Dr Anna Jackman

Personal profile

I am a political geographer interested in the unmanning of both military practice and urban landscapes.

Research interests

My work lies at the intersections of political, urban and military geographies to explore technological visibilities, terrains, relations, and futures – as approached through the lens of remote control technology, and in particular the drone. Working in this space, I am seeking to develop a political geography of remoteness – one attentive to unmanned configurations and conditions. 

I am developing two strands of research: 

- The first interrogates the unmanning of the urban, that is the growing deployment of and desire for remote control technologies in urban environments. 

- The second interrogates changing battlespaces and 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'. 

I am on Twitter @ahjackman, and have written accessible online reflections on: 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 Geopolitics and Security MSc Programme.

  • Remote control: Geographies of contemporary warfare (GG3162, year 3): Working across discussions in political and military geography, and geographies of technology, this module examines the changing spaces, technologies, practices and poltiics of contemporary warfare, that which is increasingly being conducted 'remotely'. 

  • Working with Dr Rachael Squire, we are running a re-designed programme for the year 2 module, Political Geography (GG2052). The course introduces students to a series of lenses through which to interrogate the geopolitical world. 

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. I am presently finalising my application for Fellowship status (HEA).

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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