Geographies of Popular Culture – a 1st year reading list

As we’re at the beginning of term here in Exeter and I’ve been fiddling with my teaching resources I thought I’d share some of them here, so please find below and in a linked PDF the suggested reading list I offer our first year students for a section of the module Geographies of Place, Identity and Culture concerning ‘Popular Culture’.

GEO1105 Geographies of Place, Identity and Culture

Geographies of Popular Culture: Reading List


In addition to Introducing Human Geographies, there are a few very good textbooks that may support further study, especially if you pursue cultural geographies in the second and third years:

Crang, Mike. 1998 Cultural Geography, London, Routledge.

Horton, John and Kraftl, Peter. 2014 Cultural Geographies. An Introduction, London, Routledge.

Storey, John. 2012 Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. An Introduction, 6th Edition, London, Pearson.

Lecture 1: Popular Culture

This lecture will introduce the theme of popular culture, revisiting key concepts and motifs that have emerged throughout the module and open out, as a context for further study, the pursuits and activities of popular culture.


Anderson et al. 2002 “A Rough Guide” in Anderson, K., Domosh, M., Pile, S., and Thrift, N. eds. Handbook of Cultural Geography, London, Sage, pp. 1-9

Storey, J 2012 ‘What is popular culture?’ in Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. An Introduction, London, Pearson, pp. 1-16

Wider reading

Bryman, A. 2004 The Disneyization of Society, London, Sage. –In library 306.3 BRY

du Gay, P., Hall, S., Janes, L., Mackay, H., & Negus, K. 1997 Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman, London, Sage.

Harvey, D. 1989 The condition of postmodernity, Oxford, Blackwell.

Klein, N. 1999 No logo, New York, Picador.

Mitchell, D. 1995 “There’s no such thing as culture: towards a reconceptualization of the idea of culture in geography”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 20: pp. 102-116.

Skelton, T. and Valentine, G. 1998 Cool Places: Geographies of Youth Cultures, London, Routledge.

Turner, G. 2003 British Cultural Studies: An Introduction, 3rd Edition, London, Routledge.


Lecture 2: Geographies of Music

Music is the focus of the second lecture, situated both as forms of performance and a means of expression. We will look at the ways in which music is performed and how its audiences are convened. We will also explore how music is key medium for the expression of identity and the enactment of place.


Fraser, A. 2012 “The Spaces, Politics, and Cultural Economies of Electronic Dance Music”, Geography Compass 6(8): pp. 500-511.

Rogers, A. 2012 “Geographies of the Performing Arts: Landscapes, Places and Cities”, Geography Compass 6(2): pp. 60-75.


Wider reading

Anderson, B. 2004 “Time-stilled space-slowed: how boredom matters” Geoforum 35(6): pp. 739-754.

Cresswell, T. 2006 “‘You cannot shake that shimmie here’: producing mobility on the dancefloor”, Cultural Geographies 13: pp. 55-77.

Hudson, R. 2006 “Regions and place: music, identity and place”, Progress in Human Geography 30: pp. 626-634.


Kong, L. 1995 Music and cultural politics: ideology and resistance in Singapore. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 20: pp. 447–459.

Leyshon, A. 2009 “The software slump? Digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy”, Environment and Planning A 41(6): pp. 1301-1331.

Mels, T. 2004 “Lineages of a geography of rhythms”, in Mels, T. ed. Reanimating Places: A Geography of Rhythms, Aldershot, Ashgate, pp. 3-44.

Revill, G. 2000 “Music and the politics of sound: nationalism, citizenship and auditory space”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 18: pp. 597-613.

Saldanha, A. 2002 “Music, space, identity: geographies of youth culture in Bangalore”, Cultural Studies 16: pp. 337-350.

Simpson, P. 2008 “Chronic everyday life: rhythmanalysing street performance”, Social and Cultural Geography 9(7): pp. 807-829.

Simpson, P. 2012 “Apprehending everyday rhythms: rhythmanalysis, time-lapse photography, and the space-times of street performance”, Cultural Geographies 19(4): pp. 423-445.

Watson, A., Hoyler, M. and Mager, C. 2009 “Spaces and Networks of Musical Creativity in the City”, Geography Compass 3(2): pp. 856-878.

White, B. and Day, F. 1997 “Country music radio and American culture regions”, Journal of Cultural Geography 16: pp. 21-35.

