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Dr George Revill

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Geography
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Polis, Phil, Econ, Dev, Geog
  • Geography
  • george.revill

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 of place and environment. 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 art music and folk 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 which I have been able to develop in new contexts here at the Open University.

Research interests

My current research interests centre on an attempt to bring issues of sound, mobility and landscape together. I began to think about this whilst working on a book which examined the place of the railway as a cultural icon of modernity. Subsequently recent work has examined the ways in which rhythm and sound both shape experience and provide the resources and tools to make that experience socially meaningful. I have been thinking about this whilst writing papers which explore the rhythmic experience of the railway station and the sonic landscapes produced by train travel. In my work sound includes music and sonic art as well as environmental sounds, the noises, calls, clamor, clatter and silence made as part of everyday activity and such physical processes wind, rain or flowing water. I understand sound as the object of active listening rather than simply passive hearing. For me things heard are always known through active processes of interpretation and understanding. Its physical properties make sound distinctive as a communicative medium whilst its cultural interpretation in listening makes heard sound always a complex product of both physical and social worlds. In this way sound creates acoustic spaces which bring together and put in question conventional notions of cultural and physical geography. I am currently working on a book length project with will explore the acoustic geographies of repetition, response, resonance and echo, interference and interjection in terms of the culturally meaningful experience of place, space, landscape and environment in modern Britain.

I'm a member of the OpenSpace Research Centre.

Books

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, George (2013). 'El Tren Fantasma: arcs of sound and the acoustic spaces of landscape', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (In press).

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 , 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 am currently working on the new level 1 module DD102. Recent course writing has included co-ordinating Block 4 (Mobilities) for the new level 2 course Uses of Social Science. I was chair for the level 2 undergraduate course Environment: Change, Contest and Response (U216) between 2005 and 2010. I have also been Postgraduate Tutor for geography and acted as lead academic representing the OU for series II and III of the BBC/OU joint production Coast. In the past I have taught modules on Landscape, culture and industrialization, Histories of Nature, Environmental Philosophy and masters level modules in Understanding Environmental Relations and Landscape, history and music.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
OpenSpace Research CentreCentreFaculty of Social Sciences

Publications

How is space made in sound? Spatial mediation, critical phenomenology and the political agency of sound (2016)
Revill, George
Progress in Human Geography, 40(2) (pp. 240-256)
Provocations of the present: what culture for what geography? (2016)
Bartolini, Nadia; Raghuram, Parvati and Revill, George
Social & Cultural Geography, 17(6) (pp. 745-752)
Engaging climate change: cultural geography and worldly theory (2016)
Revill, George
Social & Cultural Geography, 17(6) (pp. 803-807)
Tracking railway histories: railway (2014-12)
Revill, George
Journal of Transport History, 35(2) (pp. 242-248)
El Tren Fantasma: arcs of sound and the acoustic spaces of landscape (2014-07)
Revill, George
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39(3) (pp. 333-344)
Reflections on rails in the city (2014)
Revill, George
Transfers: International Journal of Mobility Studies, 4(2) (pp. 124-130)
Points of departure: listening to rhythm in the sonoric spaces of the railway station (2013-07)
Revill, George
Sociological Review Monograph, 61 (pp. 51-68)
Landscape, mobility, practice (2008)
Merriman, Peter; Revill, George; Cresswell, Tim; Lorimer, Hayden; Matless, David; Rose, Gillian and Wylie, John
Social & Cultural Geography, 9(2) (pp. 191-212)
William Jessop and the River Trent: mobility, engineering and the landscape of eighteenth-century 'improvement' (2007-04)
Revill, George
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32(2) (pp. 201-216)
Gathering the voices of the people? Cecil Sharp, cultural hybridity, and the folk music of Appalachia (2006-02)
Revill, George
GeoJournal, 65(1-2) (pp. 55-66)
Vernacular culture and the place of folk music [Cultura vernácula y el lugar de la música folklórica] (2005-10)
Revill, George
Social & Cultural Geography, 6(5) (pp. 693-706)
Cultures of transport: representation, practice and technology (2005-03)
Divall, Colin and Revill, George
Transport History, 26(1) (pp. 99-111)
Railway labour and the geography of collective bargaining: the Midland Railway strikes of 1879 and 1887 (2005-01)
Revill, George
Journal of Historical Geography, 31(1) (pp. 17-40)
Performing French folk music: non-representational theory and the politics of authenticity (2004-04-01)
Revill, G.
Cultural Geographies, 11 (pp. 199-209)
'Railway Derby': occupational community, paternalism and corporate culture 1850-1890 (2001-12)
Revill, George
Urban History, 28(3) (pp. 378-404)
Railway (2012-03)
Revill, George
Objekt Series
ISBN : 978 1 86189 874 6 | Publisher : Reaktion | Published : London
Vocalic space: socio-materiality and sonic spatiality (2017-09)
Revill, George
In: Nieuwenhuis, Marijn and Crouch, David eds. The Question of Space ((In Press))
ISBN : 9781786601940 | Publisher : Rowman and Littlefield | Published : New York
Histories (2013-12-20)
Revill , George
In: Adey, Peter; Bissell, David; Hannam, Kevin; Merriman, Peter and Sheller, Mimi eds. The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities
ISBN : 978-0-415-66771-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Landscape, music and the cartography of sound (2012-07-30)
Revill, George
In: Howard, Peter; Thompson, Ian and Waterson, Emma eds. Companion to Landscape Studies (pp. 231-240)
ISBN : 9780415684606 | Publisher : Routledge
Perception, reception and representation: Wolfgang Schivelbusch and the cultural history of travel and transport (2011-10)
Revill, George
In: Norton, Peter; Mom, Gijs; Milward, Liz and Flonneau, Mathieu eds. Mobility in History: reviews and reflections. Yearbook of Transport, Travel and Mobility (T2M) (pp. 31-48)
ISBN : 9782940235896 | Publisher : Editions Alphil-Presses universitaires suisses | Published : Neuchatel, Suisse
Mobility Part II (2011-04-08)
Revill, George
In: Agnew, John A. and Duncan, James S. eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography (pp. 373-386)
ISBN : 9781405189897 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing
The cultural Olympiads: reviving the Pangyris (2011)
Gold , Margaret M. and Revill, George
In: Gold , John R. and Gold , Margaret M. eds. Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning and the World's Games, 1896-2016 (2nd ed.). Planning, History and Environment Series (pp. 80-107)
ISBN : 978-0-415-48657-6 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Les cultures du transport: représentation, pratique et technologie (2009)
Divall, Colin and Revill, George
In: Flonneau, Mathieu and Guigueno, Vincent eds. De l’Histoire des Transports à l’Histoire de la Mobilité ? (pp. 57-74)
ISBN : 978-2-7535-0908-5 | Publisher : Presses Universitaires de Rennes | Published : Rennes, France