Tara Woodyer

Tara Woodyer

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Portsmouth

I graduated from Royal Holloway (University of London) in 2003 with a BSc (Hons) in Geography. I then went on to complete an MA in Cultural Geography Research (Royal Holloway, 2004) before taking time out of academic study to work in the area of Special Educational Needs in secondary education. I then returned to Royal Holloway to complete a PhD in Human Geography (2009) and Postgraduate Certificate in Skills of Teaching to Inspire Learning (2006). Following completion of my PhD (funded by an ESRC Studentship awarded through the Open Interdisciplinary Competition), I joined the Department of Geography at the University of Exeter in 2009 as a Teaching Fellow. In 2011 I was awarded an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, which I completed at Exeter alongside a period as Visiting Scholar in the Centre for Children and Children Studies at Rutgers (Camden) in the US. Following completion of my postdoctoral studies, I joined Geography at the University of Portsmouth as a lecturer.

Teaching Responsibilities

I deliver social and cultural geography components of the undergraduate teaching in the department. I am the co-ordinator of two human geography units:

Foundations of Human Geography
Place: Invented, Experienced, Represented
I also contribute to the following co-taught units:

Geography, Skills and Prospects
Social Geography: Geographies of Wellbeing
Research Design and Practice
Human Geography: critique and discourse
Independent study
I jointly teach a European residential field course to Berlin explores urban geographies, more specifically landscapes of memory, subterranean geographies and gentrification.

I have contributed chapters to the following book series:

The Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Geography series
The Open University’s Childhood series
Ashgate’s Critical Geopolitics series
I have also contributed chapters to the following reference volumes:

Springer’s Geographies of Children and Young People series
CQ Press Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture

Ludic (or playful) Geographies

My interest in play extends to it role across the lifecourse, and coalesces around three key themes: the relation of play to the everyday, a reconfiguration of the politics of play toward an inwardly oriented vitality, and the ways in which play exceeds representation. I am particularly interested in the critical and ethical potential of playful ways of being and doing and how this can operate as an affirmative mode of critique.

Geographies of Material Sensibilities

My research examines how material geographies and sensuous geographies can inform each other in productive ways around questions of tactility, affect and relational agency. As a geographer, it is not only the material relations between people and things that are of concern to me, but also the imaginative spaces that can be configured through these relations and how these spaces are enacted in and of the ‘real’ spaces of the everyday.

Creative Methodologies

Influenced by my concern with material and sensuous geographies, I am interested in exploring ways of investigating non-cognitive and profoundly practical knowledges.

Current Research Projects

Ludic Geopolitics: children’s play, war toys and re-enchantment with the British military

Funding: ESRC Standard Grant (£492,850)

This project analyses military action figures for the purpose of examining a ‘ludic geopolitics’: how contemporary geopolitics are expressed and enacted through play. Studies of the ‘military entertainment complex’ have documented the entanglement of the military and toy industry, however work has focused on videogames in a US context. Despite the iconic status of traditional toys like Action Man, and the commercial success of the contemporary HM Armed Forces brand, action figures are yet to receive critical academic attention. Using an ethnographic approach, this project examines children’s embodied practices with the HMAF range. To contextualise and historicise the brand, this work is complemented by archival and museum-based research of the British action figure’s trajectory. This research critically reviews the status of children, mundane everyday practice and the more-than-textual in critical geopolitics, and makes a significant intervention in the interdisciplinary war toy debate by addressing war toys not just as ideological texts, but as objects in playful practice.

Please see my blog for more information about my research:

Are toys becoming more violent ... and should we be worried?

Jun 03, 2016 08:21 am UTC| Insights & Views Life

A New Zealand study has reported that Lego has become more violent since the late 1970s. Debates about levels of violence within childrens media are not new, so is this significant? When we consider that Lego is famous for...



The NBA’s Phoenix Suns were recently valued at more than US$2 billion by Sportico and US$1.8 billion by Forbes.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, ex-Disney CEO Bob Iger, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobss widow Laurene Powell Jobs have been named as parties interested in acquiring the Phoenix franchises after majority owner...

The deal allows the Boston-based Rapid7 to feature its logo on the team playing jerseys and practice tops from the start of the 2022/23 season

The NHLs Boston Bruins have secured their first multi-year jersey patch partnership deal with cybersecurity firm Rapid7. The deal allows the Boston-based Rapid7 to feature its logo on the team playing jerseys and...

