Dr Emily Hayes

PhD, MSc, BA Hons

Research Associate/Associate Lecturer

School of Law and Social Sciences

Emily Hayes


As Research Associate and Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University I have delivered lectures to first-year Geography and Anthropology students and third-year Human and Cultural Geography students, marked assignments for the latter and supervised second year students (‘Geographical Enquiry and Field Research’ module). I have assisted with fieldtrips to the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London and to Malta. I am also Language Editorial Assistant for Planning Perspectives, an academic peer-reviewed journal of history, planning, and the environment.

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

I have contributed lectures to, and marked assignments on, the following Oxford Brookes University modules:

  • 'The Geographical Imagination'
  • ‘The Making of the American West’
  • ‘Elvis to Punk: Historical Geographies 1957-1977’

As a dedicated lecturer I have taught geography, anthropology, art history and visual studies students at several universities. Much of my lecturing material is drawn from histories of science and technology, including the following third-year human and cultural geography module lectures: ‘The Geographical Imagination’ module: Science and The Geographical Imagination; ‘The Making of the American West’ module: National Parks, Wilderness and Sacred Space; ‘Elvis to Punk: Historical Geographies 1957-1977’ module: We’ve got to get back to the garden. In addition, I have supervised second year geography students taking the ‘Geographical Enquiry and Field Research’ module. In a separate capacity, I have acted as a module convenor and delivered a course of nine lectures for a ‘Geographies of Gender and Sexualities’ module at St. Mary's University, Twickenham (2019).

My pedagogical philosophy connects closely to my research interests by hypothesizing historical texts, images and objects as tools of critical inquiry; develops rigorous imaginative methods of historical exploration and argumentation; draws on local geographies; offers creative, experiential and interactive learning; and engages with various publics in local and national museums and institutions (The History of Science Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford). I have also fostered collaborative fieldwork amongst PhD students by coordinating ‘Set in motion,’ a walking tour of the Royal Geographical Society’s (RGS) historical homes and associated knowledge making sites (2016).


As Research Associate at Oxford Brookes University I have expanded and published my research into British and European nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century geographical institutions, epistemology, pegagogical practices and technologies.

By drawing from the special collections and archives of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, I have brought histories of the discipline of geography into dialogue with related social and physical sciences such as anthropology, chemistry and physics.

In being based in Oxford I have shared my findings in Oxford Brookes and University of Oxford seminars and conferences. In addiiton, I have reached out to audiences of diverse ages and levels of expertise via multimedia public engagement events held at the History of Science Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford (both 2018). 

Research group membership

  • Member of the Historical Geography Research Group, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
  • 08/2019 - present: History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group Committee, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), member and Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Coordinator.
  • 09/2017 - present: Royal Anthropological Institute Archives & Manuscripts Committee member.
  • Member of the British Society for the History of Science. 
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Research grants and awards

  • 2017: Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter, Research Stipend. 
  • 2011: Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded doctoral award, University of Exeter and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Further information

Emily Hayes, University of Exeter / Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) PhD (AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award), Geographical projections: lantern slides, and the making of geographical knowledge at the Royal Geographical Society, c.1885–1924 (Awarded 2016)

Emily Hayes, Glimpses of other worlds: thoughts on the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum’s nineteenth-century travel, exploration and geography materials [Blog], Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter, 2017.


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Further details

Areas of expertise

I am an experienced and imaginative researcher of late nineteenth-century histories of geography, anthropology and science, with expertise in the visual technologies of the magic lantern and photography, and the institutional history and epistemology of geography. My research is informed by inter-disciplinary methods employing archival sources, material objects and visual media. With a multi-cultural upbringing I bring language skills and additional European cultural dimensions to my work. 

I hold an undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Anthropology (University of Cambridge) and an MSc in Environmental Science and Archaeology (Sorbonne, Paris). Through my AHRC-funded PhD with the University of Exeter and Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and more recently my postdoctoral work with the same partnering organisations, I have specialised in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century historical geography. My studies are complimented by my professional expertise in modern and contemporary art. I have contributed to the third-year Geography module on The Geographical Imagination module. I am also Language Editorial Assistant for the journal Planning Perspectives

Before returning to academia I worked in the London art world for a number of years, including as a Junior Specialist in Modern and Contemporary Prints and Multiples and as a cataloguer of prints, maps and other works on paper at a number of leading auction houses and galleries. 

Having grown up, been educated, and worked in France and in the U.K., I am bilingual in English in French. 

Other qualifications

  • 2005: D.E.A. (MSc) Archaeology and Environmental SciencesParis I with Paris VI and Paris X Universities and Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, France The evolution of pottery tempers at Koumbi Saleh (Mauritania, 5th–15th century). A phytolithic analysis.
  • 1999: Girton College, University of Cambridge, BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology, Part 2: Archaeology, specialising in the Archaeology, Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent.