Professor Louise Holt

Ph.D. (Loughborough)

  • School Associate Dean for Education & Student Experience
  • Reader in Human Geography

Academic Career

  • 2018: Head of Geography and Environment, Loughborough University.
  • 2015- onwards: Reader in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2011-2015: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2010-2011: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2005-2010: Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Reading.
  • 2004-5: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Brighton.
  • 2003-4: Research Fellow, University of Brighton.
  • 2003 awarded: PhD Loughborough University.
  • 2000 awarded: MSc University of Leicester.
  • 1997 awarded: PCGE University of Leicester.
  • 1996 awarded: BA University of Leicester.

Professional Responsibilities

  • Dec 2017-present: Editor-in-Chief Children’s Geographies
  • January 2017-present: Co-Editor Children’s Geographies
  • 2013-14: Editor Volume 2 Methodological Approaches and Methods in Practice of Springer Major Reference Work on Geographies of Children and Youth (with Ruth Evans). 
  • 2011: Guest editor (with L Costello) Population, Space and Place 
  • 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. 
  • 2007-2010: Treasurer (and executive committee member 2004-2007) of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group of the RGS/IBG 
  • 2006-2012: Workshops co-ordinator Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group of the RGS/IBG 
  • 2006: Founding executive committee member Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group of the RGS/IBG. 
  • 2005 onwards: Editorial board member Children’s Geographies


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). Her research both engages with critical social theory and draws upon empirical research to address these questions. She has developed the concept embodied social capital to clarify these concerns and have recently engaged with emotional capital to further consider how and why individuals become subjected within frameworks of power, with specific, material, implications. 

Current and recent projects include an ESRC-funded investigation into the interconnections between micro- and macro- geographies of inclusion and exclusion and the reproduction of (dis)ability and other social differences among young people in schools, home and leisure spaces, find out more on the project website; a British Academy-funded project exploring the family (un)friendliness of new build urban regeneration in different national contexts (UK and Finland); and a pilot project to explore the geographies of infants. She is also a member of the scientific advisory board of the ‘Inclusive’ spaces project, in Vienna Austria.

Her teaching explores the geographies of children and youth, social and cultural geography, with a particular focus on embodied subjectivities and inequalities, and critical methodologies.

Current postgraduate research students

  • Sophie Beer: Spaces of early education and care: exploring ethos, choice and parental engagement (submitted)
  • Laura Crawford: Home and care in Leonard Cheshire homes.
  • Rachel Searcey: Transitions, Child Sexual Exploitation and Street Sex work

Recent postgraduate research students

  • Stefanie Gregorius (2014) Transitions to adulthood: the experiences of youth with disabilities in Accra, Ghana


Selected publications

  • Holloway, S.L., Holt, L. and Mills, S. (2018) Questions of Agency in Children’s Geographies: Capacity, Subjectivity, Futurity and Spatiality, Progress in Human Geography. 0309132518757654.
  • Holt, L, Bowlby, S. and Lea, J. (2017) “Everyone knows me …. I sort of like move about”: The friendships and encounters of young people with Special Educational Needs in different school settings, Environment and Planning A, 49(6): 1-1378.
  • Holt, L. (2017). Food, feeding and the material everyday geographies of infants: Possibilities and potentials, Social & Cultural Geography, 18(4): 487-504. doi:10.1080/14649365.2016.1193889
  • Evans, R., Holt, L.  (2016) Methodological Approaches, Vol. 2 of Skelton, T. (ed) Geographies of Children and Young People. Springer: Berlin. ISBN 9789814585897
  • Holt, L. (2013) Exploring the Emergence of the Subject in Power: Infant Geographies, Environment and Planning D 31, 645–663 DOI: 10.1068/d12711
  • Holt, L., Bowlby, S., & Lea, J. (2013) Emotions and the Habitus: Young People with Socio-Emotional Differences (Re)Producing Social, Emotional and Cultural Capital in Family and Leisure Space-Times, Emotion, Space and Society 9, 33-41 DOI: 10.1016/j.emospa.2013.02.002
  • Evans, R. and Holt, L. (2013) Diverse Spaces of Childhood and Youth: Gender and Other Socio-Cultural Differences (Oxford: Taylor and Francis) ISNB: 0415834376