Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Winner 2022

The Developing Areas Research Group offers an annual prize for the most promising dissertation concerning ‘Development Geographies’. The author of the winning dissertation receives a £100 book voucher. This year, the voucher was for the Lighthouse, an independent bookshop in Edinburgh.

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2022 prize is Samuel Street from UCL with the dissertation title: ‘Navigating the maelstrom: The conjunctural geographies of Nigerian online freelancers’. Many congratulations, Samuel!

Navigating the Maelstrom is a highly original dissertation that is both theoretically advanced and empirically grounded. It advances the emerging area of labour geographies on the ‘gig economy’ by moving past the Western academic focus on the ‘proletariat’ lens of unstable work to also engage in the ‘generative possibilities’ of recentering young Nigerians as protagonists in their own narratives of economic agency.

We would also like to congratulate Megan Clark from the University of Edinburgh whose dissertation was highly commended. Megan’s dissertation was titled: ‘When the taps run dry’: living with crumbling water infrastructure in high-density suburbs and informal settlements in urban Zimbabwe’.

When the taps run dry is an excellent piece of work, both detailed in theoretical and empirical analysis and clear and engaging in tone. It brings together under-researched concepts of ‘everyday practices’ and ‘heterogeneous infrastructure configurations’ to make a strong and original contribution to research in development geographies, through exploration of the notion of ’embodied infrastructure’. The qualitative research in urban Zimbabwe uncovers some fascinating findings.

The prize will be running again at the end of the 2022-23 academic year, the deadline is usually 1 July. Please check our website and twitter for updates.