Dr Anna Jackman

Personal profile

I am a political geographer interested in the unmanning of urban, everyday, and military practice.

Research interests

My work explores technological visibilities, terrains, relations, and futures – as approached through the lens of remote control technology, and in particular the drone. I am currently developing three strands of research exploring the unmanning of the urban, the diversification of drone stories, and changing warfighting practices in the remote age.

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 have also provided both oral and written evidence to the Defence Committee's Inquiry into the 'Domestic threat of drones'. In March 2021 I was invited to speak at a United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research event exploring Drones and Counter-drone Technology. 

I am on Twitter @ahjackman, and have written accessible online reflections on: evolving drone threats, domestic drone futures, the Gatwick drone incident, 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 convening and teaching the year 3 module Remote Control: Geographies of Contemporary Warfare, and co-convening and teaching the year 2 module Political Geography. I also co-teach on the year 1 fieldtrip to Spain, teach weekly year 1 tutorials, and teach on various parts of the Global Futures Masters Programme.

In December 2020 I was awarded Fellowship of the HEA.

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.

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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