Projects per year
Poverty; Hardship; Food poverty; Holiday hunger; Volunteering; Christianity; Faith-based social action; Faith-based organisations; Affect theory
Stephanie Denning is a social and cultural geographer, whose research focusses on poverty, hardship, and faith responses to these - particularly faith-based social action, Christianity, volunteering, and holiday hunger. To keep up to date with Stephanie's research, follow her on Twitter @SJ_Denning.
Stephanie is Co-Lead of the Faith and Peaceful Relations Research Theme at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. Her current project funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust 'Hidden hardship: everyday experiences, copying strategies, and barriers to wellbeing in rural Britain' uses a participatory methodology to understand people’s experiences of hidden hardship in the rural North Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. It will investigate people’s hardship journeys, coping strategies and navigation of barriers to improved wellbeing. By gaining understanding of people’s everyday lived experiences of rural hardship, this research will inform public understanding of rural hardship through a travelling exhibition, and inform voluntary sector and governmental responses to rural hardship through tailored resources including a policy report.
Her current project funded by the Royal Geographical Society 'The rise of Christian social franchises: responding to UK poverty' seeks to understand the rise of Christian social franchises responding to UK poverty over the last two decades. Social franchising is a model that operates like commercial franchising, but in a not-for-profit context for societal benefit. The research’s impact will be to facilitate better understanding in social and cultural geography and the voluntary sector of Christian social franchises’ growth and sustainability in the contexts of austerity and postsecularity.
From 2018 to 2021 Stephanie worked on the multi-disciplinary ESRC-funded project 'Life on the Breadline - Christianity, Poverty and Politics in the 21st century'. The project examined Christian responses to UK poverty in the context of austerity. It combined ethnography with interviews of national church leaders and an online survey with regional church leaders. For more information, visit http://breadlineresearch.coventry.ac.uk
Stephanie completed her PhD in Human Geography at the University of Bristol in 2018. Her PhD research examined Christian responses to holiday hunger through establishing a running a project with the national charity 'MakeLunch' to question how people are motivated by their faith to volunteer, and how they persist in volunteering. Prior to this, Stephanie completed the MSc Human Geography: Society and Space at the University of Bristol.
My PhD research at the University of Bristol was within social and cultural geography, exploring faith-based social action. Using participatory methodologies I established and ran a project through the national charity MakeLunch to tackle children’s holiday hunger. Capturing volunteers’ experiences in diaries and interviews I explored how volunteers are motivated to act in a faith context, and to continue volunteering. I under-took this analysis through the philosophies of affective geographies to see how people’s capacities to act are impacted upon by past action. The research concluded that Christian faith can motivate action, but motivations must be continually re-ignited to avoid in-action. The research contributed to the geographies of religion in understanding the role of religion in people’s daily lives and in society, and to an affect theory approach for faith-based research. Finally the research contributed to the voluntary sector for understanding how people persist in volunteering.
Human Geography, Doctorate, University of Bristol
2014 → 2018
Human Geography, MSc
2013 → 2014
Geography, Degree, University of Birmingham
2009 → 2012
- G Geography (General)
- BR Christianity
- H Social Sciences (General)
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- 2 Active
1/10/22 → 30/09/23
Hidden hardship: everyday experiences, coping strategies, and barriers to wellbeing in rural Britain
1/10/22 → 31/01/24
Shannahan, C. & Denning, S., 29 Dec 2022, In: Religions. 14, 1, 23 p., 59.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile6 Downloads (Pure)
Three participatory geographers: reflections on positionality and working with participants in researching religions, spiritualities, and faithDenning, S., Scriven, R. & Slatter, R., 2022, In: Social and Cultural Geography. 23, 6, p. 892-910 19 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
Life on the Breadline: Christianity, Poverty and Politics in the 21st Century City. A Report for Policymakers in the UKDenning, S., Shannahan, C., Beckford, R. & Scott, P., 2 Jul 2021, 48 p.
Research output: Book/Report › Other reportOpen AccessFile21 Downloads (Pure)
Life on the Breadline: Christianity, poverty and politics in the 21st century city. Policy briefing 1 of 2Denning, S. & Shannahan, C., 2021, 2 p.
Research output: Book/Report › Other reportOpen AccessFile24 Downloads (Pure)
Life on the Breadline: Christianity, poverty and politics in the 21st century city. Policy briefing 2 of 2Denning, S. & Shannahan, C., 2021
Research output: Book/Report › Other reportOpen AccessFile16 Downloads (Pure)
Stephanie Denning (Member)2021 → 2022
Activity: Membership › Membership of council
11 Jun 2021
Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in workshop, seminar, course
Stephanie Denning (Speaker)1 Jul 2021
Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in conference
Denning, Stephanie (Recipient), 2015
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)File
Press / Media
1 Media contribution
Press/Media: Expert Comment