Dr Nicola Thomas
Associate Professor in Cultural Historical Geography

External responsibilities

Committee/panel activities

2012 - 2015  Member of UK organising committee (with Felix Driver, Charles Withers and Catherine Souch) to convene the International Conference of Historical Geographers in the UK, 2015

2013  Researcher in residence: American Crafts Council, Think Tank on US Craft Guilds, October 17th – 19th October 2013

2008-2010 Research Committee, Royal Geographical Society with IBG (RGS-IBG)

2009-2012 Chair, Historical Geography Research Group,  RGS-IBG

2004-2009 Secretary, Historical Geography Research Group, RGS-IBG

2002-2004 Newsletter Secretary, Historical Geography Research Group, RGS-IBG

2004-2010 Secretary, Women and Geography Study Group, RGS-IBG

Invited lectures & workshops


Invited lecture: Placing Cultural Work: (New) Intersections of Location, Craft and Creativity, ESRC symposium, 15th November 2013


Invited Lecture: ‘Crafting modernitities: Geographies of skilled labour, practice and policy, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina

GEES/WGSG, Mentoring and establishing your career workshop for new and emerging scholars


Plenary Lecture: ‘Teaching Historical Geographies’, Geography, Earth and Environmental Science Annual Workshop, July 2011

Invited Lecture: ‘Island Creativity’, AHRC Urban Laboratory Workshop

Invited Seminar: ‘Visual Cultures of Fieldwork: Harding King and the Libyan Desert’, Department of Geography Seminar Series, Bristol University

AHRC Crafting Communities Network, Connected Communities programme, PI Nicola Thomas, Co-I Fiona Hackney and Katie Bunnell

Workshop 1 - Crafting Communities
Workshop 2 - Crafting Futures
Workshop 3 - Crafting Sustainability


Creativity and Place: An interdisciplinary conference, University of Exeter, 23rd – 25th June

Organised by David C Harvey, Nicola Thomas and Harriet Hawkins


‘Knowing the Desert: WJ Harding King’, Seminar, Department of Geography, University of Exeter

'Creative Industries in South West Britain' Geographical Association, Annual Conference, Manchester


Invited Seminar: ‘Hearsay, myth and science: indigenous knowledge and the desert explorations of W.J. Harding King’, University of Leicester, Postcolonial Research Series


Emerging Geographies of Belief: An interdisciplinary conference. Organised by Historical Cultural Geography Research Group, University of Exeter


‘Revealing the biographical subject: Mary Curzon through the archives’, London Group of Historical Geographers Research Seminar Series, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Significant Impact

Craft sector engagement:

2010-2013: Devon Guild of Craftsmen and Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsman – partner stakeholders in AHRC Craft Guilds in the Creative Economy research project

2013: Exhibition essay Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Design for Living at High Cross House, Dartington

2013: AHRC Cultural Engagement project in partnership with Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen to support the development of the online history of the Guild.

2012: Crafts Council, Craftspace and Leach Pottery formal project partners in AHRC Connected Communities pilot project: ‘Connecting online and offline craft communities of practice and interest’.

2011: AHRC Connected Communities: Crafing Communities Network: 70 stakeholders from the crafts organisations and practitioners joined the AHRC Connecting Craft and Communities network to address the nexus between craft and communities.

Creative Industries sector engagement:

2010: Critical Creative Connections, 16th September 2010, organisation and delivery of stakeholder event linked to AHRC creative industries research for 80 participants.

2010: Invited as researchers on UKTI Trade Mission to China

Commercial Development:

2013: Working with software company Bow Software to develop new digital architecture for biography (funded through AHRC REACT and HEIF Open Innovation Platform)

Academic Advisor

2012-2013: Exeter Global Centre, Heritage Lottery Funded Project, ‘Telling our Stories’

Public Engagement with Geography

South West Regional committee of the RGS-IBG

2010-2013: SW regional Committee of the RGS-IBG steering group organises the public programme of activities in the SW.

Creative Coast 2012, animating the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

2012: Working with arts company Proboscis as part of the Exploratory Laboratory to investigating the earth science and coastal processes revealed along the Jurassic Coast through the imaginative insight of visual artists.

Public Lectures

2013: Royal Geographical Society, SW Region

2010: Public lecture and archive display at the Royal Geographical Society to highlight their archival holdings linked to the explorer W.J. Harding King

2003: ‘Material Threads: Tracing the production and consumption of the Vicereine of India’s wardrobe’ (With Rosemary Harden, Museum of Costume, Bath) Fashion and the British Empire, Courtauld History of Dress Association Annual Conference

School based learning: AHRC Creative Industries research

2009-2010: AHRC funded creative industries research has been disseminated through a Geography Association teacher conference, in a Geography magazine article aimed at 16 – 18 year old audiences and at a workshop for a School level audience at the RGS-IBG


2009: Exhibition presented the material from the British Academy Grant for a public audience. The exhibition was launched with a public lecture.

1999-2000: ‘Women of Style’ exhibition, Museum of Bath, Spring 1999 – Autumn 2000 including a joint conference presentation at the Courtauld History of Dress Association Conference 2004 and public lectures to local societies.

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