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Jon Anderson

Professor Jon Anderson


Professor in Human Geography, Director of Recruitment and Admissions

School of Geography and Planning

+44 29208 75308
Glamorgan Building, Room 2.71, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


My academic interest is oriented around the 'extraordinary sets of relations between people and places' (Holloway & Hubbard, 2000:6). These 'extraordinary relations' circulate around a number of spaces of interest, including Geography, Place & Culture; Water Worlds and Surfing Places; and Literary Geographies, and have led to a range of international quality research publications and funding projects. You can find out more about these works on my own website: 





















Book sections




Summary of Research.

I am a Human Geographer with an international reputation in four research areas: ‘Literary Geographies’, ‘Place-based Politics’, Water Geographies’, and ‘Culture and Place’.

My international influence in changing the conceptual debate in Literary Geographies has been established through the 4* rated monograph ‘Page and Place: Ongoing Compositions of Plot’. This monograph has been followed up with significant journal articles which chart new theoretical, empirical, and methodological ground for the nature and purpose of the sub-discipline (see below). This new agenda has received RCUK recognition with the Arts and Humanities Research Council funding the ‘A New Literary Geography: Establishing a Digital Literary Atlas for Wales and its Borderlands’ (£617,614.05), and has produced a range of innovative literary exhibitions.

My international contribution in the arena of Place-based Politics is evidenced through an ESRC-funded project that redefines local civil society in an age of global inter-connectivity (see above). This work offers globally significant insight into how local communities are conceptualised and mobilised in a political world oriented at the extra-local scale.

Developing the discipline from a ‘geo-’ to ‘hydro-logic’ perspective, my international reputation in Water Geographies is evidenced by a strong journal record in surfing geographies and acclaimed book publications (see below). I am leading the establishment of the International Surfing Spaces Research Network involving academics and practitioners from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the United States (International Collaboration Award, £8380).

My international reputation in the area of Culture and Place is evidenced through conceptual contributions in a range of areas (including disorientation, tropophilia, and convergence), and through the universally well-received textbook ‘Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces’. This book has sold strongly in Europe, North America and Asia. My international reputation in this field has been acknowledged through appointment as Series Editor for the Routledge Research in Culture, Space and Identity monograph collection, and a place on the Editorial Board of the internationally-respected Social and Cultural Geography journal (ImFac 1.66 ImFac 5 year: 2.146. H Index 48).

Recent Major Research Programmes (RCUK Total Income £1,006,399)

2018         ‘Emotional’ Mapping: Geographical Positioning Systems and Galvanic Skin Conductance (Co-Investigator) Capital Projects, Cardiff University. £50,000

2016         Imaginative Cartographies: Interpreting the Literary Atlas (Principal Investigator). University of Wales Press Fund / HEFCE. £12,000.

2016         Establishing an International Collaboration Network for Surfing Spaces Research (Principal Investigator); network includes Griffith University (Gold Coast, Australia), University of Waikato (New Zealand), University of Hawaii, Manoa (Honolulu, USA), and San Diego State University (USA). International Collaboration Seedcorn Fund, Cardiff University. £8380.

2015         A New Literary Geography: Establishing a Digital Literary Atlas for Wales and its Borderlands. (Principal Investigator) Arts and Humanities Research Council. £617,614.05 May, 2015.

2014        Partner in ‘Sustainable Waters’ University Research Institute (Co-Investigator as part of Research Team) Cardiff University.

2014        Re-defining Local Civil Society in an Age of Global Inter-connectivity, Theme 1: Locality, Community and Landscapes of Civil Society (Co-Investigator) WISERD Large Grants & Research Centre Bid, ESRC Research Centres Competition. £102,875, as part of £7,534,519 overall award.

Other Recent Grants.

2019        ART Critic: a critical evaluation of audience response tools (ART) for learning and teaching. (Co-investigator) Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme. £2460.

2018         Geohumanities and the Literary Geographies of Wales: New Voices. Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme. £8420.

2017         Geotagging the Celtic Collection, Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme. £2400; Swansea University Research Support Programme, £1200.

2014         Cardiff University Research Fellowship, Cardiff University £15,000. 

2014         Enriching Secondary School Engagement Grant Cardiff University £1500.

Professional Roles.

Series Editor of Routledge Research in Culture, Space and Identity monograph collection (2015-2020).

Member of Editorial Board for Social and Cultural Geographies, and Ecopolitics journals (until 2015); member of Top Ten reviewers for Geoforum in 2015. 

