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Dr Maria Fannin

Dr Maria Fannin

Dr Maria Fannin
B.A.(Kentucky), M.A., Ph.D.(Wash.)

Reader in Human Geography

Office 2.8N
University Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8928


My research interests include feminist theoretical approaches to health and new medical technologies and empirical research on the ‘tissue economies’ of health and medicine. Current research projects include a collaborative study on the making of the placenta as a scientific object in contemporary midwifery practice and medical research. I am also interested in the social and governmental dimensions of pregnancy and childbirth, and more recently, the intersections of motherhood and entrepreneurialism in the UK.


My research focuses on reproductive politics and the social and economic aspects of human tissue use in medicine and the life sciences. I recently co-edited, with Marcia R. England and Helen Hazen, a collection of essays on Reproductive Geographies: Bodies, Places and Politics (Routledge, 2018).

I am currently Human Geography Research Director in the School of Geographical Sciences. 


At the undergraduate level, I teach a final year (Year 3) unit on biopolitics and the bioeconomy, specifically focused on the uses of the human body in health care and the life sciences. We read key texts on the blood and tissue economy, the emergence of commercial and public biobanks of human tissue, conceptual approaches to biocapital, experimentation in the pharmaceutical industry and benefit-sharing for tissue donors.

At the Masters level, I co-teach a unit on 'Affect and Biopolitics' that focuses on the recent 'neuro' turn in geography and philosophy. We consider how conceptual interest in Deleuzian affect theory and biopolitical writings inspired by Foucault pose critical questions about the nature of the sovereign subject.

I am not recruiting new PhD students for the 2019-2020 academic year. 


Current PhD Supervision:

Ciara Merrick, 'Breathing Shared Worlds: Northern Ireland, Territory and Peace'

Molly Bond, 'Synthetic Biology Commodity Substitution and the Deterritorialisation of People and Plants

Sam Berlin, 'Class, Time and Aspiration in a Small Chinese City'

Freya Johnson, 'The Writing-Machine as Method'

Alistair Anderson, 'More-than-Human Geographies of Antibiotic Consumption: Pets, Pet Owners and Societal Drugs'

George Burdon, 'Sound Production and Speculation: Experiments in Sonic Thinking' 

Alice Beck

Dom Ader




  • gender
  • feminist theory
  • STS
  • biobanking
  • human tissue donation

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr Fannin currently teaches 2 courses:

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