The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Hannah Lyons

Project title: Assembling the nation: spatialising young, religious American's affective experiences of the nation, fear and danger in the everyday

Supervisors: Alison Williams, Matt Benwell, Peter Hopkins

The research project advances understandings of national identity and everyday geopolitics through considering how affective atmospheres and the more-than-representational work to shape identity and geopolitical imaginations across different spatialities. The key research questions are:

  • How do young American Christians embody and navigate national identity within the everyday and across different spaces and atmospheres?
  • How do the non-human and intangible affect the geopolitical imaginations of young people and their experiences of fear, danger and belonging?

It considers young (16-23 year olds), American evangelical Christians' embodiment and navigation of their national identity through the everyday and considers how different spaces and atmospheres work to (re)produce national identity and also perceptions and experiences of danger and fear. Specifically the research intends to consider the relationship between Christianity and American identity, looking at if, and how, these work together to affect feelings of national identity through the everyday.

The research will also consider the geopolitical imaginations of young people, asking how they identify America's place in the world, as well as perceptions of other countries and the identification of threats to both American identity and America's safety. Three bodies of literature will be drawn from:

  • affective atmospheres and the nation
  • emotional and everyday geographies
  • young people and geopolitics

The project intends to draw from and build upon the work of Closs Stephens (2013; forthcoming) and McCormack (2013) who draw attention to how approaching national identity through the lens of affective atmospheres provides a more critical understanding of the ebbs and flows of national identity within different spatialities and through a more embodied, nuanced, everyday narrative. This research will emphasise how this idea of affective atmospheres and the emotional, felt, understanding of national identity can be pushed further through the consideration of the complex intersections of religious and national identity.


  • GEO3102 - Geopolitics
  • GEO3131 - Aerial Geographies
  • HSS8003 - Dissertation Preparation (MA module)