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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Catriona Gold

Catriona Gold


UCL Department of Geography
University College London
Pearson Building
Gower Street

Primary supervisor: Alan Ingram
Secondary supervisor: Tariq Jazeel


PhD topic: Travel warnings, alerts, and advice: history and origins.

Travel advisories -- sometimes referred to as travel warnings or alerts -- are statements issued by national governments which advise their citizens of the risks involved in travelling to other states, and/or offer practical advice to travelling citizens. Over the last two decades, advice has proliferated and assumed new significance as part of a both a technological and political shift in approaches to security, risk, and the shaping of mobility.

My PhD traces the US and UK origins and history of this government-issued travel advice from the early 20th century to the present day. In addition, it examines how alerts have been deployed as governmental techniques to control 21st century epidemics, connecting this history with ongoing transformations in global health. Advisories have long been a source of diplomatic tension. The 2003 SARS pandemic in particular brought the political and economic effects of travel alerts into stark relief, yet advisories remain understudied. This project offers the first substantive investigation into either the history of advisories or their use in epidemic events.