Dr Sam Kinsley
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography


Sam Kinsley is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography with a particular interest in technology and the future. His research principally concerns how technologies and technical practices are designed and imagined and what this tells us about how we experience and imagine society and space. His current research concerns geographical imaginaries of automation. Sam joined the department as a Lecturer in Human Geography in April 2013 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in December 2018. Through participation in continuing professional development Sam was appointed a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016. In 2015 Sam received the Progress in Human Geography Best Paper Prize for his article "The matter of 'virtual' geographies". Between September 2013 and February 2015 Sam was a co-investigator on the ESRC-funded Contagion project concerning understandings of contagious phenomena, leading a work package focused on digital media. 

Sam’s research aims to contribute to how we understand the increasing importance of how we tell stories about the technologies in our daily lives. Key here are two themes: how we understand what a 'technology' is or can be and how we narrate a sense of cultural, political or social change in relation to technology. Sam explores geographies of technology by unpicking what 'technologies' are and how they are involved in our understandings and experiences of society and space. In turn this enables him to investigate two key elements of of technology: the geographies of the design and development of technology and how technology is often instrumental in how we narrate and perceive political and social changes or the sense of a future. This work informs how Sam contributes to the teaching of geography at Exeter, in particular modules concerning cultural and political geographies and dissertations on a range of topics.

Sam works Monday - Thursday.

ORCID: 0000-0002-1336-292X

Broad research specialisms:

Geographies of technology design and use, geographies of automation, 'digital'/ 'electronic'/ 'virtual' geographies, 'the future' and geography, geographies of invention and innovation, media geographies, 'doing' theory and philosophies of technics/technology.

Postgraduate supervision:

Sam would be very pleased to talk with prospective postgraduates about research that falls into the above areas and beyond.

The postgraduate researchers Sam currently works with are: Kate Byron (SWDTC, Bristol): gender, subjectivity and A.I./machine learning; Paula Crutchlow (SWDTC, Exeter): 'The Museum of Contemporary Commodities' - data, trade, place and value; and Patrycja Pinkowska (ESRC, Exeter): deportable migrants' experiences of and responses to punitive migration policies in the UK.


BSc (Hons) Digital Art and Technology (University of Plymouth)
MSc Society of Space (University of Bristol)
PhD "Practising tomorrows?" (Geography, University of Bristol)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Before lecturing at Exeter, Sam worked as a Research Fellow in Digital Cultures at UWE, Bristol, between 2010 and 2013. Between November 2009 and June 2010 he worked as an RA with Prof. Martin Weller in the Institute of Educational Technology, at the Open University, investigating practices and rationales for digital scholarship. Sam has a PhD in Geography from the University of Bristol, for which he received a 1+3 studentship from the ESRC. Sam variously contributed as committee member, web officer and tresurer for the RGS-IBG History and Philosophy of Geography research group between 2008-2017 and as an ordinary committee member for the RGS-IBG Social & Cultural Geography research group between 2013-2015. He convened the Exeter Geography human geography seminar series between 2013-2015 and currently serves as the communications officer for the department.

Contact details

Internal tel5426
Tel+44 (0) 1392 725426
AddressAmory Building
University of Exeter
Rennes Drive
Office hours
Week 1 Tuesday 25/09 13:00 Thursday 27/09 14:00
Week 2 Monday 01/10 10:30 Monday 01/10 14:30
Week 3 Monday 08/10 10:30 Monday 08/10 14:30
Week 4 Monday 15/10 10:30 Monday 15/10 14:30
Week 5 Wednesday 24/10 11:00 Thursday 25/10 13:30
Week 7 Tuesday 06/11 14:30 Thursday 08/11 13:30
Week 8 Monday 12/11 10:30 Monday 12/11 14:30
Week 9 Tuesday 20/11 11:30 Thursday 22/11 11:30
Week 10 Monday 26/11 10:30 Monday 26/11 14:30
Week 11 Thursday 06/12 10:30 Thursday 06/12 14:30
Week 12 Monday 10/12 10:30 Monday 10/12 14:30

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