- Human Geography Research Cluster leader, member of Global Development Research Division Leadership Group and SAGES Research Committee
- Undergraduate teaching: Spaces of Care and Wellbeing, Research Training for GES, Dissertation
- Postgraduate teaching: Ethnographic Research Techniques, Participatory Visual Methods; Postgraduate Research Student supervision
- Co-ordinator of University of Sanctuary working group across the university
- Co-leader of the Participation Lab
Areas of interest
- Care, intersecting inequalities and wellbeing in transnational families.
- Young caregiving and family relations, disability, HIV and chronic illness.
- 'Bereavement', responses to death and inheritance.
- Land politics, food security and gender and intergenerational relations in West Africa.
- Sibling relationships and child- and youth-headed households in East Africa.
- Geographies of children, youth and families.
- Social exclusion/inclusion and the participation of marginalised groups in research and policy.
Ruth is interested in supervising research students on care, migration and transnational families; childhood, youth, intergenerational relations, and intersectionality; responses to death, bereavement and inheritance.
Recent PhD graduates:
- Atim: Participatory healthcare delivery in post conflict transition in northern Uganda
- Ottósdóttir: Care and disability in refugee families in the South-East of England (2015)
- Downing: Disabled young people's socio-sexual networks and transitions in the UK (2015)
- Adjei-Amoako: Experiences of disability and inclusive development in Ghana: facilitating factors and barriers to participation (2014)
- Day: Making the Transition to Adulthood in Zambia: A Comparison of the Experiences of Caregiving and Non-Caregiving Youth (2014)
- Foy-Phillips: Cultures of young parenting, gendered identities and rurality (2014).
Research centres and groups
- Death in the family in urban Senegal: bereavement, care and family relations
- Inheritance, access to resources and family relations in Senegal
- Asset inheritance, poverty and HIV/AIDS: experiences of widows and orphaned youth heading households in Tanzania and Uganda
- Access to land, food security and the intergenerational transmission of poverty in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana
Ruth's research focuses on geographies of care, childhood, youth, 'family' and intergenerational relations in diverse contexts, including transnational families, bereavement and chronic illness. She is currently leading a project on Care, Inequality and Wellbeing in Transnational Families in Europe.
She recently led a Leverhulme Trust-funded project, Death in the Family in Urban Senegal: Bereavement, Care and Family (2014-16). Download the Research Report and Executive Summary and see the project blog for the press release, Rapport et Résumé (versions français) and more information.
Ruth completed a collaborative research project with colleagues at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana on Access to Land, Food Security and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana (2012-15), including a video here and articles in Geoforum (2015) and Geo: Geography & Environment (2019).
Research has also focused on Inheritance, Access to Resources and Family Relations in Senegal(2011-12), with articles published in Social & Cultural Geography (2014), Gender, Place and Culture (2016) and Emotions, Space & Society (2021). She also conducted research with Geoff Griffiths on Palm Oil, Land Rights and Ecosystems Services in Liberia (2012-13) (reports are available below).
Ruth and Caroline Day led dissemination workshops with young people with caring responsibilities in Zambia in 2014. Watch the video or read more about the research here.
Ruth also completed a study on stigma, gender and generational inequalities in asset inheritance and the intergenerational transmission of poverty in Tanzania and Uganda (with Caroline Day), funded by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2010-11). Read more about the project here.
From 2008-2010, Ruth conducted a qualitative, participatory study of young people's caring responsibilities for their siblings within child- and youth- headed households in Tanzania and Uganda, funded by the RGS-IBG and the University of Reading (2008-10). (See Research Report and articles below).
Her book (co-authored with Prof. Saul Becker, 2009, The Policy Press), Children Caring for Parents with HIV and AIDS: Global Issues and Policy Responses draws on findings from an ESRC study of the experiences of children caring for parents and relatives with HIV in Tanzania and the UK, conducted while Ruth was based at University of Nottingham (2006-2007). For more information about the research, read the news article: Children caring for parents with HIV and AIDS or download the Stakeholder Report (PDF 1652KB) and Executive Summary (PDF 539KB).
