2011 Keynote Speaker: PROF. DAVID GILBERT

David Gilbert

'Cast Iron Histories of London:

Empire, Modernity and Marginality at the Hungerford Bridge'


David Gilbert is Professor of Urban and Historical Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is Director of the Department's Social and Cultural Geography Group and convenes Landscape Surgery, a forum for discusson between academics, graduate students, pracising artists and others on issues concerning landscape and cultural geography more generally.


His main research interests lie in the geography and history of 20th Century London, and in urban modernity more generally. He is currently looking at the significance of religion and faith for suburban spaces, particularly around London. He is also working on the history of the Hungerford Bridge across the River Thames in Central London, considering the ways in which this can be used to open up different dimensions in the wider story of the city.


David's work on London includes two earlier major projects. Imperial Cities examined the ffects of imperialism on the European metropolises, especially London. Swinging Sixties, focussing on the relationships between fashion and urban change in post-war London, was the focus of a collaboration with London College of Fashion and the Victoria and Albert Museum. It resulted in a series of publications and a major exhibition on fashion and the city.


David currently supervises collaborative projects with the Museum of London, the Science Museum, and Botanic Gardens Conservation International at Kew. His doctoral and post-doctoral research concerned the historical geographies of protest, community and collective identity, particularly strikes and the coal industry. He has also written on urban tourism and the cultures of urban planning.


David's publications include Class, Community and Collective Action: Social Change in Two British Coalfields, 1850-1926 (1992), Imperial Cities: Landscape, Display and Identity (with Felix Driver, 1999; 2nd ed 2003), Geographies of British Modernity: Space and Society in the 20th Century (with David Matless and Brian Short, 2003), Swinging Sixties: Fashion in London and Beyond (with Christopher Breward and Jenny Lister, 2006) and Fashion's World Cities (with Christopher Breward, 2006).