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Prof Stephen Royle

<p>Professor Stephen A. Royle</p>

Professor Stephen A. Royle


MA (Cantab) PhD (Leicester)

Professor of Island Geography



School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland


(+44) (0)2890 97 3355

Current Teaching:

GAP1011 Human Geographies of the Modern World

GAP1012 Spaces of Development

GAP2040 Geographical Research and Personal Development, course co-ordinator

GAP2047 Heritage, Culture and Land Use,  course co-ordinator

GAP3057 Dissertation, course co-ordinator

GAP3058 Aspects of Urban Development, course co-ordinator

GAP7402 Critical Approaches to Human Geography

GAP7409 Island Geographies, course co-ordinator

Current Administrative Roles:

Geography Programme Co-ordinator
Director, Centre of Canadian Studies

Current Research:

Society, Space and Culture

Geography of small islands:

  • Atlantic islands, especially St Helena and the Falkland Islands
  • Islands of Ireland

Historical geography:

  • Company colonies
  • Hudson’s Bay Company and Vancouver Island
  • Ireland, especially Belfast
  • Canadian Maritime Provinces 



Royle, S.A. (2011) Portrait of an Industrial City: 'Clanging Belfast', 1750-1914, Ulster Historical Foundation: Belfast.

Royle, S.A. (2011) Company, Crown and Colony: The Hudson's Bay Company and Territorial Endeavour in Western Canada, I.B. Tauris: London.
Royle, S.A. (2011) Insecurity in Canada's past, The Sixth Eccles Centre for America Studies Plenary Lecture, The British Library: London
Royle, S.A. (2007) The Company’s Island: St Helena, Company Colonies and the Colonial Endeavour, I.B. Tauris: London.

Royle, S.A. (2007) Belfast Part II, 1840-1901, Irish Historic Towns Atlas No 17, Royal Irish Academy: Dublin.

Gillespie, R. and Royle, S.A. (2007) Belfast c.1600-c.1900: The Making of the Modern City, Royal Irish Academy: Dublin.

Hodgett, S., Johnson, D. and Royle, S.A. (eds), (2007) Doing Development Differently: Regional Development on the Atlantic Periphery, Cape Breton University Press: Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Boal, F.W. and Royle, S.A. (eds) (2006) Enduring City: Belfast in the Twentieth Century, Blackstaff Press: Belfast. 

Gillespie, R. and Royle, S.A. (2003) Belfast Part 1, to 1840. Irish Historic Towns Atlas No. 12, Royal Irish Academy: Dublin.

Royle, S.A. (2001) A Geography of Islands: Small Island Insularity, Routledge: London.


Journals, Special Issues

Baldacchino, G. and Royle, S.A. (eds) (2010) Postcolonialism and Islands, Space and Culture, 13.2.

Hodgett, S. and Royle, S.A. (eds) (2006) Governance, Culture and Identity in Contemporary Canada, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 19.2.

Dodds, K. and Royle, S.A. (eds) (2003) The Historical Geography of Islands, Journal of Historical Geography, 29.4.


Book Chapters

Royle, S.A. (forthcoming) ‘Canada: islands, landscapes and landmarks’, in J. Koustas (ed.) Canada: landmarks and landscapes, Wilfrid Laurier University Press: Waterloo.

Royle, S.A. (2013) ‘Manufacturing’, in H.B. Clarke and S. Gearty (eds) Maps and texts: exploring the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, Royal Irish Academy: Dublin.

Royle, S.A. (2013) ‘Ireland’ in G. Baldacchino (ed.) The political economy of divided islands: unified geographies, multiple polities, Palgrave Macmillan: London.

Royle, S.A. (2013) ‘Escaping from the past? The Falkland Islands in the 21st century’, in H. Johnson and H. Sparling (eds) Refereed Papers from Travelling in Time: Islands of the Past, Islands of the Future, the 8th International Small Islands Cultures Conference, Small Island Cultures Research Initiative.

