Professor Philip Crang

Personal profile

As a Cultural Geographer I am drawn both to the feel of particular places and to understanding the movements of things, people and ideas that help to give them those distinctive textures. My research interests focus especially on the role of commercial and commodity cultures in that regard. Key themes include:

the geographies of material culture;

transnational and diasporic geographies; 

the cultural geographies of consumption; 

workplace geographies; 

and, methodologically, the role of ethnographic and creative research practice in exploring these issues.

I have been principal supervisor for thirty-one PhD students, from the UK and abroad, working in these and related areas. Funding for this doctoral work has been gained from UK research councils (ESRC, AHRC), overseas research councils and RHUL. 

I serve on the Editorial Boards of the journals Geography Compass and Cultural Geographies (of which I was editor 1999-2008). I have served on research funding panels for AHRC, ESRC and Ireland’s IRCHSS. I am currently the Department of Geography’s Director of Research.


I enjoy engaging students with my research and learning from their interests and thinking. I am co-editor of Introducing Human Geographies (Hodder), one of the principal introductory textbooks to Human Geography at University level, and co-author of Practising Human Geography (Sage), which guides students on undertaking their own research. At Royal Holloway, my teaching includes:

GG2061, Cultural Geographies of the Modern World: I teach this second year undergraduate option course with Professor Tim Cresswell. My classes focus on global cultures; material geographies; and the relations between geography and art.

GG3056, Geographies of Commodities: this third year option course explores the geographical implications of living in worlds that are saturated by commercial products. The lecture and seminar classes bring together discussions of labour processes, product marketing, and consumer cultures. 

MA in Cultural Geography (research): I teach a number of classes on this Masters programme, including on ‘material geographies’, ‘ethnographic research’ and ‘textual construction’.

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