Professor Peter Kraftl BA (Hons), PhD, FRGS

Professor Peter Kraftl

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Chair in Human Geography
College Director of Internationalisation

Contact details

Address
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Professor Peter Kraftl is best known for his research on children’s geographies, and especially for research into the emotions, affects, materialities and practices that make up their everyday lives. He also publishes on geographies of education and architecture. He is currently an Editor of the journals Area and Children’s Geographies and was a founding member of the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). He is also an Honorary Professor at the School of Education, RMIT, Melbourne.

Google Scholar page

Qualifications

BA (Hons.) Geography, University of Wales Swansea, 2001
PhD Geography, University of Wales Swansea, 2005

Biography

Professor Peter Kraftl completed his PhD in Geography at the University of Wales Swansea in 2005. His PhD focused on utopian practices at two ecological buildings, and spawned his longstanding interest in children’s geographies, education and architecture.

Peter moved to the Centre for Children and Youth at The University of Northampton in 2004. There, he worked on over 15 funded projects, on a range of topics, including: young people’s health; young people and health esteem; play; education and schooling. Whilst there, Peter met John Horton (who still works at CCY). Peter and John developed innovative approaches to studying children’s geographies that worked with ‘nonrepresentational’ thinking in geography. Since 2004, Peter and John have co-authored many articles and book chapters on children and emotion, affect, materiality, memory and much more besides.

Peter moved to the Department of Geography at the University of Leicester in 2007. There, he progressed through Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader before becoming a Chair in Human Geography in January 2014. At Leicester, Peter was successful in securing several funded projects, including:

In recent years, Peter has published ground-breaking work on the geographies of alternative education. His research focuses on the many non-mainstream learning spaces that exist for children and young people in the UK, including Steiner, Montessori, Democratic and Human-Scale Schools, Homeschooling and Care Farming. In 2013, he published the first book-length study of alternative education, Geographies of Education, in which he pioneered the development of theories of mess, nonhuman ‘natures’ , affect, habit, love and autonomy in the study of education spaces. He is fortunate enough to be a member of the incredible Common Worlds collective, whose global membership examines children’s lives as they are embedded with/in more-than-human relations. Peter’s work on alternative education – like his earlier work with John Horton – is often placed centrally within a so-called ‘new wave’ of childhood studies.

Peter is the author of five books and over sixty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, the majority of which are about childhood, youth and education. He is currently an Editor of Area journal and Children’s Geographies journal. He was a founding member of the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and was the Research Group’s Chair from 2012-15. He has given invited talks around the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Finland.

Peter’s current and ongoing work focuses on children and young people’s lives in Brazil. With colleagues at Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton and UNESP (Brazil), he is involved in two Newton-funded projects:

Teaching

I currently teach on the following modules:

  • GGM 101 Contemporary Human Geography
  • GGM 105 Tutorials
  • GGM 201a Geographical Research Philosophy for Dissertations
  • GGM 226 Social and Political Geography
  • GGM356 Geographies of Children and Young People

Postgraduate supervision

I currently supervise ten PhD students, working on a variety of topics. I welcome applicants from prospective students on any of the following topics.

  • Children’s geographies - especially (but not exclusively) with conceptual interests in nonrepresentational, posthuman and new materialist theories.
  • Geographies of education – especially alternative education
  • Geographies of architecture (including sustainable urban design)
  • Utopia, hope, everyday ‘alternatives’

Research

Peter is part of the Human Geography Research Group. His work falls into the following themes:

  • Adapting to Energy and Environmental Uncertainties
  • Geopolitics, Transition and the Carceral
  • Bodies, Landscapes and Materialities

Research interests

  • Children’s geographies
  • Geographies of education – especially alternative education
  • Geographies of architecture (including sustainable urban design)
  • Utopia, hope, everyday ‘alternatives’

