Dr Charlie Spring

Research Associate

About Charlie

Charlie has alternated between academic and non-academic roles, including for the University of Salford’s Environmental Sustainability Team, campaign organisation ATD Fourth World and immigrant rights association AMSED in Strasbourg. Before moving to Manchester, her Masters studies in Sustainable Development Advocacy focussed on thinking critically about ‘corporate social responsibility’ (and cider sustainability!). Her BA in Social Anthropology at Cambridge introduced her to critical development theory, which she has applied to her academic and practical roles since. In her spare time she is co-chairing the ‘Measuring and Monitoring’ sub-group of the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance and co-editing a Handbook of Food Waste. Charlie will be assisting various projects within Realising Just Cities, including SAFE.

Research interests

Charlie’s PhD (University of Salford) was a critical ethnography of diverse organisations redistributing surplus food, asking whether and how this can prevent or contain problems of food wastage and food precarity. Research included a Churchill Fellowship to North America to investigate its food banking industry, learning from groups contesting corporate charity as a dominant response to poverty. Understanding relationships between food waste and hunger reflect her fundamental interest in socio-environmental problems, especially around food systems change. Her doctoral work few upon urban political ecology, assemblage theory and framing theory. Charlie brings to her Sheffield role a curiosity about the power dynamics of diverse groups collaborating towards urban transitions in times of austerity politics, and she is keen to learn from Sheffield’s food and broader sustainability networks.