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Professor in the Department of Geography409+44 (0) 191 33 41945
NINE DTP Director and Durham Arctic Director in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health  
Professor , Politics-State-Space409+44 (0) 191 33 41945
Associate Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study  


I came to Durham in Autumn 2013 after sixteen years in Florida State University’s Department of Geography, punctuated by one-year interludes at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers (2002-2003), the University of California, Santa Cruz’ Center for Cultural Studies (2005-2006), and Royal Holloway, University of London’s Department of Geography (2012-2013). Prior to Florida State, I attended Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography (1990-1996), where I received my MA and PhD degrees, as well as teaching briefly in Bucknell University’s Department of Geography (1997).

My research focuses on the historical, ongoing, and, at times, imaginary projection of social power onto spaces whose geophysical and geographic characteristics make them resistant to state territorialization. These spaces include the world-ocean, the Arctic, and the universe of electronic communications. Within these spaces, I study everything from artistic depictions to governance institutions to the lifeways of individuals who inhabit (or cross) their expanses. In addition to these major research themes, I frequently conduct research in complementary areas including urban planning politics; utopianism (especially as projected onto islands); critical theories of development and nature; and the links between art, cartography, visualisation, and representation.

For more on my research in all of these areas, as well as links to relevant publications and a complete c.v., please visit my personal web page.

Current Editorships & Responsibilities

Director, International Boundaries Research Unit (Durham University)

Associate Editor, Political Geography

Editorial Board Member, Island Studies Journal, Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, GEO: Geography and Enviroment, Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, Rowman & Littlefield series on Island Rethinking the Island

Board Member, International Geographical Union Commission on Islands

Major Grants Held

Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships Programme to support Interdisciplinary Understanding for a Changing Arctic (PI): £1,050,000 (2018-2023)

European Commission COST Action on Ocean Governance for Sustainability (Co-leader of Seabed Working Group): €400,000 (2016-2020)

Leverhulme Trust International Networks Programme grant to support Project on Indeterminate and Changing Environments: Law, the Anthropocene, and the World (The ICE LAW Project) (PI): £124,925 (2016-2018)

Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship to support project on Global Alternatives for an Interconnected Arctic (GAIA) (PI): €223,038 (2012-2013)

U.S. National Science Foundation Fellowship to support project on Territorial Imaginaries and Arctic Sovereignty Claims (PI): $376,779 (2009-2013)

Florida Energy System Consortium to support project on Energy Efficiency Video Public Service Announcements (co-PI): $249,800 (2009-2010)


Authored book

  • Steinberg, P.E., Tasch, J. & Gerhardt, H. (2015). Contesting the Arctic: Politics and Imaginaries in the Circumpolar North. London: I.B. Tauris.
  • McDowell, Stephen D., Steinberg, Philip E. & Tomasello, Tami K. (2008). Managing the Infosphere: Governance, Technology, and Cultural Practice in Motion. Temple University Press.
  • Steinberg, Philip E. & Sherman-Morris, Kathleen (2005). People in Places: A Documentary Case Study Workbook to Accompany the 8th Edition of The Cultural Landscape by James Rubenstein. Prentice Hall.
  • Steinberg, Philip E. & Sherman-Morris, Kathleen (2004). People in Places: A Documentary Case Study Workbook to Accompany the 3rd Edition of Places and Regions in Global Context by Paul Knox and Sallie Marston. Prentice Hall.
  • Steinberg, Philip E. (2001). The Social Construction of the Ocean. Cambridge University Press.

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Peters, K.A., Steinberg, P.E. & Stratford, E. (2018). Territory Beyond Terra. Geopolitical bodies, material worlds. London New York: Rowman & Littlefield International.
  • Steinberg, Philip E. & Shields, Rob (2008). What Is a City? Rethinking the Urban after Hurricane Katrina. University of Georgia Press.

Edited Journal

  • Haider, W., Pröbstl-Haider, U., Steinberg, P.E., Singh, R. & Letcher, R. (2015). Virtual Special Issue on the Arctic. Elsevier cross-journal platform, Elsevier.
  • Steinberg, Philip E. (1999). Focus Section: Geography of Ocean-Space. The Professional Geographer, 51 (3).

Journal Article


  • Steinberg, Philip E. & Nichols, Karen N. (1996). Crystal Park Urban Ecology Resource Guide. Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education, Clark University.

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Steinberg, Philip E. (2001). How Does the World Rein in Stateless Terrorists? The Los Angeles Times (3 December): B11.
  • Steinberg, Philip E. & Cohen, Rick (1990). Back to Basics in Brooklyn. New York Newsday (7 September): 68, 70.

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Steinberg, Philip E. (2001). Learn World Geography (DVD). DVD.


  • Arpan, Laura, Lu, Jia, Opel, Andy & Steinberg, Philip E. (2010). Home Energy Conservation and Efficiency in Florida. Center for Environmental Media Production and Research, Florida State University.
  • Steinberg, Philip E. & Clark, George E. (1996). Wachusett Reservoir Recreation Survey: Report of Findings. Division of Watershed Management, Metropolitan District Commission, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Bridge, Gavin & Steinberg, Philip E. (1996). Trends in Environmental Issues and Regulations Affecting Telecommunications: The United States, with a Special Focus on California. International Centre for the Environment, University of Bath.
  • Johnson, Douglas, Beard, Christine, Bridge, Gavin, Steinberg, Philip E. & Bowden, Martyn (1995). Blackstone Heritage Corridor Boundary Adjustment Study. Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission, U.S. National Park Service.
  • Rocheleau, Dianne E., Steinberg, Philip E. & Benjamin, Patricia A. (1994). A Hundred Years of Crisis? Environment and Development Narratives in Ukambani, Kenya. African Studies Center, Boston University.

Supervision students