School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Paul Wright

Visiting Researcher


About me

I'm a researcher at the McCord Centre for Landscape where I specialise in the geographies of "awkward heritage". I'm interested in how places and landscapes embody uncomfortable, awkward narratives of the past (such as histories of failure, guilt, stress, and precarity) and how people stitch those narratives into places. At present I'm the principal investigator for War and the Moral Outdoors (AHRC Living Legacies) and I also manage the travelling exhibition for its sister project, Women and Leisure during the First World War. 

I practice my research interests across a variety of thematic areas.

  • How people use landscapes to address and endure difficult, even harrowing situations (War and the Moral Outdoors)
  • How the removal of legacy features from landscapes is believed to improve, even "rescue" them..
  • Museum practices and the exhibit/visitor interface.
  • Mobilities and the restoration of mobile and quasi-mobile objects (see Wright, 2018).
  • Early and mid-Twentieth Century architecture and the architect/client relationship.
  • The present day acts and affects of inhabiting "heritage" architecture. (see Wright, in progress).

From my previous experience as a Teaching Fellow I also retain pedagogic interests.

  • The experiences of Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (see Wright and Barr, 2018).
  • The portability of the Higher Education learning experiences to other Key Stages.
Since 2016 I have worked part-time for two days a week. I may not be able to answer e-mails on childcare days, so your patience is much appreciated. 

Background and qualifications

I was awarded my doctorate from the University of Wales Aberystwyth in 2010. Until 2015 I worked in Higher Education teaching before moving to research focused roles, first at the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics and currently at the McCord Centre for Landscape. 

Social media



As Principal Investigator and Lead Applicant:

War and the Moral Outdoors
£18,000 awarded from the Arts and Humanities Research Council via Living Legacies.
(2017 and ongoing)

Bold Visitors (with colleagues at Durham Castle Museum and Teesside University)
£500 awarded from the Arts Council via NCCPE

Fizzywig the Pig (with colleagues at Cap-a-Pie)
£3580 awarded from the Catherine Cookson Foundation at Newcastle University

As Research Associate:

Women and Leisure during the First World War
PI: Stacy Gillis and Emma Short (Arts and Humanities Research Council via Living Legacies)

Postgraduates who Teach
PI: Michael Barr (faculty funding)

As a heritage consultant:

Seascapes Landscape Partnership Historical and Archaeological Review
£ confidential
PI: Fiona Fyfe (Fiona Fyfe Associates)
Client: Durham County Council


ESRC 1 plus 3 funding (PTA-030-2003-00590)


I was a Human Geography Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University (2013-2015) building on my teaching experience at the University of Leeds (2011-2013).

Modules led:

  • Geog2035 Geographies of Economies (Leeds)
  • Geo1018 Geographical Analysis (Newcastle)
Modules taught:
  • Geog1025 Leeds from the local to the global (Leeds)
  • Geog1310 People Place and Politics (Leeds)
  • Geog2020 Political and Development Geographies (Leeds)
  • Geog2040 Inside European Cities, Belgrade fieldtrip (Leeds)
  • Geog2065 Research Methods with Career Skills (Leeds)
  • Geog3600 Dissertation (Leeds)
  • Geo1015 Human Geographies of the UK (Newcastle)
  • Geo1096 Geographical Skills, including Langdale fieldtrip (Newcastle)
  • Geo2043 Key Methods for Human Geographers (Newcastle)
  • Geo2111 Doing Human Geography Research, Theory and Practice (Newcastle)
  • Geo2123 Social experiments, diverse economies, Copenhagen Fieldtrip (Newcastle)
  • Geo3099 Dissertation (Newcastle)
In addition to HE teaching experience I have also undertaken teaching in community settings...
  • Fizzywig the Pig (Environmental politics themed children's theatre production in association with Cap-a-Pie)
  • Women and Leisure during the First World War (Archive research workshops for community researchers)
  • War and the Moral Outdoors (Digital mapping and wayfinding workshops for community reseasrchers)