Founder and co-ordinator of International Surfing Spaces Research Network, including Cardiff University, Griffith University (Australia), University of Waikato (New Zealand), University of Hawaii, Manoa, and San Diego State University (USA).

Visiting Fellow of the Sustainability and Surfing Research Centre (SSRC), Plymouth University.

Public contributor to visibility of discipline and university through invited appearances on BBC series (including Coast, and Countryfile), and festivals (including Hay Festival, and ‘Hay Levels’ school/public online tutorials).

Curate personal research and teaching website with over 2,305,000 hits (approx 400 per day) with positive comments from public and students.

Publishing Indices. Citations 3353; h-index 26; i10-index 47 (Google Scholar, July 2021).

Publications. 9 books; 41 journal papers; 17 book chapters; 17 others.

Academic Conferences. 150 presentations.

R.E.F. Status. Monograph: 4* Journal Papers: High 3*.


Forthcoming (with publishers).

1 Anderson, J. forthcoming. Literary Assemblages. In Alexander, N. Cooper, D. Eds. The Routledge Handbook of Literary Geographies. Routledge: London and New York.

2 Anderson, J. forthcoming. Eco-communities and outsiders: opportunities and obstacles to transforming the world. In Pickerill, J. Kraftl, P. Hadfield-Hill, S. eds. Eco-communities: living together differently. Antipode Book Series, Wiley: London.

3 Anderson, J. forthcoming Surfing Mobilities in The Encyclopedia of Mobilities. Adey, P. Barry, K. Weiqiang Lin eds. Edward Elgar: London.

4 Anderson, J. forthcoming. in Anderson, J. Peters, K. Davies, A. Steinberg, P. eds. 2021 Routledge Handbook of Ocean Spaces. Routledge: London.

5 Anderson, J. Peters, K. Davies, A. Steinberg, P. forthcoming. Introduction to Ocean Spaces. In Anderson, J. Peters, K. Davies, A. Steinberg, P. eds. Forthcoming. Routledge Handbook of Ocean Spaces. Routledge: London.

6 Anderson, J. Peters, K. Davies, A. Steinberg, P. eds. Forthcoming. Routledge Handbook of Ocean Spaces. Routledge: London.


In Press.

7 Anderson, J. 2022 Surfing Spaces. Routledge: London.


Published Books

8 Anderson, J. 2021 Understanding Cultural Geography: Place and Traces. Third Edition. Routledge: London.

9 Anderson, J. Bohata, K. Smith, K. Morgan, J. 2019 Cartographic Imaginaries. Channel View: Cardiff.

10 Anderson, J. 2015 Understanding Cultural Geography: Places & Traces. Second Edition. Routledge: London.

11 Anderson, J. 2014 Page and Place: Ongoing Compositions of Plot. Rodopi: Amsterdam.

12 Anderson, J. Peters, K. eds. 2014. Water Worlds: Human Geographies of the Ocean. Ashgate: London.

13 Anderson, J. 2013 Understanding Cultural Geography: Places & Traces. Korean Edition. Routledge.

14 Anderson, J. 2010 Understanding Cultural Geography: Places & Traces. First Edition.


Selected Journal Articles.

15 Smith, K. Anderson, J. 2020 Literary Geography at the National Scale. Literary Geographies. 6 1 5-1

16 Anderson, J. 2020. Knowing, Emotional. In: Kobayashi, A. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2nd edition. Elsevier: London. 1–5.

17 Anderson, J. Smith, K. 2019 Attuning to the affective in literary tourism: Emotional states in ‘Aberystwyth, Mon Amour’. Tourism Geographies. DOI:10.1080/14616688.2019.1674372

18 Anderson, J. 2019 The aquatic as elemental excess. Dialogues in Human Geography.

19 Guma, T. Woods, M. Yarker, S. Anderson, J. 2019 ‘It’s That Kind of Place Here’: Solidarity, Place-Making and Civil Society Response To the 2015 Refugee Crisis in Different Localities in Wales, UK. Social Inclusion. 7. 2. DOI: 10.17645/si.v7i2.2002

20 Anderson, J. Beljaars, B. 2018 Tourette Syndrome through the eye of the beholder.Special Issue ‘Medical-Health-Humanities’. GeoHumanities DOI: 10.1080/2373566X.2018.1518081

21 Anderson, J. 2018 The Embodied Glide and Carnal Sociology / Incorporation de la glisse, sociologie charnelle et tournant relationnel. In Surf a Contre-courant. Une odyssee scientifique. Falaix, L. Maison des Science de l’Homme d’aquitaine. Clermont Auvergne.

