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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Mary Hanlon

Mary Hanlon
Mary Hanlon
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Work & Labour, Sociology of Fashion, Global Value Chains, Consumption, Fashion Theory, Consumer-based Activism, Education, Online Learning, Sustainability, Global Apparel Production, Creative Commons & Open Source, Food, Digital Narratives, Bangladesh

PhD Title

Fashioning Power: Stakeholder strategies in transnational fashion and apparel activist networks post-Rana Plaza

Broadly, I am interested in the digital campaign strategies and actions of responsible fashion movement stakeholders campaigning for labour rights in Bangladesh, post-Rana Plaza. More specifically, however, I want to understand (1) how events alter the interests and actions of industry stakeholders, (2) how network stakeholders impact one another through digital strategies, and (3) how markets and social movements overlap in online communities. Toward this end, the research is concerned with learning from the experiences and perceived understandings of diverse stakeholders working within what I am calling a responsible fashion and apparel movement (RFAM) network, with respect to online consumer-facing campaigns.

PhD Supervision 

Professor Roger Jeffery & Dr Kanchana Ruwanpura

Peer-reviewed Journal Article 

Lamrad, Nadira and Mary Hanlon. (2014) Untangling Fashion for Development. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture 18: 601-632. [open access]

Book Reviews

Hanlon, Mary (2015). Labor in the Global Digital Economy: The Cybertariat Comes of Age by Ursula Huws (review). CanadianJournal of Sociology 40 (4), 567-570.

Hanlon, Mary (2015). Last Nightshift in Savar: The Story of the Spectrum Sweater Factory Collapse by Doug Miller (review). Labour / Le Travail 75(1), 329-331.

Research Projects

On fashion and education

Social Alterations: An Education Lab for Socially Responsible Fashion. Research partner: Nadira Lamrad, PhD candidate at City University of Hong Kong. (2009-Present). This is an open access, open educational resource project: 

On food

OMGluten: An online reference library for the social dramas that surround the gluten-free diet. (2015)

Conference & Workshop Presentations

On fashion

Hanlon, Mary. 2015. 'Fashion and fashion-activism in the global textile and apparel industry', presented at the Future Connections 2015: Sustainability Research in Action conference, Edinburgh.

Hanlon, Mary. 2015. 'Fashioning power in cyberspace: Exploring online fashion-activism for labour rights in Bangladesh, post Rana-Plaza', paper submitted for peer-presentation at the Ninth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies: Lund University [hosted by the Swedish South Asian Studies Network on behalf of the European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS)].

Hanlon, Mary. 2015. 'Fashioning power in cyberspace', paper presented at the PhD course portion of the international workshop 'Contested Narratives' at the University of Copenhagen.

Hanlon, Mary. 2015. 'Fashioning power: stakeholder strategies in fashion activist networks post-Rana Plaza' paper presentation at The British Sociological Association 2015 Annual Conference: Glasgow Caledonian University.

Lamrad, Nadira and Mary Hanlon. 2014. 'Untangling fashion for development (paper presented by Nadira Lamrad)', paper presentation at Fashion in Fiction: Style Stories and Transglobal Narratives: City University of Hong Kong. In Panel 2.5: Sustainable Fashion and Ethical Fashion Brands in Practice. Paper presentation abstract, here.

Hanlon, Mary. 2014. 'Regulating rights', paper presentation at New Directions, Sociology Student and Staff Conference: The University of Edinburgh.

On education

Dunne, Nikki and Mary Hanlon. 2015. 'Using Zines as a Creative Teaching Tool', presentation at the Communication Carnival: a promenade presentation of creative and committed experiments in social science communication, Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) Annual Workshop: Social Science as Communication, Edinburgh 

Hanlon, Mary. 2014. Using Google Earth in the classroom. Teaching with Technology WorkshopThe University of Edinburgh.        

On food

Darmon, Isabelle, Niamh Moore, Nikki Dunne and Mary Hanlon. 2015. 'When food irrupts on the research scene', panel presentation at New Directions, Sociology Student and Staff Conference: The University of Edinburgh. Moderator: Kurt Olson.

Research Posts

2015/2016 Research Assistant: Clayoquot Sound Eco/feminist Archive, University of Edinburgh with Dr Niamh Moore

2015 Research Assistant: Archival research for the project ‘The Colonial Fashioning of the Post-Colonial City – India and Edinburgh’ with Professor Roger Jeffery 

2014/2015 Research Assistant: Digital archival research for the project 'Blessed are the poor' with Dr Susie Donnelly and Dr Hayley Bennett

2013/2014 Interviewer: Heat and the City, the University of Edinburgh

2013/2014 Research Assistant: Archival research for Professor Edward Simpson, SOAS South Asia Institute, University of London


Guest lecturing, the University of Edinburgh

2016: Bengali Nationalism in the Birth of Bangladesh: South Asian Studies

2015: Imagining South Asian Poverty in Media: Transnational activism, corporate social responsibility & ‘fashion for development,’ South Asian Studies

2015: 'Transnational fashion-based activism and corporate social responsibility,' Sustainable Development

2015: ‘How to give presentations,’ Sociology Fundamentals

Tutoring, the University of Edinburgh

2016 facilitator: Msc Dissertation workshops (PG workshop). 

2015/16 course tutor: The Social Life of Food

2015/16 course tutor: Evidence, Politics and Policy

2015/16 field course tutor: Geography Fieldwork: Foundations (This was one week field course in Istanbul, Turkey)

2015 facilitator: Msc Dissertation workshops (PG workshop). 

2014/15 course tutor: Social Policy Enquiry

2014/15 course tutor: Fundamentals 2, Sociology (course specific tutor blog)

2014/15 course tutor Sociology 2A: Thinking Sociologically

Other guest lecturing

I have guest lectured on ethics and labour in the fashion industry at various institutions: Capilano University – Vancouver, Canada (2010-2013); Emily Carr University of Art and Design – Vancouver, Canada (2012); Simon Fraser University – Vancouver, Canada (2012); Parsons School of Design – Online Courses, using Blackboard (2011-2012)

Events, at the University of Edinburgh

2015 Workshop: Innovative Learning Week. 'Solve the world's problems in a day?' Invisible Labour session with Nikki Dunne.

2014 Film Screening: 'Tears in the Fabric,' a documentary film by The Rainbow Collective and Openvizor. Suppoted by the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Awards & Funding

2016 PhD Conference Fund, The University of Edinburgh

2015 PhD Conference and Fieldwork Fund, The University of Edinburgh

2014-2015 EUSA Teaching Award Nominee for Best Tutor, The University of Edinburgh

2011 Google Earth Outreach Grant, Google Canada

2010 Advancements in Disciplinary Knowledge Grant, Athabasca University

2009 Fashioning the Future Award, Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the University of the Arts London


MA Integrated Studies, Cultural Studies (Canada)

BA International Development Studies (Canada)

Diploma Textile Art (Canada)