The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Professor Alastair Bonnett

Professor of Social Geography


Area of Expertise

  1. Forgotten and overlooked places
  2. The idea of the West
  3. The politics and geography of nostalgia and memory
  4. The international history of anti-racism, racism and 'whiteness'
  5. The geographical theories of the European avant-garde. 

Google Scholar


Research Interests

My research falls into five areas:

1. Forgotten and overlooked places;
2. The idea of the West;
3. The politics and geography of nostalgia and memory;
4. The international history of anti-racism, racism and 'whiteness';
5. The geographical theories of the European avant-garde.

My books have been translated into the following languages: Greek; Korean; Turkish; Czech; Arabic, Farsi, French, Italian; German; Danish; Swedish; Finnish; Dutch; Spanish; Galician; Chinese (Taiwan); Chinese (PRC); Japanese; Polish.

A wide selection of Professor Bonnett's publications can be downloaded from Newcastle University's 'e-prints service'.

Postgraduate Supervision

I am happy to supervise PhD students across a broad range of social science and historical topics, including: social theory; social and cultural geography; occidentalism; memory and nostalgia studies; whiteness; racialisation; anti-racism; ethnicity; psychogeography; the avant-garde; activism.

Current PhD Students:

Joe Herbert (2017-) 'New Green Activism: A Transnational Study' (with Helen Jarvis and Gareth Powells)

Daniel Barwick (2018-) 'The Black Lives Matter Movement: Transnational Activism and the Role of Neo-Liberal Urbanism' (with Anoop Nayak and Craig Jones)

Beth Robertson (2018- ) 'Comparison of Dominica and Anguilla and their Recovery of Primary Education Following the 2017 Hurricane Season' (with Jon Pugh and Marcus Power)

Philippa Carter (2016-) 'Memory and Post-memory in the Derwent Valley' (with Rhiannon Mason and Helen Jarvis)

Johnny Finn (2016-) 'Memory and Identity on Post-industrial Tyneside' (with Anoop Nayak and Michael Richardson)

Daniel Gane (2016-) 'The Idea of the Self and the Experience of the Long Sea-Voyage and Maritime Exploration in the Eighteenth Century' (with Matthew Grenby and Laura Kirkley) 

Isabel Williams (2015-) 'Cartographies of heritage' (with Rachel Woodward and Wen Lin)

Some past PhD students:

Maddy Thompson (2014-2018) 'Migrant Destinations and the Geographical Imaginations of Nurses and Nurse Students in Metro Manila, the Philippines' (with Anoop Nayak)

Alex Macleod (2011-2016)  'Occidentalism in 'Post-Western' South-East Asia' (with Simon Philpott)

Francesca Fois (2013-2015) 'Utopian Communities' (with Helen Jarvis)

Robin Finlay (2011-2016) ‘Living with the Other’: Race, Religion and the Performance of Immigrant Identities in Grenada, Spain (with Anoop Nayak) 

Jennifer Lloyd (2011-2015) 'Embodied experiences of female transnationals'  (with Peter Hopkins) 

Hazel Sheeky (2008-2012) AHRC Collaborative Studentship 'Children's Literature and the Culture of Exploration: from R.M. Ballantyne to Arthur Ransome' (with Matthew Grenby) 

Kate Botterill (2008-2011) Transnational networks and social mobility among migrant workers from the post-socialist world

Chris Kiernan (2004-2007)Sense of Places: Subjectivism, Reflexivity and Phenomenology (MPhil)

Simon Tate (2002-2007) The Idea of the West in British Politics

Jenny Pickerill (1999-2003)Environmental Activism and the Internet Funding

Andrew Law (1999-2003) Heritage Landscapes and the English Conservation Movement

Anoop Nayak (1996-1999) 'Ivory Lives': Race, Ethnicity and the Practice of Whiteness Amongst Young People



Urban Memory, Nostalgia and Use of the City Amongst Ex-residents of Tyneside. ESRC Research Grant (RES-000-22-3833) Jan. 2010-Jan. 2011

Catherine Cookson Foundation, 2015, North East Heritage Research website


Undergraduate Teaching

GEO2103 Globalization, Culture and Development
GEO3108 International and Historical Perspectives on Race

Postgraduate Teaching

Degree Programme Director for the MA in Human Geography Research
Courses led:
GEO8017 Human Geography: Concepts in Action
GEO8089 Research Dissertation
GEO8015 Doing Geographical Research