Professor Patricia Noxolo BA (hons), MA, PhD

Professor Patricia Noxolo

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor in Human Geography
Chair in Postcolonial Geographies

Contact details

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

Pat Noxolo is an award-winning researcher and teacher, whose work brings together the study of international development, culture and in/security, and uses postcolonial, discursive and literary approaches to explore the spatialities of a range of Caribbean and British cultural practices. She has been lead researcher on the Caribbean In/securities and Creativity (CARISCC) research network, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and on the Creative Approaches to Race and In/security, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Postgraduate qualifications:

(2000) PhD. Human Geography, Nottingham Trent University

(1994) MA Development Studies, University of Manchester

(1987) BA (hons) French Studies, University of Manchester


Additional postgraduate certificates and professional qualifications:

(2007) PGCHE Coventry University

(1988) PGCE French and Drama, Manchester Metropolitan University

Additional postgraduate certificates and professional qualifications:

(2020) Emerging Leaders Programme

(2007) PGCHE Coventry University

(1988) PGCE French and Drama, Manchester Polytechnic


Pat Noxolo is an African-Caribbean Brummie (born and brought up in Birmingham).  Since receiving her PhD from Nottingham Trent University in 2000, Pat Noxolo has held research posts at Birmingham University and at Leicester University, and lectureships at Coventry, Loughborough and Sheffield Universities. She took up her lectureship at Birmingham in January 2014.


  • Masters: Field, Research and Communication Skills
  • Masters: Dissertation Supervision
  • Level 3 Undergraduate: Cultural Geographies of Development
  • Level 3 Undergraduate: Dissertation Supervision
  • Level 2 Undergraduate: Development Geographies
  • Level 2 Undergraduate: Field trip
  • Level 1 Undergraduate: Contemporary Human Geography
  • Level 1 Undergraduate: Research Methods and GIS
  • All undergraduate levels: Personal Tutor

Postgraduate supervision

Pat Noxolo is PGR lead for Human Geography.  She has also been both internal and external examiner for a range of PhD, MPhil and MSc examinations, in the UK, Belgium and Jamaica, and has extensive experience of PhD supervision.  Enquiries are welcome in any area of the geographies of international development, in/security, postcolonial theory, race, culture, literature and media.

Current students:

Sophie Thompson-Hyland – ‘Mixed representations; A literary analysis of Black Mixed Race identities and experiences in novels of the Midlands’

Diletta Accardo – Spatializing the Penal State: A Comparative Study Between Prison and Territory

Natasha Koverola Commissiong – Racing Development: Violence, Race and Gender in Trinidad and Tobago

Safiya Hamis – Bridging gaps: The role of Muslim Women Organisations and the challenges of gender inequality and women’s rights in northern Nigeria

Pakinam Hassan – Introducing a new strategy of urban planning decision-making process based on the participatory approach in Alexandria, Egypt

Arooj Khan –

Charlene Rose - A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of how Caribbean restaurant signage and their promotional materials show the superdiversity of Ladywood cand the changing meaning of authenticity

Rita Gayle – ‘The Collective Utopia: Black British Feminists’ Creative Escape from the Margins of Society’


Ejikeme Kanu Johnson – ‘Environmental Justice in Oil Exploration on Environment: A case of Oil Producing States in Southeastern Nigeria’

PhD completions:

Dr Alisa Hongthong – ‘Appropriate Residential Sites Environment for the Elderly in Baan Pong Nuea Sub-District Municipality of the Hang Dong District in Chiang Mai Province’

Dr Tia-Monique Uzor – ‘Roots: Establishing British Caribbean Diasporic Identity through Dance’

Dr Katie Oliver – ‘Animals, Archives & Activism: Animal rights and veganism in the UK’

Dr Emmah Etim Ima – ‘Health seeking behaviour in oil producing communities in Eket/Ibeno in the Niger Delta Nigeria using a mixed method approach’