While based at the University of Hull (2001-2002) and University of Birmingham (2003-2006), Ruth worked on a number of research projects that investigated the social exclusion/inclusion of children and young people and their participation in policy initiatives in the UK. Ruth's doctoral research at the University of Hull (2002-2004) explored the gendered 'street careers' of children and youth and the impacts of HIV in Tanzania.
Ruth is a member of the Editorial Board of the international journal, Gender, Place and Culture.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.
- Evans, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4599-5270 , Aduyai Diop, R. , Kébé, F. (2022) Familial roles, responsibilities and solidarity in diverse African societies. In: Sooryamoorthy, R. and Khalema, N. , (eds.) Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Africa. Oxford University Press , Oxford. ISBN: 9780197608494 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197608494.013.30
- Bowlby, S. , Evans, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4599-5270 , Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Wouango, J. (2022) Time-space practices of care after a family death in urban Senegal. Social and Cultural Geography , 23 (8). pp. 1174-1192. ISSN: 1470-1197 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2021.1901978
- Evans, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4599-5270 (2021) Critical geographies of love and loss: relational responses to the death of a spouse in Senegal. Emotion, Space and Society , 39 ISSN: 1755-4586 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2021.100774
- Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Evans, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4599-5270 , Yu, G. , Kébé, F. (2020) The (cross-cultural) problem of categories: who is ‘child’, what is ‘family’. In: Frankel, S. , (eds.) Bringing Children Back into the Family. Relationality and Connectedness: interpreting child-adult/ adult-child positioning within the home. Sociological Studies of Childhood and Youth , 27. Emerald Publishing
- Evans, R. (2020) Picturing translocal youth: self-portraits of young Syrian refugees and young people of diverse African heritages in South-East England. Population Space and Place , 26 (6). ISSN: 1544-8444 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.2303
- Evans, R. (2020) Interpreting family struggles in West Africa across Majority-Minority world boundaries: tensions and possibilities. Gender, Place & Culture , 27 (5). pp. 717-732. ISSN: 1360-0524 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369x.2018.1553861
- Evans, R. (2020) Teaching about female genital mutilation/cutting in Africa: complex questions of culture, “development” and human rights. Journal of Geography in Higher Education , 44 (2). pp. 230-247. ISSN: 1466-1845 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2019.1661371
- Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Evans, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4599-5270 , Bowlby, S. , Wouango, J. (2020) Making sense of family deaths in urban Senegal: diversities, contexts and comparisons. Omega - Journal of Death and Dying , 82 (2). pp. 230-260. ISSN: 0030-2228 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0030222818805351
- Evans, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4599-5270 (2019) Widowhood and asset inheritance among the Serer in Senegal. In: M’Baye, B. and Muhonja, B. , (eds.) Gender and Sexuality in Senegalese Societies. Critical Perspective and Methods,. Rowman and Littlefield , Lanham. pp. 145-173.
- Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Evans, R. , Bowlby, S. (2019) Diversity challenges from urban West Africa: how Senegalese family deaths illuminate dominant understandings of ‘bereavement’. Bereavement Care , 38 (2-3). pp. 83-90. ISSN: 1944-8279 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02682621.2019.1679468
- Evans, R. , Bowlby, S. , Gottzén, L. , Ribbens McCarthy, J. (2019) Unpacking ‘family troubles’, care and relationality across time and space. Children's Geographies , 17 (5). pp. 501-513. ISSN: 1473-3277 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2019.1655139
- Mariwah, S. , Evans, R. , Antwi, K. (2019) Gendered and generational tensions in increased land commercialisation: rural livelihood diversification, changing land use, and food security in Ghana’s Brong-Ahafo region. Geo: Geography and Environment , 6 (1). ISSN: 2054-4049 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/geo2.73
- Evans, R. , Bowlby, S. , Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Wouango, J. , Kebe, F. (2018) 'It's God's will': consolation and religious meaning-making after a family death in urban Senegal. In: Jedan, C. , Maddrell, A. , Venbrux, E. , (eds.) Consolationscapes in the face of loss: grief and consolation in space and time. Routledge studies in human geography Routledge , London. ISBN: 9780815358794
