Academic Profile

Dr Carl Bonner-Thompson joined the School of Geography and the Environment in November 2018 as a post-doctoral researcher. He completed his PhD in Human Geography at Newcastle University in May 2018, where he also worked as a research assistant on multiple projects. Carl served as an editorial assistant for Gender, Place and Culture: a journal of feminist geography for 18 months. He has an MA in Human Geography Research from Newcastle University and a BA in Human Geography from Northumbria University.

Carl is a social and cultural geographer who is interested in gender, sexualities, bodies and inequalities. He mainly uses feminist and queer frameworks to think through processes of marginalisation, exclusion and normativity.

Current Research

Carl is primarily concerned with issues of gender and sexuality. His MA and PhD research explored the ways dating apps reshape relationships with spaces, places and bodies. Focusing on men who use Grindr, Carl examined how concepts such as heteronormativity, sexual citizenship and embodiment become meaningful as users engage with people and places. He was interested in the ways desire, masculinity and sexuality worked to shape everyday experiences of Grindr. He used feminist corporeal frameworks to draw attention to fleshy and material bodies as they become entangled with digital spaces, and how this enables gender and sexuality to emerge.

During his time as a research assistant, Carl worked with Trans* people at Newcastle University to explore how the entanglement of gender and place shaped the lives of Trans* people on campus. In collaboration with Barnado's, Carl also worked with year 5 school children in North East England to explore - and challenge - their understandings of masculinity and what it means to be a man. The project used art to enable children to explore these issues.

At Oxford, Carl continues his work around issues of masculinity and inequality. The project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust and explores the experiences of unemployment, precarious work and social and economic inequality of young men who live in seaside towns in the UK. He will interview young men in North East, West and South West England.


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Selected Publications

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Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Bonner-Thompson, C. (forthcoming) ‘I didn’t think you were going to sound like that’: sensory geographies of Grindr encounters in public spaces in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. In, Nash, C.J. and Gorman-Murray, A. (eds.) Interfaced Lives, Interwoven Worlds: Geographies of Sexualities in the Digital Age. Palgrave, London.
  • Bonner-Thompson, C., Mearns, G., Boussalem, A. and Ridley, G. (forthcoming) From order to chaos: geographies of sexualities. In, Datta, A., Hopkins, P., Johnston, L., Olson, E., and Silva, J. M. (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies. Routledge, London.

Other Publications