Dr Sara Fregonese BA, MA, PhD

Dr Sara Fregonese

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor of Political Geography

Contact details

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

Dr Fregonese is a political geographer with a background in Middle Eastern Studies. Her research is about the relations between geopolitics, security and urban space, and how geopolitical situations and events impact on the everyday life of cities, their built environment and residents. 


BA Oriental Languages and Cultures (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)
MA Cross-Mediterranean Cooperation (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)
PhD Geography (Newcastle)
Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (University of Birmingham) 


I am a member of the Higher Education Academy and my teaching practice aims to foster understanding of the spatial and urban implications of armed conflict and terrorism. My teaching draws heavily on my research and produces an interdisciplinary and case-oriented learning and teaching experience for students. I lead and/or contribute to the following modules in the School:

Year 1

03 36619 LC Tutorials and Study Skills for Geographers

03 36261 LC Fieldwork Project Design and GIS


Year 2

03 36298 LI Social and Political Geography

03 36279 LI Statistical methods and tutorials

03 34330 LI Research Labs and Fieldwork: Theory and Practice


Year 3

03 30810 LH Cities and Conflict (module Lead)

03 36270 LH Geopolitics and global challenges (module lead)

03 31220 LH Geography and Planning Research (dissertation)


PhD Geography (Newcastle)
MA Mediterranean Cooperation(Ca' Foscari University, Venice)
BA Oriental Languages and Cultures (Ca' Foscari University, Venice)


Dr Fregonese is a political geographer with a background in Middle Eastern Studies. Her research is about the relations between geopolitics, security and urban space, with a specific focus in urban conflict and (counter)terrorism.


Dr Fregonese's post-doctoral research as Principal Investigator has been supported by: 

2021-2024: Economic and Social Research Council (Open Resarch Area)
Atmospheres of (counter)terrorism in European cities (www.atmoct.org)

2011-2012: British Academy Small Research Grant
Views from the Holiday Inn. War, urban landscape, and memory in Beirut

2009-2012: British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Geographical Perspectives on War and Cities: the case of Beirut.



Other activities

  • 2016 -  Chair of the Political Geography Research Group, Royal Geographical Society
  • 2016 -   Member, Editorial Board, Fennia
  • 2015 -   Foreign member of the board of studies, Doctoral Programme in Geopolitics and Geoeconomics, Niccolò Cusano University, Rome, Italy 
  • 2014 -   Editorial board, Geopolitics journal
  • 2014 -   Editorial board, “Geopolitics, bodies, materials” book series, Rowman and Littlefield International 
  • 2012 -   Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. 

Referee for:

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Italy's National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR) 

Peer review for:

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Geographical Journal, Cultural Geographies, Journal of Urban Technology, Security Dialogue, Urban Geography, Geography Compass, Geopolitics, Progress in Planning, Political Geography.


Recent publications


Fregonese, S 2019, War and the city. Urban geopolitics in Lebanon. International Library of Human Geography, 1st edn, I.B. Tauris. <https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/war-and-the-city-9781780767147/>


Fregonese, S, Simpson, Masson, Runkel, Benjamin, Berlin, Ciax & Drongiti 2024, 'Atmospheric geographies of (counter)terrorism', Progress in Human Geography.

Laketa, S & Fregonese, S 2023, 'Lockdown and the intimate entanglements of terror, virus, and militarism', Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, vol. 41, no. 8, pp. 1521 - 1535. https://doi.org/10.1177/23996544221143041

Fregonese, S & Laketa, S 2022, 'Urban atmospheres of terror', Political Geography, vol. 96, 102569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2021.102569

Fregonese, S 2021, 'Shockwaves. Atmospheres beyond the conflict city/ordinary city divide', Conflict and Society, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 26–41. https://doi.org/10.3167/arcs.2021.070103

Fregonese, S 2017, 'Affective atmospheres, urban geopolitics and conflict (de)escalation in Beirut', Political Geography, vol. 61, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.04.009


Fregonese, S 2024, Critical Geopolitics. in K Dombroski, M Goodwin, J Qian, A Williams & P Cloke (eds), Introducing Human Geographies. 4th edn, Routledge, pp. 679-692. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429265853-59

Fregonese, S 2020, Atmospheric Urban Geopolitics. in Being Urban. Community, Conflict and Belonging in the Middle East. Routledge.

Fregonese, S 2019, “A demarcation in the hearts”: everyday urban frontiers in Beirut. in Routledge Handbook on Middle East Cities. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315625164-12

Book/Film/Article review

Fregonese, S 2018, 'Holidays in the danger zone. Entanglements of war and tourism', Journal of Tourism History, vol. 10, no. 1. https://doi.org/10.1080/1755182X.2018.1452434


Fregonese, S 2020, 'Intervention – “Elements of Contestation: Sectarianism, Extractive Violence, and the Forensics of Lebanon’s October Revolution”', Antipode.

Fregonese, S 2017, 'English: lingua franca or disenfranchising?', Fennia, vol. 195, no. 2, pp. 194–196. https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.67662

Commissioned report

Fregonese, S 2019, How a Sectarian Territory was Made: (Re) Mapping the Dual Kaimakamate of Mount Lebanon (1842–1860). https://doi.org/https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17527260.2017.1556930


Laketa, S, Fregonese, S & Masson, D 2021, 'Introduction: Experiential landscapes of terror', Conflict and Society, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.3167/arcs.2021.070101

Special issue

Laketa, S, Fregonese, S & Masson, D (eds) 2021, 'I. Special Section: Experiential Landscapes of Terror', Conflict and Society, vol. 7, no. 1. <https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/conflict-and-society/7/1/conflict-and-society.7.issue-1.xml>

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