Professor Lynda Johnston

Qualifications: BA Otago, MSocSci, PhD Waikato

([email protected])

About Lynda

About me

I am the Assistant Vice Chancellor Sustainability at the University of Waikato. I am also a Professor of Geography. I was first appointed at the University of Waikato in 2001, and prior to this, held a geography lecturing position 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, transphobia, 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 genders and sexualities.

Administrative and General Contributions within the University

  • Assistant Vice Chancellor Sustainability, 2021 -
  • FASS Deputy Dean, 2015 - 2018
  • FASS Associate Dean Academic, 2015 - 2018
  • Elected Professor to Academic Board, 2015 - 2017
  • FASS Māori Advancement Plan Group Coordinator, 2016 - 2018
  • Member, Rainbow Alliance Group, 2016 - continuing
  • Co-Chair, Women in Leadership Day, 2014 – 2016
  • Co-ordinator, Waikato Women Professor Group, 2012 – continuing
  • Member, Waikato Gender Research Network, 2012 - continuing
  • Chairperson of Geography, Tourism and Environmental Planning Department, 1 January 2007 – 12 March 2010
  • Associate Dean Graduate and Postgraduate, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 2004 – 2006

External Professional Contributions

  • Panelist, Marsden Fast Start Social Sciences  2017, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Panelist, James Cook Fellowship Social Sciences 2017 - 2020
  • New Zealand Delegate, International Geographical Union,  2021 -
  • Chair, Gender and Geography Commission, International Geographical Union, 2016 - 2020
  • Founding member, Stop Sexual Harassment on Campus (SSHOC) Aotearoa, 2020 -
  • Past President, New Zealand Geographical Society, 2020 - 2021
  • President, New Zealand Geographical Society, 2018 - 2019
  • 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, 2009-2020
  • 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; Indigenous Tourism; Race and Gender in Sport; Social Issues in Sport; Teaching and Learning; Tourism; Women and Gender Studies

Sexualities, Bodies, Emotions, Feelings, Affect, Social Justice, Politics of Pride, Transgender

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 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

  • Lowry, A., Townsend, R., Petrie, K., & Johnston, L. (2022). ‘Cripping’ care in disability sport: An autoethnographic study of a highly impaired high-performance athlete.. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2022.2037695

  • Johnston, L., & Doan, P. (2022). The Ashgate Research Companion to Transgender Studies. Routledge.

  • Doan, P., & Johnston, L. (2022). Introduction: Under, beside and beyond the transgender umbrella. In Rethinking Transgender Identities: Reflections from around the Globe. London: Routledge.

  • Soltani, A., Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R. (2021). Fashioning hybrid Muslim women’s veiled embodied geographies in Hamilton, Aotearoa New Zealand: #hijabi spaces. Gender, Place & Culture, 1-26. doi:10.1080/0966369x.2021.1946487

View all research publications by Lynda Johnston


Recent and current PhD supervision

  • Place-based experiences and feelings of (not)belonging among Bhutanese women and girls living in New Zealand
  • Women sex workers and sport
  • Coming home through football: A geographic exploration of football fandom
  • Lesbians having children
  • Ngā wāhine o Ngāti Kuri and nature conservation in Te Hiku o Te Ika
  • Muslim women in Waikato
  • Travel writing, self and other: Finding reciprocal space
  • Love and Romance in Online Gaming Spaces
  • Reconfiguring Māori Maternities: A Mana Wahine Perspective on Childbirth
  • Performative Methodologies: Geographies of Emotion and Affect in Digital Storytelling Workshops
  • C'Mon Feel the Noise: Factors Shaping Socio-Spatial Understandings and Emotional Experiences of Aurality

Recent and current Masters and Postgraduate supervision

  • Genders unseen: Geographies of trans embodiment on campus
  • Home is where the heart is broken?
  • The terrains of Māori tourism
  • Sensuous geographies of food festivals
  • Re-Imaging the ‘Kiwi Bloke’: Low places and anxious spaces in Aotearoa, New Zealand
  • Tuning in and coming out: Lesbian geographies of music

Associations and Memberships

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: TCBD.4.03A
Phone: 3568