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David Charles Harvey

Associate professor, research programme director

David Charles Harvey

Current research

David's work has focussed on the geographies of heritage; developing processual understandings of heritage, and engaging with heritage-landscape and heritage-climate change relations. His recent works include The Future of Heritage as Climates Change: Loss, Adaptation and Creativity (edited with Jim Perry, 2015), Commemorative Spaces of the First World War: Historical Geography at the Centenary (edited with James Wallis, 2018), and ‘Critical heritage debates and the commemoration of the First World War: productive nostalgia and discourses of respectful reverence’, in Helaine Silverman et al (eds) Heritage in Action (2017).

David's work has developed through three interconnected themes:

1. Geographies of heritage: Coining the processual definition of heritage (Harvey 2001), David's work has helped to lead and inform debates about, the historicity of heritage, the scalar relations of heritage, and the relationship between heritage and landscape. In relation to heritage and landscape, David's work has outlined a route between broadly phenomenological and representational perspectives, thus exploring novel aspects of the ‘environmental humanities’. This workhas used oral history and critical archival work to provide space for quotidian perspectives and ‘other voices’.

Current research interests in this field include the following:

(1) Heritage, climate change and the Anthropocene: Exploring how ‘universal’ ideas and values are interpreted and practised by individuals, this strand explores how climate change paradigms operate through notions of heritage, thus opening up an interdisciplinary realm of study.

(2) Heritage, conflict and peace: Working with colleagues and partners (including global conflict resolution NGOs), this research is developing a novel framework to examine critically how heritage studies can subvert the military-memorial and conflict-related discourses that often dominate the heritage arena, thus utilising a critical heritage perspective for conflict resolution.

2. Everyday worlds, non-elite narratives, continuity and change: Drawing on oral history in particular, David has worked with archaeologists, agricultural and landscape historians, rural sociologists and literature scholars to support, augment and challenge standard narratives of landscapes. By making space for quotidian narratives, memories and experiences, this work has provided more meaningful and democratic accounts of landscape continuity and change. These perspectives are having an increasing role in reaching towards a more democratic and historicised landscape in an impactful manner, utilising notions of ‘the Commons’.

3. Cultural and humanities perspectives on the creative economy: Connected to the ‘creative turn’ in geography in recent years, this work has engaged in research debates on the creative economy, creative intermediaries, regional identity and the spatiality of creative organisations. Through an exploration of how notions of ‘creativity’ and creative capital travel around the world, this work has critical implications for geography scholarship, and for the success of practitioners working in the creative sector alike.


David C. Harvey is an Associate Professor in Critical Heritage Studies at Aarhus Universitet, Denmark, and an Honorary Professor of Historical Cultural Geography at the University of Exeter (UK).

David Harvey is a critical heritage scholar, working from the perspective of historical cultural geography. He graduated from the University of Exeter (UK) in 1992 with a degree in Geography with European Studies, which included a year in Trinity College, Dublin. Following the award of his PhD in 1997, he progressed from a series of short-term teaching and research contracts and onwards through an academic career, becoming a Professor of Historical Cultural Geography in September 2015. In 2017, David took up a post of Lektor/Associate Professor of Heritage Studies in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.

He is on the Editorial Boards for the journals Landscape HistoryInternational Journal of Heritage StudiesFennia: the Finnish Journal of Geography and The Geographical Journal. He is also the Joint Editor of the Explorations in Heritage Studies book series (Berghahn Books).

David has received research funding from the AHRC, the ESRC, The British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust and an EPSRC-led Research Programme.

In his spare time, David enjoys playing football, going sea swimming, back-packing, hill walking and cycling. He is (slowly) knocking off the munros in Scotland and has recently done cycle tours of the Western Isles; Shetland Islands and NE Scotland; Denmark; from Roscoff to Santander (1600km), and Prague to Esbjerg (1250km).


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