Monthly Archives: January 2013

Helpful Session: Career Development

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 22.04.15

To kick off the term we held, on 22 January, a “helpful” session around career development, breaking into small groups we covered a range of different topics from conferences and networking (What to go to? How many? Do you have to present? How do you organise a session?) to publications (When? How many? How to get started?) as well as what to do next…

We heard some great tips about contacting people at conferences in advance and asking if you can buy them coffee, about organising your own small events and invite your idols – then they will know who you are! – about starting publishing by writing book reviews and conference reports for blogs like this one (hint hint!) as well as for journals, writing with your friends, and always remembering the mantra *quality not quantity.*

Perhaps one piece of advice that the session itself best exemplified was that some of the most useful contacts we make at conferences are with our peers (thanks for reminding us of this Innes), not just because we can write with them, talk with them, and drink with them, but also because they are a source of wisdom on the sorts of questions we are worrying away at here.

Towards the end of the session we turned to the question of what next…

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One option is a post-doc, and some of the possibilities for grant schemes that let you do your own research as a post-doc are detailed in the power-point attached below… also join ( thanks Oli) and crit-geog forum and generally keep your eyes peeled for great projects that are looking for post-doctoral researchers.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussions
PPT on post-docs

Herds and hills / Animal Geographies / Passengerfilms

A still from Herd in Iceland at the Roxy Bar and Screen 23rd January, courtesy Rupert Griffiths

Still from Herd in Iceland / Roxy Bar and Screen / 23rd January, courtesy Rupert Griffiths

The first Passengerfilms of the year set us off to a great start. Many thanks to all of those who came along, despite the wintry chill.  All three films at this screening focused on the activity of herding; a human-animal-landscape interaction with its own special rhythms and forms.

The short ‘Reindeer’, (Eva Weber, 2011)  was a brief study of the flurry of bodies and breath in the dusk of Lapland. ‘Herd in Iceland’ (Lindsay Blatt/Paul Taggart, 2012) was a charming portrait of Icelanders involved in the annual tradition of letting the horses loose to graze, then gathering them in again. The feature-length documentary ‘Sweetgrass’ (Ilisa Barbash/Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2009) really brought across the sweat and tears involved in driving a flock of sheep across the wilds of Montana; a sheer mass of animal weight and will.

Passengerfilms owes a very special thanks to Hayden Lorimer. Hayden came down from Glasgow to talk to our London audience about the effect that a summer spent with the Cairngorm reindeer herd has had on his life. Ten years down the road, new reflections had emerged. It was an evening with cinematic wind in our hair, ears ringing from mewling of animals, stories of affection, violence and co-habitation. And more than I think we anticipated, a welcome break from shuffling in and out of central-heating and slushy gutters. Coming up in February will be an exploration of sound and landscape in film. If you’re not on the mailing list- click here to sign up, and we’ll keep you posted…

Creating worlds: The affective spaces of experimental politics

Creating worlds: The affective spaces of experimental politics’ was a one day workshop held at Bedford Square on the 14th January 2012. It was part of a series of events organised within the frame of the protest camps project. Bringing together around 30 researchers and activists, the day featured three round tables on the themes of affect and spatiality, organisation and spatiality and politics and spatiality. These themes intersected one another, allowing for engaged and ongoing dialogue and debate, further facilitated by informal presentations and the allowance of ample time for participation.

The day began with an introduction by Anja Kanngieser and Jenny Pickerill, who gave a context for the themes being explored. Looking at the notion of affect and political composition, as well as the importance of space to radical organisation, the introduction sought to give a background for the day’s focus on questions of “how people come together in what kinds of spaces and places; what forces and desires inform these collective spaces, and how they are sustained; how spaces and subjects are processually entangled; how social reproduction occurs – the lines of class, gender, race, ability; and the ways spaces are differentiated, that is to say, how boundaries are performed.”

