Dr Lula Mecinska, PhD

  • Programme Leader MSc Criminology, Risk and Safeguarding Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Policing
  • Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership
  • Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE)
  • Social Science
Dr Lula Mecinska, PhD


Lula is Programme Leader for MSc Criminology, Risk and Safeguarding, on which she convenes and teaches Advanced Research Methods and Digital Victimisation. She also teaches across undergraduate modules in Criminology and Policing.

Lula joined the University of Cumbria in September 2016, teaching social science and criminology. Leading on Criminology's research track, she has developed the module on Crime Stories, which blends fascination with stories of crime with qualitative methods, and Real World Research which sees students take on a real world problem. Lula has taught modules on Interpersonal Violence, Applied Research Methods, Sociology and Contemporary Social Issues, Identities, Criminological Foundations, Explainig Crime, Victims of Crime and Victimology, and on Criminology's employability modules, Research and Practice, Working with People, and Becoming a Criminologist. In Policing she lectures on Applied Social Science and on Criminological Concepts. Her other teaching experiences encompass Women and Gender Studies, Sociology, and lecturing on Gender and Violence at MA and UG level. 

Lula’s academic background is interdisciplinary and she completed her PhD in Sociology at Lancaster University writing about women’s activism. Her research has a special interest in the progressive merging of online and offline activities into the 'digital mundane'. This continues the focus of her MA (Lancaster) and BA (Univeristy of the West of England) work, which concerned the changes to social practices and beliefs as a result of online connectivity.

Prior to her PhD, Lula worked on the EY Better Government Programme, cooperating with the LSE Central European Observatory on the production of reports in the fields of public policy, governance, public finance, healthcare and healthcare reform, infrastructure and resources, and education in Poland. She has also worked for and cooperated with third sector organisations in Poland and in the UK, and volunteered for Women's Aid. Lula was also a researcher in the Migration of Thought strand of the ANOVASOFIE project funded by the European Commission (2004-2006) and worked for the Foundation for the Prevention of Terrorism and Biological Threats (BIOPREV).

Lula’s current research interest combine cover a wide array of topics. Together with Criminology colleagues she published and presented on criminalisation of abortion and women’s activism in response to it. One of her projects concerned provisions around domestic violence and abuse in rural areas (ROSE). Lula has also published in disability studies and seeks to bring critical disability studies perspectives to Criminology. She is also extending the work carried out in her PhD, researching breastfeeding in prisons, for which she received a Gradconsult ECR Microgrant. Due to her interest in health as a socially embeded phenomenon, together with Dr Rob Ewin and Dr Mark Rouncefield, she is researching around policing-led health interventions and impacts of county lines.

Qualifications and memberships


2019 Fellow of the HEA

2018 PhD Sociology, Lancaster University

2014 Associate Fellow of the HEA

2009 PR specialist training through the European Structural Fund

2006 MA (Magister) English Philology, Warsaw University

2006 Project Management in NGOs, Warsaw Women's Centre

2004 MA Society and Culture, Lancaster University and CSS Warsaw 

2002 BA (Hons) English and Cultural and Media Studies, University of the West of England, Bristol

Academic and research interests

Digital and ethnographic research, creative research methods, reproductive justice, health and justice, activism, healthcare in prisons, breastfeeding in prisons, criminalisation of health, online activism, disability activism, disability perspectives in criminology, disability perspectives in HE, creative and alternative assessment in HE, research methods teaching in HE, policy analysis, socio-legal studies, governance and governmentality, rural crime, victimisation/digital victimisation, policing-led healthcare interventions

Research supervision

Ruby Iqbal - Pakistani women's experiences of DA in the UK

Alyce Aaron Carter - Escapism in Prisons



Mecinska, L., C. James & K. Mukungu (2020) Criminalization of Women Accessing Abortion and Enforced Mobility within the European Union and the United Kingdom, Women & Criminal Justice, DOI: 10.1080/08974454.2020.1758868

Mecinska, Lula (2019)  K.J Wilson. Others’ Milk. The Potential of Exceptional Breastfeeding Sociology of Health and Illness https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9566.12904

Mecinska, Lula (2019) Embodied Online Activism: Breastfeeding Activism (Lactivism) on Facebook Networking Knowledge 11(2) Communities and the Media Around the Globe

Mecinska, Lula (2018) Osobista narracja jako sposób wyrażenia intersekcjonalnego aktywizmu ucieleśnionego w internecie: przypadek Eve C. Annales Universitatis Paedagogicae Cracoviensis Studia de Cultura 10(1) 2018