Aiken, E.J. and Royle, S.A. (2013) ‘Markets and messages: Linenopolis meets the world’in O. Purdue (ed.) Belfast: the emerging city 1850-1914, Irish Academic Press: Dublin.

Royle, S.A. (2012) ‘Workshop of the empire, 1820-1914’, in S.J. Connolly (ed.) Belfast 400: people, place and history, Liverpool University Press: Liverpool.

Royle, S.A. (2012) ‘Identity and the other British Isles: Bermuda and St Helena’, in J. Matthews and D. Travers (eds) Islands and Britishness: a global perspective, Cambridge Scholars: Newcastle.

Royle, S.A. (2012) 'Lessons from islands or islands as miners canaries', in G. Baldacchino (ed.) Extreme heritage management: the practices and policies of densely populated islands, BerghahnBooks: Oxford and New York.

Royle, S.A. (2008) ‘“Mainland” and “entry” islands: distinctions in island tourism’, in S. Babu, S. Mishra and B.B. Parida, B.B. (eds) Tourism development revisited: concepts, issues and paradigms, Response Books: New Delhi, pp. 120-131.

Royle, S.A. (2008) ‘The construction of islandness, a literal example: St Helena in the seventeenth century’, in I. Novaczek (ed.) Refereed papers from the 3rd International Small Island Cultures Conference, Small Island Cultures Research Initiative: Sydney, pp. 1-9.

Royle, S.A. (2007), ‘Islands off the Irish coast and the “bridging effect”’, in G. Baldacchino (ed.) Bridging islands: the impact of ‘fixed links’, Acorn Press: Charlottetown, pp. 203-218.

Royle, S.A. (2007) ‘Island spaces and identities: definitions and typologies’, in G. Baldacchino (ed.) A World of Islands, Agenda Academic: Luqa, Malta, pp. 3-26. 

McFerran, K.E. and Royle, S.A. (2007) ‘Rural development in an insular setting: Prince Edward Island’, in S. Hodgett, D. Johnson and S.A. Royle (eds), Doing Development Differently: Regional Development on the Atlantic Periphery, Cape Breton University Press: Sydney, Nova Scotia, pp. 186-212.

Royle, S.A. (2006) ‘Culture, environment and the tourist gaze: the Falkland Islands’, in H. Johnson (ed.), Refereed Papers from the 2nd International Small Island Cultures Conference, Small Island Cultures Research Initiative: Sydney, pp. 119-28.

Royle, S.A. (2006) ‘The Falkland Islands’, in G. Baldacchino (ed.) Extreme Tourism: Lessons from the World’s Cold Water Islands, Elsevier: Oxford, pp. 181-92.

Royle, S.A. (2006) ‘Belfast: foundations of the twentieth century’, in F.W. Boal and S.A. Royle (eds) Enduring City: Belfast in the Twentieth Century, Blackstaff Press: Belfast, pp. 11-29.

Royle, S.A. (2006) ‘Inseltourismus: Inseln der Träume?’, in H. Weinhäupl and M. Wolfsberber (eds) Trauminseln? Tourismus und Alltag in ‘Urlaubsparadiesen’, IIT Verlag GmbH; Vienna, pp. 13-36.

Royle, S.A. (2004) ‘Small towns in Ireland, 1841-1951’, in H. Clarke, J. Prunty and M. Hennessey (eds) Surveying Ireland’s past: Multidisciplinary Essays in Honour of Anngret Simms, Geography Publications: Dublin, pp. 517-44.



Royle, S.A. (forthcoming, 2014) ‘“This mere speck on the surface of the waters”: Rockall aka Waveland’, Shima, 8.1.

Royle, S.A. (2012) ‘Beyond the boundaries in the island of Ireland’, Journal of Marine and Island Cultures, 1, pp. 91-98.

Smith, B.J., McAlister, J.J., Roe, H.M. and Royle, S.A. (2011) 'Metal and oxalate contamination in a suburban watershed in the Greater Toronto are: the benefits of employing acid leach and selective extraction procedures', Journal of Environmental Management, 92.3, pp. 848-58.

