Dr Simon Dickinson


  • PhD in Human Geography. University of Exeter (UK, 2018)
  • MSc in Human Geography. University of Canterbury (New Zealand, 2013)
  • BSc in Geography. University of Canterbury (New Zealand, 2011)


I am an interdisciplinary geographer, with research interests in social and political geographies of ruptured civil society landscapes. My work is underpinned by questions of how social movements, community organisations and other non-governmental groups respond to ‘events’ in order to draw attention to/redress various kinds of social and cultural inequality. Empirically, this involves exploring how actors probe the transformative potential of events – largely by paying attention to the practices of experimentation and entrepreneurship that reveal the ways particular events rupture and deconstruct the socio-political architectures of place.

A significant strand of my work involves examining civil society landscapes after disasters – questioning how community actors have reformed to challenge various forms of existing social and cultural inequality through the rubrics of ‘recovery’ and ‘redevelopment’. Specifically, my work in Christchurch, New Zealand (after a series of earthquakes in 2010/11) has examined organisations that emerged during the recovery periods – highlighting the ways organisations shifted and adapted over time. In doing so, I have written widely on Alain Badiou’s notion of ‘fidelity’ by examining how the activities of actors are shaped by unravelling understandings of how events fuel different forms of social, political and cultural change.

Previously, I have explored interests in the geographies of health and indigenous health promotion through both postgraduate research and employment in the public sector. I am also active in researching educational innovation and development in the geography discipline.

I welcome potential research collaborations, postgraduate students and community collaboration around the following areas:

  • Civil society landscapes and activity (including NGOs/TSOs/formal and informal community organisations)
  • Community responses to specific issues and events
  • Disaster recovery landscapes
  • Drivers of social and cultural change
  • Participatory methodologies (including PAR and working for/within civil society organisations)
  • Pedagogic research (particularly around qualitative methods teaching)


I currently teach on the following modules at Edge Hill:

  • GEO1043 Introducing Human Geographies
  • GEO1044 Practicing Human Geographies
  • GEO2070 Research Methods for Human Geography
  • GEO2072 Human Geography in Practice
  • GEO2076 Sustainability and the Global Built Environment (Module Convenor)
  • GEO2082 Disaster Management and Risk Reduction (Module Convenor)
  • GEO3085 Disaster Management and Response in the Professional World (Module Convenor)

Recent Publications:

Dickinson, S & Telford, A. (2020). The visualities of digital story mapping: teaching the ‘messiness’ of qualitative methods through story mapping technologies. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2020.1712686

Cloke, P. & Dickinson, S. (2019). Transitional ethics and aesthetics: Re-imagining the postdisaster city in Christchurch, New Zealand. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2019.1570838

Dickinson, S. (2019). Alternative narrations and imaginations of disaster recovery: a case study of relocatees after the Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquakes. Social & Cultural Geography. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2019.1574883

Tironi, M., Bacigalupe, G., Knowles, S., Dickinson, S., Gil, M., Kelly, S., Molina, F., Siddiqi, A. & Waldmueller, J. (2019). ‘Figuring’ disasters: an experiment on thinking disasters as methods. Resilience. https://doi.org/10.1080/21693293.2019.1567013

Dickinson, S. (2018). Spaces of post-disaster experimentation: agile entrepreneurship and geological agency in emerging disaster countercartographies. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 1(4), 621-640. https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848618812023

Cloke, P., Dickinson, S. & Tupper, S. (2017). The Christchurch earthquakes 2010, 2011: Geographies of an event. New Zealand Geographer, 73 [2], 69-80. https://doi.org/10.1111/nzg.12152

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