Monthly Archives: May 2015

RHUL Geographers at the ICHG

 

From 5 to 10 July, London will be host to the 16th International Conference of Historical Geographers. A number of Royal Holloway geographers have been involved in the organisation of the conference, not least Felix Driver, Chair of the Local Organising Committee.  Veronica della Dora and Innes M. Keighren have, additionally, served on the Conference Advisory Group.

Ten geographers from the department—a combination of doctoral students, staff, and Honorary Research Associates—will present papers across a range of different sessions (and take a lead in two of the mid-conference study visits).

Role Session Paper
Arends Bergit Chair Field experiments: collaborative practices in art and environment (2)
Arends Bergit Convenor Field experiments: collaborative practices in art and environment (2)
Arends Bergit Chair Field experiments: collaborative practices in art and environment (1)
Arends Bergit Convenor Field experiments: collaborative practices in art and environment (1)
Awcock Hannah Author Contesting the capital: Historical geographies of protest in London London calling: The Capital as a focus of protest and dissent
Awcock Hannah Convenor Contesting the capital: Historical geographies of protest in London
Bide Bethan Author Materiality and historical geography (1) Unravelling the Fabric of the City: Using Worn Clothing to Narrate London Lives
della Dora Veronica Author Topographies of piety: maps, texts, icons and pilgrimage (2) Topographies of Piety and Optics of Truth: Vasilij Grigorovich Barskij’s Pilgrimages to Mt Athos (1725-1745)
della Dora Veronica Chair Topographies of piety: Maps, texts, icons and pilgrimage (1)
della Dora Veronica Chair Geographies of religion
della Dora Veronica Convenor Topographies of piety: Maps, texts, icons and pilgrimage (1)
della Dora Veronica Convenor Topographies of piety: maps, texts, icons and pilgrimage (2)
Driver Felix Chair The material image: the photographic archive in circulation
Driver Felix Chair Welcome and introduction to the ICHG
Driver Felix Convenor The material image: the photographic archive in circulation
Driver Felix Convenor British Academy geography lecture: Who reads geography or history anymore? The challenge of audience in a digital age
Driver Felix Convenor Welcome and introduction to the ICHG
Driver Felix Chair Making and mobilising collections
Driver Felix Chair Geography and enlightenment
Driver Felix Convenor Business meeting and close of conference
Haines Liz Author Institutional geographies of the photograph: Aesthetics, circulation and affect (2) Pseudo-photogrammetry and the touristic imagination
Haines Liz Author Materiality and historical geography (2) When form becomes content: drawing historical narrative from the paper of paper records
Haines Liz Convenor Institutional geographies of the photograph: Aesthetics, circulation and affect (2)
Haines Liz Convenor Institutional geographies of the photograph: Aesthetics, circulation and affect (1)
Keighren Innes Author Mobility and empire (1) William Macintosh’s Travels: colonial mobility and the circulation of knowledge
Keighren Innes Chair Geographical knowledge and ignorance
Owen Janet Author Making and mobilising collections Fuegian Face-paints and Papuan Wood-carvings: Moments of collecting by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace
Rooney David Author Architectures of hurry: Mobilities and modernity in urban environments (1) Technologies of Segregation on the Streets of East London
Santana Noeme Author Institutional geographies of the photograph: Aesthetics, circulation and affect (1) The S. Pearson & Son Malta Albums: institutional and corporate image(s)
Santana Noeme Author The material image: the photographic archive in circulation Materiality, corporate structure and global business: understanding and contextualising the Pearson photographic archive
Santana Noeme Convenor The material image: the photographic archive in circulation

 

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RHUL GEOGRAPHERS IN EXETER

University of Exeter. Venue of the 2015 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference.

University of Exeter. Venue for the 2015 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference.

The Department of Geography will be well represented at this year’s RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in September. All told, 19 Royal Holloway geographers—MA students, PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and members of staff—will be in attendance, presenting more than 20 papers in a diverse range of sessions (detailed below).

