Landscape Surgery has strong links with the MA in Cultural Geography, taught by the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway., University of London. The course teaches a range of cultural geographic ideas and is combined with research training, practice-based courses and is formally recognised by the British research councils. As such, many of the alumni go on to PhDs and successful careers in academia, policy and beyond.
Below, we introduce the current cohort (2014/15), with a summary of their research interests and links to their work.
I have a theoretical and practical background in media studies and specifically in film making. I am interested in bringing these together with my broad research interest: the urban. This includes (but is not limited to) urban interventions, activist practices and processes of demolition. Related to this, I organise a series of unoffical pre-demolition exhibitions called Last Breath.
I am studying part-time, whilst spending the other half of the week as a primary school teacher in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames. My research interests surround Geographies of Regionality, with a particular focus on Cornish Culture & Identity. I am especially interested in how different regions demonstrate and celebrate their unique culture and how, in some cases this clearly influences the local political, economic and even sporting scene.
Before starting this MA, I graduated from Royal Holloway with a BA in Geography in Summer 2014. My particular research interests within the discipline of socio-cultural geography are based in the arena of the geographies of sexualities. In particular, I am interested in how our everyday behaviours, experiences and emotions affect the formation of sexual identities both in the private and public spheres of the rural environment. Most recently, I have turned to both psychological and sociological literature regarding queer phenomenology to enrich my approach to this topic.
As art-school educated (Edinburgh College of Art, 2008), one half of an Art/Science collaboration with Professor Iain Woodhouse (School of Geosciences, Edinburgh University) and initiator of Jambula (an artist-led project raising awareness of deforestation in Malawi) I am interested in exploring the potential value of working as an artist in both academia and development.
Coming back to the academic world after 25 years as a project manager in the public, charitable and education sectors is exciting. Things have moved on in the meantime (it would be surprising if it hadn’t!) and the breadth of interest is mind expanding. Much of my work involved some form of applied geography, and it was very diverse, but I always knew I’d be back to study. My route from project management to Royal Holloway has been via leading a samba-reggae drumming band in France, junk percussion workshops for children and Steiner teacher training. I’m still teaching some classes this year, and I currently imagine taking my newly expanded mind and finding valuable applications for learning contexts. This may well include (at least) child development, sense of place and indigenous mapping practices.
Before this MA, I finished a BA in Human Geography earlier this year at Aberystwyth University, where I took up an interest in the relationship between physical and digital spaces and how we as everyday people approach these questions. Since joining RHUL I have taken an interest in ideas of mobilising traditional research methods.
I have a strong interest in gender and in emotional geographies. My interests have developed since the second year of my undergraduate degree where I proposed and carried out research in Malawi, Africa, focusing on women’s access to transport. At the moment my research is concentrating on the geographies of love and belonging and how this is performed through different situations. This work stems from previous work on the home and the emotional and sensual geographies which surround it.