- Evans, R. and Becker, S. (2018) Comparing children's care work across Majority and Minority worlds. In: Twum-Danso Imoh, A. , Bourdillon, M. , Meichsner, S. , (eds.) Global Childhoods beyond the North-South Divide. Palgrave pp. 231-253. ISBN: 9783319955421 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95543-8_12
- Holt, L. and Evans, R. (2017) Editorial: geographies of children and young people. Methodological approaches. In: Evans, R. , Holt, L. , Skelton, T. , (eds.) Methodological Approaches. Geographies of Children and Young People Springer (2). , Singapore. pp. ix-xvi. ISBN: 9789812870193
- Evans, R. , Holt, L. , Skelton, T. , eds. (2017) Methodological approaches. Geographies of Children and Young People , 2. Springer , Singapore. pp 454. ISBN: 9789812870193
- Evans, R. , Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Kébé, F. , Bowlby, S. , Wouango, J. (2017) Interpreting 'grief' in Senegal: language, emotions and cross-cultural translation in a francophone African context. Mortality , 22 (2). pp. 118-135. ISSN: 1469-9885 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13576275.2017.1291602
- Evans, R. , Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Bowlby, S. , Wouango, J. , Kébé, F. (2017) Producing emotionally sensed knowledge? Reflexivity and emotions in researching responses to death. International Journal of Social Research Methodology , 20 (6). pp. 585-598. ISSN: 1364-5579 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2016.1257679
- Evans, R. (2017) Caring after parental death: sibling practices and continuing bonds. In: Horton, J. and Pyer, M. , (eds.) Children, young people and care. Spaces of Childhood and Youth Series Routledge ISBN: 9781138920880
- Skovdal, M. and Evans, R. (2017) The emergence of an ethic of care in rural Kenyan schools? Perspectives of teachers and orphaned and vulnerable pupils. Children's Geographies , 15 (2). pp. 160-176. ISSN: 1473-3285 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2016.1214236
- Ottosdottir, G. and Evans, R. (2016) Disability and chronic illness. In: Thomas, F. , (eds.) Handbook of Migration and Health. Edward Elgar ISBN: 9781784714772 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.4337/9781784714789
- Evans, R. , Adjei-Amoako, Y. , Atim, A. (2016) Disability and HIV: critical intersections . In: Grech, S. and Soldatic, K. , (eds.) Disability in the Global South: The Critical Handbook. Springer
- Evans, R. (2016) Critical reflections on participatory dissemination: coproducing research messages with young people. In: Evans, R. , Holt, L. , Skelton, T. , (eds.) Methodological Approaches. Geographies of children and young people , 2. Springer , Basel. pp. 67-96. ISBN: 9789814585897 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-4585-89-7_27-1
- Evans, R. , Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Bowlby, S. , Wouango, J. , Kebe, F. (2016) Evans, R., Ribbens McCarthy, J., Bowlby, S., Wouango, J. and Kébé, F. (2016) Responses to Death, Care and Family Relations in Urban Senegal, Research Report 1, Human Geography Research Cluster, University of Reading. University of Reading (1). , Reading.
- Evans, R. (2016) Gendered struggles over land: shifting inheritance practices among the Serer in rural Senegal. Gender, Place and Culture , 23 (9). pp. 1360-1375. ISSN: 1360-0524 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2016.1160872
- Evans, R. (2016) Achieving and evidencing research 'impact'? Tensions and dilemmas from an ethic of care perspective. Area , 48 (2). pp. 213-221. ISSN: 1475-4762 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/area.12256
- Evans, R. , Mariwah, S. , Barima Antwi, K. (2015) Struggles over family land? Tree crops, land and labour in Ghana's Brong-Ahafo region. Geoforum , 67 pp. 24-35. ISSN: 0016-7185 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.10.006
- Evans, R. and Skovdal, M. (2015) Defining children's rights to work and care in Sub-Saharan Africa: tensions and challenges in policy and practice. In: Kallio, K. , Mills, S. , Skelton, T. , (eds.) Politics, Citizenship and Rights. Geographies of Children and Young People , 7. Springer ISBN: 9789814585569
- Evans, R. and Atim, A. (2015) HIV care and interdependence in Tanzania and Uganda. In: Barnes, M. , Brannelly, P. , Ward, L. , Ward, N. , (eds.) Ethics of care: critical advances in international perspective. The Policy Press ISBN: 9781447316510
- Day, C. and Evans, R. (2015) Caring responsibilities, change and transitions in young people's family lives in Zambia. Journal of Comparative Family Studies , XLVI (1). pp. 137-152.
