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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Southampton seek to appoint new Chair in Human Geography

Published: 29 June 2015

Following on from the Department’s success in REF2014, Geography and Environment is now seeking to appoint an outstanding individual to its established Chair in Human Geography.

This latest post follows on from the appointments, in 2014, of six lecturers in human geography, moves that have further strengthened the department’s Economy, Governance and Culture (EGC) and Population, Health and Wellbeing (PHeW) research themes. These recent investments are a clear reflection not only the strength of the department but also the confidence held in it by the Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences and the University more generally.

The established Chair has had an illustrious history, but in the modern globalized and mobile academic world it is interesting to note that there have been only three incumbents since the post was created in October 1953. The post was initially filled by Professor F J Monkhouse, a prolific author of text-books and an exponent of traditional synthetic regional geography. Monkhouse was succeeded in 1967 by Professor Jim Bird, initially himself a classical regional geographer but later the UK’s leading authority on the geography of ports. After Bird’s retirement in 1988, an interregnum of some 3 years followed, but the established chair in Human Geography has been occupied with considerable distinction for the last 24 years by Professor Neil Wrigley, FBA.

Neil had previously been on Southampton’s staff during 1973-1976, before moving to Bristol and subsequently Cardiff where he had held a Chair in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Over the course of his time at Southampton Neil’s work has focused on the restructuring, regulation and globalization of the retail industry, including issues of retail development and finance, e-commerce, the rise of transnational retail corporations, and retailer-driven global supply chains. Through this body of work Neil and his colleagues made a huge contribution to the profile and development of the department, putting retail consumption in particular firmly 'on the map', as well as being very early advocates of the importance of research with impact.

Today, the Economy, Governance and Culture group enjoys close links with other parts of the University including the Third Sector Research Centre, the Work Futures Research Centre, the Centre for Transnational Studies, and the Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation, and Governance and has a clear strategy to further develop its interests in:

  1. Evolution in Economic geography, including: retail industries, centres, and consumption; globalisation and emerging markets; regional and urban growth and decline; global production networks; innovation systems and transitions; and cities and cultural economy.
  2. Practice and culture, including: food and animal welfare; matter and technology; organisational practices, risk and behavioural change; migration and diversity; resilience and development, and urban culture and space.
  3. Governance and politics, including: political governance and regulation; urban governance and culture; localism, decentralisation, and democracy; and social welfare and inequalities.

The full advert for the new position is available here. The closing date is the 28th August 2015, with interviews to be held on 13th October 2015.

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