Derek McCormack joined the School of Geography and the Environment in October 2006. Derek has a BA (Hons, first class) in Geography and Sociology from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; an MSc in Geography from Virginia Tech; and a PhD in Geography from the University of Bristol. Prior to taking up a post at Oxford Derek was a lecturer at the Department of Geography at the University of Southampton. Derek has received the Gwenda Hurst Memorial Medal from the Association of Geography Teachers of Ireland, the J.A.K Graham Award from the Geographical Society of Ireland, and The Phyllis Mary Morris Scholarship from the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. He has received a Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award (at Southampton) and an Oxford University Teaching Award for innovation and excellence in undergraduate teaching. In 2015 he was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.
Derek is a human geographer whose work is informed by a wide-ranging engagement with philosophy and social theory and is characterized by a commitment to creative approaches to methodology and writing. His research has made significant contributions to the development of a number of important conceptual agendas within the discipline, particularly around the relations between non-representational theory, affect, and materiality. Working with a number of colleagues within and beyond geography, these contributions have been developed through engagements with a series of different empirical domains, including performance, urban life, cinema and geopolitics, and more recently, air and atmosphere.
Derek is a member of the Technological Natures Research Cluster.
The Experimental Politics of Atmospheric Assemblages - 2015-2016 British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship Project.
This project develops Derek's ongoing interest in the relation between the meteorological and affective senses of atmosphere. It aims to explore how this double sense of the atmospheric becomes the focus of different experimental practices across various domains of expertise, including art, science, geopolitics and popular culture. A central aim of the project is the completion of a single authored monograph, The Allure of the Atmospheric. In addition, as part of his fellowship, Derek is completing a number of papers that develop an engagement with the relation between atmospheres, media, and sensing. The project draws upon a combination of archival research, site visits, and critical analysis.
Selected Research Projects
- The emotional geographies of Arctic exploration: The 1897 Andrée Expedition
British Academy, 2005-2008.
- The Geopolitics of Atmospheric Experiments
Oxford University Fell Fund, 2014-2015.
- The Experimental Politics of Atmospheric Assemblages
British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship 2015-2016.
Derek lectures on cultural geography topics for the Preliminary Examination and about issues of modernity, consumption, and materiality for the SPS FHS Paper. He teaches an undergraduate option course (Cultural Spaces) which draws heavily upon his ongoing research into questions of affective experience.
Derek convenes and teaches on the 'Research Design' module on the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance. Derek welcomes expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals who would like to pursue doctoral level research in the following areas: non-representational theories; geographies of affect and emotion; geographies of movement and mobility, particularly in relation to the affective and embodied experience of movement; social theories and philosophies of space and place; and cultural geographies of artistic practice and performance.
Current Graduate Research Students
Exploring urban inequality through unveiling uneven atmospheres in everyday mobility practices
The contemporary warehouse studio: an extension of artist and urban landscape
Recent Graduate Research Students (since 2006)
Completed DPhil in 2019
Malware Ecologies: A Politics of Cybersecurity
Completed DPhil in 2019
Geothermal Urbanism: Making the elemental explicit in Reykjavík
Completed DPhil in 2017
Mobilities and socio-spatialities in the Aerotropolis: Dallas-Fort Worth and New Songdo City
Completed DPhil in 2017
The cosmological aesthetics of Tomás Saraceno's atmospheric experiments
Completed DPhil in 2016
Rising seas, surprising storms: temporalities of climate and catastrophe in Vermont, New York and the Florida Keys
Completed DPhil in 2014
Towards a non-representational geography of artistic practice
Completed DPhil in 2013
Spaces of aesthetic experiment
Completed DPhil in 2012
Becoming Goth: Geographies of an (un)popular culture
Completed DPhil in 2012
Vernacular mappings: affect, virtuality, performance
Completed DPhil in 2011
Invasive science and inventive arts: towards a cartography of bodily inner spaces
- McCormack, D.P. (2017) The circumstances of post-phenomenological life worlds. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42(1): 2-13.
- McCormack, D.P. (2016) Elemental infrastructures for atmospheric media: On stratospheric variations, value and the commons. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 0(0): 1-20.
- McCormack, D.P. (2015) Governing inflation: price and the everyday life of emergencies. Theory, Culture and Society, 32(2): 131-154.
- McCormack, D.P. (2014) Circumstantial excursions of atmospheric things. Cultural Geographies, 21(4).
- Adey, P., Bissell, D., McCormack, D., Merriman, P. (2012) Profiling the passenger: mobilities, identities, embodiments. Cultural Geographies, 19(2): 169-193.
- McCormack, D.P. (2012) Geography and abstraction: towards an affirmative critique. Progress in Human Geography, 36(6): 715-734.
- McCormack, D.P. (2012) Governing economic futures through the war on inflation. Environment and Planning A, 44(7): 1536-1553.
- McCormack, D.P. and Schwanen, T. (2011) The space - times of decision making. Environment and Planning A, 43(12): 2801-2818.
- McCormack, D. (2010) Fieldworking with Atmospheric Bodies. Performance Research, 15(4): 40-48.
- McCormack, D.P. (2010) Remotely sensing affective afterlives: the spectral geographies of material remains. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 100(3): 640-654.
