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


Peter Merriman is a cultural and historical geographer whose interdisciplinary research focuses on mobility, theories of space and place, port histories and heritage and theories of nationalism and national identity, often with an empirical focus on 20th century England and 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, and has served on the international jury of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)'s 'doc-funds' schemes (2019 and 2021), several AHRC grants panels (since 2011), and ESF College of Expert Reviewers (2010-12, 2016-19), and the Management Group of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre (2014-16). He is Editor of the 'Routledge Research in Culture, Space and Identity' Book Series, and sits on the editorial boards of the journals 'Cultural Geographies', 'Mobilities', 'Transfers', 'Applied Mobilities', and 'Mobility Humanities', and the boards of two book series. He has previously served as an Associate Editor of 'Transfers' and as Reviews Editor of 'Cultural Geographies'. He is also a Fellow of the RGS-IBG and the HEA.

Responsibilities: *Head of MA Programmes * 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




My first main research interest is in social science and humanities approaches to mobility. 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 four agenda-setting books: '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', ‘Applied Mobilities’ and 'Mobility Humanities'. 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'. Within the university, I am a member of the organising committee of CMOP (the Centre for the Movement of People).

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. We are working with the film company Mother Goose and other creative practitioners 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 space and place in the social sciences and humanities. Most recently I have completed a book on 'Space' for Routledge's 'Key ideas in Geography' Series (due out February 2022) and prior to this I edited a four-volume major reference work on ‘Space’ in the ‘Critical Concepts in Geography Series (Routledge, 2016).

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 attempting to approach the nation, nationalism and feelings of national identity through concepts of affect and atmosphere.

Research Groups


Merriman, P 2021, 'Book Reviews: Globalizing Automobilism: Exuberance and the Emergence of Layered Mobility, 1900–1980 by Mom Gijs', The Journal of Transport History.
Merriman, P 2021, 'Micro-mobilities in lockdown', Transfers, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 50-56.
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.
More publications on the Research Portal