Biography

(c) Claire McNamee
Dr Jo Norcup. Photo by Claire McNamee.

Currently a post-doctoral honorary research fellow in historical and cultural geography in the Department of Geography, University of Glasgow, my research centres on dissenting, vernacular and transgressive histories and cultures of education and geographical knowledge-making. I am especially interested in ephemeral landscapes and material cultures: places, publications, practices and productions that give voice to visions and versions of life outwith official accounts and in the margins of established archives.

I have undertaken research into the disappearance of post-war working class landscapes in West Hampstead and in particular recovering the stories of working class womens lives from four streets in NW6 (BA, RHUL). I have also explored ideas of environmental sustainability, nature and Englishness and geographies of dissent, transgression and resistance through (auto)ethnographic research (The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and Newbury bypass roads protests 1995/1996 – MRes, RHUL). My doctoral research focused on the recovery of the journal issues, correspondence archives, oral histories & biographies of a grassroots DIY critical leftist geography education journal series Contemporary Issues in Geography (CIGE) and Education (1983 – 1991) and the people and movement surrounding its publishing life (PhD, University of Glasgow).

In 2015 I founded Geography Workshop to enable small-scale independent scholarly-based research-led creative cultural productions. Current projects include:

*CIGE afterlives: working across a range of educational, artistic and community initiatives to re-examine and engage with the materials, ideologies and ideas for emancipatory geography education, including the digitization of the CIGE archive.

*Geography Workshop Presents …. Producing radio broadcasts to sounds, voices and versions of life otherwise ignored by mainstream media [ongoing work being produced for Resonance FM Clear Spot]

I am interested in researching analogue technologies and instruments used to reproduce geographical knowledge in the 20th century (text, visual and sonic productions) and the cultural geographies of access to and use of such technologies. Researching the cultural geographies of Public Libraries and Geographies of Knowledge considers the changes in access and availability of how people encounter and value books, book reading and book learning in the 21st century.

* ‘God Save Mrs Mopp and Good Old Mother Riley’: The Story of the North London Char. Exhibition 2017. An art/archive exhibition based around a bag of my Nan’s old work overalls, tabards and pinnies and reflections on contemporary NW London’s domestic workers.