Dr Ann Elizabeth Bartos

PhD, University of Washington; MA, University of Washington; BA University of Colorado


I am a feminist political geographer with an interest in political agency, embodiment, and relationality. I have explored these questions through the topics of gender, youth, food, and forests. I teach in the Human Geography programme (Science) at the undergraduate level, and in the Environmental Management (Science) and Gender Studies (Arts) programmes at the postgraduate level. I am also the Deputy Director of Global Studies, a new univeristy-wide initiative led by the Faculty of Arts.

I have had a strong interest in geography and gender relations throughout my career. I have worked on gender and migration in Indonesia (with Professor Rachael Silvey, Toronto, 2000) and women’s anti-war activism in the USA after September 11, 2001 (MA research, Washington, 2005), and more recently on sexual violence, and sexism in higher education (with Dr. Sarah Ives, Stanford, ongoing). I am particularly interested in how gender enables or disables expressions of political agency, and how this can offer insights on care ethics, intimate geopolitics, and social change.

My work with children involves a longitudinal ethnographic project that I began in 2008 with a group of 9-11 year old children living in the South Island of New Zealand.  This research aims to explore how young people understand and develop environmental politics over time and in relation to place, while also engaging with theories of participation, wellbeing, care, friendship, emotions, memory, and transitions.

A primary component of my teaching includes political ecologies of food and agriculture.  I engage students around themes of ‘sustainability’, global hunger and global agriculture, and politics of eating within the neoliberal food system.  I am also an AI on an HRC Explorer grant (with colleagues in Public Health) on food systems and children’s fruit and vegetable consumption in New Zealand. My teaching and research around food incorporates theories of food sovereignty, scale, political economy, inequality, difference, and embodiment.

Most recently, Dr. Meg Parsons (Environment) and I are working on a project to unpack the politics of indigeneity, conservation ethics, and individual responsibility around the recent Rahui and the closure of walking tracks in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park due to Kauri Dieback.  

My research, teaching and service are largely influenced by and inspired by feminist geography, politics, methodology and praxis. 

I would be interested in supervising post-graduate students who share the desire to incorporate feminist theory and practice into their research projects.     


Teaching | Current

Geog 104: Cities and Urbanism. I provide 1/3 of the lectures. My topic is on ‘Urban Environmental Sustainability’.

Geog 324: Critical Perspectives on Sustainable Development. I co-designed this course and provide 1/2 of the lectures. My topic is on 'Food Politics'.

ENVMGT 741: Social Change for Sustainability. I designed and teach the entire course.

Gender 700: Critical Theories and Methods in Gender Studies. I co-designed this course and provide 1/3 of the lectures. My topic is on 'Care politics'.

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students:

Andrea Edwards (co-supervisors Dr. Meg Parsons and Professor Robin Kearns): “Diversifying environmental justice: Understanding the complex relationship between indigenous communities and energy companies”

Alice McSherry (co-supervisors Professor Robin Kearns and A/P JC Gaillard): “‘Therapeutic Birthscape’: Exploring diverse assemblages of postnatal care on Waiheke Island, New Zealand”


Current Masters students:

Ella Christensen: “The personal is political: Uncovering emotion in the climate change narrative through everyday experiences and future imaginations of young adult activists”

Sally Crawford: “Freeing the vagina? How heteronormative femininity is reproduced through the body”

Brittany Goodwin (co-supervisor Dr. Tom Baker): “Home-makers: Understanding the practices of female entrepreneurs working from home”

Rachael Randall: “The commoning of knowledge and data for innovation and entrepreneurship in response to the anthropocene in Aotearoa New Zealand: A critical diverse economies perspective”  


Completed students:

Sally Crawford (Hons, 2017): “A break in the Land of the Long White Movement: The current articulation of feminism in New Zealand” 

Erica Finney (MSc, 2017): “Fighting not drowning: Pacific responses to climate change vulnerability”

