Dr Joanne (Jo) Norcup BA (hons) MA (Res) PGCE, PhD, FRGS


Dr Joanne (Jo) Norcup is an interdisciplinary historical and cultural geographer whose research interests are in the comparative histories and cultural geographies of anti-racist geographical education and knowledge-making.


Jo is currently an Honorary Assistant Professor in Historical and Cultural Geography in the School of Geography, University of Nottingham, and Honorary Research Fellow in the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick.


Jo is  a  writer and researcher and the founder and director of Geography Workshop Productions.


Professional Affiliations.

  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG).
  • Conference Officer of the Historical Geography Research Group, RGS-IBG (2018 – 2021).
  • Member of the Race, Culture and Equality Working Group, RGS-IBG.
  • Member of the Royal Historical Society.



Jo’s research is informed by a range of feminist and intersectional ideas that enable diverse and dissenting ways of thinking, writing, representing, performing, and reconstructing the world.

Working across a range of historical and cultural materials to inform contemporary debates, current research includes the following:



Public engagement and impact.

  • Details concerning public engagement and impact pertaining to specific research areas can be found on the respective research pages on this website.
  • Jo is the founder and director of Geography Workshop productions. Public engagement initiatives can be found on the Geography Workshop website. Please see the Geography Workshop section of this website for further details.
  • Jo is a columnist for the East Midlands independent periodical The Beestonian, and continues writing about the street trees of the local area in her column, Trees of Beeston. Unedited versions of these columns can be found on the Geography Workshop website.


Additional academic/research work.

Jo is available to support and collaboratively work to create freelance teaching, seminars, fieldwork, and workshops as well as podcasts and the development of radio programmes which can be organised via Geography Workshop.

Alongside academic research and writing, Jo has spent the last two decades working at the intersection of her academic research interests in a diverse range of educational contexts.  These have included:

  • Teaching Fellow, University Preparatory Certificate in Humanities (UPCH) in the Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE), University College London. Jo devised and ran the Geography and the Built Environment course in conjunction with colleagues in the Department of Geography, UCL from its inception in 2007 until 2014.
  • Teaching Associate in the School of Geography, University of Glasgow (2006 – 2007).
  • Temporary Lecturer in Cultural Geography, Napier University, Edinburgh (2006), and Graduate Teaching assistant in the School of Geography, Glasgow University (2005-2006).
  • Secondary school geography teacher and tutor for London Borough of Greenwich and Lewisham home tutoring service (1999 – 2004).
  • A summer contracted conservation educator (Jersey Zoo/ Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Channel Islands, 1999) where she gave keeper talks and learnt how to handle snakes, and basic animal management skills).
  • Freelance multi-media adviser for geography education materials (KS3 – University level). Clients included BBC, Sky, Pearson (2003 – 2007).
  • Freelance social researcher (qualitative and quantitative surveys) for commercial companies, charities, and academic researchers (1998 – ongoing).
  • Jo has always undertaken paid work in tandem with her academic studies and as such as a wealth of experience as a cleaner, gardener, carer, administrator, call centre operative, worked in a range of retail outlets and in silver service hospitality.
  • Jo has also worked as a Supporting Artiste for TV dramas, and still hankers to land a walk-on part in anything written by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton or Sarah Phelps.


Achievements and awards.

In addition to academic awards, Jo’s most recent achievement was solving the inaugural P.D. James Murder mystery dinner held at St Hilda’s Crime festival, Another Crime, Another Place:The role of location in crime fiction, St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford in 2017 . The weekend was hosted by Val McDermid and the mystery itself was devised by Ann Cleeves and Prof Lorna Dawson. That Jo solved this in a room packed full of international crime fiction writers remains a highlight of her recent life, and she puts her success down to the curiosity inculcated by many years of geographical sleuthing cultivated by historical geography training, the love of boardgames, and quaffing single-malt in honour of Colin Dexter.