Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Staff Profile

Dr Matt Benwell

Reader in Human Geography


Matt is a Reader in Human Geography. He undertakes research and publishes work on a broad range of topics related to political geography (see research interests below) including, most prominently, exploring the intersections of geopolitics with the lives of children, young people and families Children, young people and critical geopolitics (Routledge). His work has been published in a range of international, peer-reviewed journals including Area, Environment and Planning C/D, Geoforum, Geopolitics, Political Geography, Social and Cultural Geography, Territory, Politics, Governance, Transactions, among others.

Matt was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Keele and then Newcastle University from 2013-2016. He has extensive experience of teaching human geography at undergraduate and postgraduate levels having been a Teaching Fellow at the universities of Liverpool, Reading and Royal Holloway, University of London. He has a PhD, MA in Cultural Geography and BA (Hons) from Royal Holloway. 

Research Interests

Matt's research engages with contemporary debates in political and social geography in the following areas:

1) Young people's engagements with geopolitics across a host of different geographies. The regional focus of this work centres on South Africa (PhD), the Southern Cone (Argentina and Chile) and takes a particular interest in territorial disputes in the South West Atlantic (Falklands/Malvinas) and Antarctica.

2) Nation and nationalism. This research contributes to work on everyday and affective nationalism by exploring how people experience and contest the nation. It has focused on people's engagements with the nation along the Argentina/Chile border in Patagonia and during the social uprising in Chile (2019-20).

3) The geopolitics of the British OTs. This work focuses on the diplomatic and other relationships between the UK and the British OTs, as well as states that directly challenge their status. It continues to consider the fallout of Brexit and other contemporary events that are generating debate about the constitutional links between the OTs and the UK.

4) The experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers in public space. This research is situated in the UK (Newcastle-Gateshead and Glasgow) but also connects with a larger European research project funded by HERA that includes research teams in the cities of Amsterdam, Brussels and Leipzig. 

For potential PhD students  

Please get in touch if you are interested in pursuing PhD or postdoctoral research on any of the topics listed above.

Google scholar: Click here.

SCOPUS: Click here.



Falklands Forty Schools Competition - FIGO (2022-2023)

Responding to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the context of COVID-19: resilience, adaptation and new forms of care - UKRI (2020-2022)

The everyday experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers in public spaces - HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Joint Research Programme (2019-2022)

Young people, nationalism and post-nationalism: multi-cultural belonging in hyper-diverse neighbourhoods - Geography Research Excellence Academy (REA) (2017-2019)

Geographical imaginations of the state and everyday geopolitics: the case of the Southern Cone and Chilean Patagonia - Global Excellence Fund (2015-2018)

Embodied memories, distant territories: examining the perspectives of ex-combatants of the Malvinas War in Santa Fe, Argentina - Santander Mobility Fund (2016)

Memory and territory: comparing young people's perspectives on the Malvinas in Argentina - Newcastle University Research Committee Visiting Fellow, Alejandro Gasel (2015-2016) 

The making of the geopolitical citizen: the case of the Falklands/Malvinas - Early Career Fellowship funded by The Leverhulme Trust (2013-2016)

Young people and stories of the riots: Liverpool 1981 and 2011 - British Academy Small Grant (PI) with Andy Davies and Bethan Evans

Postgraduate Supervision


Will Hughes - Geopolitical knowledge, agency and peace: the European Centre for Minority Issues' peace-building in Europe and the post-Soviet Borderlands (ESRC)

Lauren Tibble - Playing the aerial: storytelling, spirits and the sky (ESRC)


Hannah Lyons - Assembling the nation: spatialising young, religious American's affective experiences of the nation, fear and danger in the everyday (ESRC)

William Whitehead - Escaped roots: sub-self-neutering and its political overcoming in Chocó, Colombia (ESRC)

Evie Hill - Designs for revolution: a visual analysis of Cuba's foreign policy in Africa, 1967-1987 (ESRC)

Tom Shrimplin - “Good game?”: Young People, Geopolitics and Violence(s) in the Ludic Assemblages of Battle Royale Videogames and Streams (ESRC)

Research roles

Editorial board, Children's Geographies

Director of Postgraduate Research, Geography


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Teaching roles

GEO2047 Political Geography (Lecturer)

GEO2139 Exploring Everyday Political Geographies in a Divided City: Nicosia (Module Leader and Lecturer)

GEO3102 Geopolitics (Lecturer)

Examination roles

External examiner, Global Studies, Nottingham Trent University