INTRODUCING THE MA CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS 2018/19

Emma Christian

After completing my undergraduate BSc degree in Geography at Royal Holloway, I decided to continue studying and specialise in cultural geography by doing the MA in Cultural Geography. I did my undergraduate dissertation on Jazz heritage in Paris as I am very interested in how art movements can shape a place in time and space. My aim is to have an academic role in order to attempt promoting the use of art in education. I also want to use form of art–such as graphic design, documentaries, and music–in order to create several atmospheres to which people can associate, and therefore become more sensible to the subjects. I believe art is the way to raise awareness about socio-political and environmental world issues in a way that touches on people’s emotions. In my opinion, action is more likely to happen is people are more emotionally impacted.

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Ellie Cooper

I completed my undergraduate BSc degree in Geography at Royal Holloway last year and I have started the MA in Cultural Geography this year. My undergraduate dissertation examined the importance of maps in contemporary society, looking specifically at the role of technological and cultural influences, including the growth of map-art and artistic interpretations of place. My main interests are concentrated around artful geographies, aerography and the importance of creative methods within activism.

Ollie Devereux

I’m studying for an MA in Cultural Geography, following the completion of my undergraduate degree in Geography at Keele. Previously I have studied: the relationship between bridges and our conception of home, the works of Peter Lanyon linked to spatial theory, aerography and the Anthropocene, and the multiplicity of Cornish nationalism. I want to combine my recent experiences of working at Tate St Ives with my geographical interests, which drew me to this MA. I am also looking to study the cultural and spatial affect of newly built bridges, likely using the Russian built Kerch Strait bridge as a primary case study.

Rhys Gazeres de Baradieux

I am a skateboarder of 11 years and (sometimes) a guitarist of 3 or 4 years. In terms of research, I am interested mostly in critical urban geographies, specifically neoliberal forms of governance in the city. My undergraduate dissertation explored the exclusion of skateboarding from St. Paul’s Cathedral Churchyard (formerly a well-recognised skate-spot within the community) that inevitably resulted from re-developments at the site during the summer of 2017. I was led to the MA in Cultural Geography due to my interest in applying for a PhD that will interrogate skateboarding’s debut inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, an event that will undoubtably (and already has!) led to the increasing structurisation of what originated as a creative, counter-cultural urban sport. During the MA course, I hope widen my interest somewhat to explore themes such as smart cities governance and development and dystopic representations of post-capitalist cities in manga and anime.

Matthew Philips

After my undergraduate degree in Human Geography at RHUL, I knew continuing with studies was something I wanted to do. So, I’m currently studying on the MA in Cultural Geography course. The dissertation from my bachelor’s-degree was focussed on identity, atmospheres, mobility, and affect in the Cyprus Buffer Zone; assessing how racism manifests in Nicosia, especially between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots. One reason for continuing my studies is to explore the usefulness of new methods in research, such as documentary filmmaking as a way of generating research and disseminating it, especially as I have a background in photography. Using these methods, I’m looking to research areas around local identities and nationalism for my MA dissertation.

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Megan Zerilli

I completed my undergraduate BSc degree in Geography at the University of St Andrews, where I partnered with Fife Women’s Aid during my dissertation to explore domestic abuse and refuge provision. In undertaking the MA in Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, I’m continuing my focus on feminist geographies, interpersonal violence, and participatory research methods with the aim to research the perceptions of safety in the urban environment.

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