Human Geography: Theory, Place and Society

Cultural geographers seek to understand the interrelation of spatial processes across distinct material registers, whether ethico-political, ecological, aesthetic, discursive, technical, or even inorganic.

By teasing out the complexity of these interrelations, cultural geography provides a particularly fertile environment in which to investigate and re-think some of the most fundamental aspects of human life, including: knowledge, meaning and the performativity of discourse; subjectivity, perception and the materiality of lived experience; desire, agency and the will; imagination, invention and creative expression.

What kind of research environment can I expect at UNSW Canberra?

The environment at UNSW Canberra is fast developing into an innovative hub for theoretically informed cultural geography, in both Australian and international contexts. We offer an exciting range of activities, designed to support and encourage students in experimenting with cutting-edge ideas, developing new skill-sets, and exploring their own research agendas. These activities include: a weekly reading group, attracting an interdisciplinary array of students and researchers from UNSW, the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Bristol (UK); bi-monthly workshops, addressing key concepts for contemporary social research within and beyond the discipline; and an annual conference event, showcasing our research and bringing internationally renowned researchers to Canberra. Cultural geographers at Canberra also participate in international conferences, presenting their research in North America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Japan.

What does Canberra have to offer to developing researchers?

Canberra has much to offer in the way of research opportunities, and in particular for cultural geographers. As Australia’s capital, Canberra draws together a diverse array of institutions forming a vibrant and intellectually stimulating confluence of governmental, technoscientific, artistic and military spaces. The city’s geographical location also affords a distinctive dialogue between the architectural possibilities of the urban environment and the broader ecological relations that situate cultural life in relation to nonhuman processes. Finally, living and working in Canberra provides developing researchers with unparalleled opportunities for networking across Australia’s academic institutions. Cultural geographers at UNSW Canberra have strong research links with sociology at the ANU, as well as connections with prominent geographers and social theorists in the nearby cities of Sydney and Melbourne.