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Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor of Human Geography
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Polis, Phil, Econ, Dev, Geog
  • Geography
  • steve.pile

Research interests

My research is primarily concerned with the relationship between place and the politics of identity. For example, I have undertaken a series of investigations into the relationship between the city, everyday life and the spatial constitution of power. This work has found outlets in projects such as City A-Z and also a sole authored book, Real Cities: modernity, space and the phantasmagorias of city life. This book makes a case for taking seriously the more imaginary, fantasmatic and emotional aspects of urbanism. Drawing inspiration from the work of Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Georg Simmel and various psychogeographers, Real Cities explores the dream-like and ghost-like experiences of city life.

A further strand of work has been to intervene in how Geography, as a Discipline, is conceived in terms of its practices, content and approaches. My main contribution has been to promote the legitimacy of a psychoanalytic approach to Geography, as first set out in The Body and the City. However, this project has also involved a more cultural take on Geography itself. This can be seen in both the Handbook of Cultural Geography and Patterned Ground.

The work I am conducting over the next few years, however, focuses on the body. This project is tentatively titled Fantastic Bodies. It is expected that the final outcome will be a sole authored book.

I am a member of the OpenSpace Research Centre.

Pile, S. (2006) 'The Strange Case of Western Cities: occult globalisations and the making of urban modernity', Urban Studies 43(2) pp 305-318.

Pile, S. (2005) Real Cities: modernity, space and the phantasmagorias of city life, London: Sage.

Battista, K., LaBelle, B., Penner, B., Rendell, J. and Pile, S. (2005) 'Exploring "An Area of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty": a treasure hunt around King's Cross, London', Cultural Geographies 12(4) pp 429-462.

Harrison, S., Thrift, N. and Pile, S. (eds) (2004) Patterned Ground: entanglements of nature and culture, London: Reaktion.

Pile, S. (2004) 'Living by Design: city life and the work of art', in Larkinson, E. (ed.) Desirable Places: the contribution of artists to creating spaces for public life, London: Article Press, pp 5-15.

Anderson, K., Domosh, M., Thrift, N. and Pile, S.(eds) (2003) Handbook of Cultural Geography, London: Sage.

Pile, S. and Thrift, N. (eds) (2000) City A-Z, London, Routledge.

Nast, H. and Pile, S. (eds) (1998) Places through the Body, London, Routledge.

Pile, S. and Keith, M. (eds) (1997) Geographies of Resistance, London, Routledge.

Pile, S. (1996) The Body and the City: Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity and Space, London, Routledge.

Pile, S. and Thrift, N. (eds) (1995) Mapping the Subject: Geographies of Cultural Transformation, London, Routledge.

Keith, M. and Pile, S. (eds) (1993) Place and the Politics of Identity, London, Routledge.

Teaching interests

My main priority over the last few years has been in the development, production and presentation of Living in a globalised world (DD205), which explores contemporary social, cultural and environmental processes at a global scale. I participated in the production of the Geography Level 3 course on cities: Understanding cities (DD304). I also contributed to the current Level 2 sociology course Sociology and Society (DD201).

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
OpenSpace Research CentreCentreFaculty of Social Sciences

 

Externally funded projects

Spirited Stoke: Spiritualism in the Everyday Life of Stoke-on-Trent

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01/Oct/201431/May/2016AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council)
Stoke-on-Trent, famous for its pottery industry, has its past written into the cultural and material landscape of the city, resulting in a peculiarly haunting backdrop to the familiar story of urban industrial decay. In recent years Stoke City Council has tried to reinvigorate the region, drawing on this industrial heritage and redesigning Stoke as a vibrant and youthful city of culture. However, the emphasis on its pot-based past hides another important aspect of Stoke’s cultural heritage, a thriving historical and contemporary Spiritualist movement. The project aims to uncover this hidden legacy, exploring the role of Spiritualism across the lifecourse in people’s everyday lives. A key part of the project is to hold an exhibition at the Gladstone Museum exploring the historical and contemporary role of Spiritualism in the city. Materials gathered through the research (including photography, video, audio and material artefacts) will be used to create a lasting legacy that records this hidden heritage, whilst also serving as a space for opening up a conversation around the role of spirituality in people’s everyday sense of wellbeing.

