Paul Kingsbury



  • University of Kentucky, 2003, Ph.D. Major Field: Geography
  • University of Kentucky, 2000, Graduate Certificate in Social Theory
  • University of Kentucky, 1999, M.A. Major Field: Geography
  • University of Wales, Lampeter, 1996, B.A. Major Field: Geography

Teaching Positions

  • Professor, Simon Fraser University, 2017 - present
  • Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University, 2011 - 2017
  • Visiting Research Scholar, Indiana University, 2011 - 2012
  • Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University, 2005 - 2011
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Miami University, 2003 - 2005

Research Interests

My research interests lie in three interrelated areas. First, the psychoanalytic geographies of people’s lives in terms of the entanglements of the psyche and social, that is, collective modes of embodied doing, feeling, and thinking. This work, which takes inspiration from the spatial and social theories of Jacques Lacan, investigates why, how, and where desire, enjoyment, anxiety, and unconscious fantasies are not simply located “inside” our heads, but rather are materially externalized in lived socio-spatial practices associated with soccer, tourism, and literature.

Second, the aesthetic geographies of everyday life that investigates art’s capacity to infuse human experience with constructive meanings and affirmative power. This research draws on Friedrich Nietzsche’s aesthetic theories, especially the spatial and temporal delimitations of two artistic forces: the “Apollonian,” which refers to illusion, the beauty of surfaces, and orderly visible forms, and the “Dionysian,” which refers to sensuality, intoxicating energies, and the blurring of social boundaries. This work has investigated the allures of Google Earth, soundscapes of popular music, and the political aesthetics of multicultural festivals.

Finally, I have begun a project that examines the growth of paranormal investigation cultures through a study of the lived spaces of organizations in British Columbia and conferences across the USA and Canada. Despite the formation of a modern and secular society, throughout the world, there has been a surge in beliefs, practices, and experiences associated with the paranormal. Central to these new paranormal cultures is the increase in popularity of paranormal investigation organizations and conferences that study anomalous phenomena, in particular ghosts, UFOs, and “monsters” such as Sasquatch. Using scientific models, rhetoric, and techniques, these organizations and conferences have resulted in the democratization of paranormal investigation and greater availability of paranormal experiences for a significant number of people. This project is funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant and supports one MA and two PhD studentships.

In March 2017 (almost halfway through the four year project), I gave a SFU President’s Faculty Lecture Series talk on the preliminary findings. The video recording is here.

I am Book Review Editor for The Canadian Geographer and the Vice President of the Lacan Salon.

FULL CV (Updated September 2017)

Google Scholar Profile

Selected Publications

Psychoanalytic Geographies (co-edited with Steve Pile). Routledge: New York, 2014.

Soundscapes of Wellbeing in Popular Music (co-edited with Gavin Andrews and Robin Kearns). Routledge: New York, 2014.

Selected Articles/Book Chapters:
On Psychoanalytic Geographies:
2017 Uneasiness in culture, or negotiating the sublime distances towards the big Other, Geography Compass, 11 (6): e12316. And link the pdf to the attached article.[PDF].

2015 Becoming literate in desire with Alan Partridge, cultural geographies, 22 (2): 329-344.[PDF].

2014 Periscope Down! Charting masculine sexuation in submarine films, with Jesse Proudfoot. In P. Kingsbury and S. Pile, eds.Psychoanalytic Geographies, Routledge: New York, 241-256.

2013 Objet Petit, Eh? Consuming multiculturalism and superorganic food at the Persian Nowruz celebrations, West Vancouver, with Nazanin Naraghi, in R. Slocum and A. Saldanha eds. Geographies of Race and Food: Fields, Bodies, Markets. Routledge: New York, 175-197.

