Rethinkingthe cultural landscape

Culture serves as a lens through which people interpret theexperiences and interactions that occur in theireveryday life.Advances in technologyare changing every aspect of our lives, leading to contemporary issues. This includes the opportunities and pitfalls ofglobalisationas well asnew human technological relations that create new challenges from different cultures and communities.

Exploring cultural practices helps us understand human activities. Cultural geography explores the relationship between humans and the elements of our environment by examining the way meaning is constructed according to differences in space, timeand place. It emphasises the relationships not only between people and their physical environmentbut also their material, socialand cultural landscapes.

Associated schools, institutes & centres


Working at the intersection of science and art, cultural and human geography research at Canberra addresses a range of transformative social and cultural processes. We explore the challenges posed to traditional social science through reconfigurations and changes to human life including:

  • innovations in material and biological science
  • the proliferation of technological interfaces
  • the emergence of digital cultures
  • artistic, social, and technological communities associated with new forms of cultural and political creativity.

Our research capability and expertise in Cultural Geography include:

  • Published research across a range of high impact journals in geography and social science disciplines, including:
  • Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.
  • Cultural Geographies.
  • Environment and Planning.
  • Body & Society.
  • Performance Research and Theory.
  • Culture & Society.
  • Curation of special issues on emerging issues in social science, including post-humanist research methods, the unconscious, speculative thinking, and the geographies of fashion and style.
  • Organisation of high-profile sessions and panel discussions at international conferences, including the annual meetings of the Institute of Australian Geographers, the American Association of Geographers, the Institute of British Geographersand the Deleuze & Guattari Studies Conference.

Competitive advantage

We have research capabilities, unique expertiseand a strong tradition of conceptual innovation across many areas of human geography. This includes insights from non-representational theory, affect theory, post-humanismand new materialism—as well as froma wide variety of continental philosophers and political theorists.

We are a leader in global research in the science of cultural geography. Our strength comes from:

  • Leading the field in cutting-edge conceptual debates in contemporary social science research.
  • Driving innovation in qualitative research methodologies.
  • Developing interdisciplinary research agendas across the sciences, artsand humanities.
  • Ongoing and new research collaborations with leading Australian and international scholars and departments.

Successful applications

The following projects are currently active:

  • Material Durations: thinking with Biodesign textiles ( Rector Seed Funding).
  • Machinic Life: Art-Science Perspectives on the Technological Engineering of Life ( Rector SEED Funding).

The following research proposals are in the planning stage:

  • Fostering Ecological Care Through Public Arts: Creative Experiments with Lake Burley Griffin.
  • Humour Going Viral: mobilising online humour during COVID-19.
  • Re-thinking human-technology relations in the age of Industry 4.0.
  • The Cultural Geography group has developed collaborative networks with several Australian and international partners, including:

    The group also has ongoing and developing interdisciplinary research projects in collaboration with academics from the:

    • Dewsbury, J-D. (2019). 'Refrains of Lost Time: Collapse, Refrain, Abstract'. In T. Jellis, J. Gerlach & J-D. Dewsbury (eds.)WhyGuattari? A Liberation of Cartographies, Ecologies and Politics(pp. 88-98).London:Routledge.

    • Dewsbury J-D. (2019). 'Foreword: Civic Space and Desire: after Gilles Deleuze and FelixGuattari', in C.Drozynskiand D.Beljaars(eds.)Civic Spaces and Desire(pp.Xvii-xxi). London: Routledge.

    • Lapworth, A. (2020). ‘',Body & Society, 26, pp. 107-134.

    • Lapworth, A. (2019). ‘’,Transactions of theInstitute of British Geographers,44, pp. 657-660.

    • Roberts, T. (2019). '',GeoHumanities,5, pp. 124 – 138.

    • Roberts, T. (2019). ‘’Transactions of theInstitute of British Geographers, 44, pp. 542-554.

    • Sharpe, S. (2020). ‘’,Cultural Geographies,27, pp. 55-69.

    • Sharpe, S. (2018). '',Dialogues inHuman Geography, 8, pp. 225 – 228.

    • Williams, N. (2019). 'Reframing politics in art: from representational subjects to aesthetic subjectification', In T. Jellis, J. Gerlach & J-D. Dewsbury (eds.),WhyGuattari? A Liberation of Cartographies, Ecologies and Politics(pp. 202-213). London: Routledge.

    • Williams, N. (2019). '',Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, pp.647-649.

  • Our current research projects include:

    • Concepts of becoming in Chinese literature
    • Materialities and the fashion industry
    • Reconceptualising slums and slum-life
    • Big data and urbanisation
    • Creative encounters through the visual arts
    • Sonic landscapes
    • Trust in technological mediation for resilience during catastrophic events
  • The Cultural Geography group has established a vibrant research culture in theSchool of Sciencehosting a weekly reading group (Non-representational Theory and Geography) and bi-monthly research workshops (Space, Performance, Art, and Technology). We have an internationally diverse team of PhD students working on a variety of research projects and we are active supporters of the ALLY Network for LGBTIQ+ people.

Study with us

As a Cultural Geography student, you will benefit from:

  • National and international field trips available to undergraduate students
  • Research-led teaching and thinking through innovative conceptual ideas about cutting-edge empirical examples in art, technology, and science
  • Experimental methodologies with strong local community and public engagement.

The following courses are available to students interested in Cultural Geography:



Our researchers

Head of School John-David Dewsbury
opens in a new window
Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography Andrew Lapworth
Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography
opens in a new window
Lecturer in Human Geography Tom Roberts
Lecturer in Human Geography
opens in a new window
Honorary Senior Lecturer Alec Thornton
Honorary Senior Lecturer
opens in a new window
Lecturer in Cultural Geography Nina Williams
Lecturer in Cultural Geography
opens in a new window
Default profile picture, avatar, photo placeholder. Vector illustration
opens in a new window