The adhesive is biodegradable and compostable because it has been created with a high percentage of renewable, non-fossil-sourced components

AM Labels has added sugar cane and grass-based paper labels to its portfolio to meet consumer demand for environmentally-friendly labeling solutions. The new sugar cane paper labels are composed of 95 percent sugar cane...

With its acquisition of Stone Brewing, which operates on both the US Pacific and Atlantic coasts, Sapporo has secured US production bases that can help reduce logistics costs.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd. gained a couple of bases to expand in the US following its $168 million acquisition of California-based craft beer producer Stone Brewing Co. Sapporos subsidiary, Sapporo U.S.A. Inc., bought Stone...

The companies believe more people will spend more in virtual department stores and amusement parks as they spend more time online.

South Koreas retail giants, Shinsegae and Lotte have ignited their competition in the virtual world, which is emerging as new a future growth engine. The companies believe more people will spend more in virtual...


The Senate ratified the Kigali Amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol by 69-27.

The United States Senate this week ratified an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that would phase out the use of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. The chamber ratified the Kigali Amendment that would end...

Truss reportedly informed Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid about her review of relocating the British embassy to the contested city.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss is reportedly considering moving the British embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Truss apparently told Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New...

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said the "acts of chaos" in the demonstrations are unacceptable.

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Irans Morality Police has sparked widespread unrest in the country, which has escalated into violence. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned against the violence as...

UN human rights envoy for Myanmar Tom Andrews warned countries not to take any measures that would legitimize the junta's planned elections.

Myanmar has been in a state of unrest since February last year, when the generals seized power in a coup and ousted the countrys elected government. With the junta planning elections that would take place next year, a...


Celltrion will receive US$10 million in milestone payments after successfully passing key stages of the development and approval cycle.

South Koreas Celltrion Inc. will jointly develop and work on the market release with Abpro Corp. of the US on a breast cancer treatment candidate ABP 10 Under the deal, Celltrion will receive US$10 million in milestone...

Current Canadian and American management efforts do not go far enough to decrease entanglement hazards and encourage the recovery of the North Atlantic right whale.

The Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch program added the American red lobster, caught in both US and Canada to its red list. Other species also added to the list are the snow crab, Atlantic rock crab, and others that...

The microscope unit, which also manufactures industrial endoscopes and x-ray analyzers, will be transferred to Bain on January 4, subject to antitrust regulatory approvals in Japan and elsewhere.

Olympus had agreed to sell its microscope unit to private equity firm Bain Capital for $3.1 billion as it speeds up the overhaul of its business portfolio to focus solely on medical technology The microscope unit, which...

The research team discovered that steamed mealworms emit a strong, corn-like odor, and when grilled or fried, they gave off a shrimp and frying oil-like scent.

South Korean researchers from Wonkwang University have developed a new process that uses edible insects to create meat-flavored seasoning. The research team came up with 98 volatile compounds with varying amounts of...

The resulting thermoplastic resin could be purified through a distillation process to make food-grade potassium lactate.

Wind turbine blades could eventually be recycled into gummies according to a Michigan State University professor, This was discussed during the American Chemical Societys fall conference, which kicked off in Chicago...


CD Projekt Red celebrates ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ for having 1 million daily visitors in the last week

CD Projekt Red revealed that at least one million players have opened Cyberpunk 2077 in the past week. Online charts show that the daily numbers of concurrent players are also climbing up, especially after the release of...

Microsoft’s 2022 Surface event is happening on October 12

Fall is typically the season when the biggest tech companies unveil new flagship products every year. And Microsoft just confirmed that it would once again host a Surface event next month, where it is expected to unveil...

Twitch rejects calls for a 70/30 revenue split and announces it will standardize 50/50 share from subscriptions

Twitch announced upcoming changes to its policy on revenue share from subscriptions. The update, which will be implemented next year, will primarily affect streamers who are under a premium agreement with the...

Pixel 7 leak suggests Google is not planning to increase prices this year

Googles Pixel launch event is happening in a few weeks, but details about the Pixel 7 series pricing may have already leaked. And the company may not be planning to implement price increases for its new flagship phones...
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