Tom Roberts

Research Associate

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Tom Roberts is a geographer and Research Associate at the School of Science, UNSW Canberra.

Tom obtained a BA (hons) in Geography from the University of Oxford in 2008. He enrolled at the University of Bristol in 2010 and was awarded an MSc in Human Geography (Society and Space) in 2011, before successfully defending his doctoral thesis in 2015. 

Tom's intellectual background is in social and cultural geography, with expertise in theories of affect, new materialism and post-humanist thought. His research addresses the ontological status of 'matter' within geography and cognate disciplines, in order to better understand the kinds of material processes implicated in contemporary spatial experience. Combining theoretical innovation with emerging empirical problematics, Tom's research examines the vital agency of nonhuman matter within contemporary social and cultural processes. These include: the production of affect through contemporary material culture; the novel agencies of 'smart' materials and responsive objects; and the impact of disruptive technologies on material design practices. 

Tom's theoretical influences include Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Gilbert Simondon, and Alfred North Whitehead.

His work has been published in range of leading geography journals, including cultural geographies; Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; Environment and Planning A; GeoHumanities; Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers; and Progress in Human Geography.



Book Chapters
Roberts T, 2018, 'Guattari's incorporeal materialism: from individuation to aesthetics (and back again)', in Jellis T; Gerlach J; Dewsbury JD (ed.), Why Guattari? a Liberation of Politics, Cartography and Ecology, Routledge
Journal articles
Roberts T, 2021, 'Glitterworlds: The Future Politics of a Ubiquitous Thing', CULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES, vol. 28, pp. 430 - 431,
Roberts T; Dewsbury JD, 2021, 'Vital aspirations for geography in an era of negativity: Valuing life differently with Deleuze', Progress in Human Geography, vol. 45, pp. 1512 - 1530,
Roberts T, 2021, 'A constructivism of desire: Conceptualising the politics of assemblage with Deleuze and Guattari', Area, vol. 53, pp. 691 - 698,
Roberts T, 2019, 'Resituating post-phenomenological geographies: Deleuze, relations and the limits of objects', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 44, pp. 542 - 554,
Williams N; Patchett M; Lapworth A; Roberts T; Keating T, 2019, 'Practising post-humanism in geographical research', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 44, pp. 637 - 643,
Roberts T, 2019, 'Writing', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 44, pp. 644 - 646,
Roberts T, 2019, 'In Pursuit of Necessary Joys: Deleuze, Spinoza, and the Ethics of Becoming Active', GEOHUMANITIES, vol. 5, pp. 124 - 138,
Roberts T, 2017, 'Thinking technology for the Anthropocene: Encountering 3D printing through the philosophy of Gilbert Simondon', Cultural Geographies, vol. 24, pp. 539 - 554,
Roberts T, 2014, 'From things to events: Whitehead and the materiality of process', Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol. 32, pp. 968 - 983,
Roberts T, 2012, 'From 'new materialism' to 'machinic assemblage': Agency and affect in IKEA', Environment and Planning A, vol. 44, pp. 2512 - 2529,
Theses / Dissertations
Roberts TM, 2016, Life beyond bounds: experiments in transcendental empiricism, University of Bristol,
Organisational units
lensSchool of Science
lensUNSW Canberra AI Hub
Sub Theme
lensBehavioural Science
lensCultural Geography