Kabir Mohammed (MSc, 2017): “School gardening and children's agency: An Auckland case study”

Maria Ross (MSc, 2017): “Achieving zero waste to landfill? Neoliberal processes and public-private relations in Auckland”

Shari Cave (MSc, 2015; co-supervisor Dr. Nick Lewis): “Geographies of consumption: A moral economy of milk in New Zealand”

Isabel Lam (MSc, 2015; co-supervisor Professor Robin Kearns): “Exploring the usage of school green spaces after hours”

Madeleine Morey (Hons, 2014): “Feminism and food geography in television”

Chikera Atkins (Hons, 2013): “Youth participation within urban planning and design in Auckland”

Solyneth Hak (Hons, 2013): “How clothing displays, disciplines and camouflages the body”


2018. Geography Research Award, University of Auckland, School of Environment.

2016. Isaac Manesseh Meyer Fellowship (IMMF), National University of Singapore

2016. Invited Visiting Scholar, Tampere University, Finland

2016. Women in Leadership, University of Auckland

2009. Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, University of Washington, Department of Geography

2008. AAG Cultural Geography Specialty Group Graduate Student Grant for Research

2007. Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, Islander Philanthropic

2005. Top Scholar Award, University of Washington, Graduate School

2000. A.W. Smith Scholarship, University of Colorado, Department of Geography

2000. University of Colorado Undergraduate Women’s Scholarship, University of Colorado

2000. Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society

Areas of expertise

Feminist geography, food geographies, youth geographies, political ecology, environmental sustainability

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Service Roles:

2018 – present. Deputy Director of Global Studies

2016 – 2018. Post-Graduate Advisor for Environmental Management

2016 – 2018. Post-Graduate Research Committee, School of Environment

2015 – 2016. Human Ethics Advisor, School of Environment

2013 – 2014. Coordinator for School of Environment Seminar Series, University of Auckland



The University of Auckland Working-Group on Gender Based Harassment
International Geographical Union (IGU) YES! (Young and Emerging Scholars network) Steering Group
Critical Youth Research Network, the University of Auckland
Association of American Geographers (AAG)
New Zealand Geographical Society (NZGS)
Australasian Agri-Food Research Network (AFRN)
Women and Gender Geographies Research Network (WGGRN)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Bartos, A. E. (2018). Relational spaces and relational care: Campus sexual violence, intimate geopolitics and topological polis. Area10.1111/area.12449
  • Bartos, A. E. (2018). The uncomfortable politics of care and conflict: Exploring nontraditional caring agencies. Geoforum, 88, 66-73. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.11.010
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40658
  • Kallio, K. P., & Bartos, A. E. (2017). Children's caring agencies. Political Geography, 58, 148-150. 10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.09.009
  • Bartos, A. E. (2017). The body eating its food politics: reflections on relationalities and embodied ways of knowing. Gender, Place and Culture, 24 (2), 153-159. 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1281234
  • Bartos, A. E., & Wood, B. E. (2017). Ecological wellbeing, childhood and environmental change. In C. Ergler, R. Kearns, K. Witten (Eds.) Children's health and wellbeing in urban environments (pp. 234-246). London and New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315571560
  • Bartos, A. E. (2016). Childhoods: growing up in Aotearoa New Zealand. Children's Geographies, 14 (2), 243-245. 10.1080/14733285.2015.1119528
  • Bartos, A. E. (2016). Food sovereignty and the possibilities for an equitable, just and sustainable food system. In P. Jackson, W. Speiss, F. Sultana (Eds.) Eating, drinking, surviving: The international year of global understanding - IYGU (pp. 91-98). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-42468-2_10
  • Bartos, A. E. (2015). Friendship and environmental politics in childhood. In K. P. Kallio, J. Hakli (Eds.) The Beginning of Politics: Youthful Political Agency in Everyday Life (pp. 17-32). Routledge.


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 4, Room 413
New Zealand

Web links