Professor Peter Merriman
Professor of Geography
BA and PhD degrees in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622 574
Fax: +44 (0)1970 622 659
- From February 2016: Director of Teaching and Learning
- Head of Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group
- Member of Research Committee
- Member of the Management Group, ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre
- Pathway Leader (Human Geography, Aberystwyth), ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre
- Head of 'Landscape, Nature and Culture' Research Cluster
- Associate Editor of “Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies”
- Reviews Editor of “Cultural Geographies”
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)
- 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
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
Professor 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, and a Personal Chair in 2014. Pete has served as a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2007-2014), and on the editorial boards of ‘Cultural Geographies’ (2008-2013) and ‘Transfers’ (2009-2013). He is currently 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.
Motorways and the modernisation of Britain's road network, 1937-70. In R. Roth, C. Divall (eds), From rail to road and back again?: a century of transport competition and interdependency., Ashgate Publishing Group, Farnham pp. 315-338.2015.
Performing internal migration. In D. Smith, N. Finney, K. Halfacree, N. Walford (eds), Internal migration: geographical perspectives and processes. International Population Studies, Ashgate Publishing Group, Farnham pp. 149-164.2015.
Mobilities I: Departures. Progress in Human Geography 39 (1) pp. 87-95. 10.1177/03091325145270302015.
Mobility. In W. Rupp, N. Thrift, A. Tickell, S. Woolgar (eds), Globalization in practice., Oxford University Press, Oxford pp. 31-34.2014.
Introduction: Qualities. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis, London pp. 103-106. Other2014.
Rethinking mobile methods. Mobilities 9 (2) pp. 167-187. 10.1080/17450101.2013.7845402014.
The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis(eds) 2013.
Archaeologies of automobility. In P. Graves-Brown, R. Harrison, A. Piccini (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World., Oxford University Press, Oxford pp. 437-450. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199602001.013.0072013.
Unpicking space-time: Towards new apprehensions of movement-space. In C. Ehland (ed), Space and Mobility. Spatial practices, Brill Publishers, Amsterdam pp. 177-192. Other2013.
Roads. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities. Routledge Handbooks, Taylor & Francis, London pp. 196-204. 10.4324/9781315857572.ch182013.
Introduction. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis, London pp. 1-20. Other2013.
Introduction: Genealogies, philosophies, approaches. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis, London pp. 21-24.2013.
Introduction: Spaces, systems, infrastructures. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis, London pp. 183-187. Other2013.
Subjects. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis, London pp. 345-348. Other2013.
Events. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis, London pp. 439-441. Other2013.
Materialities. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities., Taylor & Francis, London pp. 265-268. Other2013.
Introduction. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, M. Sheller (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities. Routledge Handbooks, Taylor & Francis, London Other2013.
Editorial. Transfers 3 (1) pp. 1-5. 10.3167/tranS.2013.0301012013.
Mobility: geographies, histories, sociologies. Transfers 3 (1) pp. 147-165. 10.3167/tranS.2013.0301112013.
What are surfaces? Environment and Planning A 45 (5) pp. 1013-1020. 10.1068/a46992013.
Mobility, Space and Culture. International Library of Sociology, Taylor & Francis Other2012.
Motorways, modern heritage and the British Landscape. In S. May, H. Orange, S. Penrose (eds), The Good, the Bad and the Unbuilt: Handling the Heritage of the Recent Past., Archaeopress, Oxford2012.
Network nation. Environment and Planning A 45 (4) pp. 937. 10.1068/a441592012.
Britain and the motorway club: the effect of European and North American motorway construction on attitudes in Britain, 1930-1960. Transfers 2 (1) pp. 106-133. 10.3167/trans.2012.0201082012.
Human geography without time-space. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37 (1) pp. 13-27. 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00455.x2012.
Profiling the passenger: mobilities, identities, embodiments. Cultural Geographies 19 (2) pp. 169-193. 10.1177/14744740114280312012.
Space and spatiality in theory. Dialogues in Human Geography 2 (1) pp. 3-22. 10.1177/20438206114348642012.
Geographies of mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects., Ashgate Publishing Group(eds) 2011.
Introduction: Geographies of mobilities: practices, spaces, subjects. In T. Cresswell, P. Merriman (eds), Geographies of mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects., Ashgate Publishing Group pp. 1-15.2011.
Roads: Lawrence Halprin, modern dance and the American freeway landscape. In T. Cresswell, P. Merriman (eds), Geographies of mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects., Ashgate Publishing Group pp. 99-117.2011.
Enfolding and gathering the landscape: the geographies of England's M1 motorway corridor. In M. Hvattum, B. Brenna, B. Elvebakk, J. Larsen (eds), Routes, Roads and Landscapes., Ashgate Publishing Group pp. 213-226.2011.
Driving places: Marc Augé, non-places and the geographies of England’s M1 motorway. In D. Gregory, N. Castree (eds), Human Geography: Space, Place and Landscape., Sage Publications, London pp. 315-336.2011.
Marc Augé. In P. Hubbard, R. Kitchin (eds), Key Thinkers on Space and Place., Sage Publications pp. 26-33.2010.
Architecture and geography. In B. Warf (ed), Encyclopedia of Geography., Sage Publications2010.
Mobility. In R. Kitchin, N. Thrift (eds), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography., Reed Elsevier pp. 134-143.2009.
The First Day on the M1. BBC History Magazine 10 (11) pp. 62-65.2009.
The M1 at 50. Twentieth Century Architecture: the C20 (Autumn) pp. 16-16.2009.
Marc Augé on space, place and non-place. Irish Journal of French Studies (9) pp. 9-29.2009.
'Beautified' is a vile phrase : the politics and aesthetics of landscaping roads in Pre- and Post-war Britain. In C. Mauch, T. Zeller (eds), The world beyond the windshield : roads and landscapes in the United States and Europe., Ohio University Press, Ohio pp. 168-186.2008.
Driving Germany: the Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970, Thomas Zeller. Berghahn Books, Oxford (2007), 289 pages, £50 hardback. Journal of Historical Geography 34 (4) pp. 661-663. 10.1016/j.jhg.2008.07.0032008.
Driving spaces: a cultural-historical geography of England's M1 motorway., John Wiley & Sons, Oxford Cadair2007.
'A new look at the English landscape': landscape architecture, movement and the aesthetics of motorways in early postwar Britain. Cultural Geographies 13 (1) pp. 78-105. 10.1191/1474474006eu351oa Cadair Other2006.
Places/non-places. Performance Research 11 (3) pp. 94-95.2006.
'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 (3) pp. 336-350. 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2005.00175.x Cadair Other2005.
'Operation motorway': Landscapes of construction on England's M1 motorway. Journal of Historical Geography 31 (1) pp. 113-133. 10.1016/j.jhg.2003.06.0012005.