Elsbeth Robson

Elsbeth Robson is a human and development geographer with research and teaching interests in sub-Saharan Africa concerning social inequality and social justice particularly with respect to women and children/youth. She embraces qualitative, participatory and quantitative research methods. Her career to date has been rooted in Europe (mainly UK) and Africa (especially Kenya, Nigeria and Malawi).
Gaining her BSc Hons Geography from Durham University (1990) included a year studying as an Erasmus student at Tübingen University, Germany, and an independent research project in Kenya on peri-urban land-use transformations. Her doctorate (Oxford University, 2002) focused on the work of rural Hausa women in Northern Nigeria using feminist theories of empowerment applied to socio-spatial mobilities and inequalities.
As a Lecturer in Development Studies (within Geography) at Keele University (1995-2005) she led numerous undergraduate fieldtrips to Kenya and developed research on young people’s caregiving work within the AIDS pandemic in Southern Africa engaging in fieldwork in Zimbabwe. She also gained an MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Keele University, 2006).
During 2004-2013 Robson was based in Blantyre (Malawi) managing the Malawi component of large multi-country, inter-institutional and inter-disciplinary ESRC-DFID research grants, working for Nanzikambe Arts (Malawi’s leading theatre for development NGO), as well as undertaking consultancy for partners (including DFID, UNICEF, USAID, Cordaid) and sometimes leading field courses for geography undergraduates.
She joined the University of Hull in 2013 where she has been engaged in various research projects encompassing topics including on youth, healthworkers and mobile phones, and social cash transfers in Lesotho, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia and Malawi. She supervises PhD candidates working in and of Southern and West Africa. A field course to Malawi for undergraduates has been a highlight of her teaching.