 

Session

Paper

Adey Peter Reimagining the mobility transition Thinking through the mobility transition
Adey Peter Reimagining the mobility transition
Adey Peter Surveilling Global Space
Arends Bergit Suspending the Anthropocene (1) Impasse, Lost Futures, Déjà vu Déjà-vu: the Anthropocene in the registers of contemporary artists
Boxall Katie Geographies of Amateur Creativities: Spaces, Practices and Experiences (1)
Boxall Katie Geographies of Amateur Creativities: Spaces, Practices and Experiences (1)
Boxall Katie Geographies of Amateur Creativities: Spaces, Practices and Experiences (2)
Cook Simon Current and emerging research in transport (1): Active travel and commuting Towards active travel beyond walking and cycling: the potential of run-commuting for transport geography
Cook Simon Geographies of Sport (1): Everyday sport Towards a geography of everyday sport: blurring boundaries, finding opportunities
Cook Simon Geographies of Sport (2): Everyday sport
Cook Simon Geographies of Sport (2): Everyday sport
Cook Simon Geographies of Sport (1): Everyday sport
Eades Gwilym Determinism, environment and geopolitics: an interdisciplinary conversation Roundtable Open Discussion
Eken Evren Knowledge, governmentality and power Governmentality, Geopolitics and Procedural Rhetoric in Video Games: A Practice Based Methodological Toolkit
Gilbert David The field formerly known as Urban Studies? (2) Rethinking the urban through its new manifestations Without the City? Suburbia’s central place in rethinking the urban
Gilbert David Geographies of Amateur Creativities: Spaces, Practices and Experiences (2) Making suburban faith: creativity and material culture in faith communities in West London
Gilby Ben The Contemporary Growth of Regional Identity in Europe (2): Regional Culture: Distinctiveness, Performance & Tradition
Gilby Ben The Contemporary Growth of Regional Identity in Europe (1): Trends In Devolution & Independence
Gilby Ben The Contemporary Growth of Regional Identity in Europe (1): Trends In Devolution & Independence
Harris Ella Producing Urban Life: Fragility and Socio-Cultural Infrastructures (3) Radical Infrastructures The Artworks: Maintaining Uncertain Urbanisms
Harris Ella Future Fossils? Specimens from the 5th millennium “Return to Earth” expedition (2): From slum fragments to shattered hard drives Container Architectures: Human Settlement Transformations in the Anthropocene
Harris Ella Urban Precarities (1): Precarity and urban imaginaries in declining, derelict and unregulated spaces
Harris Ella Urban Precarities (2): Precarity in Urban Places of Work and Residence: Experiences and Resistances
Hunt Mia Urban Precarities (2): Precarity in Urban Places of Work and Residence: Experiences and Resistances Politics and practice in the corner shop: The compound precarity of ad hoc retailing
Hunt Mia Attentive Geographies: materials, processes, creations (1) Knowing and Feeling: Practicing visual and material cultures in the corner shop
Hyacinth Natalie Geographies of Amateur Creativities: Spaces, Practices and Experiences (2) Making suburban faith: creativity and material culture in faith communities in West London
Kleine Dorothea Development’s pasts and futures: A critical dialogue between (Latin American) Area Studies and Geography, Panel Session Panel Discussion
Nikolaeva Anna Reimagining the mobility transition A “Quirky project” or an “Industry”? Challenges of imagining a mobility transition
Nikolaeva Anna Reimagining the mobility transition
Nowicki Mel Urban Precarities (1): Precarity and urban imaginaries in declining, derelict and unregulated spaces
Nowicki Mel Urban Precarities (2): Precarity in Urban Places of Work and Residence: Experiences and Resistances
Nowicki Mel Urban Precarities (2): Precarity in Urban Places of Work and Residence: Experiences and Resistances
Sheargold Robert The Contemporary Growth of Regional Identity in Europe (2): Regional Culture: Distinctiveness, Performance & Tradition
Sheargold Robert The Contemporary Growth of Regional Identity in Europe (2): Regional Culture: Distinctiveness, Performance & Tradition
Sheargold Robert The Contemporary Growth of Regional Identity in Europe (1): Trends In Devolution & Independence
Squire Rachael Wet Geographies III (2): Water-worlds – Wet Geographies Panel Discussion Wet Geographies III: Water-worlds – Wet Geographies Panel Discussion
Squire Rachael Wet Geographies I: Under the Sea: Geographies of the Deep
Squire Rachael Wet Geographies I: Under the Sea: Geographies of the Deep
Thornton Pip Algorithmic Practices: Emergent interoperability in the everyday (2) Language in the Age of Algorithmic Reproduction
Ward Miranda Geographies of Sport (1): Everyday sport Towards a geography of everyday sport: blurring boundaries, finding opportunities
Ward Miranda Geographies of Sport (2): Everyday sport
Ward Miranda Geographies of Sport (1): Everyday sport
Ward Miranda Geographies of Sport (1): Everyday sport
White Rosanna Wet Geographies I: Under the Sea: Geographies of the Deep Ceremonies of Possession: Performing sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic
Wood Astrid Reimagining the mobility transition Moving forward by looking backward: Reimagining the mobility transition in the UK
Wood Astrid Reimagining the mobility transition

