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Phil Emmerson

Doctoral Researcher in Human Geography


Laughing and caring: emotions, embodiment, and space

I am a PhD student in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. My PhD examines the (nonrepresentational) geographies of laughter and caring through focusing particularly on the ways in which laughter intersects with everyday life in residential care homes in the UK.  My methodology involves a series of ethnographic engagements including periods spent working within Care Homes but also touring with two different theatre companies who perform in Care settings across the UK. 


Dr Phil Jones (University of Birmingham)

Dr Pat Noxolo (University of Birmingham)

Dr Ben Taylor (Nottingham Trent University)


About me:

I completed a BSc in Geography in 2013 and was awarded a first class honors. I then was awarded an MRes in 'Research in Human Geography in 2014 with a thesis titled 'You had to be there... Place and the production of comedy cultures'. In addition to my PhD research I also teach on the University of Birmingham's first year geography 'Monmouth Field Course', second year field course to Berlin, and various seminars. 


Recent Conference Papers:

  • “The vital laughter of life and death” RGS-IBG Annual conference. London, 30th August – 2nd September, 2016.
  • “Whose laugh is it anyway?”  Moving Performances Symposium, Oxford University, 23 June 2016
  • “Laughter, life and death in a nursing care home” RGS Mid-term conference, University of Newcastle, 17-18th March 2016
  • “Exploring comedy spaces through practicing stand-up” RGS-IBG Annual conference. University of Exeter, 1st – 4th September, 2015
  • “Laughing matters? Exploring embodiment and laughter” RGS Mid-term conference, University of Sheffield, 25-26th March 2015

External Comittees

  • Royal Geographical Society with IBG Postgraduate Forum (Secretary) - 2016-2017
  • Royal Geographical Society with IBG Social and Cultural Geography Research Group (Postgraduate Representative) - 2015-2017



University Webspace:


Personal Website: 

Twitter: @PhilEmmerson


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