Monthly Archives: May 2013

MA Cultural Geography (research) presentations 29th May (pm)

Everyone is welcome to come and support the MA students in their research presentationsImage

MA Cultural Geography (research)

Dissertation presentations 2013

29th May 2013

2pm- 5.30pm


 2.00 -2.15 pm :  Welcome

2.15- 2.45 pm : “Enriching the Geographies of Social Movements: What follows the “anti-brainwashing” protests in Hong Kong?”  Timmy Lee

2.45- 3.15 pm :  “The Cultural and Historical Geographies of the Gordon Riots” Hannah Awcock

3.15-3.30 pm :  Break

3.30-4.00 pm : “The Runnymede Air Forces Memorial: Landscape, Memorialisation and Modernity” Howard Browelow

4.00-4.30 pm : “Imagining the Underground: Visualising the London Underground in the Poster Art 150 Exhibition” Amy Zang

4.30-5.00 pm : “Image of the Body, Body of the Image: Photography, Corporeality and Bodies” Victoria Stalker

5.00-5.30 pm : “Networked Homes: The augmented realities of everyday domestic practice” Mike Duggan

6pm Depart Lobby for pub



Expeditionary Film, Geographical Science and Media Culture

This PhD project, funded by AHRC and based in Royal Holloway’s Social & Cultural Geography Group, is supported by the newly-established Collaborative Doctoral Partnership between the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and the Royal Society.

The project will focus especially on the production, distribution and presentation of films made on successive Everest expeditions between 1922 and 1953. Drawing on unique archival film collections held by the BFI, the Everest expedition archives and related collections such as The Times archives, the research will consider the logistical and technical requirements of expeditionary film, including the role of Sherpa porters in film-making; the role of media sponsorship in shaping the presentation of expedition work; and how film was shown, and to what audiences, within the context of popular and scientific understandings of mountaineering in the period.

The research will also consider the wider significance and potential uses of the expeditionary film archive. This involves consideration of the role of key organizations, including the RGS and the BFI, in developing a community of interest around geographical film in the first half of the twentieth century. In addition to research in the unique Everest archives and in the associated BFI collection, the project will examine the potential of digital film in the context of public engagement and public memory.

The project will be supervised by Felix Driver (Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway) and Catherine Souch (Head of Research at the RGS-IBG). It is supported by the British Film Institute.

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Landscape Surgery Summer 2013 Programme

Landscape Surgery Summer 2013 Programme

Thanks to Jenny K for graphics

Landscape Surgery PhD Presentations Day


May 7th saw Landscape Surgeons meeting earlier than normal at Bedford Square for a fantastic day of first year PhD presentations. Covering topics from food, dining and family making, to creative writing, art, airports and neuro-aesthetics, and research methods from  ethnography, diary keeping, writing, curation and painting it was an informative day.


The day kicked off with two presentations on the geographies of food. The first by Farah explaining her research on “Dinescapes” in Malaysia. As well as discussing her research Farah entertained us with a discussion of the different types of themed restaurants that she had encountered, including “toilet” themed ones! Canny was next up talking about food and family making, her research prompted a lively discussion of public and private dimensions of kitchens in China, including “open-kitchens” where private kitchens become public spaces. Finally, before lunch Katie discussed her work on and with dyslexic creative writers,including auto ethnographic discussions of the spaces of writing practices including desks, publishers and festivals. Discussion ensued around the spaces and spatialities of these writing practices and also their ‘creative’ elements. After lunch we turned to an afternoon of geography, writing and art. First up, Miranda talked about her explorations of place and writing, prompting discussions on mapping, style and data imaginaries. This was followed by two presentations focusing on art and airports, albeit in very different ways. Clare discussed her practice based work, including what it meant to create paintings whose form was guided by the rules of the airport, whilst Mike discussed the challenges of curation art at the airport and the methodological issues related to collaborative research. In both cases the aesthetics of airport spaces were a point of query and discussion. The afternoon’s presentations ended with Jareh Das, talking about curation and neuro-aesthetics, and the challenges and possibilities of using contemporary neurological technology designed for the gaming industry to explore the experiences of live art. Discussion tracked widely including queries around live art, neuro-aesthetics and the challenges of ‘measuring’ experience.

Thanks to the presenters for talking about their work, to the audience for questions and comments and to Innes for the photographs.



Farah Che Ishak: “Dinescapes: Ethnic restaurants and consumer culture in Malaysia”

Chen Liu (Canny): “Food, Home, and Family-making in Contemporary Guangzhou”

Katie Boxall: “Cultural Geographies of Dyslexic Creative Writing Practice”

Miranda Ward: “Writing (Augmented) Place”

Clare Booker: “Art and Airports; Departures and Arrivals live feed.”

Mike Thomason: ‪”Curating Site and Situating Curating: Art in the Airport”‬

Jareh Das: “Neuroaesthetics and the Exploration of Live Art”



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Fully-funded AHRC PhD studentship

Building an Empire: Corporate Vision & the Global Geographies of Infrastructure

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD studentship to work on the company and photographic archives of the Pearson engineering firm, one of Britain’s most powerful global corporations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This studentship is one of eight PhD awards made by the newly-established Collaborative Doctoral Partnership managed by the Science Museum Group. The project will be supervised by Dr Innes M. Keighren & Prof Felix Driver (Royal Holloway) and David Rooney & Tilly Blyth (Science Museum, London). The studentship, which is funded for three years full-time equivalent, will be available from September 2013.

