UCL Department of Geography


Tariq Jazeel

Tariq Jazeel graduated from the University of Sussex with a BA (Hons) in Geography and Environmental Studies. He completed an MA in Cultural Geography, and a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, before working there briefly as a Teaching Fellow.

He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Human Geography at The Open University and then taught in the Geography department at The University of Sheffield from 2005 till 2013. He joined UCL in 2013.

More about Professor Jazeel

Tariq has held visiting attachments at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo, Sri Lanka (2005, and 2006), and the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore (2012). He has also been a British Academy visiting fellow at L’École Francais d’Extrême Orient, Pondicherry, South India (2012).

He is an Editor of the journal Environment and Planning d: Society and Space, on the Editorial Collective of Social Text, a former editor of the journal Antipode, and serves on the editorial boards of Geography Compass: Cultural Geography and Society and Culture in South Asia.

Tariq co-founded and co-directs UCL's Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World, which is based in the College's Institute of Advanced Studies.


I teach on the following modules: 


To view Professor Jazeel's publications, please visit UCL Profiles:


Research Interests

Tariq works at the intersections of human geography, South Asian studies and postcolonial and critical theory. In broad terms, his research explores the spatial constitutions of nation, identity and belonging in South Asian contexts, especially in Sri Lanka, as well as the challenges of engaging non-western contexts.

His published work has focused on aesthetic and environmental formations and their relationships to the politics of Sri Lankan nationhood, especially in relation to the country’s rich recent history of national emparkment and its ‘tropical modern’ architecture. He has also written on literary geographies and various diasporic and ‘multicultural’ formations, particularly in relation to British-Asian culture; on the postcolonial politics of geographical knowledge production and responsibility; and on geographical engagements with radical alterity.

During 2015, Tariq worked with creative writer Amita Murray, a Leverhulme-funded Artist in Residence, to explore relationships between text and place. Part of this project involved a creative writing workshop involving a wide constituency of people at UCL Geography, which resulted in the publication of a book of creative writing (Encounters 108, 2016). Examples of their writing are also available here.

In the current research, Tariq continues to focus on ‘tropical modern’ architecture and planning in South Asia; on the relationships between politics, aesthetics, and spatialities of dissent, particularly in Sri Lanka; and on geographical knowledge production and the sublation of difference. With respect to the latter, he has been exploring the potential that thinking between Subaltern Studies and critical geography offers to postcolonial geographical knowledge production. He is currently working on a project that examines the spatial politics and impact of British Asian dance music, specifically what became known as the 'New Asian Kool', between the mid-1990s and around 2010. Click here for a video of Tariq in conversation with Mercury Prize-winning musician, Talvin Singh, at UCL's Institute of Advanced Studies and Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World.

  • Trustee, The Antipode Foundation, 2019 -
  • Academic Trustee, The Geographical Association (the GA), 2017 - 2022
  • Conducted school workshops on cultural geography
  • Written commissioned articles for the Geographical Association (GA) on postcolonial geography in secondary education
  • Invited participant in British Academy (BA) roundtable on the future of South Asian Studies in the UK
  • Presented to the University of the Third Age on Sri Lanka
  • News bites
Research Students

Current PhD research students

  • Jessica Breakey, 'Sea Rescue, The Black Mediterranean, and the New Humanism' (with Paul Gilroy), 2022 -
  • Julia Dzun, 'Assembling Neukoln's Politics of Everyday Multiculture and Conviviality' (with Tatiana Thieme), 2019 -
  • Catriona Gold, 'Don't be an Ugly American: the US Passport Office and the Cold War Government of Travel, 1955-77' (with Alan Ingram), 2016 -
  • Emilia Weber, 'Performances of Politics, Power and Resistance in the UK’ (with Andrew Harris), 2017 -

Past students (UCL and the University of Sheffield)

  • Nicola Horne, 'Oyinbo as Other: The making and meanings of whiteness in Lagos, Nigeria' (with Ben Page), 2015 -2023
  • Laura Cuch Grases, 'Spiritual Flavours: A photographic, filmic and culinary exploration of food and religion in a multi-faith suburb' (with David Gilbert [RHUL] and Claire Dwyer), 2015-2021
  • Vindhya Buthpitiya, 'Photography, Citizenship and the Tamil Imagi-Nation in post-war Sri Lanka' (with Christopher Pinney [Anthropology]), 2016 - 2020
  • Sarah Kunz, 'Migrations from the north: expatriatism' (with Claire Dwyer), 2014 - 2018
  • Bharath Ganesh, ‘Can hip-hop kill Islamaphobia’ (second supervisor, with Jason Dittmer), 2012 – 2017
  • William Wright, ‘Hydropolitical adaptation: post-tsunami sustainabilities in Sri Lanka’ (with George Holmes, University of Leeds), 2011 – 2015
  • Saskia Warren, ‘Audiencing artscapes: encounters between art and audiences at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’ (with Jessica Dubow), 2008 – 2011
  • Junhua Lin, ‘Exploring multiple modernities in Taipei City, Taiwan’ (with Peter Jackson), 2006 – 2011
  • Ruth Healey, ‘Skill utilization of refugees: the case of Tamil refugees in the UK’ (with Paul White & Megan Blake), 2005 – 2009
  • Nissa Ramsay, ‘Forging connections: tracing the fragmentary lives of tourist souvenirs’ (with Chasca Twyman), 2005 – 2009