Dr Simon Dickinson

Dr Simon Dickinson

Lecturer in Geohazards and Risk

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Lecturer in Human Geography


BSc (2012, Canterbury, NZ) MSc (2014, Canterbury, NZ) PhD (2018, University of Exeter, UK)

Research interests

My current research focuses on voluntary sector organisations that emerge after disasters, and explores how they demonstrate fidelity to that event by pushing for forms of ethical, political and social change during recovery. I'm interested in exploring how the rupture afforded by different extreme events open up possibilities for the dominant practices of complex political assemblages to be challenged through the emergence of new and previously restrained claims to urban spaces. Specifically, my current research examines how emergent organisations and activisms demonstrate fidelity to the perceived nature and potential of the 'event' (or are at least shaped by the ways in which the disaster fractures our social and political lives) - and in doing so acknowledge and give credence to the non-human agencies of these violent and unexpected ruptures. My current work is situated in the recovery landscape of the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-11 in New Zealand. In addition to the disaster/crisis context, I have a research interest in the political possibilities of the voluntary sector. I am broadly interested in the organisational practices that foster alternative logics of performative expression, political engagement and cultural imagination alongside formations of political rationalities and ideologies. Much of this builds upon the recent work of Jane Wills, Paul Cloke and David Featherstone.