Ryan is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Criminology, working on an ESRC-funded study 'Place, crime and insecurity in everyday life: A contemporary study of an English town' with a team of researchers from Oxford, Keele, Edinburgh, and UCL. This project will provide a new exploration of the place and meanings of in/security in the everyday lives of people living in Britain today through an intensive ethnographic study of one English town. In particular, this project investigates how people in the town of Macclesfield talk about and act towards a range of threats that they regard as impinging upon their safety and how everyday experiences of in/security feature against the backdrop of rapid social, political, and technological change (notably, the digital revolution, migration, austerity, Brexit, and the Covid-19 pandemic). More information on the study can be found on the project website.
Ryan is also a PhD candidate in Criminology at the University of Glasgow and Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. Her doctoral research, funded by the College of Social Science, is an ethnography of penal electronic monitoring in Scotland which explores experiences of being subject to penal surveillance as well as experiences of enacting and enforcing it (more information here). This research sheds light on how digital technologies feature in and change punishment experiences, and more specifically, how the distinctions between the social and technological blur in that process. Ryan argues that electronic monitoring is not the automated, neutral, or ‘clean’ form of punishment it is often packaged as or assumed to be. It is a complex and messy network of relations, an intimate form of surveillance, and it constrains people in different ways (both materially and semiotically). During her doctoral studies, Ryan was also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Qualitative Research Methods and Research Assistant on the Scotland in Lockdown rapid research project which explored the impacts of Covid-19 on marginalised groups in Scotland.