About Me

Emma Rich lower res

Dr Emma Rich, BSc, PhD,

Follow me on twitter: @DrEmmaRich

Current Post: Reader, Physical Cultural Studies Research Group, Department for Health,  University of Bath. UK.


I am currently a Reader in the Department for Health at the University of Bath. My research examines sport, physical activity and physical/health education from a critical/socio-cultural perspective. My two main areas of expertise include critical perspectives of obesity, eating disorders and weight related issues; and Digital health technologies (e.g. mobile and digital health, big data, wearable technologies). Much of my research is focused on education and young people.

Specifically, I have an international reputation in the area of critical pedagogies of health and physical activity. I have made original, innovative and sustained contributions to the extant literature on pedagogical processes within physical activity and health settings. Utilising qualitative approaches, this work advances theoretical frameworks to understand how people learn about health and their bodies (pedagogical processes) and the impact of this on their identities, health practices, and physical activity . To this end, my work in this area is advancing novel theoretical approaches to understanding health.

All of my research engages with the varied expressions of active physicality as they emerge in different sites and practices of contemporary culture, drawing on the disciplines of Physical Cultural Studies, Public Pedagogy and Sociology of the Body/Health.  Building on these perspectives, my work explores how people learn about the moving body across a wide range of cultural practices and forms.  I am interested in understanding the role of public pedagogy in shaping our understanding of our bodies, identities and understandings of health.

I have spent a number of years researching the relationship between a moral crisis around obesity and school policy and practices around health education (ESRC The impact of new health imperatives on schools). Working with young women with eating disorders,  I have undertaken research examining the relationship between the cultures, policies and practices of schools and the development of eating disorders and I am an expert advisor to the charity Anorexia and Bulimia Care Charity.

My current research is focused on the relationship between learning, technologies and health including recent developments in exergaming, mHealth, social media and the medicalization of cyberspace. This includes a research project funded by the Wellcome TrustThe Digital health generation: The impact of ‘healthy lifestyle technologies on young people’s learning, identities and health practices’. This work is grounded critical digital health studies and I have written on issues such as self-tracking cultures, mobile health apps, social media and the body. My interest in humanity, science and technology is reflected in my role as a member of the advisory board for the Creative Futures Institute. I aspire towards developing creative approaches within research and to developing a research-teaching nexus. In 2009 I led a successful funding bid and was co-director of the LIQUID LAB a state of the art lab for qualitative digital and visual research at Loughborough University and in 2014 I won the University of Bath innovation in teaching award.

I have written for a range of different publishing outlets, having published over 120 academics articles for  conferences, books, encyclopaedias, academic journals and newspapers with citation indices of 2559 (total), h-index of 28 and i10-index of 45.   My major publications (books) are The Medicalization of Cybserpace (2008, Routledge) Education, Disordered eating and Obesity Discourse: Fat Fabrications (2008, Routledege) and Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives (2011, Palgrave). I have been awarded research funding from a range of sources including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Wellcome Trust, the Society for Educational Studies, the International Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Academy and the Australian Research Council (ARC). I am a member of various academic associations and working groups including the British Educational Research Association, International Critical Obesity Network, International Olympic Academy Association, founder of the International Gender Sport and Society Forum and an invited associate fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. In keeping with my a public pedagogy perspective, much of my work engages with a range of cultural workers (eg artists and creative industries) and communities, seeing this relationship as crucial to developing a socially engaged approach to the active body (see public engagement).

I aspire towards developing creative approaches within research and to develop the research-teaching nexus. In 2009 I led a successful funding bid and was co-director of LiQUID LAB – A state of the art lab for qualitative digital and visual research at Loughborough University and in 2014 I won the University of Bath Teaching innovation award. I am co-director of the LITEbox initiative  (@LITEboxBath) at the University of Bath focused on enhancing teaching and learning through technology.

Email: E.Rich@bath.ac.uk

Twitter: @DrEmmaRich

Department of Education

University of Bath,

Bath, BA2 7AY


Photography site here


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One Comment on “About Me”

  1. Dear Professor,
    I am an alumni student from Loughborough University (2006-2007) where you had been one of my teachers and where I pursued my MSc thesis under the supervision of Dr. Louisa Webb. Having been knowing that you were colleagues with Louisa, I wonder if you could provide me any contact details of her family (brother or parents or other person you might know). It happens and I go on with my studies in a PhD level, something that Louisa had predicted and now, almost at the end of my study, I would like to share with her people. I feel it as an honor in her memory. Thank you in advance for your time.
    Kind regards

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