Giving research grounding with Kevin Ward
Professor of Human Geography, School of Environment, Education and Development
No researcher works in a bubble, and Kevin Ward makes the point that all academics rely on others do their jobs. "What comes with the status of being a good professor includes supporting early career people ... I think we should be doing more as professors" he said.
Kevin summarises his life’s work as understanding urban challenges. Manchester is the right vintage for Kevin, whose work has explored how cities strive to oversee their redevelopment in a post-industrialising world. He does this as a geographer, with a spatial sensibility. Nevertheless, geography has a reputation for being dominated by "predominantly white men who went to Oxbridge" and so he thinks there is a need to make geography more diverse, and to acknowledge the discipline's role in past unjust systems, such as colonialism.
What comes with the status of being a good professor includes supporting early career people ... I think we should be doing more as professorsKevin Ward / Professor of Human Geography
In describing his work editing the journal Urban Geography, Kevin casts himself as a ‘temporary custodian’. The journal was there before he was, it’ll be there after he’s gone, and so his role is to look after the journal, building upon the work of those that preceded him.
Teaching, according to Kevin, is a tonic to becoming jaded, and in particular, he feels lucky to teach his North American Cities course, which allows him to draw upon his own research and present it to an undergraduate student audience.
Kevin likes how he has a range of responsibilities, so that he doesn’t "spend too much time with any one task".
“I get to walk away from one thing for a little bit, do something else and then return refreshed.”