The Studentship

The project focuses on one of the richest under-explored collections in the Science Museum archives, associated with the global activities of the Pearson company which was involved in major infrastructure projects around the world, from tunnels and harbours to waterworks, railways and oil refineries. The archive includes 150 albums of photographs of industrial sites in Britain, Europe, Mexico, Brazil, and the Middle East, dating from the 1880s to the 1930s, accompanied by extensive archival records including contracts, negotiations and correspondence between the firm and its clients. The research will involve consideration of the organisational structure of the company, and the role of local knowledge in its increasingly globalised operations; and the role of photography in the internal management and public relations of the company.

The collection presents many possible research foci, including the visualisation of engineering technology and landscape (the numerous images of docks, tunnels, and panoramas), the social history of labour (as evident in depictions of the firm’s British and local workforces) and the connections between the public and domestic lives of businessmen. Key questions might include: to what extent does the Pearson collection reflect a distinctive company vision of the world? By what means did the company actually operate as a global business? How was knowledge and expertise managed and circulated within the company? By what process were company photographs actually commissioned and produced, and what were their purposes? How might such collections be used today, both within company histories and beyond them? Through a combination of archival research and visual analysis, the research will exploit the rich and varied collections of the Pearson firm to address wider questions to do with the knowledge economy of transnational business and the role of photography in the documentation, promotion, and preservation of work done at a geographical distance.

How to Apply

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in history, geography, or other relevant discipline, and will need to satisfy AHRC academic and residency eligibility criteria including the requirement that candidates should normally have or be studying for a Masters or equivalent postgraduate qualification. Preference may be given to applicants with prior experience in working with business archives and/or photographic archives, though others are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a brief letter outlining qualifications for the studentship in a single Word document of no more than three pages in length. The names and contact details of two academic referees should also be supplied. Applications should be sent to no later than 5 June 2013.

Interviews are scheduled to be held in the Science Museum, London, on the morning of 17 June 2013.

For further information concerning the project, please contact Innes Keighren ( and for more information about the Social & Cultural Group at Royal Holloway, please visit the Group’s homepage.

Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig: 6-11th June

Announcement of a free exhibition supported by Landscape Surgery, with the opening night on Thursday the 6th June.

Write off the map


Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig                                            /                                             Tha tìm, am fiadh, an Coille Hallaig

This free exhibition investigates the properties of forest memory through text, archive, and ‘xylarium’, or wood collection. Between the French horticultural term “forest trauma” and Robert Pogue Harrison’s “forests of nostalgia”, a whole discipline around history, witnessing, and the memorial qualities of woodland opens up.  Art works examining the cultural expression of time and history in the forest are placed here alongside archival photographs, small press texts, artefacts, and museum objects, in an old, low-lit belfry designed by Sir John Soane.

But, mean glory of the world, / misshapen memory…

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Excavations & Estuaries

Announcing an exhibition and academic series on art and the nature of landscape on the North East coast, involving a public talk by Landscape Surgeon Amy Cutler.

Write off the map

On Saturday the 25th May I’ll be talking about coastal literature at a public seminar at Abbey Walk Gallery, on the North East coast, for the exhibition Excavations and Estuaries: the Nature of Landscape (24th April – 1st June). The full information on the exhibition is in the Excavations & Estuaries Press Release (click to download), and the programme for the day seminar follows below. It brings together artists and academics including, alongside myself, Harriet Tarlo, Judith Tucker, David Ainley, David Walker Barker, Joy Sleeman, Jeremy Leigh, and curator Linda Ingham. (There is a curator Q&A on the exhibition’s themes here.)

e&e seminar

David Ainley


The conventions of landscape painting conceal as much as they reveal about our environment.  The manner and significance of this occlusion, and the remedy that lies at the heart of David Ainley’s critical engagement with painting, will be explored with…

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First year PhD presentations 2013….


Landscape Surgery First year presentations

Tuesday 7th May

11am Start:

11.00-11.15: Quick news round up and announcements

11. 15- 11.45:  Farah Che Ishak: “Dinescapes: Ethnic restaurants and consumer culture in Malaysia”

11.45- 12.15 : Chen Liu (Canny): “Food, Home, and Family-making in Contemporary Guangzhou”

12.15- 12.45: Katie Boxall: “Cultural Geographies of Dyslexic Creative Writing Practice”

12.45- 1.45: Lunch (provided)

1.45-2.15:  Miranda Ward: “Writing (Augmented) Place”

2.15- 2.45: Clare Brooker: “Art and Airports; Departures and Arrivals live feed.”

2.45- 3.00 pm- Break

3.00-3.30:  Mike Thomason: ‪”Curating Site and Situating Curating: Art in the Airport”‬

3.30- 4pm :  Jareh Das: “Neuroaesthetics and the Exploration of Live Art”

4pm Pub


5.15: LGHG, Torrington Room 104, Senate House

Communities of resistance: towards a geography of dissent in First World War Britain Cyril Pearce (University of Leeds)