Dr Peter Merriman

Reader in Human Geography
BA and PhD degrees in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham Photograph of Dr Peter Merriman.

Contact

Email: prm@aber.ac.uk
Office: J7
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622 574
Fax: +44 (0)1970 622 659

Responsibilities

  • Head of Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group
  • Assistant Director of Postgraduate Studies
  • Postgraduate Recruitment and Admissions (Human Geography)
  • Member of Research Committee
  • Member of Postgraduate Committee
  • Member of Recruitment and Admissions Committee
  • Head of 'Landscape, Nature and Culture' Research Cluster

Teaching Areas

Areas of PhD supervision:

  • Cultural and historical geography
  • Mobility and transport
  • Space and social theory
  • Cultures of landscape
  • Twentieth century Britain
  • Welsh cultural history/Welsh nationalism

Module coordinator for:

  • Landscapes Of British Modernity (GG36220)
  • Engaging Landscape (GGM3220)

Contributes to:

  • Place, Culture and Society (GG14410)
  • Placing Culture (GG28520)
  • Research Methods in Human Geography (GGM3820)
  • Dublin Fieldtrip
  • MA in Practising Human Geography
  • MA in Landscape and Territory
  • Ma in Regional and Environmental Policy

Research

I am a cultural and historical geographer and my current research focuses on a number of themes: the geographies, sociologies and histories of mobility (with a particular focus on the practices and spaces of driving); theories of space, place, and landscape; the historical geographies of connected communities; and the cultural-politics of Welsh nationalism:

Geographies, Sociologies and Histories of Mobility and Driving 

My long-standing interest in the geographies, histories and sociologies of mobility and driving stems from my doctoral research at the University of Nottingham on the geography and history of England’s M1 motorway in the 1950s and 1960s, which was revised and published as ‘Driving spaces: a cultural-historical geography of England’s M1 motorway’ (Blackwell Publishing, August 2007). The book examines why geographers, historians and sociologists should be interested in the social, cultural and spatial dimensions of driving. It then traces how motorways were envisioned in Britain between 1900 and 1945, before exploring the geography, history and sociology of the design, construction, landscaping and use of the M1 in the late 1950s and 1960s.

My second book, ‘Mobility, Space and Culture’ (Routledge, May 2012), draws upon theoretical and empirical work from across the social sciences and humanities to provide a critical evaluation of the relationship between ‘mobility’, ‘space’ and ‘place’/‘site’, reformulating places as in process, open, and dynamic spatial formations. I draw upon post-structuralist writings on space, practice and society to demonstrate how movement is not simply practised or experienced in relation to space and time, but gives rise to rhythms, forces, atmospheres, affects and materialities which are often more crucial to embodied apprehensions of events than sensibilities of spatiality and temporality. The second half of the book draws upon detailed empirical research on experiences of, and social reactions to, driving in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain to trace how the motor-car became associated with sensations of movement-space and enmeshed with debates about embodiment, health, visuality, gender and politics. This book forms the first in a series of projected publications on the early history of driving in Britain.

In addition, to these two major projects I have undertaken a number of collaborative projects on mobility, including co-editing ‘Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects’ (Ashgate, 2011) with Tim Cresswell, as well as co-editing the ‘The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities’ (2014) with Peter Adey, David Bissell, Kevin Hannam and Mimi Sheller. I am also an Associate Editor of ‘Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies’, an active member of the editorial board of ‘Mobilities’, and from 2012 to 2015 I will be authoring the annual progress reports on geographies of mobilities for ‘Progress in Human Geography’.  

Theories of Space, Place, and Landscape

Over the past few years I have been working on a number of publications which seek to advance contemporary theories of landscape, space and place in the social sciences and humanities. Following the publication of my book ‘Mobility, Space and Culture’ (2012) and articles on theories of space and spatiality in ‘Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers’ and ‘Dialogues in Human Geography’ I have been contracted to write/edit two books on theories of space for Routledge. Firstly, I am editing a four-volume major reference work on space and spatiality, and secondly I am writing a book entitled ‘Space’ for Routledge’s ‘Key ideas in Geography’ Series.

Historical Geographies of Connected Communities

An important strand of my work over the past ten years has been my research on the historical geographies of connective infrastructures and connected communities. I am currently working on two AHRC-funded projects with my colleague Professor Rhys Jones, which are funded under the AHRC’s ‘Connected Communities’ programme. The first of these, is entitled ‘Networking communities: mobility, nationalism and the historical geographies of connective infrastructures’, and explores how mobility practices and infrastructures have been seen to connect and divide communities, in different places and at different scales.

The second project, led by Rhys Jones, is entitled ‘Connecting youth with geographic communities: youth organisations and group identities in the UK during the twentieth century’.  

