Luke is a human geographer specialising in the cultural politics of urban change and the urban experiences of children and young people.
Luke joined the Department of Geography at King’s College in 2016, having worked previously as a lecturer in the School of Geography and Environment at the University of Oxford (2015-16). Prior to this, Luke was a Research Associate on the AHRC-funded Energy Generation and ESRC-funded Creating Hackney as Home projects at the Open University (2013-16); the EPSRC-funded Storycircle project at Goldsmiths, University of London (2011-13); and a researcher at The National Foundation for Youth Music (2010-11).
Luke completed his ESRC-funded PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London (2009), where he also obtained an MA in Cultural Geography with distinction (2004). He also holds a first-class Human Geography BSc from the University of Reading (2003).
Luke has recently completed a joint British Academy/Leverhulme funded research project entitled ‘The Fun Palace and the Future City’ (2017-19). This archival project explored child-centric forms of utopian urbanism with an emphasis on practices of play and pleasure. He is currently writing a monograph based on this research.
- Cultural politics of urban change and futurity.
- Youth cultures, and the urban experiences of children and young people.
- Belonging, place-making and citizenship.
- Participatory, public and creative methodologies.
Luke’s research seeks to better understand the cultural politics that give shape to, and are shaped by, processes of urban change. This agenda is focused particularly on bringing youth-centric perspectives to the study of urban geography across three related strands of work:
- Luke’s research addresses a tension between the ways that youth cultures appear central to imagining urban futures, while young people often remain disenfranchised or marginalised from realising these visions. In this regard his current research has sought to engage debates about creative, playful and sustainable cities using young people as a critical lens onto these wider agendas for urban transformation.
- Luke’s research draws upon relational, embodied and experiential theories to examine the spatial conditions through which cohorts of marginalised urban youth navigate sensibilities of place, belonging, visibility and recognition.
- His research practice is informed by a sustained participatory ethics that prioritises young people’s everyday geographical knowledges when addressing public and policy debates concerned with urban change.
Luke is an active member of the Urban Futures research domain, and would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students or collaborators who might share his research interests outlined above.
Please feel free to get in touch for an informal discussion. When contacting Luke as a prospective supervisor, please include a current CV, a concise description of your potential thesis topic, and brief explanation of why you would like to study at King’s.
- Isobel Ward - Thesis title: 'The Cultural Politics of Home in Tottenham and Kings Cross - The Uneven Geographies of Home'
- Jacob Fairless Nicholson - Thesis title: 'A cultural and historical geography of informal and alternative Black education spaces in London, 1969-1983'
Please see Luke's Research Staff Profile for further details.