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Dr Julian Brigstocke

Dr Julian Brigstocke

Senior 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


My interests cut across cultural, political, and historical geography. I specialise in contemporary social theory, non-representational theory, and geohumanities. My research interests centre on experimental geographies of authority, through three main areas of work:

  • The aesthetics of authority
  • Urban borders and experimental embodiments
  • Materiality and speculative theory

I am interested in how these themes and concepts bear on specific spaces and places, focusing on three cities: Paris, Hong Kong, and 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 modules including:

  • Border Spaces: Identities, Cultures, and Politics in a Globalizing World (module leader)
  • The Big Questions in Human Geography (module leader)
  • Researching Contemporary Issues in Hong Kong (module leader)
  • Gender, Space and Place
  • Urban Design
  • Researching Contemporary Issues in South Africa
  • 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 Experimental Geographies of Authority. This book draws on non-representational, feminist and post-colonial theories to develop a new account of the experience of authority at points where authority is in crisis or in question. The book is structured through a series of creative experiments with the forms of geographical writing. My research contributes to three main areas.

Authority, aesthetics, and geohumanitiesMy work extends debates around authority, creative practice, and the geohumanities, by developing new theoretical accounts of the political aesthetics of authority. In a world where authority is increasingly in crisis, I aim to explore new possibilities for forms of authority that are dispersed, multiple, experimental, and more-than-human. This research has been published in a monograph, The Life of the City: Space, Humour, and the Experience of Truth in fin-de-siècle Montmartre, as well as an edited collection, Space, Power and the Commons.

Race, gender, and experimental embodimentsI am currently leading an action research project in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, titled Transforming Atmospheric Authority: Experimental Embodiments in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. This project explores the racialised and gendered cultural geographies of Brazil’s informal communities (favelas), through research that emphasizes the importance of embodiment, creativity, and co-production in creating new knowledge and community authority. This work develops a line of earlier research on the spaces and politics of participatory and co-produced research.

Materiality and speculative critique Critically engaging with feminist new materialisms and speculative theory, my research explores the more-than-human materialities of authority.  Focusing on the lively materialities of an everyday but vital material – sand – I explore the role of sand in the creation of colonial and post-colonial authority in Hong Kong. Drawing on archival research and interviews with environmental activists, the research connects histories of colonial dispossession to the current global ‘sand crisis’.

Funded Projects

  • Transforming Atmospheric Authority: Experimental Embodiments in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro (PI, £253,000, AHRC, 2020-2022).
  • Harena (PI, £3000 creative residency, Leverhulme, 2018)
  • Social Change Through Creativity and Culture, Brazil (Co-I, Newton/AHRC, £280,000, 2016)
  • An Affective Map of Journeys in the Mare Complex of Favelas (PI, Newton, £12,000, 2016)
  • The Museum of Living Exchange (Co-I, Newton, £8000, 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 research students working in the following areas:

  • Cultural and non-representational geographies
  • Creative geographical writing
  • Spaces and politics of aesthetics
  • Geographies of power and authority
  • New materialist and speculative theory
  • Race, gender, and intersectionality
  • Border spaces
  • Geographies of Rio de Janeiro
  • Geographies of Hong Kong

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'