Dr Nicola Thomas
Associate Professor in Cultural Historical Geography


 My research has developed around three pillars of interest that all address the spatial politics of culture-economy-society relations.

  1. Cultural and humanities perspectives on the creative economy; geographies of craft; the geographies of creative practices; creative policy analysis; regional creative economies; spatial approaches to the creative economy; creative organisations and practice; digital innovation in the humanities through creative economy partnerships.
  2. Postcolonial geographies of gender, race and empire; gender, race and class in Colonial India; exploring relational colonial encounters through biographical methodologies; travel writing and empire embodied and material colonial histories; histories of geography and science; historical geographical methodologies and archival approaches
  3. Gendered labour practices and career progression in higher education; equality in the workplace.

Broad research specialisms:

  • Cultural Historical Geography
  • Historical Cultural Georgaphies of the Creative Economy
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies
  • Biography and life writing
  • Histories of Geographical Knowledge


MA (Oxford)
MA (Royal Holloway, University of London)
DPhil (Oxford) 


Nicola Thomas developed her interest in historical and cultural geography during her undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford. She pursued this through an MA in Cultural Geography (Research) at Royal Holloway, University of London before returning to the University of Oxford to develop her doctoral research. Nicola was appointed as Research Associate on the ESRC funded project ‘South Asian Transnationality and Commodity Culture’ in 2001, based at Royal Holloway, University of London working with Prof Peter Jackson, Prof Phil Crang and Dr Claire Dwyer. She joined Exeter University as a Lecturer in Human Geography in September 2002. During her time at Exeter Nicola has gained research council funding from the British Academy and the AHRC. She is was co- investigator  (2007-2010) on a large AHRC-funded research project entitled Negotiating the Cultural Politics and Poetics of Identity within the Creative Industries of South West Britain. Her recent funding includes an AHRC Connected Communities projects, AHRC Early Career Grant titled 'Situating Craft Guilds in the Creative Economy: Histories, Politics and Practices'. Recent work includes the design of a digital biorgaphy app using the research around the life of Mary Curzon, working with Software developers at Bow Software under and AHRC REACT and HEIF Open Innovation Platform grant.

Nicola has served for many years on the RGS-IBG research groups and has represented the RGS-IBG research groups on the RGS-IBG Research Committee. She has ben Chair of the  RGS-IBG Historical Geography Research Group and committee member of Women and Geography Study Group.


Contact details

Internal tel4449
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724449
AddressAmory Building
University of Exeter
Rennes Drive

Back | Top of page | Edit Profile | Refresh page