2011 The World Cup and the national Thing on Commercial Drive, Vancouver, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 29 (4): 716-737. [PDF]

2011 Sociospatial sublimation: the human resources of love in Sandals Resorts International, Jamaica, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101 (3): 650-669. [PDF]

2010 Locating the melody of the drives, The Professional Geographer, 62 (4): 519-533. [PDF]

2009 Psychoanalytic methods in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift, eds. International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier: Oxford, Volume 8, 480-486. [PDF]

2009 Psychoanalytic theory/psychoanalytic geographies in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift, eds. International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier: Oxford, Volume 8, 487-494. [PDF]

2008 Did somebody say jouissance? On Slavoj Žižek, consumption, and nationalism, Emotion, Space and Society, 1 (1): 48-55 [PDF]

2007 The extimacy of space, Social & Cultural Geography, 8 (2): 235-258. [PDF]

2005 Jamaican tourism and the politics of enjoyment, Geoforum, 36 (1): 113-132. [PDF]

2004   Psychoanalytic approaches, in J. S. Duncan, N. C. Johnson, and R. Schein, eds. A Companion to Cultural Geography. Blackwell: Oxford, 108-120.

2003 Psychoanalysis, a gay spatial science? Social & Cultural Geography, 4 (3): 347-367. [PDF]

On Aesthetic Geographies:
2016 Rethinking the aesthetic geographies of multicultural festivals: A Nietzschean perspective. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 106 (1): 222-241. [PDF]

2015 Anime cosplay as love-sublimation, in L. Straughan and H. Hawkins, eds. Geographical Aesthetics: Imagining Space, Staging Encounters, Routledge: New York, 53-69.

2014 Listen! It’s alive, in G. Andrews, P. Kingsbury, and R. Kearns, eds. Soundscapes of Wellbeing in Popular Music, Routledge: New York, 91-106.

2010 Unearthing Nietzsche’s bomb: nuance, explosiveness, aesthetics, ACME: An International E Journal for Critical Geographies, 9 (1): 47-61.[PDF]

2009 Theoretical Injections: on the therapeutic aesthetics of medical spaces, with Joshua Evans and Valorie Crooks, Social Science & Medicine, 69 (5): 716-721. [PDF]

2002 Science fiction and cinema: the hysterical materialism of pataphysical space, in R. Kitchin and J. Kneale, eds. Lost in Space: Geographies of Science Fiction. Continuum: New York, 123-135

On Emotional Geographies:
2013 Reexamining the Montgomery bus boycott: toward an empathetic pedagogy, second co-author with Derek Alderman and Owen J. Dwyer, The Professional Geographer, 65 (1): 171-186.[PDF]

2012 Narratives of emotion and anxiety in medical tourism: on State of the Heart and Larry’s Kidney, lead co-author with Valorie Crooks, Jeremy Snyder, Rory Johnston, and Krystyna Adams, Social & Cultural Geography, 13 (4): 361-378. [PDF]

On Google Earth:
2011 Google Earth as Dionysusphere, with John Paul Jones III, New Geographies, 4: 171-175. [PDF]

2010 Repetita iuvant! A reply to Gwilym Eades, with John Paul Jones III, Geoforum, 41(5): 674-676. [PDF]

2009 Walter Benjamin’s Dionysian Adventures on Google Earth, with John Paul Jones III, Geoforum, 40 (4) 502-513. [PDF]


Graduate Student Supervision

Oliver Keane Ph.D. (in progress)
Oliver Keane is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. He received his B.A. in Geography from the University of Birmingham, then after living in Wuhan, China, received his MA in Geography from Simon Fraser University. He uses a psychoanalytic geographical framework to analyse spaces of Sasquatch investigation where the scientific method and positivism are deployed in a serious effort to uncover an animal unknown to science.

Hilda Fernandez, Ph.D. (in progress)
Hilda Fernandez is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. She practices Lacanian psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy in Vancouver, Canada. She has an MA in Clinical Psychology (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), an MA in Spanish Literature (University of British Columbia) and twenty years of training in Lacanian psychoanalysis. Co-founder of the Lacan Salon, she currently serves as its president. She intends to analyze the discursive spaces and practices around trauma in institutions that provide mental health services, with the purpose of determining how assumptions about trauma both at the level of the individual and the collective impact the provision of services.

Noel Hawkins, M.A. (in progress)
Noel Hawkins is an M.A. student in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. He received his B.A. in Geography at Indiana University. Noel’s research focuses on public understandings of science, particularly in non-human geographies.

Nazanin Naraghi, Ph.D. (2017) Impossible Places: The Aesthetic Unconscious and Post-Migrant Iranian Subjectivity in Los Angeles.

Jesse Proudfoot, Ph.D. (2011) The Anxious Enjoyment of Poverty: Drug Addiction, Panhandling, and the Spaces of Psychoanalysis. Funded by a SSHRC graduate fellowship. Winner, Dean’s Convocation Medal for outstanding dissertation. Current position: Lecturer, Department of Geography, Durham University, England.

Jamison Miller, M.A. (2011) Vancouver’s Auratic Geographies. Current position: Doctoral Graduate Student, School of Education, College of William and Mary, Virginia.

Annamarie Ruelle, M.A. (2011) The Human Gateway: Economic Development Planning, Geographic Knowledge, and British Columbia’s Asian Pacific Initiative. Funded by a SSHRC graduate fellowship. Current position: Doctoral Graduate Student, Department of Cultural Anthropology, the University of Tokyo, Japan.

Undergraduate Courses

GEOG 241 Social Geography
This course will investigate the major theoretical concepts and empirical contexts of social geography – one of the most dynamic and eclectic subfields in contemporary human geography. Largely the outcome of 1960s radicalism and the “cultural turn” of the 1980s, social geography explores how spatial forces and structures reproduce social lives of difference and inequality. The course will explore the following interrelated objects and scales of analysis: space and society; the body; the home; community; institutions; the street; the city; the rural; the nation; and the resort.

Syllabus is here

GEOG 325 Geographies of Consumption
Consumption is creatively destructive, conspicuous yet vague, complex but mundane, and as difficult to explain as it is impossible to avoid. Consumption ranges from the repetitive act of eating porridge to the visual joys of watching movies on widescreen plasma televisions. Under the aegis of “consumption studies,” researchers have used numerous theoretical frameworks in order to conceptualize consumption in terms of the interactions between people, objects, and society. These studies have produced lively and enduring interdisciplinary debates that have sought to clarify the interrelations between, for example: taste, need, value, aesthetics, commodification, pleasure, exchange, capitalism, and spectacle. The purpose of this course is not only to explore the diverse contexts of consumption, but also to understand the various theoretical approaches through which consumption can be understood. To consider the geographies of consumption we will explore the following related objects of analysis: commodity chains, the mall, food, pet-love, clothes, taste and class, art, and the paranormal.

Syllabus is here

GEOG 420 Cultural Geography
This course will investigate the major theories and empirical research that comprise cultural geography – one of the oldest and most innovative subfields in human geography. Radically modified since the 1980s by the “spatial and cultural turns” in the social sciences and humanities, cultural geography explores the various cultural forces and structures of people’s lives and their worlds wherein the “cultural” is theorized via often overlapping approaches such as historical materialism, cultural studies, feminism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and post-colonialism. Empirically, cultural geographers study a wide-range of contexts in terms of, for example, landscape, society, politics, the economy, the arts, the environment, identity, and technology. Today, then, it is futile to understand cultural geography as a homogenous field with discrete theoretical, substantive, and methodological trajectories and boundaries. Rather, cultural geography involves unfolding and engaging styles of thinking and doing that attend to the dynamic yet stubborn cultural materials, meanings, and practices that permeate people’s everyday lives. Beginning with the emergence of cultural geography during the 1920s, we will explore, theoretically and empirically, the following interrelated themes and objects of analysis: ‘old’ and ‘new’ cultural geography; capitalism; landscape; cultural differences of race, class, gender, and sexuality; multiculturalism; cybercultures; regional cultures; uneasiness; music and wellbeing.

Syllabus is here

Graduate Courses

GEOG 605 Geographic Ideas and Methodology
‘Geographic Ideas and Methodology’ introduces students to the range of multi and inter-disciplinary scholarship of a social theoretical nature that has implications for how ideas and methodologies are used in contemporary human geography. The course has three main goals: first, to systematically develop a thorough and relational knowledge of primary social theoretical texts. Second, to understand how social theories are methodologically ‘put to work’ in geography’s various empirical settings and contexts. To do this, we will read entries from the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (2009) that will help situate thinkers, key concepts, and theoretical traditions in relation to human geography. Third, to foster a creative ethics of reading and discussion whereby students are encouraged to reflect upon, critique, deform, and enact in productive ways the entanglement of social theoretical thinkers and texts. Part of our learning, then, concerns how we translate and understand (as we interrogate) disparate theoretical currents.

Syllabus is here


The Canadian Geographer
Everton Football Club

Lacan Salon
Emotion, Space and Society
Social & Cultural Geography