Dr Geoff Kemp

BA (Hons), MA, MPhil, PhD (Cambridge)


  • Geoff Kemp is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland. He teaches courses in media politics and intellectual and political history. His research centres on historical ideas of censorship, toleration and the relationship of state and public.
  • He was born in Britain and on leaving school was a newspaper journalist for several years. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, completing his PhD under the supervision of Prof Mark Goldie, He joined the University of Auckland as a lecturer in 2002. He has held visiting research positions at Cambridge and Yale.
  • Geoff Kemp is editor of Censorship Moments (forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic, London, in the series Textual Moments in the History of Political Thought). He is general editor, with Jason McElligott, of the four-volume Censorship and the Press, 1580-1720 (London, 2009) (‘a magnificent work of scholarship' Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America). He is co-editor of Politics and the Media (2013).
  • His current research includes working on John Locke's papers on liberty of the press for a volume in the Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke, and an article on the 'Cromwell Papers' held in Auckland.
  • In 2014, Geoff taught at the University of Nottingham, UK, a Universitas 21 partner university. In late 2015 he will be Muriel McCarthy Research Fellow at Marsh's Library in Dublin. He is also Researcher in Residence at the Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland, in 2014-15.  

Research | Current

  • Political thought
  • Intellectual history
  • Politics and media
  • Censorship and toleration


  • Geoff Kemp's main research field is the history of ideas concerning freedom of expression, liberty of the press, censorship, toleration, and the relationship of the state and the public in past political thought.
  • He has recently completed the book Censorship Moments, published by Bloomsbury Academic, London, in the series Textual Moments in the History of Political Thought. Geoff is editor and also a contributor, alongside an international team of eminent and emerging chapter authors.
  • He is working on John Locke's papers on liberty of the press for a volume in the Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke, to be published by Oxford University Press.
  • Dr Kemp has recently begun work on a collection of documents from the Cromwellian Protectorate held in Auckland Public Library, with attention to their threefold contexts: seventeenth-century English politics, the nineteenth-century 'cult of Cromwell', and the legacy of empire.

Teaching | Current

POLITICS 113 Politics and the Media

POLITICS 238 Toleration and Censorship

POLITICS 301 Toleration and Censorship

POLITICS 740 Revolutions, Ideas and Media

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising graduate students in the areas of political thought and media politics, in projects involving political ideas, media or public deliberation. I have supervised PhD, MA and Honours projects ranging from 16th-century ideas of revolution and the 18th-century reception of Hobbes to post-9/11 coverage in U.S. newspapers and political blogging in New Zealand.

PhD Supervision

Mark Boyd, 'Television news coverage of the New Zealand general election campaigns of 2011 and 2014' (continuing).

Edward Elder, 'A New Communication Model for Market-Oriented Leadership in Government' (co-supervisor; submitted).

Gavin Ellis, 'Trustee Ownership and the Sustenance of Democratically Significant Journalism' (co-supervisor; completed).

David Lindsay, 'Conscience Voting' (co-supervisor, completed).

Sally Simmonds, 'Justice in Context' (completed)

Areas of expertise

Political Thought, Intellectual History, Politics and Media, Censorship and Toleration

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Kemp, G. (2016). Media, politics and democracy. In G. Kemp, B. Bahador, K. McMillan, C. Rudd (Eds.) Politics and the media (pp. ). Auckland, NZ: Auckland University Press.
  • Kemp, G. (2015). Sir George Grey's mistake in Oliver Cromwell: Protectorate politics in a colonial collection. Parergon, 32 (2), 115-143. 10.1353/pgn.2015.0169
  • Kemp, G. (2015). Areopagitica's adversary: Henry Parker and the humble remonstrance. In G. Kemp (Ed.) Censorship moments: Reading texts in the history of censorship and freedom of expression (pp. 71-78). London, UK: Bloomsbury.
  • Kemp, G (Ed.) (2015). Censorship Moments: Reading Texts in the History of Censorship and Freedom of Expression. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Pages: 208.
  • Kemp, G. H. (2012). The 'End of Censorship' and the Politics of Toleration, from Locke to Sacheverell. Parliamentary History, 31 (1), 47-68. 10.1111/j.1750-0206.2011.00282.x
  • Kemp, G., McElligott, J., Clegg, C. S., & Goldie, M. (Eds.) (2009). Censorship and the press, 1580-1720. Pickering & Chatto, 2009..
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/13539
  • Kemp, G. H., & McElligott, J. (2009). General Introduction: The Constitution of Early Modern Censorship. In G. Kemp, J. McElligott, C. Clegg (Eds.) Censorship and the Press, 1580-1720, Volume 1 (pp. xi-xxxiii). London: Pickering and Chatto.
  • Kemp, G. H. (2008). The Works of Roger L'Estrange: An Annotated Bibliography. In A. Dunan-Page, B. Lynch (Eds.) Roger L'Estrange and the Making of Restoration Culture (pp. 181-223). London: Ashgate.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/14237


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 405
New Zealand

Web links