Wood, N., Duffy, M. and Smith, S. J. 2007 “The art of doing (geographies of) music”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25: pp. 867–889.

Wyndham, M. and Read, P. 2003 “Buena Vista Social Club: local meets global and lives happily ever after”, Cultural Geographies 10: pp. 498-503.


Lecture 3: Geographies of Life Online

In this lecture the we will explore the growing number of ways in which life is mediated with and through the internet. We will investigate the ways in which the internet reconfigures the performance of identity and our understandings of space and place.


Kinsley, S. 2013 “Beyond the screen: Methods for investigating geographies of life ‘online'”, Geography Compass 7(8): pp. 540-555.

Wider reading

Adams, P. C. 1997 “Cyberspace and virtual places”, Geographical Review 87(2): pp. 155-171.

– 2011, “A taxonomy for communication geography”, Progress in Human Geography 35(1): pp. 37-57.

Dodge, M. and Kitchin, R. 2001 Mapping Cyberspace, New York, Routledge.

Graham, S. 1998 “The end of geography or the explosion of place? Conceptualising space, place and information technology” Progress in Human Geography 22(2): pp. 165-185.

Hillis, K. 1998 “On the margins: the invisibility of communications in geography” Progress in Human Geography 22(4): pp. 543-566.

Kellerman, A. 2002 The internet on earth: a geography of information, Hoboken, NJ, Wiley.

Mossberger, K., Tolbert, C. J., and Stansbury, M. 2003 Virtual Inequality: beyond the digital divide, Washington DC, Georgetown University Press.

Thrift, N. 1996 “New Urban Eras and Old Technological Fears: Reconfiguring the Goodwill of Electronic Things”, Urban Studies 33(8): pp. 1463-1493.

Zook, M. 2005 The Geography of the Internet Industry: Venture capital dot-coms, and local knowledge, New York, Blackwell.

Lecture 4: Geographies of Books & Reading

While literature can be considered as ‘high’ culture, in this lecture we will consider the ways in which literature and fiction are a significant source of imaginative geographies and particular types of spatial experience.


Hones, S. 2008 “Text as It Happens: Literary Geography”, Geography Compass 2(5): pp. 1301-3117.

Kitchin, R. and Kneale, J. 2001 “Science Fiction or future fact? Exploring imaginative geographies of the new millennium”, Progress in Human Geography 25: pp. 17-33.


Wider reading

Cresswell, T. 1993 “Mobility as resistance: a geographical reading of Kerouac’s On the Road“, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 18: pp. 249-262.

DeLyser, D. 2005 Romana memories: tourism and the shaping of Southern California, Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota Press.

Kneale, J. 1999 “The virtual realities of technology and fiction: reading William Gibson;s cyberspace”, in Crang, M., Crang, P., and May, J. eds. Virtual Geographies, London, Routledge, pp. 205-221.

Lando, F. 1996 “Fact and fiction: geography and literature”, GeoJournal 38(1): pp. 3-18.

Livingstone, D. 2005 “Science, text and space: thoughts on the geography of reading”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 30(4): pp. 91-401.

Romanillos, J-L. 2008 “‘Outside, it is snowing’: experience and finitude in the nonrepresentational landscapes of Alain Robbe-Grillet”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26: 795-822.

Said, E. 1995 (originally, 1978) “Imaginative geography and its representations: Orientalizing the Oriental”, in Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient. London: Penguin, pp. 49-73.

Sharp, J. 2000 “Towards a critical analysis of fictive geographies”, Area 32(3): pp. 327-334.

Shortridge, J. R. 1991 “The concept of the place-defining novel in American popular culture”, Professional Geographer 43(3): pp. 280-291.


Lecture 5: Geographies of Cinema and Television

As one of the key media of the 20th and 21st centuries, the moving image is crucial to understanding material cultures, changing ideas about landscape, and identity. In this lecture we will examine the ways in which cinema and television have both reflected and created kinds of spatial experience.

Rosati, C. 2007 “Media Geographies: Uncovering the Spatial Politics of Images”, Geography Compass 1(5): pp. 995-1014.

 Wider reading

Bolter, J. D. and Grusin, R. 1999 Remediation: understanding new media, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

Carter, S. 2007 “Mobilising generosity, framing geopolitics: Narrating crisis in the homeland through diasporic media”, Geoforum 38: pp. 1102-1112.

