School of Geography

Image of Kieran Phelan

Kieran Phelan

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



I am an economic geographer with teaching and research expertise in the geographies of labour, branding, and commodities. I hold an ESRC-funded PhD in Human Geography from the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham. Prior to joining the School, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rights Lab, exploring the intersections between precarity, labour exploitation and modern slavery. I have taught Human Geography modules across the undergraduate programme within the School, and I have experience contributing to the Outlaw Ocean Programme run by Stanford Law School and the Centre for Ocean Solutions.

My research is principally interested in labour geographies and commodities, and the brand stories we tell of them. Utilising ethnographic and qualitative methods, my work explores the political and cultural economies of things and commodity fetishism, to generate insights which centre place, lived experience and worker voice to understand transparency and work.

I have experience working within supply chain activism as a Student Campaign Coordinator for Fashion Revolution and have worked with a variety of industry and policy stakeholders including charities and trade unions to inform impactful intervention agendas. These include providing evidence to governmental organisations on sector-specific profiles of labour exploitation in the UK, conducting research into labour exploitation in Leicester's garment industry, creating a policy analysis tool for understanding port-based labour exploitation and intervention, and investigating migrant fisher labour abuse in the UK and Ireland.

Teaching Summary

GEOG1005 Tutorial (Level 1) [Convenor]

GEOG1001 Geographical Field Course (Level 1)

GEOG2072 Political Geography (Level 2)

GEOG2031 Dissertation Preparation (Level 2)

GEOG2030 Research Tutorial (Level 2)

GEOG2004 Techniques in Human Geography (Level 2) [Convenor]

GEOG3061 Just Futures and Their Geographies (Level 3) [Convenor]

GEOG2004 Dissertation (Supervisor)

NAA1137 Peer Mentoring for Geographers [Convenor]

I also serve as the Senior Tutor for the School of Geography, leading the pastoral support and student voice initiatives within the School.

School of Geography

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact us