Professor Felix Driver

Personal profile

Felix Driver is an historical geographer with a record of scholarship and public engagement in the arts and humanities, including collaborations with museums and creative practitioners.  He has led research projects on the cultural history of collections and collecting, the visual culture of exploration, geography and empire, and imperial cities. He has undertaken or supervised collaborative research projects with the British Library, the Science Museum, the V&A, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Natural History Museum and the Royal Geographical Society. He is currently working on the sketchbooks, log-books and albums of nineteenth-century maritime observers; the history of the Geographical Magazine (1935-65); and the 'lost history' of geographical film. 

Research interests

Geography, empire and cultures of exploration. My research considers the relationships between geographical knowledge, visual culture, exploration and empire, especially in the British context. This research has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, British Academy and AHRC.

Collecting and collections. I have supervised collaborative research and PhD projects on aspects of collecting and collections, including those of the Science Museum, the RGS-IBG, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the British Library.

Geography and the visual arts. I have been involved in collaborations with artists including Helen Scalway and Kathy Prendergast.  The AHRB Visualising Geography project resulted in an exhibition and publication, Landing. I was co-PI of the AHRC Fashioning Diaspora Space project, in collaboration with the V&A Museum.

Imperial cities. This research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examined the significance of imperialism for the design and use of space in London and Rome. A book on Imperial Cities, co-edited with David Gilbert, was published by Manchester University Press.

Moral geographies, city & society. My doctoral research considered discourses of social policy and moral regulation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My book Power and Pauperism was reissued by Cambridge University Press in paperback in 2004.


Felix Driver currently teaches in all years of the undergraduate Geography curriculum, including a final-year option on Geography, Museums and Collections (GG3065). He also teaches core modules in the MA programme in Cultural Geography (Research). He has previously taught courses in historical geography, cultural geography, modern British history, Victorian Studies and imperial history.  

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