Publications

The place of spirit: Modernity and the geographies of spirituality (2016)
Bartolini, Nadia; Chris, Robert; MacKian, Sara and Pile, Steve
Progress in Human Geography ((Early Access))
Beastly minds: a topological twist in the rethinking of the human in nonhuman geographies using two of Freud’s case studies, Emmy von N. and the Wolfman (2013-04)
Pile, Steve
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39(2) (pp. 224-236)
Psychics, crystals, candles and cauldrons: alternative spiritualities and the question of their esoteric economies (2013)
Bartolini, Nadia; Chris, Robert; MacKian, Sara and Pile, Steve
Social & Cultural Geography, 14(4) (pp. 367-388)
Distant feelings: telepathy and the problem of affect transfer over distance (2012-01)
Pile, Steve
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37(1) (pp. 44-59)
Spatialities of skin: the chafing of skin, ego and second skins in T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom (2011-12)
Pile, Steve
Body & Society, 17(4) (pp. 57-81)
For a geographical understanding of affect and emotions (2011-10)
Pile, Steve
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36(4) (pp. 603-606)
Skin, race and space: the clash of bodily schemas in Frantz Fanon's Black Skins, White Masks and Nella Larsen's Passing (2011-01-06)
Pile, Steve
Cultural Geographies, 18(1) (pp. 25-41)
Space travels of the Wolfman: phobia and its worlds (2011-01)
Campbell, Janet and Pile, Steve
Psychoanalysis and History, 13(1) (pp. 69-89)
Emotions and affect in recent human geography (2010)
Pile, Steve
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35(1) (pp. 5-20)
Intimate distance: the unconscious dimensions of the rapport between researcher and researched (2010)
Pile, Steve
The Professional Geographer, 62(4) (pp. 483-495)
Telepathy and its vicissitudes: Freud, thought transference and the hidden lives of the (repressed and non-repressed) unconscious (2010)
Campbell, Jan and Pile, Steve
Subjectivity, 3(4) (pp. 403-425)
Topographies of the body-and-mind: Skin Ego, Body Ego, and the film 'Memento' (2009)
Pile, Steve
Subjectivity, 27(1) (pp. 134-154)
Where is the subject? Geographical imaginations and spatializing subjectivity (2008-06)
Pile, Steve
Subjectivity, 23(1) (pp. 206-216)
The strange case of Western cities: Occult globalisations and the making of urban modernity (2006-02)
Pile, Steve
Urban Studies, 43(2) (pp. 305-318)
Building Dreams: space, psychoanalysis and the city (2005)
Pile, Steve
Annual of Psychoanalysis, 33 (pp. 79-92)
Cultural geographies in practice: In the footsteps of angels: Tim Brennan’s ‘Museum of angels’ guided walk (2005)
Pile, Steve
Cultural Geographies, 12(4) (pp. 521-526)
Exploring ‘an area of outstanding unnatural beauty’: a treasure hunt around King’s Cross, London (2005)
Battista, Kathy; LaBelle, Brandon; Penner, Barbara; Pile, Steve and Rendell, Jane
Cultural Geographies, 12(4) (pp. 429-462)
Woman, Body, Space: Rio Carnival and the politics of performance (1996)
Lewis, Clare and Pile, Steve
Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 3(1) (pp. 23-41)
'What we are asking for is decent human life': SPLASH, neighbourhood demands and citizenship in London's docklands (1995)
Pile, Steve
Political Geography, 14(2) (pp. 199-208)
Masculinism, the use of dualistic epistemologies and third spaces (1994)
Pile, Steve
Antipode, 26(3) (pp. 255-277)
Echo, desire, and the grounds of knowledge: a mytho-poetic assessment of Buttimer's Geography and the Human Spirit (1994)
Pile, S.
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 12(4) (pp. 495-507)
Human agency and human geography revisited: A critique of 'new models' of the self (1993)
Pile, Steve
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 18(1) (pp. 122-139)
Inequality in the American city: some evidence from the South (1993)
Smith, David M. and Pile, Steve
Geographia Polonica, 61 (pp. 433-447)
All or nothing? Politics and critique in the modernism - postmodernism debate (1992)
Pile, S. and Rose, G.
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 10(2) (pp. 123-136)
'A load of bloody idiots' Somerset dairy farmers' view of their political world (1991-10)
Pile, Steve
Political Geography Quarterly, 10(4) (pp. 405-421)
Practising interpretative geography (1991)
Pile, Steve
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 16(4) (pp. 458-469)
Securing the Future: 'Survival Strategies' amongst Somerset Dairy Farmers (1991)
Pile, Steve
Sociology, 25(2) (pp. 255-274)
Depth hermeneutics and critical human geography (1990)
Pile, S.
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 8(2) (pp. 211-232)
Real cities: modernity, space and the phantasmagorias of city life (2005-03-18)
Pile, Steve
ISBN : 761970428 | Publisher : Sage Publications Ltd | Published : UK
The Body and the City: Psychoanalysis, subjectivity and space (1996)
Pile, Steve
ISBN : 0-415-14192-3 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
The Private Farmer: Transformation and legitimation in advanced capitalist agriculture (1990)
Pile, Steve
ISBN : 1‑85521‑003‑7 | Publisher : Dartmouth Press | Published : Aldershot
Intensities of feeling: Cloverfield, the uncanny, and the always near collapse of the city (2011-03-29)
Pile, Steve
In: Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie eds. The New Blackwell Companion to the City. Blackwell Companions to Geography (pp. 288-303)
