Dr Geoff Kemp

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


  • Geoff Kemp is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Auckland. He teaches media politics and intellectual and political history. His research centres on political thought and ideas of censorship and toleration, mainly historical.
  • He was born in Britain and was a newspaper journalist before and during the gaining of his degrees at the University of Cambridge, where he completed his PhD under the supervision of Prof Mark Goldie. He joined the University of Auckland in 2002, and has held visiting positions at Cambridge, Yale, and Nottingham.
  • Geoff Kemp's publications as writer and editor include John Locke: Literary and Historical Writings (Oxford, 2019), Politics and the Media (Auckland, 2016), Censorship Moments (London, 2014), and the four-volume Censorship and the Press, 1580-1720 (London, 2009), along with a number of articles and chapters.
  • His current research centres on the political thinker and philosopher John Locke and his circle in relation to censorship and the print trade.  

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. His current research focuses on John Locke and his circle.
  • His most recent publication is a contribution introducing Locke's 'Writings on Liberty of the Press' in J. R. Milton, Geoff Kemp, et al, John Locke: Literary and Historical Writings (Oxford, 2019), a volume in the Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke.
  • He has also recently published on subjects including politics and the media, the political writer and poet John Milton, ideas of ancient constitutionalism in New Zealand, and Sir George Grey's Cromwellian manuscripts. 
  • He is now working on articles about Locke's political associate John Freke, Locke's critic Thomas Beconsall, Locke's publisher Thomas Bassett, and Locke's French huguenot contact Elie Bouhéreau. 

Teaching | Current

POLITICS 233 Politics, Media and Public Sphere

POLITICS 301 Toleration and Censorship

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.

Recent PhD Supervision

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

Justin Phillips, 'Negative Political Communication in the United States on Television and Facebook' (continuing).

Raghuvir Dass, 'Media Framing of Terrorism in the U.K., U.S., and India' (continuing).

Yury Zhukov, 'Democratic Deliberation and Policy-Making Practices in Higher Education in New Zealand' (continuing).

Salma Malik, 'Online media and political knowledge of young New Zealanders' (co-supervisor, 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).

Areas of expertise

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

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • 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. 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
  • Kemp, G. H. (2006). L'Estrange and the Publishing Sphere. In Jason McElligott (Ed.) Fear, Exclusion and Revolution (pp. 67-90). Aldershot: Ashgate.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/14234


Contact details

Primary office location

58 SYMONDS ST - Bldg 435
Level 7, Room 702
New Zealand

Web links