Cultural Politics of Welsh National Identity and Nationalism

Over the past few years I have been undertaking research with my colleague Rhys Jones on the cultural politics of Welsh national identity and nationalism. Out of our first collaborative project we have published three papers on the history of the Welsh Language Society’s campaign for bilingual road signs in Wales in the late 1960s and 1970s, which provide theoretical interventions into relational approaches to territory and theories of hot, banal and everyday nationalism. We have recently started a project on the historical geographies of Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the Welsh League of Youth), and we currently have two collaborative research projects funded under the AHRC’s ‘Connected Communities’ Programme. The project I am leading looks at how transport infrastructures and mobility practices have been seen as an important way to unite or divide Wales as a nation – geographically, culturally, politically and economically.

 

Current PhD Students

Biography

Dr Peter Merriman is a cultural and historical geographer whose interdisciplinary research focuses on the geographies, histories and sociologies of mobility, theories of space, place, and landscape, architectural geographies, the historical geographies of connected communities, and the cultural politics of Welsh nationalism. He is a leading international researcher on the spaces, practices and histories of driving.

Pete completed his BA and PhD degrees in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham, and he was a Lecturer in the Department of Geography at The University of Reading from 2000 to June 2005. Pete joined the Institute as a Lecturer in July 2005, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008 and Reader in 2012. Pete is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Book Reviews Editor for 'Cultural Geographies', Associate Editor for ‘Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies’, a member of the Conference Advisory Group of the International Conference of Historical Geographers in 2015, and sits on the editorial boards of ‘Mobilities’ and the interdisciplinary ‘Spatial Practices’ book series published by Rodopi.

Staff Publications

Books

2014

  1. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (eds)(2014) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge, xix + 624pp

2012

  1. Merriman, P. (2012) Mobility, Space, and Culture, London: Routledge.

2011

  1. Cresswell, T. and Merriman, P. (eds)(2011) Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects Farnham: Ashgate Publishing

2007

  1. Merriman P. 2007. Driving spaces: a cultural-historical geography of England’s M1 motorway. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, RGS-IBG Book Series.

 

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters & Journal Articles

2014

  1. Merriman, P. (2014) ‘Mobility’, in A. Tickell, N. Thrift and S. Woolgar (eds)Globalization in practice, Oxford: Oxford University Press, in press
  2. Halfacree, K. and Merriman, P. (in press, 2014) ‘Performing migration’, in D. Smith, N. Finney, K. Halfacree and N. Walford (eds) Britain on the Move, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (RGS-IBG Book Series).
  3. Merriman, P. (2014, in press) ‘Motorways and the modernisation of Britain’s road network’, in C. Divall and R. Roth (eds) From road to rail and back again, Farnham: Ashgate.
  4. Merriman, P. (2014) ‘Roads’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge, pp.196-204.
  5. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Introduction’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge, pp.1-20.
  6. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Genealogies, philosophies, approaches’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge.
  7. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Qualities’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge.
  8. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Spaces, systems, infrastructures’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge.
  9. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Materialities’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge.
  10. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Subjects’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge.
  11. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Events’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge.
  12. Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (2014) ‘Methodologies’, in P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman and M. Sheller (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities, London: Routledge.

2013

  1. Merriman, P. (2013) ‘Rethinking mobile methods’, Mobilities, DOI
  2. Forsyth, I., Lorimer, H., Merriman, P. and Robinson, J. (2013) ‘What are surfaces?Environment and Planning A, 45(5), pp.1013-1020.
  3. Mom, G., Clarsen, G., Merriman, P., Seiler, C., Sheller, M. and Weber, H. (2013) ‘Editorial’, Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, 3(1), pp.1-5.
  4. Merriman, P., Jones, R., Cresswell, T., Divall, C., Mom, G., Sheller, M. & Urry, J. (2013) ‘Mobility: geographies, histories, sociologies’, Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, 3(1), pp.147-165.
  5. Merriman, P. (2013) Archaeologies of automobility, in Paul Graves-Brown, Rodney Harrison and Angela Piccini (eds) The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.437-450.
  6. Merriman, P. (2013) ‘Unpicking space-time: towards new apprehensions of movement- space’, C. Ehland (ed.) Space and mobility, Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp.177-192.

2012

  1. Merriman, P., Jones, M., Olsson, G., Sheppard, E., Thrift, N. and Tuan, Y.-F. (2012) ‘Space and spatiality in theory’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 2(1), pp.3-22.
  2. Adey, P., Bissell, D. McCormack, D. and Merriman, P. (2012) ‘Profiling the Passenger: mobilities, identities, embodiments’, Cultural Geographies, 19(2), pp.169-193.
  3. Jones, R. and Merriman, P.(2012) Network nation, Environment and Planning A, 45, May, pp.937-953.
  4. Merriman, P. (2012) ‘Human geography without time-space’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37(1), pp.13-27.
  5. Merriman, P. (2012) ‘Britain and ‘the motorway club’: the effect of European and North American motorway construction on attitudes in Britain, 1930-1960’, Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 2(1). pp.106-133
  6. Merriman, P. (2012) ‘Motorways, modern heritage and the British Landscape’, in S. May, H. Orange and S. Penrose (eds) The Good, the Bad and the Unbuilt: Handling 20th Century Heritage, Oxford: Archaeopress.pp.103-111