Mecinska, Lula (2018) ‘Milk Pride’: Lactivist Online Constructions of Positive Breastfeeding Value. Studies in the Maternal, 10(1): 9, pp. 1–32

Mecinska, Aleksandra (2012) Wydumany spor miedzy ‘piersiowymi’ a ‘butelkowymi’ matkami [The over-exaggerated contest between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding mothers] interview by F. Schneider na:Temat http://natemat.pl/31479,wydumany-spor-miedzy-piersiowymi-a-butelkowymi-matkami

Bielecka-Prus, Joanna & Walentynowicz (Mecinska), Aleksandra (2008)'Recontextualisations of a public intellectual: the case of Gunnar Myrdaland the Polish Public’ In: Sven Eliæson; Ragnvald Kalleberg (eds.) Academics as public intellectuals. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. p. 196-225.


2023 Generative Artificial Intelligence (e.g., Chat GTP/Bard) Friend or Foe, what does it mean for academic practice Panel Session. L&T Fest 2023 Active Learning, University of Cumbria.

2023 Learning Through Lego(R). L&T Fest 2023 Active Learning, University of Cumbria.

2023 Lula Mecinska, Holly Blackhurst, Carolyne James. Making Criminology come to life. Lula Mecinska, Holly Blackhurst, Carolyne James

2022 Lula Mecinska, Billie Lister-McNeil & Criminology Students. Real World Research in Criminology. Beyond the Ordinary: Create, Innovate and Celebrate. 

2021 Lula Mecinska & Paul Famosaya (2021) Delivering Cross- campus Sessions: reflections on moving from parallel working to working together’. Annual Learning & Teaching Fest 2021, Sustaining our Development in Digital Learning, Teaching and Student Support, University of Cumbria.

2020 Are Rural Areas Idyllic? Rural crime and domestic violence in rural areas – insights from Revisiting the other side of Eden (ROSE) IPV Seminar Series 2019 Polish Sociological Association 17th Polish Sociological Congress, Wroclaw, Poland Breastfeeding as Work

2018 Sibeal Network Conference Belfast Activist responses to enforced mobility and criminalisation of women accessing abortion and narrative learning

2018 British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Aniversary Conference Glasgow ‘One week she had milk dripping into her slippers, next week the doctor told her she dried up!’ Breastfeeding women narratibg negative experiences of interactions with healthcare professionals.

2018 British Society of Criminology Conference 2018 Enforced mobility and criminalisation of women accessing abortion (with Carolyne James, Nicoletta Policek and Kate Mukungu)

2018 Crime and Control Enthography Symposium Reflection on emotional entanglements of fieldwork on reproductive rights

2018 MeCCSA PGN Embodied Online Activism: Breastfeeding Activism (Lactivism) on Facebook

2018 13th Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC USA Patching the Gaps: How Online Support Shapes Breastfeeding Practices in Poland

2016 ERSC Breastfeeding Seminar Series, UWE and Cardiff University ‘Patching the gaps in support - breastfeeding women's peer support on social media in the UK and Poland.’

2014 International Conference Migrant Mothers Caring for the Future, Polish Mothers in the UK panel ‘From Breastfeeding Mother to Peer-Supporter: using maternal skills as an intervention?’

2014 British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference Breastfeeding as technology

2014 Summer Intellectual Party Lancaster University International Postgraduate Conference Making a social contribution through breastfeeding peer support/ a migrant mother's work

2014 Postgraduate Seminar Series Warwick University Breastfeeding and technology, breastfeeding as technology

2013 Summer Intellectual Party Lancaster University International Postgraduate Conference Breastfeeding as Work – dilemmas of conceptualisation in research (and life)

2012 Zmysły/Ciało/Tożsamość [Senses/Body/Identity] Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education, Warsaw Feeding breasts and public space: politics of exhibition and protest

2005 ANOVASOFIE closing conference University College Dublin Recontextualisations of a Public Intellectual the case of Gunnar Myrdal

2004 Culture/Counterculture, Warsaw University We're here and we're queer: third way politics against heteropatriarchy


2014 Campus in the City, Lancaster series of popularisation events organised with academics and peer supporters under the headline ‘Think you know breastfeeding?’ 

2013 TEDx Polish Academy of Sciences Dynamics of Democracy Breastfeeding and Democracy

Recent external roles

University of Bedfordshire - External Examiner (2019-2022)

National Science Centre Poland - Reviewer

European Reproductive Justice Network member

Member of

British Sociological Association

Polish Sociological Association (PTS)

Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)