Making Space for Diasporas and the Sacred

Diaspora is an intrinsically geographical phenomenon. Diasporas can be studied as historical or political occurrences, as expressions of national, religious or cultural otherness, or as sociological and anthropological phenomena.  When combined with a diachronicity which stretches from the dawn of recorded history to the present day, this amazing diversity gives rise to endless possibilities for interdisciplinary research and discussion. As with diaspora, religion and the sacred implicate space and shape geographical imaginations. Are experiences of the sacred changing in our globalized world? Is it possible to find new vocabularies to talk about diaspora and sacred space? Is it desirable?

s.anna-greci-an

The Greek church of St Anna in Ancona, Italy

front1 (1)

    The Leng Noei Yi temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown (photo by Tawirat Songmuang)

Yesterday HARC sponsored a double postgraduate workshop on the themes of diaspora and sacred space, organised in collaboration with the History and Geography Departments and the Hellenic Institute. The event brought together PhD and MA students from History, Geography, Music, English and Politics to share their research and reflect how diasporic identities, faith and geography interact at different scales, through different spaces and media and in different historical contexts.

The morning session focussed on the concept of diaspora with case studies including the sixteenth-century Greek community of Ancona (Italy), a Greek printer in seventeenth-century London and Constantinople, the role of religion in shaping and maintaining diasporic Chinese identities in Thailand, the experiences of North Korean refugees in China and South Korea, Iranian identities in London and Vancouver, and transnational / translocal music in NE Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The afternoon session explored a wide range of ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ sacred spaces ranging in scale from the domestic spaces of contemporary English suburbia and Victorian ‘houses of mercy’ to the concept of the forest as understood by the ancient Greeks and medieval Christians. The boundaries of sacred were further pushed to encompass non-religious spaces, such as secular buildings with Holocaust connections, and the space of the German nation as articulated in nineteenth-century music.

The event was led by George Vassiadis (History) and Veronica della Dora (Geography) and respondents were Charalambos Dendrinos (History), Henry Stobart (Music) and Agnes Wooley (English). Kim Burton, Laura Cuch, Niccolò Fattori, Benedick Felderhof, David Gilbert, Stephanie Hesz Wood, Kit Kembell, Jae-Young Kim, Nil Pektas, Tawirat Songmurang, Priya Vadi, and Susan Woodall presented.

