Ellie Slee

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Supervisors: Dr Dominique Moran, Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill, Professor Peter Kraftl (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Professor Yvonne Jewkes (Criminology, University of Leicester) 

Ellie Slee is an ESRC-funded doctoral researcher, focusing on the external aesthetics of UK prisons.

Whilst prison siting has been a contested topic for US geographers for years, in the UK the phenomenon of extra urban super prisons is a relatively new one. This research examines two of Her Majesty’s biggest prisons, Strangeways, a Victorian city centre prison and a new prison in North Wales, currently under construction. Based on a mixture of archival research and qualitative interviews with community members from the prisons’ surrounding areas, it will draw together criminology, architectural and carceral geographies and design history.


BA (Hons) in Fashion (History & Theory) at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London (First Class Honours)
MA Journalism at Goldsmiths College, London (Merit)


I previously studied Fashion History and Theory at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London. It wasn’t all about dresses! The course also focussed on fashions in literature, music and architectural design. I wrote my thesis on the architecture of art buildings in higher education, using  history of architecture, geography and environmental psychology as a basis. I then went on to do an MA in Journalism at Goldsmiths College where I mostly wrote about housing in London. In 2014 I began ESRC funded research at the University of Birmingham as part of a wider project entitled Fear Suffused Environments.


Research interests

  • Carceral geography
  • Architecture
  • Architectural geographies
  • Criminology
  • History of Design

Other activities

I continue to write academically on the History of Dress, and also contribute to feminist discourse online via the Huffington Post.


Book Chapters 

‘Le Pull Schiap: Optical Illusions’ in Maglifico!: Fashion in Knitwear (Skira Editore, 2013) 

Journal articles 

Femininity and Costume in 1930s Horror, Film, Fashion and Consumption 3:1, pp31-45 

Conference presentations 

Twinset and Match, Association of Dress Historians Conference, 2012