Dr Alan Latham
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UCL Department of Geography
Room G19, Pearson Building
London WC1E 6BT
Internal Extension: 30525
Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 0525
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 0565
1990 BA (Economics and Geography) Massey University
1992 MA (Human Geography), Massey University
1997 PhD, University of Bristol
1996-1997 DAAD Visiting Research Fellow, Technische Universität Berlin
1997-1999 NZFoRST Research Fellow, University of Auckland
1999-2006 Lecturer in Geography, University of Southampton
2006-2010 Lecturer in Geography, UCL
2010- Senior Lecturer in Geography, UCL
- Course 2003 Methods in Human Geography
- Course 3026 Geographies of Modern Culture
- Course GEOG G001 Geography and Social Theory
- Course GEOG G014/G040 Social Science Research Methods and Methodologies
- Course GEOG G030 Modern Social and Geographical Theory II: Space and Place
- Course GEOG G087 Managing Migration in a Globalised World
I am an urban geographer. My research focuses on three key areas:
Sociality and urban life. I am interested in the everyday patterns of sociality through which urban dwellers go about “making a world” (Hannerz 1980) for themselves in the city. Perhaps because it is often playful and just plain banal, sociality has frequently been taken for granted or overlooked by mainstream social science. It has been left to inspired mavericks like Simmel, Goffman and Garfinkel to study the patterns and dynamics of sociality. Drawing on these writers and that of contemporary researchers like Pahl and Maffesoli I have through research projects in Berlin, London and Auckland been exploring the socialities through which a range of distinctive urban cultures emerge and are maintained. I am interested in the unique – if often fragile – bonds of solidarity that urban sociality generates.
Globalization and the cultural economy of cities. If sociality is at the core of the urban experience, so too is globalization. Cities are places where different cultures and ideas rub together and generate all sorts of new hybrids. Parallel to my interest in sociality, a second focus of my research is on the small scale and intimate levels of this mixing. I look at the ways that people incorporate previously alien materials and practices into their day-to-day existence, and how these materials are employed in reconfiguring existing social relationships. I am particularly interested in the key role played by certain cultural entrepreneurs – and the networks they build – in facilitating and managing these processes of translation and movement.
- Corporeal mobility. Globalisation is about the movement of materials, images, ideas and people across international borders. All sorts of other forms mobility also define the contemporary city. My third research interest focuses on the intersection between these two facts. I am interested in the ways which certain internationally mobile individuals and groups use globalization – and the transportation and communication networks that sustain it – to create life-projects that are strung across enormous distances. Drawing on the work of Ong, Raj, M. P. Smith, and others I am interested in exploring the mundane, quite ordinary, relationships and practices through which educated migrants to world cities like London negotiate their way through the city. A particular focus is on the role of friendship networks and personal relationships in configuring people’s movement.
DAAD Junior Academic Research Grant for Practical Knowledge and Experiencing Urban Space: an empirical study of a district in Berlin, £2,955.00
New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology grant for Auckland’s Changing Urbanities: the making and enacting of a new urban culture, £58,494.00
Royal Geographical Society and HSBC grant for Antipodean Transnationals: New Zealand migrants in London, £1,800.00
“Digital Technologies and the Fieldwork Experience,” Faculty of Engineering, Science, and Mathematics E-Leaning award. Total funding £3,400.00 (with Dr Derek McCormack). This is a teaching project involving integrating digital technologies into an undergraduate urban fieldwork based course.
"Developing Student Understanding of Innovative Methodologies in Real-World Contexts," Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences Small-Scale Project Grant. Total funding £4,300 (with Dr Derek McCormack).
- Andrew Banfield, Spectatorship, virtual stadiums, and mass sporting events, self funded, Sept 2008
- Regan Koch, Reanimating urban public spaces, ESRC studentship, Sept 2009
- Darya Malyutina, Russian Migrants in London, ORS funded, March 2009
- Stephanie Mills, Urban resilience and community cohesion, self funded, Sept 2009.
- Donald Poland, The urbanization of older suburban centres., self funded, April 2009.
- Patricia Simoes Aelbrecht , How can urban design contribute to the Sociology of the city and its public spaces?August (Bartlett), August 2009
- Gemma Moore, Urban open space and its contribution to sustainable communities (Bartlett), Sept 2007
- Frohar Poya, Life trajectories of teenage Afghan refugees in the UK, Sept 2007.
- Nadia Robb, Romanian Migrants in London, Sept 2008
Completed PhD: University of Southampton
- Eleanor Pryce – Evaluating the potential impact of road user charging in Southampton. Funded by the Southampton City Council. Co-supervisor with Prof Steven Pinch. ., Sept 2003- Sept 2006. Completed 2008.
- Al Darmaki, Ibrahim Abdul Rahman – Globalisation and urban development: a case study of Dubai’s Jumeirah Palm Island mega project.. Co-supervised with Prof Steven Pinch., Sept 2003- Sept 2006. Completed November 2008.
- Graham Turner – Home working and corporate change. Funded by the ESRC part time student fund. Co-supervisor with Prof Steven Pinch. Completed 2005.