Simon Land

Writing Centre Program, School of Sciences and Humanities

I specialise in academic writing and critical geopolitics.

My passion, in particular, is popular geopolitics: the discourse of the non-elite through mediums such as movies, anime, music and social media, and how this contributes to ideas of identity and geography.  

I initially worked in the Humanities and Social Sciences Foundation department as Senior Teaching Fellow, co-authoring the program, before joining the Writing Center in 2018. 

Prior to joining Nazarbayev University in 2015, I was a professor at RULE university and Pannasatra University in Phnom Penh teaching modules on International Relations, International Environmental Law, Globalisation and Academic Writing. I have previously taught EAP at Royal Holloway, Kanagawa University and RMIT University, and I authored an English Research Skills program for an NGO assisting the Cambodian senate in democratic governance. I also designed an Academic Writing skills module at Pannasatra University. Before starting my academic career, I worked for an elite secretarial unit in the British Government, overseeing legal reform.  

I write a fortnightly newsletter on the New Silk Road, which is a collection of current web news pieces concerning the Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia, mostly concentrating on Kazakhstan. I compile and edit the Kazakhstan and the New Silk Road website:

I am a member of the Exeter Central Asian Studies Network and co-editor of their website: 

My other research and projects can be found at

My favourite colour is gold.