Other activities

  • Editor, Area journal
  • Editor, Children’s Geographies journal
  • Founding member and Chair (2012-15), Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
  • Editorial Board member and Volume Editor, Springer Major Reference work on Geographies of Children and Young People
  • External Examiner, Coventry University BA Geography Degree, 2013-
  • External Examiner, University of Gloucestershire Playwork Degrees, 2012-
  • Editor, Spaces of Childhood and Youth book series (Routledge)
  • Member of ESRC Peer Review College, 2010-

Publications

Books and articles in peer-reviewed journals only (details of book chapters, reports and other publications available on request)

 

Books

Nairn, K. and Kraftl, P. (2016) Space, Place and Environment (volume three of Springer Major Reference Work on Geographies of Children and Young People, Editor-in-Chief Tracey Skelton). Berlin: Springer.

Blazek, M. and Kraftl, P. (2015) Children’s Emotions in Policy and Practice: Mapping and Making Spaces of Childhood and Youth. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Mills, S. and Kraftl, P. (2014) Informal Education, Childhood and Youth: Geographies, Histories, Practices. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Kraftl, P. (2013) Geographies of alternative education: Diverse learning spaces for children and young people. Bristol: Policy Press.

Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2013) Cultural Geographies: An Introduction. London: Pearson Education.

Kraftl, P., Horton, J. and Tucker, F. (eds.) (2012) Critical Geographies of Childhood and Youth: Policy and Practice. Bristol: Policy Press. 

 

Papers in peer-reviewed journals

McKendrick, J., Kraftl, P., Mills, S., Gregorius, S. and Sykes, G. (2016, in press) Geographies for play in austere times. International Journal of Play.

Kraftl, P. (2016) The force of habit: Channeling young bodies at alternative education spaces. Critical Studies in Education. 57: 116-130.

Mills, S. and Kraftl, P. (2016) Cultural geographies of education. Cultural Geographies. 23: 19-27.

Horton, J., Hadfield-Hill, S. and Kraftl, P. (2015) Children living with Sustainable Urban Architectures. Environment and Planning A. 47: 903-921.

Kraftl, P. (2015) Alter-childhoods: Biopolitics and childhoods in alternative education spaces. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 105: 219-237.

Kraftl, P. (2014) What are alternative education spaces – and why do they matter? Geography. 99: 128-139.

McKendrick, J., Horton, J., Kraftl, P. and Else, P. (2014) Bursting the bubble or opening the door? Appraising the impact of austerity on playwork and playwork practitioners in the UK. Journal of Playwork Practice 1: 61-69.

Kraftl, P., Horton, J. and Tucker, F. (2014) Children’s Geographies. Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies, published online; DOI 10.1093/OBO/9780199791231-0080

Kraftl, P. (2014) Liveability and urban architectures: Mol(ecul)ar biopower and the becoming-lively of Sustainable Communities. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 13: 274-292.

Horton, J., Christensen, P., Kraftl, P. and Hadfield-Hill, S. (2014) 'Walking...just walking': How children and young people's everyday walking practices come to matter', Social and Cultural Geography 15: 94-115.

Kraftl, P., Christensen, P., Horton, J. and Hadfield-Hill, S. (2013) Living on a Building Site: Young People’s Experiences of Emerging ‘Sustainable Communities’ in England. Geoforum. 50: 191-199.

Kraftl, P. (2013) Beyond ‘voice’, beyond ‘agency’, beyond ‘politics’? Hybrid childhoods and some critical reflections on children’s emotional geographies. Emotion, Space and Society. 9: 13-23.

Kraftl, P. (2013) Towards Geographies of Alternative Education: A Case Study of UK Homeschooling Families. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 38: 436-450.

Horton, J., Hadfield-Hill, S., Christensen, P. and Kraftl, P. (2013) Children, Young People and Sustainability: Introduction to Special Issue. Local Environment 18: 249-254.

Kraftl, P. (2012) Utopian Promise or Burdensome Responsibility? A Critical Analysis of the UK Government’s Building Schools for the Future Policy, Antipode 44: 847-870

Brown, G., Kraftl, P., Pickerill, J. and Upton, C. (2012) Holding the future together: towards a theorisation of the spaces and times of transition, Environment and Planning A 44: 1607–1623.

