Professor Robyn Longhurst

Professor, Geography

Qualifications: BSocSc, MSocSc, PhD Waikato

About Me

Robyn was appointed as a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Waikato in 1992. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1999 and to Associate Professor in 2004. From 2004-2006 Robyn served as Chair of Department and in 2006 she was promoted to Professor. Robyn took on the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor Education in 2015 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic in 2015.

During Robyn’s career, she has spent periods as a visitor at the University of Edinburgh and Durham University. She researches in the broad areas of social and cultural geography and has a particular interest in gender and embodiment. In more recent years, since being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, she has become increasingly interested in research on teaching and learning.

Robyn's professional distinctions and memberships include:

  • 2019 Appointed to Marsden Fund SOC-STD Panel
  • 2018 Elected Fellow of Te Apārangi Royal Society of New Zealand
  • 2018 Awarded International Geographical Union Laureat d’honneur
  • 2018 Appointed to RAW (Reclaim Another Woman) Board of Directors
  • 2018 Inaugural Solidarity Award - Awarded by the Association of American Geographers, as a ‘Past and Present Editor of Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
  • 2018 Elected Member of the Society of Woman Geographers (Washington, USA)
  • Chair Academic Quality Agency Cycle 6 Academic Audit – Enhancement Theme National Steering Group
  • 2016 Appointed member Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) Peer Review Panel ‘Social Sciences and Other Cultural/Social Studies’ for the 2018 Quality Evaluation for New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
  • 2016 Appointed member Audit Panel for Academic Quality Agency (AAQ) – University of Otago
  • 2015 Appointed member Education and Human Society Research Evaluation Committee (REC) for the 2015 round of Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
  • 2014 – 2016 Appointed Member of TEC PBRF Sector Reference Group
  • 2013 Awarded University of Waikato Research Postgraduate Supervision Excellence Award
  • 2012 Awarded Jan Monk Service Award by the Geographic Perspectives on Women (GPOW) Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Citation reads: “This year’s recipient has a distinguished career of publishing feminist geography work for a number of years…”
  • 2006 and 2012 Appointed member PBRF Peer Review Panel ‘Social Sciences and Other Cultural/Social Studies’ for the Quality Evaluation
  • 2010 Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Award - recognises the breadth and impact of a geographer’s work both nationally and internationally
  • 2010 Awarded University of Waikato Teaching Excellence Award, presented by the Vice Chancellor
  • 2010 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2008 – 2012 Chair of International Geographical Union Commission on Gender and Geography
  • 2007 – 2013 Editor, then Editor-in-Chief, Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
  • 2007 - 2008 Awarded University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship for a student to work on Migrant Women and Food project
  • 2007 Distinguished International Visitor, Dept. of Geography, Durham University
  • 2007 Awarded BRCSS (Building Research Capacity in the Social Sciences) Network funding for project ‘We are what we eat: food, place and identity for new migrant women in Aotearoa New Zealand’
  • 2003 – 2009 Chief Supervisor of three PhD students and Co-Supervisor of one student who received TEC Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship
  • 2000-2006 Invited member of International Geographical Union Commission on Gender and Geography
  • 1997-2002 Co-Editor New Zealand Geographer
  • Invited Member of Editorial Boards – Dialogues in Geography (2010-ongoing), Social Geography section of Geography Compass (2012-ongoing), Gender, Place and Culture (2013-ongoing). Also served on the boards of Social & Cultural Geography; New Zealand Geographer; ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies; The Open Geography Journal; and Transactions Institute of British Geographers.

Research Interests and Expertise

I am a social and cultural geographer. I have expertise in the areas of feminism, gender, sexuality and the body. Projects conducted over the past few years are: using queer theory to understand more about the use of Skype; maternal bodies and spaces; geographies of sexualities; the place and politics of large (‘obese’) bodies; food, place and identity for migrant women; and tertiary education for sole parents. The central theme of ‘gender, bodies and space’ runs throughout all these projects.


I have experience using: semi-structured interviews with individuals and pairs; focus groups; diary writing; using data obtained from internet sources especially YouTube, participant observation; and cooking and eating with research participants which involves using the body as “an instrument of research.”

'Favourite' Theorist(s)

I tend to draw heavily on the work of a range of feminist poststructuralist theorists. A few of my favourites include Sara Ahmed, Elizabeth Grosz, Iris Young, Elspeth Probyn, Judith Butler, Julia Kristeva and more recently, Sara Ahmed.

Recent Publications

  • Longhurst, R., & Melville, L. (2020). Embodiment: Lesbians, space, sperm and reproductive technologies. In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies (pp. 143-152).

  • Morrison, C. -A., Woodbury, E., Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R. (2020). Disabled people's embodied and emotional geographies of (not)belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand. Health & Place, 102283. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102283 Open Access version:

  • Bedford, R., Kearns, R., Kennedy, D., Le Heron, R., Longhurst, R., Mansvelt, J., . . . Roche, M. (2020). The New Zealand Geographer reaches 75. New Zealand Geographer. doi:10.1111/nzg.12266

  • Parmenter, L., Bowell, T., Calvert, S., Longhurst, R., & Tiakiwai, S. -J. (2019). Intercultural dialogue in an Aotearoa New Zealand university: Strategy and curriculum. In U. Lundgren, P. Castro, & J. Woodin (Eds.), Educational Approaches to Internationalization Through Intercultural Dialogue Reflections on Theory and Practice (pp. 86-97). Oxford & New York: Routledge.

Find more research publications by Robyn Longhurst

Research Supervised

Robyn has supervised more than 20 PhDs. She has recently supervised to completion four students who studied a range of topics including: the digital lives of Muslim sportswomen; Hinateiwaiwa and the ritual knowledges of the whare tangata, Bhutanese refugees in New Zealand and Muslim women’s experiences of living in Hamilton, New Zealand. Robyn is currently supervising three students - one who is researching 'activewear', another, gendered dimensions of climate change, and the third, lesbians having children.

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Longhurst, Prof Robyn 9173 robynl B.1.05 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

You can contact staff by:
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