Prof Peter Merriman

BA and PhD degrees, School of Geography at the University of Nottingham Certificate in Further Professional Studies in Higher Education, The University of Reading

Prof Peter Merriman

Professor in Human Geography

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences

Contact Details


Professor Peter Merriman is a cultural and historical geographer whose interdisciplinary research focuses on mobility, port histories and heritage, theories of space and place, nationalism and national identity, and 20th Century Wales. He is one of the world's leading scholars in mobility studies and is the Aberystwyth lead on the ERDF funded project "Ports past and present" (2019-2023).

Pete completed his BA and PhD degrees in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham, and he was a Lecturer at The University of Reading from 2000 to 2005. Pete joined the Department as a Lecturer in July 2005, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008, Reader in 2012, and a Personal Chair in 2014. Pete is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and UKRI FLF Peer Review College, as well as being a Fellow of the HEA. He also sits on the editorial boards of 'Cultural Geographies', 'Mobilities', 'Transfers', 'Applied Mobilities', 'Mobility Humanities' and two book series. He has previously served as a member of the Management Group of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre, ESF College of Expert Reviewers, as Associate Editor of 'Transfers', and as Reviews Editor of 'Cultural Geographies'.

Responsibilities: * Head of the Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group * Member of the DGES Research Committee * Member of DGES REF Reading Committee * Member of DGES REF Output Review Group * DGES International Collaboration coordinator 


Module Coordinator

Areas of PhD supervision:

  • Cultural and historical geography
  • Mobility and transport
  • Port histories and heritage
  • Space and social theory
  • Cultures of landscape
  • National Identity and Nationalism
  • Twentieth century Britain
  • Welsh cultural history

Current PhD Students:

  • Lowri Ponsford
  • Prididome Pipatchukiat
  • Flossie Baldock



My main research interest is in mobility and the history and geographies of driving. In addition to publishing two monographs in this area ('Driving spaces: a cultural-historical geography of England's M1 motorway' (Blackwell Publishing, 2007) and 'Mobility, Space and Culture' (Routledge, 2012)), I have co-edited 'Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects' (Ashgate, 2011), 'The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities' (2014), 'Mobility and the humanities' (Routledge, 2018, Korean translation 2019), and 'Empire and Mobility in the Long Nineteenth Century' (MUP 'Studies in imperialism' series, 2020). I am a member of the editorial boards of 'Mobilities', 'Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies' and ‘Applied Mobilities’. From 2012 to 2020 I served as Associate Editor of 'Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies', and from 2015 to 2017 I authored the annual progress reports on mobilities for 'Progress in Human Geography'.

Port Heritage, Tourism and Place

I am AU Principal Investigator on the ERDF-funded 'Ports Past and Present' project (funded through the Ireland-Wales programme), working with Rhys A. Jones, the lead partner Claire Connolly and colleagues at University College Cork, and two other partners, UWTSD and Wexford County Council. This €3.2 million project will work with tourism stakeholders and local communities to make tourists aware of the deep history of 5 major Irish and Welsh ferry ports and the history of journeys through them. Creative works in the visual arts, literature and film will be commissioned to bring these histories to life, while digital technology will be deployed to engage new audiences in the heritage of these ports. Work with local authorities and tourism operators will seek to develop new tourism activities, while a joint Irish and Welsh tourism network will be established to assist in developing economic growth in these ports. 

Theories of Space and Place

Over the past five 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. I edited a four-volume major reference work on ‘Space’ in the ‘Critical Concepts in Geography Series (Routledge, 2016) and am currently writing a book on 'Space' for Routledge's 'Key ideas in Geography' Series.

Nationalism and National Identity

Over the past ten years I have been undertaking research with my colleague Rhys A. Jones on theoretical approaches to the nation, nationalism and national identity, focussing on banal and everyday nationalism, and ideas of nationalism and affect.

Research Groups


Merriman, P, Adey, P, Holdsworth, C, Lorimer, H, Schwanen, T, Stratford, E & Bissell, D 2020, 'Book review forum: Transit Life: How Commuting is Transforming Our Cities', Cultural Geographies, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 163-174.
Lambert, D & Merriman, P (eds) 2020, Empire and Mobility in the Long Nineteenth Century. Studies in Imperialism, Manchester University Press, Manchester.
Merriman, P & Lambert, D 2020, Empire and mobility: An Introduction. in P Merriman & D Lambert (eds), Empire and Mobility in the Long Nineteenth Century. Studies in Imperialism, Manchester University Press, pp. 1-28.
Antonsich, M, Skey, M, Sumartojo, S, Merriman, P, Closs Stephens, A, Tolia-Kelly, D, Wilson, H & Anderson, B 2020, 'The spaces and politics of affective nationalism', Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space.
Merriman, P 2019, Mobility. in A Kobayashi (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. 2 edn, vol. 9, Elsevier, pp. 141-148.
More publications on the Research Portal