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Meet our visiting PhD student: Will Kendall

Starting April 22, we welcome PhD student Will Kendall from the London School of Economics. Will will be visiting with the centre through May, working on his dissertation which explores questions and relations of labour in the "logistical hinterlands" of the South Lincolnshire Fens in England.

Will is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the London School of Economics (LSE) and will be visiting the CEH for four weeks in April/May 2024. During his time here, he will be writing a chapter for his 3rd year PhD review and hopes to take active part in the academic life of the centre.

Will’s thesis concerns questions of labour and livelihoods in a ‘logistical hinterland’ — the South Lincolnshire Fens. This agricultural region is the site of historic drainage and enclosure struggles, but has gained more recent attention for its overwhelming support for ‘Brexit’, most notably in the town of Boston. Will explores how supermarket supply chain capitalism has reconfigured social relations in this flat, windy marshland on the ‘edge of England’. He is thinking about how the persistence of factory work in unexpected places troubles vocabularies of ‘post-industrial’ work, how the prevalence of labour agencies might help us better understand contemporary ‘precarity’, and the value of situating questions of labour in broader ‘lifeworlds of work’. Will recently completed a multi-sited ethnography of work here, conducting biographical interviews with workers and spending time with farms, packhouses, convenience food factories, and logistics firms. Thinking about questions of co-dependency and entanglement across the supply chain in the Fens, he is particularly eager to learn from the transdisciplinary and relational approach of the centre.