Professor Lynda Johnston

Associate Dean Academic and Deputy Dean (FASS), Professor (Geography)

Qualifications: BA Otago, MSocSci, PhD Waikato

School of Social Sciences


About Lynda

About me

I have been employed as a human geography lecturer at the University of Waikato since 2001, and prior to this I was a lecturer at Edinburgh University.

My overall research interests centre on the challenges and spatial complexities of inequality. Specifically, my work draws attention to the exclusionary ways in which various forms of marginalisation and discrimination – such as sexism, homophobia, and racism – shape people’s places and spaces. I have a commitment to empirical research that is informed by current theoretical debates about society, space and tourism encounters. I have an international research focus on the embodied geographies of gender and sexuality as well as tourism geographies.

Administrative and General Contributions within the University

  • Member, Rainbow Alliance Group 2016 - continuing
  • Co-Chair, Women in Leadership Day 2014 – 2016
  • Member, Staff Awards Committee 2013 – 2015
  • Co-ordinator, Waikato Women Professor Group 2012 – continuing
  • Member, Gender Research Network 2012 - continuing

External Professional Contributions

  • Chair, Gender and Geography Commission, International Geographical Union, 2016 - 2020.
  • Vice-President, New Zealand Geographical Society 2016-2018
  • Editor, Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography (2011 to 2016).
  • Editorial Board Member, Gender, Place and Culture (2008-continuing)
  • Editorial Board Member, Social and Cultural Geography (2009-continuing)
  • Editorial Board Member, Emotion, Space and Society (2014 -continuing)
  • Founding Editor, Editorial Board Collective, Te Kura Kete Aronui (2005 – continuing)
  • Member, IGU Commission on Gender and Geography Steering Committee (August 2012 – August 2016).
  • Member, New Zealand Geographical Society, 1993 – continuing.
  • Chairperson, Hamilton Pride Incorporated, 2008 – 2014.


Gender; Geography; Human Geography; Human Rights; Teaching and Learning; Tourism

Research Interests

Gender Variant Geographies. My current project on trans and non-normative gender geographies includes interviews with trans and gender variant people, as well as people who identify as intersex. The aim of this research is to understand of the relationship between gender diverse identities, place and power using a visceral geographical framework.

Queer Sporting Places: I have conducted research on Gay Sky Week and Proud to Play. Both projects involved empirical data collection (in Queenstown and Auckland). The research projects explores how and in what ways queer sporting places are constructed, imagined and experienced as a unique sites of tourism and leisure in Aotearoa.

Emotional Geographies and Queer Politics of Place. For nearly two decades I have maintained a research interest in the politics of gay pride, activism, and feelings of in and/or out of place. Theoretically, I use an emotional geographical framework – more broadly - to understand: lesbians and homes in Townsville, Australia (with Gordon Waitt); food, migrant women and feelings of belonging in Hamilton (with Robyn Longhurst); and geographies of love (with Carey-Ann Morrison and Robyn Longhurst).

Featured Publications

Forthcoming Publications

Recent Publications

  • Modlik, M., & Johnston, L. (2017). Huhu grubs, bull semen shots and koki: Visceral geographies of regional food festivals in Aotearoa. New Zealand Geographer, -online, 1-10. doi:10.1111/nzg.12148

  • Johnston, L. (2017). Queer geographies. In D. Richardson, N. Castree, M. F. Goodchild, A. Kobayashi, W. Liu, & R. A. Marston (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology (pp. 1-10). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.. doi:10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0919

  • Ringham, S., Simmonds, N., & Johnston, L. (2016). Māori tourism geographies: Values, morals and shifting tourism terrains. MAI Journal, 5(2), 99-112. doi:10.20507/MAIJournal.2016.5.2.1 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10785

  • Johnston, L. (2016). Gender and sexuality II: Activism. Progress in Human Geography, -online, 1-9. doi:10.1177/0309132516659569 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10676

View all research publications by Lynda Johnston

Papers Taught


I currently supervise 7 PhD candidates on topics: Bhutanese women refugees in New Zealand;  Women sex workers and sport; Football fandom; Lesbians having children; Māori women and conservation; and, travel writing. I have master students on topics: Homes and relationship break ups; Rainbow(ing) campus spaces.

Associations and Memberships

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Johnston, Prof Lynda 9172 lyndaj I.2.07 Geography Programme