22 de Leeuw, S. Donovan, C. Schafenacker, N. Kearns, R. Neuwelt, P. Merill Squier, S. McGeachan, C. Parr,H H. Frank, A. Coyle, L.A. Atkinson, A. El-Hadi, N. Shklanka, K. Shooner, C. Beljaars, D. Anderson, J. (2018) Geographies of Medical and Health Humanities: A Cross-Disciplinary Conversation, GeoHumanities, DOI: 10.1080/2373566X.2018.1518081

23 Anderson, J. Smith, K. Bohata, B. 2017 “It’ll be our own little Wales out there”: re-situating Bardsey Island for post-devolution Wales in Fflur Dafydd’s Twenty Thousand SaintsIsland Studies Journal, 12(2)  317-318

24 Anderson, J. 2017 Retreat or re-connect: How effective can socio-ecological utopias be in transforming ecosophies of the mainstream? Special Issue of Geografiska Annaler B. 99 2 192-206

25 Anderson, J. 2017 ‘Place’: for Oxford Bibliographies.

26 Anderson, J. Saunders, A. 2016 Relational Literary Geographies: Co-Producing Page and Place. Theme Editorial. Literary Geographies. Vol 1 No 2. 115-119

27 Anderson, J. 2016 Towards an assemblage approach to literary geography. Literary Geographies. 2. 120-137.

28 Anderson, J. 2015 On trend and on the wave: carving cultural identity through water-side surf dress. Special Issue: Dress. Journal of Leisure Research. DOI: 1080/11745398.2015.1106327

29 Anderson, J. 2015 Assemblages and Geography. Oxford Bibliographies. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199874002-0114.

30 Anderson, J. 2015 Reflective Video Journals. Dataset Paper: Sage Methods.

31 Anderson, J. 2015 Exploring the consequences of mobility: reclaiming jet lag as the state of travel disorientation. Mobilities. 10 1 1-16

32 Anderson, J. Erskine, K. 2014 Tropophilia: A study of people, place and lifestyle travel. 9 1 130-145

33 Anderson, J. 2014 Exploring the space between words and meaning: understanding the relational sensibility of surf spaces. Emotion, Space & Society. 10 27-34

34 Anderson, J. 2014 Surfing between the local and trans-local: identifying spatial divisions in surfing practice. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 39 2 237-249

35 Anderson, J. 2013 Cathedrals of the surf zone: regulating access to a space of spirituality. Social and Cultural Geography. 14 8 954-972

36 Anderson, J. 2013 Active learning through student film: a case study of cultural geography. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 37 3 385-398

37 Woods M, Anderson J, Guilbert S, Watkin S, 2013 Rhizomic radicalism and arborescent advocacy: a Deleuzo-Guattarian reading of rural protest.Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31 3 434 – 450

38 Anderson, J. 2013 Evaluating student-generated film as a learning tool for qualitative methods: geographical ‘drifts’ and the city. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 37 (1) 136-146

39 Woods, M. Anderson, J. Guilbert, S. Watkin, S. 2012 ‘The country(side) is angry’: emotion and explanation in protest mobilization. Social & Cultural Geography 13:6, 567-585

40 Anderson, J. 2012 Reflective journals as a tool for auto-ethnographic learning: A case study of student experiences with individualised sustainability. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 36 (4) 613-623

41 Anderson, J. 2012. Managing trade-offs in ‘Ecotopia’: Becoming Green at the ‘Centre for Alternative Technology. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 37 (2) 212-225

42 Anderson, J. 2012 Relational places: the surfed wave as assemblage and convergence. Environment & Planning D: Society & Space. 30 (4) 570-82

43 Anderson, J. 2010 The Surfed Wave as Transient Convergence. You Are Here: The Journal of Creative Geography. Special Issue: Spatial Imaginaries and Imaginary Spaces. XIII pp31

44 Anderson, J. 2010 From ‘zombies’ to ‘coyotes’: environmentalism where we are. Environmental Politics. 19 6 973-992

45 Anderson, J. Adey, P. and Bevan, 2010 Positioning Place: polylogic approaches to research methodology. Qualitative Research. 10 589-604

