The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Michael Richardson

Lecturer in Human Geography



Michael has been at Newcastle University since 2006 having studied here for his BA, MA and PhD. In 2014 he joined the school of Geography, Politics and Sociology as a Lecturer of Human Geography; before this he worked as a Teaching Fellow here in Human Geography (2013). Michael was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to conduct PhD research into Irish Masculinities on Tyneside (2010-2013) and now builds from this expertise in his research led teaching.

Roles and Responsibilities

Michael lectures and leads fieldcourses both locally and internationally for undergraduates here at Newcastle. In addition he supports students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) and provides pastoral care as appropriate.

Michael is the Deputy Director for the ESRC Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINEDTP) Children, Youth and Families thematic pathway. Any interested applicants are welcomed to get in touch.

Michael is also currently the Strategic Lead for Geography on Careers and Employability.


PhD Human Geography, Newcastle University, 2015

MA Human Geography Research, Merit, Newcastle University, 2010

BA Hons Geography, 2:1, Newcastle University, 2009

Postgraduate Supervision

Ged Ridley: ESRC 1+3 studentship - Queering Space: trans* experiences of public bathrooms, collaborative project with Yorkshire Trans Support Network (co-supervised with Prof Peter Hopkins) [2015-2018]

Jonny Finn: ESRC 1+3 studentship - Exploration of Post-Industrial Masculine Identity Construction in Newcastle upon Tyne (co-supervised with Prof Alastair Bonnett and Prof Anoop Nayak) [2015-2018]

Niamh Lear: ESRC 1+3 studentship - Generation Emigration? An exploration of 'Irishness' among London's second generation (co-supervised with Prof Peter Hopkins) [2016-2019]

Libby Morrison: ESRC 1+3 studentship - Co-ordinating for Age: an assessment of intergenerational justice and rural disadvantage in Northumberland (co-supervised with Prof Tom Scharf and Prof Peter Hopkins) [2016-2019]


Geographies of gender and masculinities

In his PhD research (2010-2013) Michael worked with men of Irish descent on post-industrial Tyneside, asking primarily what it means to be a man in contemporary society? While this community is becoming 'less Irish' over time, identification with and belonging to Irish masculinities remain for some men.

Michael worked for the Scottish Government to research threatening behaviour and online social media, as new laws were passed in parliament regarding Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. Since then, he was employed as a researcher on a Scottish wide interdisciplinary project titled 'Community Experiences of Sectarianism' (2014).

He has organised sessions at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) conference in New York (2012) on relational masculinities. This drew on research from the perspective of geographies of health, race and religion as well as across geographic scales. He presented to the AAG at their 2014 conference in Tampa, Florida and more recently ran sessions at the conference in San Francisco (2016) based on the geographies of gender and generation.

In more policy facing research he presented analysis of MTV's Geordie Shore at the Institute of Education, London on the sexualisation of North Eastern masculinities as well as blogging for the Huffington Post in the Debating Modern Men campaign.

Michael sits on the steering committee of the university's Gender Research Group.

Geographies of age and intergenerational relations 

Michael was asked to contribute to the ESRC funded Integrate Ideas Event in Prague (2013). Of particular interest in this work is the emergence of downward intergerational mobility. In bridging his research areas, Michael has published work at the intersection of age, place and masculinity.

In Michael's earlier work he adopted an intergenerational approach to researching men's lives, researching both across and within families of Irish descent. He drew conclusions on generational change as he saw the men as sons, fathers and grandfathers. 

In the newly formed NINEDTP (Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership) funded by the ESRC, Michael holds the role of Deputy Director of the Children, Youth and Families thematic pathway. Any suggested PhD studentship topics which speak to this theme would be welcomed.

Geographies of the postindustrial and the postcolonial

Michael's research background studying the Irish in Britain draws links across postindustrial and postcolonial identities. More recently Michael is involved in researching issues of race and ethnicity in a post Brexit era with colleagues here at Newcastle; with the empirical focus on young people helping to bring in his expertise on intergenerational geographies.

Equally, Michael has been developing his research of the postcolonial with a particular focus on Hong Kong; with issues of race and class again at the forefront. Developing these ideas further, Michael is currently exploring the notion of sinophobia and its relationship to postcolonial studies.

Researching creatively

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, he commissioned a play based on his PhD research titled 'Under Us All' which was a piece of verbatim theatre, coupled with artistic workshops, based on the narratives of three generations of men of Irish descent. 

Awarded a development grant by the Public Engagement team at Newcastle University to develop ideas around performing research with Cap-a-Pie Associates as creative practitioners in residence (2013). This work has since become centralised with further funding from the Newcastle Institute of Creative Arts Practice (NICAP).

Michael co-organised an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) training event titled 'Engaging with Communities: arts and performance based collaborative training' held in association with Durham University and Queen's Univeristy Belfast (2013).

Drawing on these experiences he has since won funding from the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal to work with Cap-A-Pie and the Under the Bridge organisation (Tyne Housing Association). Michael has been researching the benefits of creative practice from a social, cultural and geographical perspective. Having published on this topic already he is keen to establish creative practice as a pathway to impact.


Module Leader:

GEO2225 - Citizenship in a Global City: Hong Kong - an international fieldcourse for Stage 2 undergraduates

GEO3135 - Geographies of Gender and Generation - a specialist Stage 3 undergraduate module

Further teaching commitments:

GEO2111 - Doing Geographical Research: Theory and Practice - Stage 2 dissertation preparation module

GEO3099 - Dissertation - mentorship of Stage 3 students in the development of their dissertations