2011

  1. Merriman, P. (2011) ‘Enfolding and gathering the landscape: the geographies of England’s M1 motorway corridor’, in Mari Hvattum, Brita Brenna, Beate Elvebakk, and Janike Kampevold Larsen (eds) Routes, Roads and Landscapes. Farnham: Ashgate, pp.213-226.
  2. Merriman, P. (2011) ‘Driving places: Marc Augé, non-places and the geographies of England’s M1 motorway’, in D. Gregory and N. Castree (eds) Human Geography, Volume Three: Space, Place and Landscape, London: Sage, pp.315-336.
  3. Jacobs, J. and Merriman, P. (2011) ‘Practising architectures’, Social and Cultural Geography, 12(3), pp.211-222.
  4. Merriman, P. (2011) ‘Lawrence Halprin, modern dance and the American freeway landscape’, in T. Cresswell and P. Merriman (eds) Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, pp.99-117.
  5. Cresswell, T. and Merriman, P. (2011) ‘Introduction: Geographies of mobilities – practices, spaces, subjects’, in T. Cresswell and P. Merriman (eds) Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, pp.1-15.
  6. Merriman, P. (2011) ‘Marc Augé’, in P. Hubbard and R. Kitchin (eds) Key Thinkers on Space and Place (Second Edition), London: Sage, pp.26-33. 

2010

  1. Merriman, P. (2010) ‘Architecture/dance: Choreographing and inhabiting spaces with Anna and Lawrence Halprin’, Cultural Geographies, 17(4), pp.427-449.
  2. Merriman, P. (2010) ‘Creating an archive of geographical engagement’, Area, 42(3), pp.387-390.
  3. Merriman, P. (2010) Architecture and geography, in B. Warf (ed.) Encyclopedia of Geography (Volume 1), London: Sage, pp.106-108.

2009

  1. Merriman, P. and Webster, C. (2009) Travel projects: landscape, art, movement, Cultural Geographies, 16(4), pp.525-535.
  2. Merriman, P. (2009) Marc Augé on space, place and non-place, Irish Journal of French Studies, 9, pp.9-29.
  3. Jones, R. and Merriman, P. (2009) Hot, banal and everyday nationalism: bilingual road signs in Wales, Political Geography, 28(3), pp.164-173. DOI
  4. Merriman, P. and Jones, R. (2009) ‘Symbols of Justice’: the Welsh Language Society’s campaign for bilingual road signs in Wales, 1967-1980, Journal of Historical Geography, 35(2), pp.350-375. DOI
  5. Merriman, P. (2009) Automobility and the geographies of the car, Geography Compass, 3(2), pp.586-599. DOI
  6. Merriman, P. (2009) ‘Mobility’, in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift (eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Volume 7), London: Elsevier, pp.134-143.

2008

  1. Merriman P, Revill G, Cresswell T, Lorimer H, Matless D, Rose G, Wylie J. 2008. Landscape, mobility, practice. Social and Cultural Geography, 9(2): 191-212.
  2. Merriman P. 2008. “‘Beautified’ is a vile phrase”: the politics and aesthetics of landscaping roads in Pre- and Post-war Britain. The World Beyond the Windshield: Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe, : pp.168-186.

2006

  1. Merriman P. 2006. 'A new look at the English landscape': landscape architecture, movement and the aesthetics of motorways in early postwar Britain. Cultural Geographies, 13: 78-105.
  2. Merriman P. 2006. 'Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre': assembling and governing the motorway driver in late 1950s Britain. Sociological Review, 54: 75-92.
  3. Merriman P. 2006. Places/non-places. Perforimance Research, 11: pp.94-95.
  4. Merriman P. 2006. “Mirror, signal, manoeuvre”: assembling and governing the motorway driver in late fifties Britain. Against Automobility, : pp.75-92.

2005

  1. Merriman P. 2005. Materiality, subjectification, and government: the geographies of Britain's Motorway Code. Environment and Planning D-Society & Space, 23: 235-250.
  2. Merriman P. 2005. 'Operation motorway': landscapes of construction on England's M1 motorway. Journal of Historical Geography, 31: 113-133.
  3. Merriman P. 2005. 'Respect the life of the countryside': the Country Code, government and the conduct of visitors to the countryside in post-war England and Wales. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 30: 336-350.
  4. Merriman P. 2005. Driving places: Marc Augé, non-places and the geographies of England’s M1 motorway. Automobilities, : pp.145-167.

 

Magazine Articles

2009

  1. Merriman P. 2009. The First Day on the M1.
  2. Merriman P. 2009. The M1 at 50.