Dr Phil Emmerson: ‘Approaching laughter with care: Non-representational ethics for worlds of multiplicity’ (University of Birmingham)

Dr Carol Dixon: ‘The othering of Africa and its diasporas in western museum practices’ (University of Sheffield)

Dr Aisha Giwa: ‘Contraceptive decision-making in Northern Nigeria’ (University of Sheffield)

Dr Faith Ikioda: Limits to Communities of Practice in an Open Air Market: The Case of the Alaba-Suru Market, Lagos, Nigeria (University of Sheffield)


Postcolonial theory; cultural geography; development geography; geographies of in/security; Caribbean literary geographies

Other activities

Awards and prizes:

  • Recipient of the 2021 Royal Geographical Society Murchison Award “For publications judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding recent years, particularly through reconceptualising spatial ethics through place-based practices and her effective advocating of postcolonial and decolonial thought in geography and beyond”
  • Recipient of Westmere Award for Excellence in Doctoral Supervision
  • Nomination for an outstanding teaching award, University of Birmingham, 2019
  • Nomination for an academic award for outstanding tutor support, Sheffield University Students’ Union, 2012
  • Exceptional Contribution Award, Sheffield University, 2012

 Other scholarly contributions, past and present:

  •  Co-editor: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
  • Committee member (former secretary) of the RACE group of the Royal Geographical Society
  • Former Development Section Editor: Geography Compass
  • Former Editorial board member: Gender, Place and Culture; Environment and Planning D; Geohumanities
  • Former Chair: Society for Caribbean Studies
  • Former External examiner: Newcastle, Birkbeck, Derby and Nottingham Trent Universities
  • Former Trustee: David Nicholls Memorial Trust


(forthcoming 2023) Noxolo, P., Rhiney, K., and Cummings, R. (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Caribbean Studies. London: Routledge

(2023) Placing and dis/placing the port: towards a critical literary geography of the Caribbean port, in Mohabir, N. and Didur, J. (eds.) Post/Colonial Port Cities. London: Routledge

(2022) Geographies of race and ethnicity 1: Black Geographies, in Progress in Human Geography, 46, 5, pp. 1232-1240

(2022) Noxolo, P, Patten, H and Stanley Niaah, S. (eds.) Dancehall In/securities: Perspectives on Caribbean Expressive Life. London: Routledge (includes a co-authored introduction and a single-authored chapter)

(2020) Editor of a special intervention forum for Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (45, 3), including authorship of ‘Introduction: Towards a Black British Geography?’

(2020) I am becoming my mother: (post)diaspora, local entanglements and entangled locals, in African and Black Diaspora: an International Journal, 13, 2, pp. 134-146

(2018) Editor of a special issue on Caribbean In/securities, in Small Axe (22, 3), including authorship of ‘Caribbean In/securities: an introduction’

(2018). Writing: an afterword in Wilson, H. and Darling, J. (eds.) Research Ethics for Human Geography. Sage.

(2018) Flat Out! Dancing the city at a time of austerity, in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 36, 5, pp. 797-811

(2017) Edited a special section of Area, on decolonising geographical knowledge, including authorship of ‘Introduction: Decolonising geographical knowledge in a colonised and re-colonising postcolonial world’, 49, 3, pp. 317-9

(2017) Decolonial theory in a time of the re-colonisation of UK research, in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42, pp. 342-4

(2017) In/security: global geographies of a troubled everyday, in Geography Journal, 102, 1, pp. 5-9

 (2016) Locating Caribbean Studies in unending conversation, in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 34, 5: 830-835

(2016) Provocations beyond one’s own presence: towards cultural geographies of development? Social & Cultural Geography, 6: 773-777

(2016) A shape which represents an eternity of riddles: fractals and scale in the work of Wilson Harris, in Cultural Geographies 23, 3: 373-385

(2016) Postcolonial approaches to development, in Grugel, J., and Hammett, D. (eds) Palgrave Handbook of International Development, Palgrave

(2015) Moving Maps: African-Caribbean Dance as Embodied Mapping. PocoPages Diasporas and Cultures of Mobilities, Vol 2 Diaspora, Memory and Intimacy edited by Sarah Barbour, Thomas Lacroix, David Howard et Judith Misrahi-Barak, series PoCoPages, Coll. "Horizons anglophones" (Montpellier : Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée).