46 Anderson, J. 2009 Transient convergence and relational sensibility: beyond the modern constitution of nature. Emotion, Space, and Society. 2 120-127

47 Anderson, J. Jones, K. 2009 The difference that place makes to methodology: uncovering the ‘lived space’ of young people’s spatial practices. Children’s Geographies. 7 3 291- 303

48 Anderson, J. Moles, K. 2008. Walking into Coincident Places. Qualitative Researcher. 5-8

49 Anderson, J. 2008. Problems & Participation: ‘Local Knowledge’ and Planning Consultation in Wales. Urban Planning International. 23. 6. 41-46

50 Anderson, J. 2008 Talk to the hand? Community Councils and Planning Consultation. Planning Theory. 3. 284-300

51 Anderson, J. et al. 2008 What is geography’s contribution to making citizens? 93 1 34-39.

52 Anderson, J. 2007 Elusive Escapes: Everyday Life and Ecotopias. Ecopolitics Online. 1. 1. 64 – 82

53 Anderson, J. 2004 Talking whilst walking: a geographical archaeology of knowledge. Area, 36(3), 254-261

54 Anderson, J. 2004 The ties that bind? Self- and place-identity in environmental direct action, Ethics, Place and Environment, 1 45-58

55 Anderson, J. 2004 Spatial Politics in Practice: The style and substance of environmental direct action. Antipode, 36(1), 106-125.

56 Anderson, J. 2002 Researching environmental resistance: working through Secondspace and Thirdspace approaches. Qualitative Research, 2(3), 301-322


Recent Chapters in Books

57 Anderson, J. Bohata, K. Smith, K. Morgan, J. 2021 Literary Atlas: A Digital Resource for Creative Tourism in Wales’, in Kathleen Scherf, ed., Creative Tourism and Sustainable Development in Smaller Communities. University of Calgary Press: Calgary.

58 Anderson, J. Stoodley, L. 2019 The call of the sea: how sound co-composes the place of the surfed wave. In Doughty, K. Duffy, M. Harada, T. eds. Sounding Places. More-Than-Representational Geographies of Sound and Music. Elgar: London. 63-74.

59 Anderson J. Stoodley, L. 2018 Creative compulsions: performing surfing as art. Water, Meaning, and Creativity. Roberts, L. Jones, K. eds. Routledge: London.

60 Anderson, J. 2016 Reflective journals as a tool for auto-ethnographic learning: a case study of student experiences with individualized sustainability in Haigh, M. et al. eds. Pedagogic Research in Geography Higher Education.

61 Anderson, J. 2016 Reframing the Sustainability of Surfing Culture. Borne, G. Ponting, J. eds. Surfing and Sustainability Routledge: London.

62 Anderson, J. 2016 Walking the plotlines between page and place: the ongoing compositions of Cardiff’s literary geographies, for Cooper, D. et al eds Literary Mapping in the Digital Age. Ashgate: Farnham.

63 Anderson, J. 2015. On being shaped by surfing: experiencing the world of the littoral zone. Seascapes: Shaped by the sea. in Brown. M. Humberstone, B. eds. Ashgate: Farnham. 55-70.

64 Anderson, J. Erskine, K. 2014 Lifestyle Travel, Tropophilia and Identity Transformation. Lean, G. Satiff, R. Waterton, E. eds. Travel and Transformation. Ashgate: Farnham. 29-42.

65 Anderson, J. 2014 The Surfed Wave as Assemblage and Convergence. In Anderson, J. Peters, K. eds. Water Worlds: Human Geographies of the Ocean.

66 Anderson, J. Peters, K. 2014 ‘A perfect and absolute blank’: Human geographies of water worlds. In Anderson, J. Peters, K. eds. Water Worlds: Human Geographies of the Ocean. Ashgate.

67 Anderson, J. 2014 What I think about when I think about kayaking. In Anderson, J. Peters, K. eds. Water Worlds: Human Geographies of the Ocean.

68 Anderson, J. 2013 From ‘Zombies’ to ‘Coyotes’: Environmentalism Where We Are. In Corporate Environmentalism and the Greening of OrganizationsEditor(s): John M. Jermier ISBN: 978-0-85702-571-5 Sage: London

Selected Other Outcomes. Recent Public Engagement and Impact.

69 Anderson, J. 2019-20 Literary Atlas Touring Exhibition (Curation, Public Lectures, Public Workshops). Oriel Gallery, Newtown; Pontio, Bangor; Galeri, Caernarfon; National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; Swansea Museum, Cardiff.

