Jill Payne

Jill Payne : Research Associate

Research Associate

Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Jill works on development and environmental protection issues, mainly in Britain and southern Africa. She is particularly interested in conflict and compromise involving various forms of energy development (wind, hydroelectric, nuclear and fracking) and varying approaches to these in the global North and South.

In Britain, energy debates are currently centred on fracking and the new nuclear reactors to be constructed at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Jill is interested, however, in the fact that not all of the environmental and landscape protection concerns being raised are specific – or new – to these contentious forms of energy production. Industrialisation-era issues regarding the location and nature of energy developments in general remain unresolved, in great part due to an historic and ongoing failure to reconcile energy requirements with energy impacts.

Her research for the Power and Water project focuses directly on Somerset, an energy landscape that does double duty as England’s quintessential ‘green and pleasant land’, with links to Arthurian legend and leading Romantic poets. Jill is analysing the tensions behind coal-, nuclear-, wind- and, potentially, fracking-generated energy development that have accumulated over more than a century of debate involving the energy future of a landscape of high cultural and aesthetic value.

Jill holds a PhD from St. Andrews and MA and BA degrees from Rhodes, South Africa. She has previously taught at Bristol, Dundee and Amherst College, Massachusetts.

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