Dr Anna Jackman

Personal profile

I am a political geographer interested in the intersections between technology, warfare, and culture.

Research interests

Working through the lens of the military and non-military drone, my research explores a series of conceptual questions around: technologized military and militarized practice; technological mobilities, visibilities, and futures; and the cultures of, and relationship between, military institutions and defence industry practitioners. In developing these research interests, I am continuing to work with military, emergency service, and commerical drone communities. In particular, I am developing two strands of research, the first interrogating cultural and technological understandings and envisionings of the drone in the future city; and the second critically exploring the lived and professional experience of military personnel workng with increasingly automated and autonomous warfighting technology.

In May 2019 I was appointed as a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into 'Commercial and recreational drone use in the UK'. 

I am on Twitter @ahjackman, and have written accessible online reflections on: the changing geographies of the drone, Britain's role in drone warfare in Yemen, the personnel of US drone warfare, and drone counter-measures


At present I am delivering year 1 tutorials, the year 3 module Remote Control: Geographies of Contemporary Warfare, and co-delivering the year 2 module Political Geography. I also assist on the year 1 fieldtrip to Spain. 

  • Remote control: Geographies of contemporary warfare (GG3162, year 3): Working across discussions in political and military geography, and geographies of technology, this module will examine the changing spaces, technologies, practices and poltiics of contemporary warfare, that which is increasingly being conducted 'remotely'. In so doing, the module will explore the: changing spaces, (non-)human configurations, research techniques, and alternative manifestations of remoteness; whilst asking questions of different orientations and perspectives, shfting (a)symmetric power relations, and emerging geopolitical landscapes.

  • Working with Dr Rachael Squire, we are running a re-designed programme for the year 2 module, Political Geography (GG2052). The course will introduce students to a series of lenses through which to interrogate the geopolitical world (including: feminist and everyday geopolitics,objects, popular geopolitics, (contested) narratives, infrastructures, (uneven) mobiltiies, technologies, and futures), as well as engaging with a range of themes and concepts (including: territory and 3D thinking, borders and belonging, climate change and resource geopolitics, geopolitics and the non-human, changing military geographies, geo-surveillance and policing, ludic geopolitics, and peaceful geographies). During academic year 2017/18 Dr Rachael Squire, myself, and PhD candidates Laura Shipp and Nicola Wendt received a Royal Holloway college team teaching award for our work on this course. 

Prior to joining Royal Holloway, I undertook teaching on a range of year 1, 2 and 3 modules in the Geography Department at the University of Exeter, where I  also acquired Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and worked on 8 (domestic and international) fieldtrips. 

Educational background

I completed my PhD in the Geography Department at the University of Exeter. Entitled ‘Unmanned geographies: Drone visions and visions of the drone’, my PhD research explored the propagation of drones in particular military, commercial, and civilian contexts. The thesis adopted a dual interest in interrogating both the ways in which the drone frames 'target' bodies and topographies below it, and the ways in which it is framed by particular trade and advocacy communities. 

Following my PhD, I was employed as an Associate Research Fellow on the Ludic Geopolitics Project (Portsmouth and Exeter), and as a Research Assistant on the Mapping Sense of Place Project (Exeter). During the PhD, I was employed as a Researcher on a collaborative project (Pearson Publishing and Exeter), co-authoring a report entitled 'Employability in Higher Education: A review of practice and strategies around the world.' I completed both my masters (MRes Critical Human Geographies, Distinction), and undergraduate degree (Flexible Combined Honours: Geography and Management, First Class) at the University of Exeter. 

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