(2015) (with Madge, C. and Raghuram, P.) Conceptualizing international education, in Progress in Human Geography, 39, 6: 681-701

(2014) (with Featherstone, D.) Commentary: Co-producing Caribbean Geographies of In/security. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 39: 603–7

(2014) (with Raghuram, P. and Madge, C.) Rising Asia and Postcolonial Geography. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 35:119-135

 (2014) Towards an embodied securityscape: Brian Chikwava’s ‘Harare North’ and the asylum seeking body as site of articulation. Social and Cultural Geography.15: 291-312

(2013) (with Preziuso, M) Postcolonial Imaginations: Approaching a “Fictionable” World Through the Novels of Maryse Condé and Wilson Harris. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 103: 163-179

(2012) (with Preziuso, M) Moving matter: language in Caribbean literature as translation between dynamic forms of matter. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. 14: 120-135

(2012) (with Raghuram P., and Madge, C) Unsettling responsibility: postcolonial interventions. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 37: 418-429

(2012) One world, big society: a discursive analysis of the Conservative Green Paper on International Development. Geographical Journal.178. 31-41

(2011) Postcolonial economies of development volunteering. McEwan, C., Hughes, A., and Pollard, J. (eds) Postcolonial Economies. Zed. pp. 205-229.

(2009) (with Huysmans, J.) Co-edited Community, Citizenship, and the ‘War on Terror’: Security and insecurity. Palgrave, including co-authorship of ‘Introduction: The politicisation of community, citizenship and identity’, and single authorship of ‘An ‘ordinary’ couple.  Samantha Lewthwaite, Jermaine Lindsay, and the “securitisation” of community’

(2009) (with Raghuram, P. and Madge, C.) Co-edited a special issue of Geoforum, on responsibility and care in a postcolonial world, including single authorship of ‘My paper, my paper: reflections on the embodied production of postcolonial geographical responsibility in academic writing’; and co-authorship of ‘Engaged pedagogy and responsibility: a postcolonial analysis of international students’; and ‘Rethinking responsibility and care for a postcolonial world’.

 (2009) Negotiating security: governmentality and asylum/immigration NGOs in the UK. Dodds, K. and Ingram, A. (eds.) Spaces of Security and Insecurity: Geographies of the War on Terror. Ashgate. Pp. 131-147.

(2009) Freedom, fear, and NGOs: balancing discourses of violence and humanity in securitising times. Duffield, M. and Hewitt, V. (eds.) Empire, Development and Colonialism: the Past in the Present. James Currey. Pp. 130-146.

(2008) (with Raghuram, P. and Madge, C.) ‘Geography is pregnant’ and ‘Geography’s milk is flowing’: metaphors for a postcolonial discipline? Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 26: 146-168

(2006) Claims: a postcolonial geographical critique of partnership in development discourse. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 27: 254-269

(2006) Race, place and the marketing of British rurality. Journal of Rural Enterprise and Management. 2: 63-75

(2004) Balancing Acts?  Empire, Race and Blairite Discourses of Development. Johnson, R. and Steinberg, D.L. (eds.) Blairism and the War of Persuasion: Labour’s Passive Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Blairism. Lawrence and Wishart.

(2004) (with Madge, C, and Raghuram, P) Bodily Contours: Geography, Metaphor and Pregnancy. Women and Geography Study Group (eds.) Geography and Gender Reconsidered. Women and Geography Study Group

(1997) Racism and Respect: Black Pride, Black Youth, Black Workers. D. Garratt, J. Roche and S. Tucker (eds.) Changing Experiences of Youth. Sage/The Open University, pp. 26-31