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Dr Jennifer Owen

Dr Jennifer Owen

Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Geography and Planning

+44 (0)29 2087 6610
1.15, 43-45 Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3BB


I am a human geogapher whose interests sit between cultural and social geographies. My work considers the materiality of domestic everyday life, and what this can tell us about home, family, identity, mobility and the life course.

I am currently on the committee of the RGS-IBG Social and Cultural Geography Research Group as the Communications Officer.


After completing an undergraduate degree in Geography and Planning at Cardiff University, and a masters in Human Geography: Society and Space at the University of Bristol, I was awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship to undertake a PhD at the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff Universtiy. My MSc thesis explored materiality and memory in British attics, and my doctoral research investigated the motivations, experiences and emotions surrounding self-storage rental in the UK looking specifically at the role of stored materiality in understandings of home, mobility and the lifecourse.

At the completion of my PhD in 2019, I was employed on a Real Equity for All (Reall) project at Cardiff University, working with Tom Smith and Alison Brown. Following this, I worked for CASCADE for a short while on the completion of the systemic literature review on Family Group Decision Making.

I returned to the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2019.

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Housing Studies Association (HSA)
  • Member of the Royal Geographical Society/ Institute for British Geographers (RGS-IBG)

Academic positions

  • 2019 - present: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiff University
  • 2019: Research Assistant, CASCADE
  • 2019: Research Assistant, Real Equity for All
  • 2014 - 2018: Seminar Leader/ Guest Lecturer, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

Managing problematic possessions: The place of third-sector decluttering services in older people’s homes. Presented at Wales Housing Research Conference, Cardiff University 9th January 2020

Home, tenure and self-storage. Presented at Reconceptualizing Housing Tenure: Experiencing Tenure seminar, Cardiff University 13th Dec 2019 (invited)

Storing stuff for the kids: (Im)mobilizing materiality as an ongoing practice of care in evolving parent-(adult)child relations. Presented at Department of Geography seminar series, Swansea University 13th Nov 2019 (invited)

‘Waiting to reach this lull when the sadness has become slightly less desperate’ – Dealing with material a/effects: distancing memories and emotion in self-storage. Presented at Senses and Spaces of Death, Dying and Remembering Conference, University of Leeds 27th - 28th Mar 2018

The big yellow sanctuary: new ways of thinking about self-storage in the UK. Presented in ‘Geographies of Safe Space’ at RGS Annual International Conference, London 29th Aug - 1st Sep 2017

The power of the displaced interview: stor(e)ying as therapeutic practice. Presented in ‘Transformative Stories: Trauma, Therapeutic Geographies and Hope’ at RGS Annual International Conference, London 29th Aug - 1st Sep 2017

Committees and reviewing

Committee position:

  • Communications Officer, RGS-IBG Social and Cultural Geography Research Group

Journal reviewer for:

  • Area
  • Sociology









My teaching interests lie in social, political and cultural geography, as well as theories and methodologies for studying geography.

Last year (2019/20) I taught on the following modules:

  • The Big Questions in Human Geography (guest lecturer)
  • Spaces of Retail and Consumption (guest lecturer)
  • Housing Inequalities: People, Places and Policies (guest lecturer)

Previously I have also taught on the following modules:

  • Study Skills (seminar leader)
  • Border Spaces: Identities, Cultures and Politics in a Globalising World (seminar leader)
  • Geographical Ideas (seminar leader)
  • Researching Contemporary Issues in Amsterdam (field study assistant)
  • Research Dissertation (seminar assistant)
  • Researching Contemporary Issues in Hong Kong (guest lecturer and field study leader/assistant)

Current and recent projects:

Getting your stuff together: The role of storage and decluttering services in the management of domestic materiality over the life course - 2019-2021

'Out of sight, out of mind' - The place of self-storage in securing pasts, ordering the present and enabling futures - 2014-2019