University of St Andrews


Dr Dan Clayton


Dan has degrees in Geography from the University of Cambridge and University of British Columbia, and was the 1997 recipient of the John Bullen Prize (Canadian Historical Association, for outstanding PhD dissertation in history). He has supervised a range of postgraduate projects in historical-cultural geography and teaches courses on: the history and philosophy of geography; the European transition from feudalism to capitalism; colonial and postcolonial geographies; ecology and empire; and geographies of war and peace. His diverse research interests spiral around the colonialist spatiality of power - its manifold and mutating geographies and histories. He is the author of Islands of Truth: The Imperial Fashioning of Vancouver Island (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2000), and numerous articles on the historical geography of European-native contact in the North Pacific. He has written more generally on the links between geography and empire, and recently undertaken funded collaborative research (with Gavin Bowd, School of Modern Languages) on tropicality (Western constructions of the tropics), which has yielded articles in French Historical Studies and L‚Espace Géographique, and a co-edited special issue of The Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. He is currently working on the tropicality of the Vietnam War, and co-authoring (with Bowd) a biography of the doyen of French tropical geography, Pierre Gourou.


  • Director, IPOWER


Research Interests

  • Historical & cultural geography 
  • Geography and colonialism 
  • Tropicality 
  • Vietnam War


Teaching Interests

  • Cultural and historical geography 
  • History and philosophy of geography 
  • Colonialism and postcolonialism 
  • Geographies of difference

Postgraduate Students

  • Lois Jones 
  • Kim Ross (ESRC - with Prof. C Philo, Glasgow)
  • Hannah Fitzpatrick