Projects per year
I am a human geographer and historian, with expertise in the geographies of leisure and sport. My teaching and research interests focus on three main areas:
- How public spaces are formed, the kinds of everyday activities that are facilitated by them, and the political and legal issues surrounding types of use (addressing issues such as access and property rights)
- Issues of gender and embodiment in leisure cultures and spaces, particularly the making of masculinities and femininities through risk-taking sports
- Hidden histories of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of recreation in landscapes and waterscapes
My research has responded to community needs and evolving policy agendas and I have worked in partnership with community groups, charities and governing agencies on projects that have impacted how public space is used and enjoyed.
Approach to teaching
I regularly use historical documents and art in my lectures to have conversations about the relationships between past and present and to help students build understanding by contextualising complex cultural and environmental phenomena.
I relish working with students on field learning and have developed one day and residential field trips to cities, coastal towns, rural tourist amenities, museums and farms. These trips are supported by handbooks, audio guides, digital mobile learning resources, and good old-fashioned pointing at stuff.
I love teaching students how to do research and I use my experiences in working with a range of qualitative research methods (interviews, focus groups, observation, historical analysis, creative methods and community-based participatory research) to show the importance of precise technique in designing and implementing research projects, though I also share many problems that can be encountered in research and the ‘messiness’ of researching social life.
I would be interested in supervising postgraduate students in the following areas:
- Geographies of sport and leisure
- Playful cities and urban everyday life
- Community-supported agriculture / community gardening
I also welcome discussions on other potential topics.
My research interests cover the geographies of sport and leisure. My doctoral research explored British cultures of adventure and the heroic masculinities associated with mountaineering. My more recent work is interested in the use, governance and regulation of public space for leisure and recreation, addressing issues such as access, property rights, citizenship and self-governance. Theoretically, my work cuts across human geography, sociology, politics, cultural studies, social history, sport studies and leisure theory. I employ a variety of theoretical tools to understand the spatial aspects of sport and leisure cultures - the spatial theories of Mikhail Bakhtin; Victor Turner's writings on liminality; gift theory; theories of affect; and, post-subcultural theories - and have contributed to the application of these approaches to empirical research in sport and leisure studies.
My current research interests include the social regulation of leisure in public space; countercultural sport; connecting people and communities through food and farming; and, the cultural heritage of waterscapes.
Methodologically, I specialise in qualitative and collaborative empirical methods and with Professor Neil Ravenscroft (University of Brighton) and Dr Niamh Moore (Edinburgh University) have developed the concept of ‘collaborative story spirals’ to describe a method of contextualised and situated biographical and narrative research; an approach that has been utilised in European heritage projects.
My research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy, European Union (Interreg Programme), and Political Studies Association.
Bachelor, BA(Hons) Politics, University of Warwick
Award Date: 20 Jan 2018
PhD, The cultural politics of heroism in British mountaineering, c.1921-1995, University of Brighton
Award Date: 9 Jul 2009
Master, Sport, Politics and Society , University of Warwick
Award Date: 20 Sept 2002
Executive Committee, Leisure Studies Association
Jul 2013 → …
- GV Recreation Leisure
- G Geography (General)
- 1 Similar Profiles
Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years
Dive into details
Select a country/territory to view shared publications and projects
- 2 Finished
Ravenscroft, N., Gilchrist, P., Taylor, B., Vallerani, F., Visentin, F., Zijlmans, K., Heuvel, van den, M., Bertens, L., Pavon, D., Roset, D., Ribas Palom, A., Ricart Casadevall, S., Opmeers, M., Eulisse, E., Higham, S., Rogers, L., Maarleveld, M. & Brouwer, J.
1/10/15 → 31/08/17
Smith, M. C., Gilchrist, P. & Lim, J., 14 Apr 2023, In: Urban Planning. 8, 2, p. 197-207 11 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access
Digital media and the promotion of a clean eating lifestyle: From 'glowing femininities' to 'skinny privilege'Gilchrist, P. & Nicholls, R., 7 Oct 2022, Digital wellness, health and fitness influencers: Critical perspectives on digital guru media. Lawrence, S. (ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. Taylor & Francis, p. 110-127 18 p. (Routledge Critical Leisure Studies).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBN › Chapter
Gilchrist, P., 16 Jul 2020, In: The International Journal of the History of Sport. 37, 9, p. 709-726
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
Gilchrist, P., 21 Sept 2020, Affective Architectures: More-Than-Representational Geographies of Heritage. Micieli-Voutsinas, J. & Person, A. (eds.). Abingdon, p. 151-167 17 p. (Critical Studies in Heritage, Emotion and Affect).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBN › Chapter › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
Gilchrist, P. & Osborn, G., 5 Oct 2020, Routledge Handbook of Street Culture. Ross, J. I. (ed.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 126-136 11 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBN › Chapter › peer-review