Dr Suzanne Hocknell


Telephone: Twitter: @suzehocknell 

College: College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Discipline: Geography
Department: Geography

After many years working as a chef and co-ordinator within community food projects in Bradford, I began to question how eating-well is framed, comprehended, encountered and enacted.  I moved down south to undertake a MRes in Critical Human Geography at Exeter, before obtaining ESRC funding for my PhD research entitled:  Fat Chance?  Eating-well with margarine.

My principal interests lie in developing innovative and ethnographic methodological approaches which ground wider theoretical debates in situated relationships and performances. In particular my research seeks to rehearse practices of understanding, solidarity and care within and between more-than human communities.


Fat Chance? Eating-well with margarine.

My doctoral research offers a critical re-examination of consumer-consumed relations.  To this end I explore how margarine is framed and done in industry, in policy, and in the home.  I investigate who and what are entangled with the stuff of margarine, why margarine is known and done the way it is, and how this shapes the ways it appears sensible, even possible for human and nonhuman communities to live together.  I analyse who and what slips between framings of the stuff of margarine, and scrutinise the tensions and translations convoked when these gaps are smoothed over in everyday practices and norms.  The research draws on an innovative methodology, which explores the ‘what if?’ of play as a refrain that, through repetition and difference, builds resilient other ways of knowing, framing and practicing margarine relations.

By focussing on the stuff of margarine, my thesis moves beyond existing accounts of consumer choice and industry responsibility to carve out an original theoretical focus in the field of ontological-politics which explores the role of the mundane event in the rehearsal of a feminist ethics of care.



Hocknell, S (2016) Chewing the Fat:  Unpacking distasteful encounters, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, 16 (3): 13-18.