Rethinking the cultural landscape

Culture serves as a lens through which people interpret the experiences and interactions that occur in their everyday life. Advances in technology are changing every aspect of our lives, leading to contemporary issues. This includes the opportunities and pitfalls of globalisation as well as new human technological relations that create new challenges from different cultures and communities.   

Exploring cultural practices helps us understand human activities. Cultural geography explores the relationship between humans and the elements of our environment by examining the way meaning is constructed according to differences in space, time and place. It emphasises the relationships not only between people and their physical environment but also their material, social and cultural landscapes.

Associated schools, institutes & centres


Working at the intersection of science and art, cultural and human geography research at UNSW Canberra addresses a range of transformative social and cultural processes. We explore the challenges posed to traditional social science through reconfigurations and changes to human life including:  

  • innovations in material and biological science 
  • the proliferation of technological interfaces 
  • the emergence of digital cultures 
  • artistic, social, and technological communities associated with new forms of cultural and political creativity.  

Our research capability and expertise in Cultural Geography include: 

  • Published research across a range of high impact journals in geography and social science disciplines, including: 
  • Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 
  • Cultural Geographies. 
  • Environment and Planning. 
  • Body & Society. 
  • Performance Research and Theory. 
  • Culture & Society.  
  • Curation of special issues on emerging issues in social science, including post-humanist research methods, the unconscious, speculative thinking, and the geographies of fashion and style.  
  • Organisation of high-profile sessions and panel discussions at international conferences, including the annual meetings of the Institute of Australian Geographers, the American Association of Geographers, the Institute of British Geographers and the Deleuze & Guattari Studies Conference.

Competitive advantage 

We have research capabilities, unique expertise and a strong tradition of conceptual innovation across many areas of human geography. This includes insights from non-representational theory, affect theory, post-humanism and new materialism—as well as from a wide variety of continental philosophers and political theorists.  

We are a leader in global research in the science of cultural geography. Our strength comes from:  

  • Leading the field in cutting-edge conceptual debates in contemporary social science research. 
  • Driving innovation in qualitative research methodologies. 
  • Developing interdisciplinary research agendas across the sciences, arts and humanities. 
  • Ongoing and new research collaborations with leading Australian and international scholars and departments.

Successful applications

The following projects are currently active:  

  • Negotiating trust in AI-enabled navigation technologies (UNSW Faculty Seed Grant)
  • Psychological and physiological impacts of neighbourhoods (UNSW Faculty Seed Grant)

The following research proposals are in the planning stage: 

  • Fostering Ecological Care Through Public Arts: Creative Experiments with Lake Burley Griffin. 
  • (Re-)Imagining Trust in Artificial Intelligence through Institutional Encounters (with colleagues at UNSW, Macquarie, Tokyo)
  • Re-thinking human-technology relations in the age of Industry 4.0. 

Study with us

As a Cultural Geography student, you will benefit from:

  • National and international field trips available to undergraduate students
  • Research-led teaching and thinking through innovative conceptual ideas about cutting-edge empirical examples in art, technology, and science
  • Experimental methodologies with strong local community and public engagement.

The following courses are available to students interested in Cultural Geography:


ZPEM1201 - Geography 1A

ZPEM1202 - Geography 1B

ZPEM2207 Social Geography

ZPEM2213 - Art & Science of Doing Geography

ZPEM3202 - Cultural Geography

ZPEM4205 - Human Geography Honours Special Topic

ZPEM4002 - Science Honours Research 2

ZPEM4004 - Science Honours Research 4


ZPEM8207 - Economic Geography

ZPEM8208 - Human Factors and the Technological Interface

ZPEM8310 - Understanding Socio-Technical Systems: Ideas, Spaces, and Cultures


Our researchers

Head of School John-David Dewsbury
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Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography Andrew Lapworth
Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography
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Lecturer in Human Geography Tom Roberts
Lecturer in Human Geography
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Lecturer in Cultural Geography Nina Williams
Lecturer in Cultural Geography
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