Professor Louise Holt

PhD (Loughborough University)

Pronouns: She/her
  • School Associate Dean for Education & Student Experience
  • Professor of Human Geography

Academic Career

  • 2021-present: Associate Dean (Education & Student Experience), School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • 2021-onwards: Professor of Human Geography
  • 2018-2021: Head of Geography and Environment,
  • 2015- 2021: Reader in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2010-2021: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2005-2010: Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Reading.
  • 2004-5: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Brighton.

Professional Responsibilities

  • March 2021–present: Editorial Board Member, Children’s Geographies
  • December 2016-December 2021: Co-Editor, then Editor-in-Chief Children’s Geographies 
  • 2010 onwards: Member of the ESRC Peer-Review College. 
  • 2007 onwards: Chair and founder Committee of the International Conferences on Geographies of Children, Youth and Families. 

Louise’s research interests as a critical social and cultural geographer focus upon exploring how enduring inequalities are reproduced and/or transformed at a variety of intersecting spatial scales. She is intrigued by the ways in which everyday practices in specific spaces/places are connected to, reproduce, and can potentially transform, broader-scale inequalities that coalesce around intersecting bodily morphologies (particularly childhood and disability, but also class, ethnicity and gender). Louise has developed the concept of embodied social capital to clarify these concerns. Her most recent work about young people, space and power and immersive geographies considers the potential for young people to challenge and change enduring power relations as they come together repeatedly in school spaces.

Louise is co-investigator on an ESRC funded project with Francisco Azpitarte ‘A postcode lottery of SEND provision and outcomes? Analysing spatial variability in inclusion and outcomes of children with SEND after the 2014 Children and Families Act’.  Ongoing research includes collaborations with families, government and non-governmental organisations about young people and families’ experiences of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Louise’s teaching focuses on social and cultural geography, geographies and social studies of young people, methodology and methods.  Teaching themes focus on embodiment, dis/ability, young people, inequalities and inclusion/exclusion.

Current Postgraduate Research Students

  • Sophie Milnes 2022 -  present, working title ‘Shifting Geographies of Informal Education Trajectories on the University Campus.
  • Ann Browning 2022 – present, working title ‘Autistic Children and Young Adults’ Interpretations of their Pathways into and Experiences within the Criminal Justice System’.
  • Emily Holmes 2021 – present, working title ‘Digital Geographies of Mothering during the Covid-19 Pandemic’.

Recent Postgraduate Research Students

  • Rachel Searcey 2022, ‘Youth transitions pathways from child to adult sexual exploitation: the voices of female street sex workers and agencies’.
  • Laura Crawford 2020, ‘There’s no place like a Cheshire Home? Redefining the role of disabled residents in residential care at Le Court 1948–1975’
  • Stefanie Gregorius 2014, ‘Transitions to adulthood: The experiences of youth with disabilities in Accra, Ghana’
  • Sophie Beer 2018, ‘Spaces of early education and care: exploring ethos, choice and parental engagement’.

Selected Publications

  • Holt, Louise (2023) Young People, Space and Power: Immersive Geographies. London: Routledge. (in press).
  • Azpitarte, Francisco & Holt, Louise (2023) Failing children with special educational needs and disabilities in England: new evidence of poor outcomes and a post-code lottery at the local authority level at key stage 1. British Educational Research Journal. (in press).
  • Holt, Louise & Philo, Christopher (2023) Tiny human geographies: babies and toddlers as non-representational and barely human life? Children's geographies21(5), 819-831, DOI: 1080/14733285.2022.2130684 Open access publication, available here.
  • Bates, Emma & Holt, Louise (2023) The ‘Mirrored Ceiling’: Young undergraduate student women’s expectations of gendered career opportunities and constraints. Social & Cultural Geography24(2), 345-362. DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2021.1950821 Open access publication, available here.
  • Holt, LouiseMurray, Lesley  (2022) Children and Covid 19 in the UK, Children's Geographies, 20:4, 487-494. DOI: 1080/14733285.2021.1921699 Open access publication, available here.
  • Holt, Louise; Bowlby, Sophie & Lea, Jennifer. (2019) Disability, special educational needs, class, capitals, and segregation in schools: A population geography perspective. Population, Space and Place25(4), e2229. DOI: 10.1002/psp.2229 Open access publication, available here.
  • Holt, Louise & Bowlby, Sophie (2019) Gender, class, race, ethnicity and power in an elite girls’ state school. Geoforum105, 168-178. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.05.020 Open access publication, available here.
  • Holloway, Sarah L.; Holt, Louise & Mills, Sarah (2019). Questions of agency: Capacity, subjectivity, spatiality and temporality. Progress in Human Geography43(3), 458-477. DOI: 1177/030913251875765 Open access publication, available here.