Den Besten, O., Horton, J., Adey, P. and Kraftl, P. (2011) “Claiming events of school (re)design: materialising the promise of Building Schools for the Future”, Social and Cultural Geography 12: 9-26.

Kraftl, P. (2010) “Architectural movements, utopian moments: (in)coherent renderings of the Hundertwasser-Haus, Vienna”, Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography 92: 327-345.

Kraftl, P. (2010) “Geographies of architecture”, Geography Compass 4: 402-415.

Pyer, M., Horton, J., Ryan, S. and Tucker, F. and Kraftl, P., (2010) “Editorial: children, young people and ‘disability’: geographical challenges”, Children’s Geographies 8: 1-8.

Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2009) “What (else) matters? Policy contexts, emotional geographies”, Environment and Planning A 41: 2984-3002.

Den Besten, O., Horton, J., Kraftl, P. and Adey, P. (2009) “Building a box: discourses of school design in the UK”, Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal 3: 95-103.

Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2009) “Small acts, kinds words and “not too much fuss”: implicit activisms”, Emotion, space and society 2: 14-23.

Kraftl, P. (2009) “Utopia, childhood and intention”, Journal for Cultural Research, 13(1): 69-88.

Garforth, L. and Kraftl, P. (2009) Special issue & editorial, Journal for Cultural Research on “Utopia and the ‘problem’ of intention”, 13(1): 1-4.

Barker, J., Kraftl, P., Horton, J. and Tucker, F. (2009) Editorial introduction “The road less travelled? New directions in children’s mobility”, special issue of Mobilities 4: 1-10.

Kraftl, P. (2009) “Living in an artwork: the extraordinary geographies of everyday life at the Hundertwasser-Haus, Vienna”, Cultural Geographies 16: 111-134.

Den Besten, O., Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2008) “Pupil involvement in school (re)design: participation in policy and practice”, Co-Design 4: 197-210.

Horton, J., Kraftl, P., and Tucker, F. (2008) “The challenges of ‘Children’s Geographies’: a reaffirmation”,Children’s Geographies 6(4): 335-348. 

Kraftl, P. and Horton, J. (2008) “Spaces of every-night life: for geographies of sleep, sleeping and sleepiness”, Progress in Human Geography 32: 509-524.

Kraftl, P. (2008) “Young people, hope and childhood-hope”, Space and Culture, 11: 81-92.

Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2008) “Reflections on geographies of age”, Area, 40: 284-288.

Kraftl, P. and Adey, P. (2008) “Architecture/affect/dwelling”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 98: 213-231.

Kraftl, P., Horton, J. and Tucker, F. (2007): edited special issue of Built Environment on ‘Environments for children’, 33(4).

Kraftl, P. (2007) “Utopia, performativity and the unhomely”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 25(1): 120-143.

Kraftl, P. and Horton, J. (2007) ‘The Health Event’: Everyday, Affective Politics of Participation. Geoforum. 38: 1012-1027.

Kraftl, P. (2006) “Spacing out an unsettling utopian ethics”, Spaces of Utopia. 1: 1-21. Available online at http://ler.letras.up.pt/uploads/ficheiros/74_6.pdf.

Kraftl, P. (2006) “Building an idea: The material construction of an ideal childhood”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 31(4): 488-504.

Kraftl, P. (2006) “Ecological buildings as performed art: Nant-y-Cwm Steiner School, Pembrokeshire”, Social and Cultural Geography. 7(6): 927-948.

Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2006) “What else? Some more ways of thinking about and doing children’s geographies”, Children’s Geographies. 4(1): 69-95.

Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2006) “Not just growing up, but going on: children’s geographies as becomings; materials, spacings, bodies, situations”. Children’s Geographies. 4(3): 259-276.

Horton, J. and Kraftl, P. (2005) “Editorial. For more-than-usefulness: six overlapping points about Children’s Geographies”, Children’s Geographies. 3(2): 131-143.

Kraftl, P. (2005) “Ruining utopia”. Skandalon 1(1).