The first session on affect was chaired by Anna Feigenbaum and featured a range of speakers from human and cultural geographies. It began with a presentation by Kye Askins who spoke about her work on emotional activism. Drawing from her experiences in several community projects, Askins emphasised the radical potentials of friendship, care and conviviality within everyday encounters. The presentation of Harriet Hawkins continued a focus on affective spaces of exchange and dialogue, looking more closely on the environments and atmospheres created by community artists. Turning also to the affective spaces of creative practices, Paul Simpson discussed his work on street performers and the unanticipated moments and experiences within public performance worlds. The discussion linked these moments and spaces of affect to questions of political practice and raised the issue of how to sustain such spaces and practices beyond their naming and capture.

The second session, chaired by Fabian Frenzel, explored the intersections of organisation and affect. It was humorously opened by Nazima Kadir, who discussed her ethnographic research into squatted communities in Amsterdam, with a critical view on hidden hierarchies and the role of gossip about sexual practices as a means of circulating information and challenging power. Jane Wills further spoke from her own experiences working in community organisation and the possibilities of organising from networks and infrastructures already in existence, and already equipped to build resistant communities. To conclude the session, Tim Cresswell introduced the idea of prosthesis and sought to interrogate discourses around mobility and normalised movement, from a gendered and racialised perspective. Tying in with the previous discussion from the affect session, the conversation continued around the organisation of activist and political spaces, and the need for communication and awareness in such infrastructures.

The final session, chaired by Gavin Brown, provided a grounded and place oriented perspective into protest camps. Uri Gordon began the session with an introduction and analysis to the Israeli tent protests in 2011. Adam Ramadan investigated the form of the camp itself, looking at protest camps, refugee camps and concentration camps, with an engagement of exceptionality and temporality. To end the session Andy Davies investigated Anna Hazare and the idea of fasting as politics. Raised in all three presentations were questions of class, fetishisation and political articulation.

The scope and diversity of the day, combined with the ongoing and open discussion meant that rather than getting too narrowly defined in one trajectory, there was space to explore and investigate a range of different stakes, interests and ideas. Bringing together researchers from a variety of disciplines also meant that vocabularies didn’t get stuck and asking questions was actively encouraged. While research on protest camps, their infrastructures and social relations is still relatively marginal, the event felt like an exciting moment to help build possibilities for collaboration and solidarity amongst people thinking about and participating in social movements. This is why we plan to continue running events and seminars on protest camps and the worlds that we imagine and hope for.

More information can be found at


Dialogues in Human Geography

Dialogues in Human Geography

Landscape Surgeons Harriet Hawkins and Innes M. Keighren have separately published forums in the current issue of Dialogues in Human Geography, the sister publication to Progress in Human Geography. Dialogues, as its name suggests, provides a forum for disciplinary debate and seeks (to quote from its website) to “stimulate open and critical debate on the philosophical, methodological and pedagogic foundations of geographic thought and praxis”.

Harriet, together with Deborah Dixon and Elizabeth Straughan, leads a forum on the aesthetics of post-human worlds, with responses from Nigel Clark, Arun Saldanha, Lesley Instone, Jamie Lorimer, and Ionat Zurr.

Innes, together with Christian Abrahamsson and Veronica della Dora, leads a forum on canonicity in geography, with responses from Robert J. Mayhew, Charles W. J. Withers, John Agnew, Avril Maddrell, Janice Monk, Phil Hubbard, Richard H. Schein, and Richard C. Powell.

New Year’s (Low) Resolution

Reblogged from Keeping Shop, Shaping Place

Whereas the year is fresh, this new start seems to call for a more blurry-eyed look at the everyday – as if looking through the crinkled cellophane on a packet of jujubes.  What better way to look anew than through the lazy eyes of a pinhole camera.  As discussed once before, it may be that the hazier the image, the more you see.


See more at Mia’s blog…

Mia Hunt is a Ph.D. Candidate excited by the material in London’s everyday consumption spaces.

‘to Munich’

'to Munich'

Digital painting.
LeedsBradford Airport. 15 Jan 2013
Clare Booker (Ph.D. Candidate)