This research cluster focuses on a number of themes, both historical and contemporary, which consider the relationships between human society, spatiality and culture. The four main themes are:
The Geographies of Knowledge
Research is focused on the geographies of knowledge, with particular emphasis on the cultures of science. The cluster has expertise on the relationships between science, race and religion since 1650; the historical geographies of scientific knowledge; the cultures of botanic gardens in the age of empire; the reception of Darwinism; the role of climate in debates about human cultures; the geopolitics of apocalyptic thought, the spaces in which financial knowledge is produced; and the ways in which cultures of science, technology and outer space are connected to questions of place, landscape and identity in the twentieth century.
Landscapes, Critical Cartography and GIS
Research consists of quantitative spatial analyses of socio-economic data and qualitative cultural analyses of landscapes and cartographic knowledge from the medieval to the modern period. Critical cartographic/GIS techniques have been deployed to interrogate the veracity of the knowledge universe of the map, while digitally-translated documentary data have been used to re-configure our understanding of medieval urbanism and agrarian economies, as well as the spatial dynamics of religion and the politics of cartographic rhetoric.
Research is focused on nationalism and regional conflict; critical geopolitics of religion; monumental landscapes and the politics of memory; international relations in a globalised world; colonial and postcolonial geographies of India; the processes of border making, geographies of embodiment and the securitisation of public spaces, and the use of camouflage techniques as sources of political resistance. This work has been carried out from both historical and contemporary perspectives.
The Population Dynamics of Contemporary Societies
Research is focused on the population dynamics of contemporary societies and includes census analysis; research on travel to work; employability and labour markets; as well as social and religious segregation particularly in divided cities such as Belfast; the study of borders and external migration.