 

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Photo by Laura Cuch (from Making Suburban Faith)

Pictures and Thoughts on Writing and Pictures

unnamed (1) unnamedBackwards Drawings: pages 18 and 19 and plate 13 from Russian Icons (by David Talbot Rice) ink and watercolour on paper

Text can be understood as image when it cannot be ‘read’ in the way that we understand letters to make words, and words to make sentences. Text becomes a series of lines and shapes when it cannot be processed by the reader in the way that the writer had intended. When looking at Arabic, Chinese or Greek text, I understand that there is meaning present in the form of the ‘words’, but I don’t have the key be able to process this meaning as language. Instead, I discover meaning elsewhere; I create in my mind an image-poem.

Backwards text from pages 18 and 19 of Russian Icons (by David Talbot Rice) shown above is an ink drawing of a piece of writing that considers how we read Eastern Iconography. If you were to look carefully enough and could read backwards, you would find the following sentence within the text:

‘….in (Russian) iconography, a distant and purely Eastern system of arrangement is followed, where scenes are built up from right to left, not from left to right. In the Annunciation, for instance, the angel approaches from the right side and not from the left, as it does in Western and in true Byzantine art. In the West, in fact, scenes move from left to right, like the writing; in East they move from right to left, as does the Arabic script…’

‘…In order to appreciate an Eastern painting to the full, we should therefore try to look at it from right to left, rather than from left to right, as we naturally tend to do even if we do not realise it’.

We tend to translate images instinctively, understanding them visually rather than verbally, generating meaning in a way that makes sense to us. It is interesting to consider text in the same way: ingesting it visually, not literarily. Through the ‘translation’ of a section of printed text into a reverse-drawing, it is presented as image and therefore ‘read’ in a very different way. However, the viewer will recognise that the drawing is written text, and, with the time or inclination (and a mirror?), it could be read as the author had intended.

Plate 13 from Russian Icons (by David Talbot Rice) (the image accompanying the reverse-drawing) has also been copied from the book and painted in reverse. Unlike with the written text, the audience is unlikely to realise this. As with an abstract painting that is hung upside down, it might feel wrong, but is it possible to know that is not the right way up? And what might this mean for understanding and knowledge that is gained through the visual?

By Alice Ladenburg

NB: This work was recently selected for HOAX – an independent, artist-led project providing a space in print and online to show all forms of creative work incorporating text alongside each other without prejudice or predefined “rules” about the look, format, content or execution of the work’. See their website for more information.

Tagged

Bodies of Water

chlorine

Photo Credit: fanirfanfan via Compfight cc

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of presenting some of my research to Landscape Surgery. My talk was based on a paper that was read out on my behalf at this year’s AAG annual meeting, as I couldn’t be there myself, so it was wonderful to get feedback on the ideas and engage in discussion with the group.

The title of the session was ‘Bodies of Water: discomfort, unpleasantness, and the complex materialities of the indoor swimming pool.’ My PhD research explores the geographies of lap swimming and the convergence of bodies, materialities, and practices of the indoor swimming pool. In this talk I focused on the materialities of everyday lap swimming practice, with a particular emphasis on elements which may provoke anxiety or discomfort in swimmers: water, chlorine, hair, plasters, snot, sweat, mould…

lifeguard

“the lifeguards at the pool…remind you of the thin line between waving and drowning” (Deakin 2000: 3)
Photo Credit: laszlo-photo via Compfight cc

Thematic points of discussion included:

  • The pool as landscape/what happens when your landscape is effectively reduced to 25 metres of tiled floor?
  • Ideas of comfort/discomfort in the context of exercise and the body (and the sites/environments where this takes place)
  • The role that individual experience, memory, mood, association play on perception of material components / vice versa
  • Ideas around enclosure and intrusion

It was a real privilege to be part of the stimulating discussion that followed the talk, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to present and think through some of my work in such a generous environment. Thanks to all who attended and contributed!

If you’re curious, you can read more about my research here, or visit my research blog.

– Miranda Ward (PhD candidate)

 

Work cited

Deakin, R. (2000), Waterlog, London: Vintage