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Professor Christopher Philo

Professor Christopher PhiloProfessor of Geography
I gained a Degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge in 1983, and a PhD from the same institution in 1992 (yes, it took me a while!). I was a PhD student and then a Research Fellow in Cambridge from 1983 to 1989, and then my first lecturing post was in the Department of Geography at the University of Wales, Lampeter, starting in January 1989. I was appointed to a Chair in Geography at the University of Glasgow in 1995, starting in October that year, and it has been my pleasure to research and teach at this institution ever since. From April 2002 to July 2005, I was Head of the Department (of Geography and Geomatics) and from October 2008 throguh to June 2013 I was Geography Examinations Officer. I have served as an Assessor on the national UK research assessment exercises, RAE2008 and REF2014. I am presently an editor of Progress in Human Geography.

Research and Teaching Interests

My ongoing research interests concern the historical, cultural and rural geographies of mental ill-health, supplemented by scholarship in the following fields as well: social geographies of 'outsiders'; children's geographies; new animal geographies; historical and contemporary figurations of public space; geographies of 'new spiritual practices'; Foucauldian studies; the history, historiography and theoretical development of geography. I brought together much of my historical research on 'madness' and asylums in a substantial book-length treatment: Philo, C. 2004. A Geographical History of Institutional Provison for the Insane from Medieval Times to the 1860s in England and Wales: The Space Reserved for Insanity. Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston and Queenston, USA, and Lampeter, Wales UK (712 pages). An on-line platform for a number of my unpublished or semi-published papers, together with relevant blogs, will shortly be found at: (the 'Asylum and Post-Asylum Spaces' Word Press site, to which I contribute and which hosts pages specific to the host contributors). A wealth of materials associated with geographies of learning disability can be found at another site: (the 'Rethinking Learning Disabilities' Word Press site associated with an ESRC-funded Seminar Series).


ChildrenDisability studiesHealthMental healthTherapy


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