Daryl Martin



  • PhD (York)
  • MA  (York)
  • BA (Lancaster)

I am a Lecturer in Sociology, with teaching and research interests in the areas of architectural theory, cultural geography, social theory and urban studies.

Originally from Derry, I moved to Lancaster to study English Literature, graduating in 1996. Following my degree I spent six years living in London, where I worked for various booksellers. I returned to part-time study when living in York, completing the MA in the Sociology of Contemporary Culture in 2006, and my doctoral thesis on the neoliberalization of space in 2012.

I worked for four years from 2006-2010 as an editorial assistant (Medical Sociology) on the journal Social Science & Medicine. After working as a Teaching Fellow in the Department for two years, I took up my current post as Lecturer in September 2012.

Departmental roles

Chair of the First Year Board of Studies. 

University roles

I am co-director of the Centre for Urban Research (CURB), an interdisciplinary gathering of academics, working across departments at York, whose research focuses on the social and economic development of ‘majority-urban’ centres; the towns and cities in which most people live and work. CURB has been instrumental in the emergence of a research network on urban issues drawing in researchers and policy professionals in Northern England and across Europe.



My current work spans four different areas.

First, I am interested in the intersection of architecture, embodiment and health, and I am working currently on a funded project in collaboration with Maggie’s, an organisation known for commissioning architecturally innovative buildings in which support and advice is offered to those diagnosed with cancer, their families and friends. This ongoing project utilises a mixture of methodological approaches, combining staff interviews and focus groups with centre visitors and volunteers across their Centres, with plans and funding in place to extend the project in 2014 to include international sites.

Second, I have been writing recently on the topic of new urban ruins. I am editor of a forthcoming special issue of IJURR which gathers together photo-essays from an international and interdisciplinary range of social geographers, urban sociologists, cultural historians, architectural journalists and photographers. Their pieces cover a variety of locations, including the demolition of residential districts of central Shanghai, the architectural relics of post-Soviet states in Eastern Europe, and the construction of semi-vacant ‘ghost estates’ in Ireland.

Third, I have been developing my long-standing research interests in the social significance of exurban sites on the edges of major cities. I am working with David Hill, a moral philosopher at the University of Liverpool, to analyse these new spaces through debates usually associated with the traditional urban form - specifically the idea of the ‘good city’. In essence, we argue for an ethical interpretation of exurban environments and an understanding of civility as a form of ethical sociality that is embedded in quotidian social practices, and the ordinary places in which they are enacted.

Fourth, I remain interested in the role that literature and literary theory might play in helping us to understand the social, and our sense of place. As first outlined in my article ‘A Poetic Urbanism’ and in work I am currently developing, I advance the argument that lyrical approaches can be helpful in recalibrating our understanding of contemporary processes of urbanization, as well as historical patterns of globalization.


I am particularly interested in supervising doctoral projects that take cultural approaches to understanding urban issues and environments; that employ architecture as a route to the embodied experience of health, place and well-being, and that use literature as a way of illuminating the social.


Selected publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Martin, D. (forthcoming) Introduction: towards a political understanding of new urban ruins.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

Martin, D. (forthcoming) Translating space: the politics of ruins, the remote and peripheral
places. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Martin, D. (2011) Eyjafjallajökull 4'33": a Stillness in Three Parts. Mobilities, 6, 1, 85-94.

Martin, D. (2010) A poetic urbanism: Recreating places, remade to measure, but from the
inside out. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 14, 5, 586 – 591.

Martin, D. (2010) Mobilities Based Urban Planning in the North of England. Mobilities, 5, 1,

Martin, D. (2008) ‘The post-city being prepared on the site of the ex-city’: re-aligning the
provincial city along the M62 in the North of England. City: analysis of urban trends, culture,
theory, policy, action, 13, 3, 372-382.

Full publications list

Conference Papers

  • Martin, D. (2013) The choreography of the kitchen table: the agency of everyday spaces in the experience of care. Paper presented at the BSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, York, September 2013.
  • Martin, D. (2013) From the familiar to the dissimilar: the place of comfort within therapeutic spaces. Paper presented at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2013, London, August 2013.
  • Butterfield, A. and Martin, D. (2013) The silent carers: exploring the role of architecture and gardens at the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres. Paper presented at the Well-Being 2013 conference, Birmingham, July 2013.
  • Martin, D. (2011) Remembering the past, sensing the future: architecture, urban planning and the chronesthetic imagination. Invited paper presented at the AHRC funded Making sense of travel identities seminar series, Lancaster, September 2011.
  • Martin, D. (2009) ‘Of time and the city’: the M62 and the new landscapes of Northern England. Paper presented at the Routes, Roads and Landscapes conference, Oslo, September 2009.
  • Martin, D. (2009) From Saltaire to Ikea: the edge city in its prototypical and ubiquitous forms. Paper presented at the Cultural Histories of Sociability, Spaces and Mobility conference, York, July 2009.



In June 2013, I received a highly commended award in the University of York Student Union’s Supervisor of the Year category.

In 2013/14 I will be teaching on the following undergraduate modules:

  • Cultivating a Sociological Imagination (Course Convenor) 1st Year
  • Introducing Social Theory 1st Year
  • Popular Culture, Media and Society 2nd Year
  • Social Research Methods 2nd Year
  • Sociology of the North: English Cities as Crucibles of Social Change (Course Convenor) Final Year

Contact details

Daryl Martin
Department of Sociology
University of York
Wentworth College
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 322633