Dr Tom Roberts


Room 218 PEMS North (Building 22),
School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences,
UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy,
Campbell, ACT 2600,


Tom Roberts is a geographer and Research Associate at the School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences at UNSW Canberra.

Tom obtained a BA (hons) in Geography from the University of Oxford in 2008. He enrolled at the University of Bristol in 2010 and was awarded an MSc in Human Geography (Society in Space) in 2011, before successfully defending his doctoral thesis in 2015. 

Tom's intellectual background is in social and cultural geography, with expertise in theories of affect, new materialism and post-humanist thought. His research addresses the ontological status of 'matter' within geography and cognate disciplines, in order to better understand the kinds of material processes implicated in contemporary spatial experience. Combining theoretical innovation with current empirical problematics, Tom's research around materiality problematizes the primacy of the human subject in relation to a variety of social and cultural contexts. These include: the primacy of affect in the architecture of consumption spaces; the emerging agencies of 'smart' materials and responsive objects; the digital materialities engendered by 3D-printing technologies; and the incorporeal materials generated through modes of contemporary artistic intervention.

Tom's theoretical influences include Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Alfred North Whitehead, Gilbert Simondon, Baruch Spinoza and Friedrich Nietzsche. 

His work has been published in cultural geographies; Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; Environment and Planning ATransactions of the Institute of British Geographers; and GeoHumanities.


Book Chapters

Roberts T, 2018, 'Guattari's incorporeal materialism: from individuation to aesthetics (and back again)', in Jellis T; Gerlach J; Dewsbury JD (ed.), Why Guattari? a Liberation of Politics, Cartography and Ecology, Routledge

Journal articles

Roberts T, 2020, 'Glitterworlds: The Future Politics of a Ubiquitous Thing.', CULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474474020956264

Roberts T, 2019, 'Writing', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 44, pp. 644 - 646, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tran.12323

Williams N; Patchett M; Lapworth A; Roberts T; Keating T, 2019, 'Practising post-humanism in geographical research', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 44, pp. 637 - 643, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tran.12322

Roberts T, 2019, 'Resituating post-phenomenological geographies: Deleuze, relations and the limits of objects', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 44, pp. 542 - 554, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tran.12280

Roberts T, 2019, 'In Pursuit of Necessary Joys: Deleuze, Spinoza, and the Ethics of Becoming Active', GeoHumanities, vol. 5, pp. 124 - 138, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2373566x.2019.1575762

Roberts T, 2017, 'Thinking technology for the Anthropocene: Encountering 3D printing through the philosophy of Gilbert Simondon', Cultural Geographies, vol. 24, pp. 539 - 554, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474474017704204

Roberts T, 2014, 'From things to events: Whitehead and the materiality of process', Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol. 32, pp. 968 - 983, http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/d13195p

Roberts T, 2012, 'From 'new materialism' to 'machinic assemblage': Agency and affect in IKEA', Environment and Planning A, vol. 44, pp. 2512 - 2529, http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/a44692

Theses / Dissertations

Roberts TM, 2016, Life beyond bounds: experiments in transcendental empiricism, University of Bristol, http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.687682