Author Archives: landscapesurgery

Year 1 Presentations: 29th May 2018

Following on from last weeks post, this weeks Landscape Surgery saw the next round of first year presentations, with each surgeon presenting their PhD research:

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Emily Hopkins: 

Creating the ordinary city: Creative policy and the making of place and community in small cities

The ‘creative city’ continues to be used as a tool in urban development policy, with little sign of abating: 47 cities are now listed as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Creative Cities Network (UNESCO, 2015).  However, studies have focused on the extraordinary narratives of iconic ‘global’ cities, like London, New York and Berlin. My research aims to extend existing ideas on creativity and its social, cultural and economic conceptualisations within urban communities and infrastructures. It counters current foci by attending to the ‘ordinary’ city, as an urbanity that intertwines with creative policy and cultural regeneration decisions, which is increasingly occurring in middle-sized UK cities. The case study is Coventry, a city in the West Midlands of the UK with over 300,000 residents – a place I know well, as my home city. In December 2017, Coventry won the title of UK City of Culture 2021. This will involve a year of cultural and artistic events to entice local civic pride, while attracting millions of pounds worth of regeneration investments, both private and public. This multi-dimensional thesis will use in-depth ethnographic methods and participatory action research to study the vernacular creativity, everyday communities and localised cultural ‘place-making’ processes to evolve discussions on creativity in cities, encouraging the appreciation of ordinary urban space in the midst of regeneration.

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Year 1 Presentations: 22nd May 2018

On Tuesday, Landscape Surgery saw the first round of Year 1 surgeons presenting on their research:

Rachael Utting:

Collecting Leviathan: curiosity, exchange and the British Southern Whale Fishery (1775-1860)

My research project is titled Collecting Leviathan: curiosity, exchange and the British Southern Whale Fishery (1775-1860). The project looks specifically at the collecting activities of whalers and whaling surgeons within the BSWF and at the role played by these individuals in supplying the trade in curiosities in Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. My presupposition is that during the regular layovers for fresh food, water and wood, the whalers also engaged in exchange relations to acquire indigenous artefacts which were retained for personal interest or sold as curiosities upon returning home. By analysing these moments of exchange and encounter through whaling logs, journals, auction house records and public and private correspondence, I propose to build an understanding of the networks of exchange spreading out from the London dockside and thereby enhancing our knowledge and understanding of early British collecting practices. To evidence this, I am reviewing journals (and to a lesser extent) logbooks relating to the BSWF to look for examples of cross cultural trade.

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Introducing New PhD Students 2017/2018!

 Ed Armston-Sheret

Photo of Ed Armston-Sheret

Before starting my PhD, I completed the Local Government Association’s graduate scheme, the NGDP, which consisted of four placements in a host local authority. Prior to this, I worked in Westminster as a researcher for Members of Parliament. In terms of my academic background, I hold a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS, University of London and an MPhil in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge. I have also completed a Diploma in Leadership and Management. My current PhD title is “‘Wild things in wild places’: British cultures of extreme exploration, 1851–1913.” My project, funded by the TECHNE DTP, focuses on British exploration cultures in the 19th and early 20th centuries and their relationship to questions of authority, bodies, science, culture, and identity. I am interested in understanding travel as a process of re-embodiment and in the bodily experience of travel to the variously intangible, inhospitable, and inaccessible environments of ice, mountains, and deserts. I am supervised by Innes M. Keighren and Klaus Dodds. Outside of academia, my hobbies include cooking, jam making, and cycling.

