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Dr Julian Brigstocke

Dr Julian Brigstocke

Lecturer in Human Geography

School of Geography and Planning

+44 (0)29 2087 6085
Room 2.91, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision

As a geographer with a background in philosophy, sociology, and drama, I aim to work in creative ways across disciplinary boundaries. My research centres on the relationship between cities, aesthetics, and power, and I am currently completing a monograph titled Forms of Authority, to be published in 2020. My first monograph The Life of the City was published by Ashgate in 2014 and is now out in paperback. My teaching spans issues in social, cultural, political, and feminist geography. It aims to guide students towards understandings of global societal challenges by starting from the perspectives and experiences of marginalized groups, and interpreting them through new conceptual frameworks.

My research is currently focused on two main areas: firstly, the politics of sand in Hong Kong (and how sand connects to major issues around urban borders, land speculation, and colonial and post-colonial governance); and secondly, the experience of violent urban borders in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. 


  • PhD Human Geography, Bristol University (2011)
  • MSc Society & Space, Bristol University (2006)
  • BA (Hons) Philosophy, Bristol University (2003)


  • Lecturer, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University (2014 - present).
  • Lecturer, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University (2012-2014).
  • Research Associate, Warwick University, Department of Sociology (2012)
  • Research Associate, Newcastle University (2011)
  • Project Editor, Canopus Books (2003-2006)


  • Editorial Board, GeoHumanities
  • Editorial Board, Aurora: Revista de Arte, Mídia e Política
  • Editorial Board, Cardiff University Press
  • Peer Review College member, Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Founding member of the Authority Research Network (ARN)
  • Treasurer of the Philosophy and History of Geography Research Group


  • Simpson, P. and Brigstocke, J. 2019. Affect. In: Atkinson, P. et al. eds. SAGE Research Methods Foundations... London: SAGE



  • Brigstocke, al. 2017. Implicit values: uncounted legacies. In: Facer, K. and Pahl, K. eds. Valuing Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research: Beyond Impact.. Policy Press, pp. 65-84.








My teaching interests lie in social, political, cultural,cultural, political, and social geography, as well as philosophies and theories of geography. My teaching aims to guide students towards understandings of contemporary issues by starting from the perspectives and experiences of marginalized groups, and interpreting them through new conceptual frameworks. 

I teach on the following modules:

  • Border Spaces: Identities, Cultures, and Politics in a Globalising World (module leader)
  • The Big Questions in Human Geography (module leader)
  • Researching Contemporary Issues in Hong Kong (module leader)
  • Gender, Space and Place
  • Dissertations (undergraduate and postgraduate)


My research works across disciplinary boundaries to investigate relationships between cities, aesthetics, and authority. I am working on a monograph titled Forms of Authority. This research draws on non-representational, feminist and post-colonial theories to develop a new account of the contemporary experience of authority at points where authority is in crisis or in question. Drawing on empirical fieldwork in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Hong Kong, the book develops ideas around the the politics of aesthetics, feminist 'new materialist' ways of thinking about urban materialities and infrastructures, and the relationship between form and sensation. The research explores the possibilities for new forms of authority that are dispersed, multiple, embodied, and transversal. 

I am shortly to start working on an action research project in Rio de Janeiro that explores how embodied and non-representational cultural practices can foster new understandings of violent urban borders, and help to create the conditions for new forms of peace activism and community activism. Working in a complex of 16 favelas that experiences high levels of violence and human rights abuses, the project aims to address alienation through creative and experimental forms of participatory research practice. 

Earlier research was published as a monograph titled The Life of the City: Space, Humour and the Experience of Truth in fin-de-siecle Montmartre (Ashgate, 2014), now out in paperback. This book offers an historical geographical account of the politics of aesthetics in the artistic and political counter-cultures of late 19th century anarchism. In particular, it explores the role of experimental writing and performance in contesting dominant biopolitical experiences of urban vitality and liveliness.

I am part of a research collective called the Authority Research Network (ARN). Together we experiment with ways of collectively working and writing on issues around power, alienation, participatory practice, and the making of the commons. Our latest book is Problems of Hope (ARN Press, 2018)

I am on the Editorial Boards of GeoHumanities; Aurora: Revista de Arte, Mídia e Política; and Cardiff University Press. 

Funded Projects

  • Transforming Atmospheric Authority: Experimental Embodiments in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro (PI, £250,000, AHRC, 2019-2022). 
  • Harena (PI, £3000 creative residency, Leverhulme, 2018)
  • Social Change Through Creativity and Culture, Brazil (Co-I, Newton/AHRC, £280,000, 2016)
  • Participation's "Others": A Cartography of Creative Listening Practices (PI, AHRC, £55,000, 2014 - 2015).
  • Starting From Values: Evaluating Intangible Legacies (Co-I, AHRC, £128,000, 2014-2015).
  • Landscapes of Authority (PI, Plymouth University, £3000, 2013-2014)
  • Authority, Knowledge and Performance in Participatory Practice (named researcher, AHRC, £40,000 (2012)
  • Immanent Authority and the Making of Community (named researcher, AHRC, £40,000, 2011)

I am interested in supervising PhD students working in the following areas:

  • Geography and the politics of aesthetics
  • Non-representational geographies
  • Cities, politics, and power
  • Authority, authoritariansim, and authority-crisis.
  • Urban infrastructures
  • Cities, violence, and social justice. 

Current supervision

Lyndsey Stoodley

Research student

Past projects

  • Laura Colebrooke 'Eating sensibly: Everyday experiences of food insecurity'
  • Gina Kallis, 'An Intergenerational perspective on migrant Senses of Identity and Belonging: The Case of Greek-Cypriot Families in South-West England' 

Areas of expertise

External profiles