Allan Watson

Dr Allan Watson

  • School Director of Studies (PGT)
  • PGT Human Geography Programme Leader (Geography and Environment)
  • Reader in Economic Geography

Academic career:

2023-: Reader in Economic Geography, Loughborough University

2019-2023: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.

2016-2019: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.

2011-2016: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Staffordshire University.

2008-2011: Lecturer in Human Geography, Staffordshire University.


Professional responsibilities:

2021-2024: Chair of the Economic Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society

2020-: Culture, Economy and Policy theme lead, Centre for Research in Communication and Culture

2017-: Editorial board member, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies

2014-: GaWC Associate Director (Cultural and Creative Industries)

Allan is a cultural-economic geographer with research interests that focus on the geographies of the creative and cultural economy, and specifically the music, film and media industries. Drawing together economic-relational and sociological perspectives on cultural production, labour and innovation, Allan’s research focuses on three overlapping areas of concern:

1) The music industries, the digital marketplace for music, monetisation of music, MusicTech and the changing nature of music consumption. This work has been supported with funding from AHRC and ESRC via Innovate UK and RCUK.

2) Relational urban economies of music and media production, including the nature of local (urban and regional) and non-local knowledge sharing, business networks and production networks, digital business models and professional mobility. This includes research funded by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and the Royal Geographical Society.

3) Relational work and creative practice in music and film, including online labour, emotional labour, precarity and the extensification and intensification of work. This includes work supported by the British Academy.

His teaching examines economic globalization with a particular focus on cities and the cultural economy.

Allan’s teaching focuses on globalisation, economic geography, and research methods.

Current postgraduate research students:

George Vincent: HealthTech: Critically appraising the innovation ecosystem of a transformative technology (ESRC collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with TechNation).

Louise Tompkins: Music in the time of COVID (ESRC collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with Sentric Music Ltd.).

Recent postgraduate research students:

Emilia Telese: The Making of the Artist: From “Genius” to “Professional” (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company)

Linda Naughton (2013): Geographical Narratives of Exercised Social Capital

Selected publications

  • Watson, A, Ward, J and Fair, J (2021) “Staging atmosphere: collective emotional labour on the film set” Social and Cultural Geography 22 (1) 76-96
  • Watson, A (2020) “Not all roads lead to London: Insularity, disconnection and the challenge to ‘regional’ creative industries policy” Regional Studies 5 (11) 1574-1584
  • Ballico, C and Watson, A (eds.) (2020) Music Cities: Evaluating a Global Cultural Policy Concept. Palgrave Macmillan
  • Hoyler, M, Parnreiter, C and Watson, A (eds.) (2019) Global City Makers: Actors and Economic Practices in the World City Network. Edward Elgar
  • Hoyler, M and Watson, A (2019) “Framing city networks through temporary projects: (trans)national film production beyond ‘Global Hollywood’” Urban Studies 56 (5) 943–959
  • Tweed, F and Watson, A (2018) “The screams all sound the same: The music of Of Monsters and Men and the Icelandic imaginary as geographical discourse” Area 51 (1) 126-133
  • Watson, A and Beaverstock, JV (2016) “Transnational freelancing: ephemeral creative projects and ecologies of mobility in the music recording industry” Environment and Planning A 48(7) 1428-1446
  • Watson, A (2014) Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. Routledge