ISBN : 1405189819 | Publisher : Wiley-Blackwell | Published : Chichester, UK
Spectral Cities: Where the repressed returns and other short stories (2005-07)
Pile, Steve
In: Hillier, Jean and Rooksby, Emma eds. Habitus: A sense of place (pp. 219-239)
ISBN : 978-0-7546-4564-1 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Sydney
Ghosts and the City of Hope (2004)
Pile, Steve
In: Lees, Loretta ed. The Emancipatory City: Paradoxes and possibilities (pp. 210-228)
ISBN : 9780761973874 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London
Living by Design: city life and the work of art (2004)
Pile, Steve
In: Larkinson, Emma ed. Desirable Places: The contribution of artists to creating spaces for public life (pp. 5-15)
ISBN : 1873352042 | Publisher : Article Press | Published : London
Perpetual Returns: Vampires and the ever colonised city (2003)
Pile, Steve
In: Bishop, Ryan; Phillips, John and Yeo, Wei Wei eds. Postcolonial Urbanism: Southeast Asian cities and global processes (pp. 265-286)
ISBN : 978-0-415-93250-9 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York
'The Problem of London', or, how to explore the moods of the city (2002)
Pile, Steve
In: Leach, Neil ed. The Hieroglyphics of Space: Reading and experiencing the western metropolis (pp. 203-216)
ISBN : 978-0-415-19892-9 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Memory and the city (2002)
Pile, Steve
In: Campbell, Jan and Harbord, Janet eds. Temporalities, Autobiography and Everyday Life (pp. 111-127)
ISBN : 9780719055751 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester
The Un(known)City... or, an urban geography of what lies buried below the surface (2001)
Pile, Steve
In: Borden, Iain; Kerr, Joe; Rendell, Jane and Pivaro, Alicia eds. The Unknown City: Contesting architecture and social space (pp. 262-279)
ISBN : 0-262-52335-3 | Publisher : MIT Press | Published : Cambridge, Mass.
Sleepwalking in the Modern City: Walter Benjamin and Sigmund Freud in the world of dreams (2000-10)
Pile, Steve
In: Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie eds. A Companion to the City (pp. 75-86)
ISBN : 978-0-631-21052-8 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford
The troubled spaces of Frantz Fanon (2000)
Pile, Steve
In: Crang, Mike and Thrift, Nigel eds. Thinking Space. Critical Geographies (pp. 260-277)
ISBN : 978-0-415-16016-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Freud, dreams and imaginative geographies (1998)
Pile, Steve
In: Elliott, Anthony ed. Freud 2000 (pp. 204-234)
ISBN : 978-0-7456-1908-8 | Publisher : Polity Press | Published : Cambridge
Introduction: Opposition, political identities and spaces of resistance (1997)
Pile, Steve
In: Keith, Michael and Pile, Steve eds. Geographies of Resistance (pp. 1-32)
ISBN : 978-0-415-15497-0 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Introduction (1995)
Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel
In: Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel eds. Mapping the Subject: Geographies of Cultural Transformation (pp. 1-11)
ISBN : 978-0-415-10226-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Mapping the Subject (1995)
Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel
In: Pile, Steve and Thift, Nigel eds. Mapping the Subject: Geographies of Cultural Transformation (pp. 12-51)
ISBN : 978-0-415-10226-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Introduction, Part 1: The politics of place (1993)
Keith, Michael and Pile, Steve
In: Keith, Michael and Pile, Steve eds. Place and the Politics of Identity (pp. 1-21)
ISBN : 978-0-415-09009-4 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
'All winds and weathers': Uncertainty, debt and the subsumption of the family farm (1992)
Pile, Steve
In: Gilg, Andrew ed. Restructuring the Countryside: Environmental policy in practice (pp. 69-82)
ISBN : 978-1-85628-248-2 | Publisher : Gower Press | Published : Aldershot
Patterned ground: entanglements of nature and culture (2004-03)
Harrison, Stephan; Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel eds.
ISBN : 1861891814 | Publisher : Reaktion Books Ltd | Published : UK
Handbook of cultural geography (2002)
Anderson, Kay; Domosh, Mona; Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel eds.
ISBN : 0 761 96925 X | Publisher : Sage Publications Limited | Published : London, UK
Social Change: Sociology and society (2002)
Pile, Steve and Jordan, Tim eds.
Sociology and Society
ISBN : 978-0631233121 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
City A-Z (2000)
Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel eds.
ISBN : 0-415-20728-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Places through the Body (1998)
Nast, Heidi and Pile, Steve eds.
ISBN : 0-415-17905-X | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Geographies of Resistance (1997)
Keith, Michael and Pile, Steve eds.
ISBN : 0-415-15497-9 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Mapping the Subject: Geographies of cultural transformation (1995)
Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel eds.
ISBN : 0-415-01226-X | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Place and the Politics of Identity (1993)
Keith, Michael and Pile, Steve eds.
ISBN : 0-415-09009-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London