Dr James Ryan
Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Geography


After graduating from the University of Exeter in 1989 with a BA (Hons) degree in Geography I completed a PhD in the Departments of Geography and History at Royal Holloway University of London in 1994. Subsequently I held academic posts at the University of Oxford (1994-1999), Queen’s University Belfast (1999-2004) and the University of Leicester (2004-2007) before joining the University of Exeter in 2007. I have received research funding from a range of organizations including the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and the Royal Geographical Society. I have given invited presentations on my research to several international research institutions including Harvard University Art Museums and the Yale Center for British Art. In 2014-15 I was awarded a British Academy-Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship for research on the work of the Victorian Cornish photographer, geologist and folklorist Robert Hunt.

Broad research specialisms:

My core research interests are in the historical and cultural geography of modernity, and concern three overlapping fields: photography and visual culture; British colonialism and postcolonialism; and Anglo-American geographical knowledge and science. My research is based mostly on archives and collections. Drawing interdisciplinary approaches to visual images and material culture, I seek to contribute to debates across a range of disciplines, including cultural and historical geography, history, anthropology, art history, photography and visual culture.


BA (Exeter), 
PhD (London)

Contact details

TelNot Known
AddressPeter Lanyon Building
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
Treliever Road
TR10 9FE

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