- Latham, A. and McCormack, D.P. (2009) Thinking with images in non-representational cities: vignettes from Berlin. Area, 41(3): 252-262.
- McCormack, D. (2009) Aerostatic spacing: on things becoming lighter than air. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 34(1): 25-41.
- McCormack, D.P. (2008) Engineering affective atmospheres on the moving geographies of the 1897 Andrée expedition. Cultural Geographies, 15(4): 413-430.
- McCormack, D.P. (2008) Geographies for moving bodies: Thinking, dancing, spaces. Geography Compass, 2.
- McCormack, D.P. (2008) Thinking-spaces for research creation. Inflexions, 1(1).
- Latham, A. and McCormack, D.P. (2007) Digital photography and web-based assignments in an urban field course: snapshots from Berlin. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 31(2): 241-256.
- McCormack, D.P. (2007) Molecular affects in human geographies. Environment and Planning A, 39(2): 359-377.
- Carter, S. and McCormack, D.P. (2006) Film, geopolitics and the affective logics of intervention. Political Geography, 25(2): 228-245.
- McCormack, D. (2006) For the love of pipes and cables: a response to Deborah Thien. Area, 38(3): 330-332.
- McCormack, D.P. (2005) Diagramming power in practice and performance. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25(2): 228-245.
- Latham, A. and McCormack, D.P. (2004) Moving cities: rethinking the materialities of urban geographies. Progress in Human Geography, 28(6): 701-724.
- McCormack, D.P. (2004) Drawing out the lines of the event. Cultural Geographies, 11(2): 211-220.
- McCormack, D.P. (2003) An event of geographical ethics in spaces of affect. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers,, 28(4): 488-507.
- McCormack, D.P. (2002) A paper with an interest in rhythm. Geoforum, 33(4): 469-485.
- McCormack, D.P. (1999) Body-shopping: reconfiguring the place of fitness. Gender, Place and Culture, 6(2): 155-177.
- Ó'Tuathail, G. and McCormack, D.P. (1998) Global Conflicts on-line: technoliteracy and the development of an internet-based conflict archive. Journal of Geography, 97: 1-11.
- Ó'Tuathail, G. and McCormack, D.P. (1998) The technoliteracy challenge: teaching globalisation using the Internet. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 22(3): 347-361.
- McCormack, D. (2015) Devices for doing atmospheric things. In, Vannini, P. (ed.) Nonrepresentational Methodologies. London: Routledge.
- Carter, S. and McCormack, D. (2014) Affectivity and Geopolitical Images. Chapter 44 in, Dittmer, J. and Sharp, J. (eds.) Geopolitics: An Introductory Reader. Taylor and Francis. pp. 319-323. ISBN: 978-0-415-66662-6.
- McCormack, D. (2014) Dance. Ch. 6 in, Paul C. Adams, Craine, J. and Dittmer, J. (eds.) The Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography. Ashgate. 396 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4094-4401-5.
- McCormack, D.P. (2013) Pipes and cables. In, Adey, P., Bissell, D., Hannam, K., Merriman, P. and Sheller, M. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities. Routledge, London. 624 pp. ISBN: 978-0-415-66771-5.
- Carter, S. and McCormack, D.P. (2010) Affectivity and geopolitical images. In, MacDonald, F., Hughes, R. and Dodds, K. (eds.) Observant States: Geopolitics and Visual Culture. IB Tauris, London. pp. 103-122. ISBN: 9781845119454.
- McCormack, D.P. (2010) Thinking in transition: the affirmative refrain of experience/experiment. In, B. Anderson and P. Harrison (eds.) Taking Place: Non-representational Theories and Geography. London: Ashgate. pp. 201-220.
- Carter, S. and McCormack, D.P. (2009) Film, geopolitics and the affective logics of intervention. Chapter 56 in, Dodds, K. (ed.) Geopolitics, vol. 3. SAGE, London. pp. 347-368. (Reprinted from (2006) Political Geography, 25: 228-245.).
- Latham, A. and McCormack, D.P. (2009) Globalizations big and small: notes on urban studies, actor-network theory and geographical scale. Chapter 2 in, Farias, I. and Bender, T. (eds.) Urban Assemblages: How actor-network theory changes urban studies. Routledge, London. pp. 53-72. ISBN: 978-0-415-48662-0.
- McCormack, D.P. (2009) Becoming. In, Kitchen, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier, London. pp. 277-281. ISBN: 978-0-08-044910-4.
- McCormack, D.P. (2009) Performativity. In, Kitchen, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier, London. pp. 133-136. ISBN: 978-0-08-044910-4.
- McCormack, D.P. (2009) Sense / Sensorium. In, Kitchen, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier, London. pp. 101-105. ISBN: 978-0-08-044910-4.
- Latham, A. and McCormack, D. (2008) Speed and Slowness. Chapter 17 in, Hall, T., Hubbard, P. and Short, J.R. (eds.) The SAGE Companion to the City. SAGE. 408 pp. ISBN: 9781412902076.
- McCormack, D.P. (2004) Introduction. In, N. Thrift and S. Whatmore (eds.) Techniques and (non)representation, vol. 2. Cultural Geography: Critical Concepts. London: Routledge.