London's Geographies:An Introduction to Cultural and Historical Geography

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Alan Mace STC315a


This course is available on the BA in Geography and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course introduces you to cultural geography, with application to conditions of life, livelihood and urban experience in 19th, 20th and 21st century London. What is it that makes London such a specific kind of urban scene, and how have people sought to represent its specificity: this is the key question of the course. Rather than a comprehensive account of London’s past and present, this course uses the synthetic (social, economic, political and cultural) tools of human geography to understand how and why London is a specific kind of city. London provides an opportunity for thinking about the interplay of culture, society, and space through time. We consider a series of questions about the spatial and social divides of the city and about urban and social transformation. Topics include, but are not limited to; landscape, spectacle, crime & terror, sexuality, migration & racism and labour politics. An important 'lab' component involves leaving the classroom to enter the LSE Archives and to walk the streets to interpret London's cultural geographies. You will be encouraged to access a wide range of sources to build up your interpretation of London, including; novels, film, photographs, music and blogs. You are encouraged to go on walks, to explore aspects of the city you do not already know, and to dig through archival material to find connections between past and present London.


15 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 13 hours and 30 minutes of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to write two formative essays and to participate actively in classes led by the Class Teacher.

Indicative reading

Mitchell D. 2002. Cultural Geography; a Critical Reader.

Oakes T et al. 2008. The Cultural Geography Reader.

Kureishi H. 1990. The Buddha of Suburbia.

Nead L. 2000. Victorian Babylon: People, Streets and Images in Nineteenth Century London.

Stedman Jones G.. 1984. Outcast London.


Essay (40%, 3000 words) in the MT.
Presentation (10%) and essay (50%, 3750 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2015/16: 31

Average class size 2015/16: 15

Capped 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills