Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Professor George Revill

Professor George Revill

Profile summary

Professional biography

My background is in historical-cultural geography and I have always been particularly interested in landscape as a way of understanding past and contemporary experiences living and working with place, environment and nature. These ideas have developed in my work through interests in geographies of travel, transport and mobility on the one hand a long-standing interest in sound, music and auditory spaces on the other. Though my work has ranged further afield the main focus is on the British Isles from the late 18th century. My research career began by studying landscaping and industrial economic activity on 18th century landed estates and moved on through issues of 19th century workplace identity and culture to an examination of landscape, place and national identity in 20th century British music.  I chaired the international interdisciplinary research charity Landscape Research Group (publishers of the journal Landscape Research) between 1999 and 2009. I arrived at the Open University in 1995 after teaching for 12 years in a new University where I also spent 3 years as head of geography. My previous teaching post gave me an interest in alternative teaching methods in relation to environmental issues which I have been able to develop in new contexts here at the Open University.

Research interests

My research work focuses on landscape. Specifically, how environmental, cultural or natural landscapes are historically configured to focus and how understandings and experiences of their entanglement are shaped through media of communication.

Most recently this interest has been expressed in research which engages publics in environmental issues using art and creative practices as a medium for exploring environmental futures. In this work have become very interested in ways of understanding and theorising environmental voices as part of expanded environmental politics and decision-making processes.

Recent funded research includes the following:

Earth in Vision informed thinking about digital broadcast archive development and examined the role of broadcasting in shaping environmental history and politics. Some 300 people participated in 14 workshops designed to enable school and university students, amateur film makers and environmentally concerned publics to create their own environmental stories from public access historical broadcast media archives.  (AHRC Funded 2013-16 £461,324.96)

the AHRC funded project Listening to Climate Change: experiments in sonic democracy (public name Sounding Coastal Change (SCC)) (Pi George Revill). SCC is a research and art-engagement project focused on environmental and social change in North Norfolk. It uses: ‘sound, music and different kinds of listening, to explore the ways in which the coast is changing and how people’s lives are changing with it.’ The underlying conceptual framework connects a social process sonic art methodology to a polyvocal conception of deliberative democratic process grounded in Bruno Latour’s provocation - a ‘parliament of things’. It aims to give a presence in debate and deliberation to the sometimes hidden or forgotten human and non-human voices key to environmental decision making in the Anthropocene. (AHRC Funded 2016-2019 £498,533.01)

I am also part of an interdisciplinary team based in tourism and computer studies working with Professor David Frohlich  (Professor of Music and Digital) and colleagues at the University of Surrey as part of the project ‘Next Generation Paper’. The project investigates how tourists and visitors use digital and paper-based sources to gain information and navigate destinations, it will then design new ways of developing guidebooks and visitor interpretative materials blending paper and digitally based sources of information and communication. (EPSRC Funded 2017-2020 £1,174,82.54)

I'm a member of the OpenSpace Research Centre.


Revill G. (2018) Lives in a Landscape: Landscape programming on the BBC Earth in Vision ebook

Revill, G. (2012) Railway Reaktion.

Gold, J.R. and Revill, G. (2004) Representing the Environment Routledge.

Pepper, D.M., Revill, G. and Webster, F. (eds) (2002) Environmentalism: Critical Concepts (volumes I – V), Routledge.

Gold, J.R. and Revill, G. eds. (2000) Landscapes of Defence Prentice Hall.

Revill, G. and Wrigley, R. eds. (1999) Pathologies of Travel Rudopi Press/Welcome Institute.

Leyshon, A., Matless, D. and Revill, G. eds. (1998) The Place of Music Guilford/Routledge.

Journal articles

Revill, G. and Gold, J.R. (2018) ‘”Far back in American time”: culture, region, nation and the geography of voice in Appalachia.’ Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105(5) 1406-1421.

Smith, J, Revill, G, and Hammond K. (2018) ‘Voicing climate change? Television, public engagement and the politics of voice’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 43(4) 601-613.

Revill, G. Hammond, K. and Smith, J. (2018) ‘Digital archives and the spaces of environmental story telling’, Area (early view 12 March )

N Bartolini, P Raghuram, G Revill (2016) Guest Editors Special Issue: Provocations for Cultural Geography Today Social and Cultural Geography 17(6).

N Bartolini, P Raghuram, G  Revill (2016) ‘Provocations of the present: what culture for what geography?’ Social and Cultural Geography 17(6): 745-752.

Revill, G (2016) Engaging climate change: cultural geography and worldly theory’, Social and Cultural Geography, 17(6) 803-807.

Revill, G (2016) ‘How is space made in sound? Sonic mediation, critical phenomenology and political agency’, Progress in Human Geography 40: 240-256

Revill G (2014) ‘Reflections on Rails in the City’, Transfers 4(2) 124-130

Revill, George (2013). 'El Tren Fantasma: arcs of sound and the acoustic spaces of landscape', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (39(3) 333-344.

Revill G (2013) 'Points of departure: listening to rhythm in the sonoric spaces of the railway station', Sociological Review (special edition Urban Rhythms) June/July.

G Revill (2011) 'Perception, reception and representation: Wolfgang Schivelbusch and the cultural history of travel and transport', In: Norton, Peter; Mom, Gijs; Milward, Liz and Flonneau, Mathieu eds. Mobility in History: reviews and reflections. Yearbook of Transport, Travel and Mobility (T2M), 3. Neuchatel, Suisse: Editions Alphil-Presses universitaires suisses, pp. 31–48.

Merriman, P. Revill,G Cresswel, G Lorimer, H, Matless, D. Rose G, and Wylie, J (2008) 'Landscape, Mobility and Practice Social and Cultural Geography', 9(2), pp. 191–212.

Revill G. (2007) 'William Jessop and the River Trent: mobility, engineering and the landscape of eighteenth century 'improvement'', Transactions Institute of British Geographers vol 32, pp.201-216.

Gold, J.R. and Revill, G. (2005) 'Gathering the voices of the people? Cecil Sharp, cultural hybridity and the folk music of Appalachia', Geojournal vol. 65. pp.55-66.

Revill G. and Divall C (2006) 'Cultures of Transport: representation, practice and technology: a response to Michael Freeman', Transport History 27 1.

Revill G. (2005) 'Vernacular culture and the place of folk music', Social and Cultural Geography vol 6 no. 5 pp. 693 – 706.

Anderson, B. Morton, F. and Revill, G (2005) 'Practices of music and sound', Social and Cultural Geography (special edition Geographies of music and sound) vol 6, no. 5 pp.639 - 644.

Revill G. and Divall C. (2005) 'Cultures of Transport: representation, practice and technology', Transport History 26 1 99-111.

Revill G. (2005) 'Railway Labour and the Geography of collective bargaining: The Midland Railway strikes of 1879 and 1887', Journal of Historical Geography vol 31 pp. 17 - 40.

Book chapters

Revill, G. (2018) ‘Landscape, sound and sonic environments’, in In: Howard, P. Thompson, I. Waterson, E. and Atha, M. eds. Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies (Second edition). Routledge, pp.264-273

Revill, G. (2017) ‘Vocalic space: socio-materiality and sonic spatiality’, In Marjin Nieuwenhauis and David Crouch eds The Question of Space: Interrogating the Spatial Turn Between Disciplines. (Rowman and Littlefield International: London), pp.43-62

Gold, J.R, Grimley and Revill, G. (2016) ‘Alan Lomax, cantometrics, social science and the historiography of culture areas’, in S, Brun and M. Dodge eds Mapping Across Academia (Springer), pp.287-304

Revill, G. (2014) ‘Mobility history’, in P Adey, D Bissell, K Hannem, P Merriman and M Sheller eds. Routledge Handbook of Mobilities Routledge, pp.506-516

Revill , George (2013) 'Histories', in: Adey, Peter; Bissell, David; Hannam, Kevin; Merriman, Peter and Sheller, Mimi eds. The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities. London: Routledge, (In press).

Revill, George (2012) 'Landscape, music and the cartography of sound', in: Howard, Peter; Thompson, Ian and Waterson, Emma eds. Companion to Landscape Studies. Routledge.

Revill, George (2011). Mobility Part II. In: Agnew, John A. and Duncan, James S. eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 373–386.

Divall, Colin and Revill, George (2009). 'Les cultures du transport: représentation, pratique et technologie', in: Flonneau, Mathieu and Guigueno, Vincent eds. De l'Histoire des Transports à l'Histoire de la Mobilité? Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, pp. 57–74.

Revill, G, (2008) 'Music', in Gregory, D et al Dictionary of Human Geography, Blackwell.

Gold, M and Revill G. (2007) 'Reviving the panegyris: cities and the staging of the Olympic arts and cultural festivals, 1886 to 2000', in Gold, J.R. and M. Gold, (eds) Olympic Cities: Urban Planning, City Agendas and the World's Games, 1896 to the present (Ashgate).

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

I recently chaired the new Geography level 2 module Environment and Society which starts with the question: how do social science perspectives change the way we understand and respond to the major environmental challenges of our time? It explores how understandings of environment and society had profound and unequal consequences for people and ecosystems across the planet, in the age of the Anthropocene.

I have also worked on the level 1 module DD102 and the level 2 module Uses of Social Science. I have chaired for the level 2 undergraduate course Environment: Change, Contest and Response (U216) (2005- 2010) and the level 3 module Du311 Earth in Crisis. (2015-16)

I worked on BBC/OU joint productions: Coast series II and II, Crossrail Series II and Super-sewer

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
OpenSpace Research CentreCentreFaculty of Social Sciences