Jonathan Westaway is a Senior Research Fellow and specializes in the history of mountaineering, mountain environments and imperial cultures of exploration. His research is strongly interdisciplinary, drawing on insights from cultural geography and anthropology and involves working in collaboration with archivists, curators, artists, festivals and communities. His recent research examines: British imperial leisure cultures, knowledge practices and mountain environments in India and Central Asia c.1850-1947 and their representation in travel writing, photography and film; the colonial encounter with indigenous people and culture in the circumpolar Arctic and the circulation of artifacts, people and ideas around the North Atlantic world.
Westaway has published widely on the history of mountaineering and expeditionary travel. His research has been used by the National Trust to inform their plans for commemorating the Centenary of the First World War in the Lake District in 2018 and this forms part of his impact case study for REF2021 entitled 'The Great Gift of Freedom: Working with the National Trust and the mountaineering community to understand, interpret and commemorate mountaineering heritage'.
Westaway has worked extensively with the Kendal Mountain Festival to bring contemporary scholarship to wider public audiences.
- Ph.D History, Lancaster University, 1996.
- M.A. (Distinction) Modern Social History, Lancaster University, 1991
- History of mountaineering
- History of exploration
- History of Tourism
- Central Asian Travel writing
- Imperial science
- Colonial knowledge-gathering practices
- History of British India
- Colonial encounter with the Arctic
- Atlantic World studies
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers
- Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society
- Member of the Royal Historical Society