- Evans, R. (2015) Working with legal pluralism: widowhood, property inheritance and poverty alleviation in urban Senegal. Gender and Development , 23 (1). pp. 77-94. ISSN: 1364-9221 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13552074.2015.1013678 (special issue: Working on gender equality in urban areas)
- Evans, R. (2015) HIV-related stigma, asset inheritance and chronic poverty: vulnerability and resilience of widows and caregiving children and youth in Tanzania and Uganda. Progress in Development Studies , 15 (4). pp. 326-342. ISSN: 1477-027X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1464993415592740
- Evans, R. (2015) Negotiating intergenerational relations and care in diverse African contexts. In: Vanderbeck, R. and Worth, N. , (eds.) Intergenerational Space. Routledge Studies in Human Geography Routledge , Abingdon. pp. 199-213. ISBN: 9780415855310
- Evans, R. and Atim, A. (2014) Care, disability and HIV in Africa: diverging or interconnected concepts and practices?. In: Soldatic, K. and Meekosha, H. , (eds.) The global politics of impairment and disability. TWQ Bookseries Routledge , Abingdon. pp. 69-85. ISBN: 9781138776005
- Evans, R. (2014) Disability. In: Desai, V. and Potter, R. , (eds.) The Companion to Development Studies. , 3rd ed.. Routledge , Abingdon. pp. 466-469. ISBN: 9780415826655
- Evans, R. , Mariwah, S. , Barima Antwi, K. (2014) Cashew cultivation, access to land and food security in Brong-Ahafo Region, Ghana: Preventing the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Walker Institute, University of Reading (6). , Reading, UK.
- Evans, R. (2014) Parental death as a vital conjuncture? Intergenerational care and responsibility following bereavement in Senegal. Social and Cultural Geography , 15 (5). pp. 547-570. ISSN: 1470-1197 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2014.908234
- Ottosdottir, G. and Evans, R. (2014) Ethics of care in supporting disabled forced migrants: interactions with professionals and ethical dilemmas in health and social care in the South-East of England. British Journal of Social Work , 44 (Sup.1). pp. 53-69. ISSN: 1468-263X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcu048
- Evans, R. (2013) Children as caregivers. Handbook of Child Wellbeing. Springer pp. 1893-1916. | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9063-8_173
- Evans, R. and Holt, L. , eds. (2013) Diverse spaces of childhood and youth: gender and other socio-cultural differences. Routledge pp 208. ISBN: 9780415834377
- Evans, R. and Griffiths, G. (2013) Palm oil, land rights and ecosystem services in Gbarpolu County, Liberia. Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading (3). , Reading.
- Evans, R. (2013) Young people’s caring relations and transitions within families affected by HIV. In: Ribbens McCarthy, J. , Hooper, C. , Gillies, V. , (eds.) Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People. The Policy Press pp. 233-244. ISBN: 9781447304432
- Evans, R. (2012) Safeguarding inheritance and enhancing the resilience of orphaned young people living in child- and youth-headed households in Tanzania and Uganda. African Journal of AIDS Research , 11 (3). pp. 177-189. ISSN: 1608-5906
- Evans, R. (2012) Inheritance, access to resources and poverty in Serer families in Senegal. Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading (1). , Reading. pp 23.