70 Anderson, J. Walford Davies, D. Constantine, M-A. 2019 Wales’ literary geographies. Hay Festival. Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

71 Anderson, J. Dafydd, F. Clare, H. 2019 Literary Geographies, Welsh Art Review, BBC Radio Wales.

72 Anderson, J. Bohata, K. Smith, K. Morgan, J. Literary Atlas. (150,000 hits)


These selected engagement activities go some way to illustrate my international level dissemination across all research interests, including over 150 academic conference presentations and a growing portfolio of innovative public engagement activities. These complement my established advocacy role for the School and discipline in developing and maintaining networks with a range of Chinese universities, policy makers and lobbyists in Wales (incl. the fields of arts, tourism, and planning; the WJEC, the Learned Society, museums and galleries), as well as key disciplinary stakeholders (including regular contribution to Royal Geographical Society Heads of School meetings, up until 2021). I regularly serve on ESRC and AHRC judging panels, as well as overseas grant panels, for research grants and studentships, and this combines with a sustained record of research supervision including the employment of nine research associates over recent years, the supervision of twelve PhD students (ten to completion, two current), and service on seven PhD panels.


I run the second year undergraduate module 'Cultural Geographies: Places and Practices', which complements the textbook 'Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces) (2010, 2015, 2021). There follows some comments on the module from recent participants:

"Amazing lectures and seminars, very engaging and very interesting topics covered over the module".

"Have received a lot of support for this module, particularly with the assessment, and the lecturer's enthusiasm made the learning experience that much more enjoyable. Not only this but the lecture content was incredibly interesting and enjoyable"

"I want the lecturer to adopt me. Please. They are AMAZING! The lectures are so so good, because they actually teach [me things]! They'll be a few bullet points or quotes on the slide, but then they'll expand upon them and actually talk about the content instead of just reading it. This adds so much more detail and information, and helps with the context of the quotations, which helps us to frame the debates within the larger context of the module, which makes it make sense. The lectures are broken down into good sized chunks. The lecturer does really well to link each section to other sections, other weeks and the running themes of the module. Seminars are really good too. They are based around a reading, and we have a discussion to help us understand it. They are engaging and really useful. All of the content is engaging, innovative, interesting and just great".

"Loved this module so much, my favourite so far. The lecturer is really engaging and interesting to listen to".

"The lecturer's enthusiasm for cultural geography is inspiring and has definitely influenced the overall experience and understanding of this module in a positive way".

"Such a passioate lecturer! Love the enthusiasm which motivates students too"


Academic Posts and Education.

2017-       Professor of Human Geography, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University

14-17       Reader in Human Geography, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University.

11-14       Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University.

03-11       Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University.

00–03      Research Associate, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth. 'Power, Participation and Rural Community Governance', ESRC Democracy & Participation Programme.

96-00       PhD, Geography, University of Bristol; ‘The Changing Nature of Radical Environmental Protest’.

95-96       MSc Environmental Policy and Management, University of Hull

92-95       BA (Hons) Geography, University of Hull. Class: I

Major Honours and Distinctions

2019        Most Uplifting Member of Staff, Enriching Student Life Award, Cardiff University.

2017         Nomination, Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year, Times Higher Education Awards.

2017        Outstanding Doctoral Supervisor, Enriching Student Life Awards, Cardiff University.

2016         Outstanding Contribution One-Off Award, Cardiff University.

2014         Sustained Outstanding Contribution Award, Cardiff University.

2014         Nomination, National Teaching Fellowship, Higher Education Academy.

2014         Excellence in Teaching Award, Celebrating Excellence Awards, Cardiff University.

2011        Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Royal Town Planning Institute.

2011         Nomination, National Teaching Fellowship Award, Higher Education Academy.

2009        Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Royal Town Planning Institute.

Strategic Leadership Roles, School of Geography and Planning

11-19       Member of School Board

16-19       Director of Teaching and Learning

15-16       Chair of Teaching Review Committee

14-16       Director of Undergraduate Studies

12-14       BSc Geography (Human) – Programme Design and Development Leader.

08-12       Widening Access Officer

08-12       Step Up to University Geography Co-ordinator


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

Surfing Spaces and Water Worlds

Literary Geography

Cultural Geography

Current supervision

Tirion Jenkins

Tirion Jenkins

Graduate Tutor