Academic Profile

Professor Gillian Rose joined the School of Geography and the Environment in 2017, moving here from The Open University. She was awarded her PhD from the University of London in 1990 and has since taught at the University of London and Edinburgh University. She was Andrew W Mellon Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Pretoria in 2015, and the Ander Visiting Professor of Geomedia at Lund University 2018-19. Professor Rose was Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University and also Head of the Geography Department there for four years. In 2015 she was elected a fellow of the British Academy, and in 2018 became a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

In August 2019, she became the Head of School.

Gillian is a cultural geographer. Although her empirical research interests have shifted over time, she has long been concerned with the politics of knowledge production: who creates what kinds of knowledges, how those knowledges circulate and transform, and what kinds of worlds are thus constituted.

Research Interests

In her first book, Feminism and Geography: The Limits to Geographical Knowledge (1993) Gillian explored questions surrounding the politics of knowledge production in relation to the discipline of geography itself. The book is a poststructural critique of masculinist geographies and made a significant contribution to the emergence of feminist geography.

As part of the project she drew heavily on various feminist theorisations of visuality, and ever since then her work has sat broadly within the field of visual culture. Gillian's book Doing Family Photography: The Domestic, The Public and the Politics of Sentiment (2010) looks at family photos as objects embedded in a wide range of practices and explores the different 'politics of sentiment' in which family snaps participate in both their domestic spaces and in the public space of mass media.

Her more recent work has explored the visual mediation of urban spaces, particularly by digital technologies. Gillian completed an ESRC-funded project on this theme with Dr Monica Degen at Brunel University in 2009 (ESRC grant number RES-062-23-0223), in which they compared how people experienced two rather different town centres: Milton Keynes and Bedford. Working with Monica Degen and Clare Melhuish, she completed another ESRC-funded project in the autumn of 2013 called 'Architectural atmospheres, branding and the social: the role of digital visualizing technologies in contemporary architectural practice' (RES-062-23-3305). This project comprised a two-year ethnographic study of computer-generated images and their role in the architectural design process. The project prompted Gillian to think more about digital visualisation technologies and their mediation of urban spaces. Over 2017 and 2018, she led the ESRC-funded project called 'Smart cities in the making: learning from Milton Keynes' (ES/N014421/1), with a particular interest in the wide range of ways in which images are put to work as part of making cities 'smart'.

Professor Gillian Rose has always been concerned to theorise with her empirical work. She is also interested in employing more innovative ways to produce social science research, especially using visual materials. The fourth edition of her book Visual Methodologies was published in 2016.


Professor Gillian Rose contributes to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the School.

Current Graduate Research Students

Giulia Belloni

The role of the smart city in Europe: Bristol and Florence in Re-plicate 2020

Cheli Cresswell

Using big data and citizen science to map geographic and temporal trends in human-elephant conflict in Asia

Adam Packer

Governing Oxfordshire’s smart city and innovation-led growth agenda: What is the role of citizens?

Ignacio Perez

Examining the role of data in smart city management: following the transport data dispositif in Santiago de Chile

Alice Watson

"And now on Radio 4...": imaginative geographies of migration on the airwaves

Ivin Yeo

The digitally mediated city: rethinking posthuman urban life and wellbeing through Singapore's smart green and blue spaces

Selected Publications

  • View Professor Gillian Rose's ORCID profile
  • View Professor Gillian Rose's Scopus profile
  • ResearchGate profile unavailable
  • profile unavailable
  • Google Scholar profile unavailable
  • ResearcherID profile unavailable


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Rose, G. (2019) Smart urban: intelligence, interiority, imagination. Chapter 8 in, Lindner, C. and Meissner, M. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries. Routledge. pp. 105-112. ISBN: 9781138058880.
  • Rose, G. (2018) Pinterest: Curating a City. In, Graham, M., Kitchin, R., Mattern, S. and Shaw, J. (eds.) How To Run a City Like Amazon and Other Fables. Meatspace Press, London, UK. pp. 676-705. ISBN: 978-0-9955776-7-1.
  • Rose, G. (2018) Representation and mediation. Chapter 15 in, Ash, J., Kitchin, R. and Leszczynski, A. (eds.) Digital Geographies. Sage. pp. 164-174. ISBN: 9781526447296.
  • Rose, G. (2017) Look InsideTM: Corporate Visions of the Smart City. Chapter 6 in, Fast, K., Jansson, A., Lindell, J., Bengssten, L.R. and Tesfahuney, M. (eds.) Geomedia Studies: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds. Routledge. pp. 97-113. ISBN: 9780367884659.
  • Rose, G. (2017) Screening smart cities: managing data, views and vertigo. Chapter 17 in, Hesselberth, P. and Poulaki, M. (eds.) Compact Cinematics: The Moving Image in the Age of Bit-Sized Media. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 177-184. ISBN: 9781501322266.
  • Rose, G., Degen, M., and Melhuish, C. (2015) Looking at digital visualisations of urban redevelopment projects: dimming the scintillating glow of unwork. Chapter 7 in, Jordan, S. and Lindner, C. (eds.) Cities Interrupted: Visual Culture and Urban Space. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 105-120. ISBN: 9781474224437.
  • Rose, G. (2012) The question of method: practice, reflexivity and critique in visual culture studies. Chapter 23 in, Heywood, I. and Sandywell, B. (eds.) The Visual Culture Handbook. Berg Publishers. pp. 542-558.