Rights, Vol. 7 of Skelton, T. (ed.) Geographies of Children and Young People. Singapore: Springer.

Mills, S. and Kraftl, P. (2016) Cultural Geographies of Education, cultural geographies 23 (1): 19-27

Mills, S. (2016) Geographies of education, volunteering and the lifecourse: the Woodcraft Folk in Britain (1925–75), cultural geographies 23 (1): 103-119 (open access)

Mills, S (2015) Geographies of youth work, volunteering and employment: The Jewish Lads' Brigade and Club in post-war ManchesterTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 40 (4): 523-535 

Woolvin, M, Mills, S, Hardill, I, Rutherford, A (2015) Divergent geographies of policy and practice? Voluntarism and devolution in England, Scotland and WalesThe Geographical Journal, 181 (1): 38-46