Royle, S.A. (2010) ‘‘‘Small places like St Helena have big questions to ask”: the inaugural lecture of a Professor of Island Geography’, Island Studies Journal, 5.1, pp. 5-24.

Royle, S.A. (2010) ‘Postcolonial culture on dependent islands’, Space and Culture, 13.2, pp. 203-215.

Baldacchino, G. and Royle, S.A. (2010) ‘Postcolonialism and islands: introduction’, Space and Culture, 13.2, pp. 140-143.

Royle, S.A. (2009) ‘Tourism changes on a Mediterranean island: experiences from Mallorca’, Island Studies Journal, 4.2, pp. 225-240.

Vannini, P., Baldacchino, G., Guay, L., Royle, S.A. and Stein, P. (2009) ‘Reterritorialising Canada: Arctic ice’s liquid modernity and the imagining of a Canadian archipelago’, Island Studies Journal, 4.2, pp. 121-138.

Royle. S.A. (2009) ‘Urban regeneration report: Belfast as an enduring city’, AgendaNI , 26, pp. 44-45.

Royle, S.A. (2008) ‘From marginality to resurgence: the case of the Irish islands', Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Culture, 2.2, pp. 42-55.

Royle, S.A. and Tsai, H-M. (2008) ‘Cultural heritage and development strategies of the offshore islands of Ireland and Taiwan’, Insula, International Journal of Island Affairs, 17.1, pp. 47-56.

Royle, S.A. (2007) ‘St Helena and the East India Company, 1659-1710: colonial development on a tabula rasa’, in L. Nilsson (ed.) Urban Europe in a comparative perspective, Studier I stads-och kummunhistoria, 31 (CD).

Royle, S.A. and Ní Laoire, C. (2006) ‘“Dare the boist’rous main”: the role of the Belfast News Letter in the process of emigration from Ulster to North America, 1760-1800’, The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien, 50.1, pp. 56-73.

Royle, S.A. (2004) ‘Human Interference on Ascension island’, Environmental Archaeology, 9, pp. 127-34. 

Royle, S.A. (2004) ‘“The island has been handed over to me”: Ascension Island as a company colony, 1922-1942’, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 25.1, pp. 109-26. 

Hodgett, S. and Royle, S.A. (2003) ‘Conceptualising community: policy implications for Atlantic Canada’, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 16.2, pp. 309-18. 

Royle, S.A. (2003) ‘Perilous shipwreck, misery and unhappiness: the British military at Tristan da Cunha, 1816-1817’, J ournal of Historical Geography , 29.4, pp. 516-34.

Royle, S.A. (2003) ‘Exploitation and celebration of the heritage of the Irish islands, Irish Geography, 36.1, pp. 23-31. 

Royle, S.A. (2002) ‘Regional development issues in Prince Edward Island, Canada’, in M.M. Klemencic (ed.) Podezelje na Prelomu Tisocletja: Izzivi in Problemi. Rural Areas at the Millennium Shift: Challenges and Problems, Dela, 17, pp. 230-37.

External Grant Funding:

Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland Prix du Québec (2010)
British Academy Small Personal Research Grant (2010)
Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow in North American Studies at the British Library (2008)
J.B. Harley Fellow in the History of Cartography (2005)
Shackleton Scholar (2004)
Support from Royal Irish Academy for Belfast projects

Additional Information:

Secretary, Royal Irish Academy Committee for Geographical Sciences

Member, Council of British Geography (COBRIG)

Committee Member, EUGEO, the European Society for Geography

Treasurer, International Small Island Studies Association

Chair, Royal Geographical Society Northern Ireland Region

Chief Examiner, A Level Geography, CCEA

Strange but true:

1. Steve has visited 773 islands.
2. He has supported Birmingham City – the Blues – since 1963: decades of miserable underachievement until we won the Carling Cup in 2011. But then we got relegated.