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Ed.Armston-Sheret.2017@live.rhul.ac.uk

Ed Brookes

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Before joining the Royal Holloway family I studied at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2013 with a BA in human geography. With a brief interlude for various jobs and travel excursions it wasn’t until 2015 when I returned to academia, enrolling in the MA Cultural Geography course at Royal Holloway. It was during this time, and with great help from the Geography Department, that I managed to secure a PhD with funding by the ESRC. The PhD (supervised by Dr. Oli Mould and Prof. David Gilbert) is titled ‘Excavating the contemporary urban geographies of Robin Hood Gardens, London’. It aims to explore the social and cultural urban geographies of the Robin Hood Gardens housing estate in East London. It will specifically focus on how the present-day site, and its on-going political contestation, is continually ‘produced’ by historical and layered assemblages of materiality, culture and urban politics. In terms of my wider research foci I am particularly interested in the geographies of home, geographies of architecture and concepts of liminality. With a particular fascination with how individuals create and navigate the spaces in which they live as well as how intimate and ‘everyday’ architectural spaces are linked to a wider urban politics. Looking beyond my academic interests, I fill my time with manufacturing unhealthy baked goods and consuming large amounts of dystopian science fiction.

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Edward.Brookes.2015@live.rhul.ac.uk

Emily Hopkins
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Before my PhD, I undertook a BSc in Geography and a MA in Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway. Looking at urban and creative geographies, my PhD is titled Creating the Ordinary City: Creative Policy and the Making of Place and Community in Small Cities. My main interest is in creative and cultural economies, how these are being adapted and applied to smaller-scale cities, and the impacts this has on city space both materially and socially. I also have interests in creative methodologies. Oli Mould supervises me and Harriet Hawkins is my advisor. Alongside my PhD, I like to draw, cook and explore new places. This year, I’m really looking forward to my role as Project Manager for RHUL’s cultural geography cinema, Passengerfilms. I would also love to do more filmmaking, and to work on ways to support student mental health!

cityascanvas blog

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Prior to starting my PhD, I worked for several third sector organisations. I completed my undergraduate in English with Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, and veered closer to geography in my MSc in Urban Studies at UCL. My project is called Granular Geographies of Endless Growth: Singapore and the Spatial-Cognitive Fix. I am exploring land reclamation in Singapore and sand extraction in Southeast Asia, investigating how Singapore is inscribing its hinterland into itself through its nation-building project. My research is concerned with the integration of political geography and literary theory through employing critical creative writing methods. I am supervised by Phil Crang and co-supervised by Katherine Brickell. Outside of the PhD, I have had my fiction published in Ambit and Myths of the Near Future, and have a pamphlet of fiction forthcoming with Goldsmiths Press.

Frankie Kubicki 

A paper world: the collection & investigation of plant materials for paper making.

Paper is a resource that is all around us. Used for communication, packaging, display, commerce and art, it is arguably the bedrock of civilisation. With a global and ancient history that could span a multiple volume publication, this project will look at a particular period of innovation – in the middle of the nineteenth century – when inventors, botanists and industrialists were driven to find an answer to the shortages they were facing. Limited in production due to a reliance on linen and cotton rags as the base material for paper, growing empire, bureaucracies and industry dictated that demand outstripped supply. Inventors turned to nature as inspiration, and building on the works of experiment in the eighteenth century they looked to new plant fibres to provide the mass of entwined cellulose that paper is made from. Sitting at the intersections of historical geography, history of design, and the history of science and technology, this thesis aims to unite both the cultural and economic factors that shape the history of paper in the nineteenth century. This project will take an expressly material approach, using objects as its base for exploration. The heart of the project therefore is the unrivalled paper collections of the Economic Botany Collection at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. These objects will be the engine for further discoveries raising wider questions concerning the formation of knowledge about raw materials, technologies and commodities.