- Potter, R. , Conway, D. , Evans, R. , Lloyd-Evans, S. (2012) Key concepts in development geography. Key Concepts in Human Geography Sage Publications , London. pp 288. ISBN: 9780857025845
- Evans, R. (2012) Sibling caringscapes: time–space practices of caring within youth-headed households in Tanzania and Uganda. Geoforum , 43 (4). pp. 824-835. ISSN: 0016-7185 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.02.004
- Evans, R. and Holt, L. (2011) Diverse spaces of childhood and youth: gender and other socio-cultural differences. Children's Geographies , 9 (3-4). pp. 277-284. ISSN: 1473-3277 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2011.595902
- Evans, R. and Atim, A. (2011) Care, disability and HIV in East Africa: diverging or interconnected concepts and practices?. Third World Quarterly , 32 (8). pp. 1437-1454. ISSN: 1360-2241 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2011.604517
- Evans, R. and Day, C. (2011) Inheritance, poverty and HIV/AIDS: experiences of widows and orphaned youth heading households in Tanzania and Uganda. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (185). , Manchester. pp 57. ISBN: 9781906433918
- Evans, R. (2011) Young caregiving and HIV in the UK: caring relationships and mobilities in African migrant families. Population, Space and Place , 17 (4). pp. 338-360. ISSN: 1544-8444 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.583
- Evans, R. (2011) ‘We are managing our own lives...’: life transitions and care in sibling-headed households affected by AIDS in Tanzania and Uganda. Area , 43 (4). pp. 384-396. ISSN: 1475-4762 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2010.00954.x
- Evans, R. (2010) The experiences and priorities of young people who care for their siblings in Tanzania and Uganda. University of Reading, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, Department of Geography and Environmental Science , Reading. pp 26.
- Evans, R. (2010) Children's caring roles and responsibilities within the family in Africa. Geography Compass , 4 (10). pp. 1477-1496. ISSN: 1749-8198 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00386.x
- Evans, R. and Becker, S. (2009) Children caring for parents with HIV and AIDS: global issues and policy responses. The Policy Press , Bristol. ISBN: 9781847420220
- Evans, R. and Thomas, F. (2009) Emotional interactions and an ethic of care: caring relations in families affected by HIV and AIDS. Emotions, Space and Society , 2 (2). pp. 111-119. ISSN: 1755-4586 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2009.08.003
- Pinnock, K. and Evans, R. (2008) Developing responsive preventative practices: key messages from children's and families' experiences of the Children's Fund. Children and Society , 22 pp. 86-98. | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-0860.2007.00081.x
- Evans, R. and Spicer, N. (2008) Is participation prevention? A blurring of discourses in children's preventative initiatives in the UK. Childhood-a Global Journal of Child Research , 15 (1). pp. 50-73. ISSN: 0907-5682 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0907568207086835
- Coad, J. and Evans, R. (2008) Reflections on practical approaches to involving children and young people in the data analysis process. Children & Society , 22 (1). pp. 41-52. ISSN: 0951-0605 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-0860.2006.00062.x
- Evans, R. and Plumridge, G. (2007) Inclusion, social networks and resilience: strategies, practices and outcomes for disabled children and their families. Social Policy and Society , 6 (2). pp. 231-241. ISSN: 1475-3073 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746406003496
- Evans, R. and Pinnock, K. (2007) Promoting resilience and protective factors in the Children's Fund: supporting children and young people's pathways towards social inclusion?. Journal of Children and Poverty , 13 (1). pp. 21-36. ISSN: 1469-9389 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10796120601171211
- Evans, R. and Becker, S. (2007) Hidden young carers: the experiences, needs and resilience of children caring for parents and relatives with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania and the UK: stakeholder report. University of Nottingham, School of Sociology and Social Policy , Nottingham.
- Evans, R. (2006) Negotiating social identities: the influence of gender, age and ethnicity on young people’s ‘Street Careers’ in Tanzania. Children's Geographies , 4 (1). pp. 109-128. ISSN: 1473-3277 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14733280600577533
- Spicer, N. and Evans, R. (2006) Developing children and young people’s participation in strategic processes: the experience of the Children’s Fund Initiative. Social Policy and Society , 5 (2). pp. 177-188. ISSN: 1475-3073 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746405002861
- Evans, R. (2005) Social networks, migration, and care in Tanzania. Journal of Children and Poverty , 11 (2). pp. 111-129. ISSN: 1079-6126 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10796120500195527
- Evans, R. (2004) Tanzanian childhoods: street children’s narratives of ‘home’. Journal of Contemporary African Studies , 22 (1). pp. 69-92. ISSN: 1469-9397 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0258900042000179616
- Evans, R. (2002) Poverty, HIV, and barriers to education: street children's experiences in Tanzania. Gender and Development , 10 (3). pp. 51-62. ISSN: 1364-9221 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13552070215916