Carter, S. and McCormack, D. 2006 “Film, Geopolitics and the affective logics of intervention”, Political Geography 25: pp. 228-245.

Couldry, N. and McArthy, A. eds. 2004 MediaSpace: place, scale, and culture in the media age, New York, Routledge.

Lukinbeal, C. 2005 “Cinematic landscapes”, Journal of Cultural Geography 23(1): pp. 3-22.

Morley, D. 1996 “The geography of television: ethnography, communications and community”, in Hay, J., Grossberg, L., and Wartella, E. eds. The audience and its landscapes, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, pp. 317-342.

Rosati, C. 2007 “MTV: 360° of the industrial production of culture”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 32(4): pp. 556-575.


Lecture 6: Spaces of Games and Play

Fun can be a serious business. In this lecture we will explore the various ways playing and playfulness are important to how we understand the world. We will examine how play allows us to be ‘other’, how structured games are important to how we negotiate individual and collective identity, and the ways playfulness is central to our performance of everyday life.

Woodyer, T. 2012 “Ludic geographies: not merely child’s play”, Geography Compass 6(6): pp. 313-326.

Wider reading

Ash, J. and Gallacher, L. 2011 “Cultural Geography and Videogames”, Geography Compass 5(6): pp. 351-368.

Borden, I. 2001 Skateboarding, space and the city: architecture and the body, Oxford, Berg.

Caillois, R. 1961 Man, play and games, New York, NY, Free Press of Glencoe.

Flusty, S. 2000 “Thrashing downtown: play as resistance to the spatial and representational regulation of Los Angeles”, Cities 17(2): pp. 149–158.

Holloway, S. L. and Valentine, G. 2000 Children’s geographies: playing, living, learning, London, Routledge.

Huizinga, J. 1949 Homo Ludens: a study of the play-element in culture, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Stevens, Q. 2007 The ludic city: exploring the potential of public spaces, Abingdon & New York, Routledge.

Sutton-Smith, B. 1997 The ambiguity of play, Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press.

Valentine, G. and McKendrick, J. 1997 “Children’s outdoor play: exploring parental concerns about children’s safety and the changing nature of childhood”, Geoforum 28(2): pp. 219–235.

Winnicott, D. W. 1971 Playing and reality, Harmondsworth, Penguin.

Waitt, G. 2008 “Urban Festivals: Geographies of Hype, Helplessness and Hope”, Geography Compass 2(2): pp. 513-537.

Lecture 7: Geographies of Consumption

Consuming goods and services lies at the heart of everyday life, for subsistence, work and for leisure. The ways we consume are a significant focus for cultural geographies research. We will explore how consumption relates to identity and place.

Crewe, L. 2000 “Geographies of retailing and consumption”, Progress in Human Geography 24: pp. 275-290.

Clarke, N. 2008 “From ethical consumerism to political consumption”, Geography Compass 2(6): pp. 1870-1884.


Wider reading

Anderson, B. 2004 “Time-stilled space-slowed: how boredom matters” Geoforum 35(6): pp. 739-754.

Bell, D. and Valentine, G. 1996 Consuming Geographies: We are what we eat, Routledge London.

Clarke, D., Doel, M. and Housiaux, K (eds) 2003 The Consumption Reader, Routledge London.

Crewe, L. 2001 “The besieged body: geographies of retailing and consumption”, Progress in Human Geography 25: pp. 629–40.

Crewe, L. 2003 “Geographies of retailing and consumption: markets in motion”, Progress in Human Geography 27(3): pp. 352-362.

du Gay, P. 1997 ‘Introduction’, in: du Gay, P., Hall, S., Janes, L., Mackay, H., & Negus, K. Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman, London, Sage, pp. 1-7. –In library: 301.243 DUG

Lury, C. 1996 Consumer Culture, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Mansvelt, J. 2005 Geographies of Consumption, Sage, London.

Paterson, M. 2006 Consumption and Everyday Life, Routledge, London.

Ritzer, G. 2013 The MacDonaldization of Society, 7th edition, London, Sage. –In library: 306.0973 RIT

Urry, J. 1995 Consuming Places, Routledge, London.

Urry, J. 1990 The Tourist Gaze, Sage, London.


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