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Frankie.Kubicki.2018@live.rhul.ac.uk 

 

Saskia Papadakis
Saskia Papadakis
I am a PhD student at Royal Holloway’s Human Geography Department, where I am funded by the SeNSS ESRC consortium. My doctoral research project, ‘Northerners in London: Englishness, place and mobility’, is being supervised by Professor Phil Crang at RHUL and Professor Ben Rogaly at the University of Sussex. My research interests include nationality, culture and identity; the English North-South divide; and transregional migration within England. Through researching the identities and experiences of Northerners who have migrated to London, I aim to contribute to understandings of issues of migration and locality and how they play into the formation of national identities and cultural distinctions. I completed my MA in Social Research at Goldsmiths College in 2017, and I graduated from the University of York in 2014, where I read Sociology. I maintain my links with Goldsmiths through the podcast Surviving Society which I run with Goldsmiths PhD students Chantelle Lewis and Tissot Regis. We aim to contribute to public sociology by discussing current affairs, society and our everyday experiences from a sociological perspective. When I’m not thinking about society, I play the viola, and I’ve recently taken up yoga in an attempt to clear my mind.
Yunting (Tina) Qi
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I am a human geographer with specific interests around (un)skilled transnational migration, emotions and social integration. My PhD  is titled  “Homeland Re-integration: Professional Chinese Returnees to Shanghai, China”, which is supervised by Prof. Katie Willis. This research aims to interrogate how professional returnees (re)integrate into their homeland using the analytical lens of everyday emotional geographies. Based on the primary aim, there are three research question: 1) What kinds of emotions have been highlighted in everyday encounters of professional Chinese returnees? 2) How do professional Chinese returnees perceive “homeland” based on their emotional journeys in transnational and translocal migration? 3) How integrated are professional Chinese returnees to wider Chinese society? Also, this research will consider how governance and the talent policy of China influence returnees’ everyday life and emotions. Before RHUL, I received a Master of Social Sciences from National University of Singapore and a Bachelor of Science from East China Normal University.

Tat-In (Dennis) Tam

Dennis Tam

I am a PhD student in human geography. Prior to being a member of Royal Holloway, I worked as a high school geography teacher and served in the local geography society of Macau. I was responsible for geography education affairs and the International Geographic Olympiad for many years. I obtained my bachelor and master degree in Taiwan and Mainland China respectively. My research is focusing on the flows of migration among Macau and its neighbouring regions both on intra-national and international scale. My PhD is titled ‘The Identity, Social Space and Mobility of Ethnic Minorities in Macau’. Within my research, I attempt to uncover the social integration process, the driving factors and the possible influences of the migration which occurs within Macau from Southeast Asian ethnic minority groups within the last two decades. My research will mainly be supervised by Professor Katie Willis. As a geographer, I love visiting different places. To me, I feel the most interesting way to discover a city is by encountering the city’s social context under the connection with local community in an unintentional way such as by wandering in the city’s streets and lanes.

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Dennis.Tam.2017@live.rhul.ac.uk

Rachael Utting

The project is entitled ‘Collecting Leviathan: curiosity, exchange and the Southern Whale Fleet (1775-1860)’ and is supervised by Professor Felix Driver and is funded by AHRC TECHNE. The project will investigate the collecting of Pacific material culture on whaling voyages associated with the Southern Whale Fishery during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also considers the circulation of artefacts through networks emanating from the docksides of British ports, through auction houses, curiosity shops, gentlemen’s clubs, private collections and ultimately into the ethnographic collections of major museums. The Pacific fleet was active between 1775-1860 and for part of this period was the largest whaling fleet in the world outstripping even that of the North-East Coast of America. Whaling logs, private journals, correspondence and museum collections indicate that during these island layovers, whalers interacted in various ways with local inhabitants, acquiring indigenous artefacts and other objects retained for personal interest or later sale as ‘curiosities’.On returning home, the sailors sold their curios to interested buyers. The docksides of London and other major ports became cultural contact zones due not only to the mixing of ethnically diverse ship’s crews, but also because of this trade in exotic material culture. These artefacts then moved in myriad ways – for example through informal exchange, commercial networks, family inheritance or formal donation – into personal and public museum collections. By analyzing these moments of exchange and encounter through whaling logs, journals, auction house records and public and private correspondence I propose to build an understanding of the networks of exchange spreading out from the London dockside and thereby to enhance our knowledge and understanding of early British collecting practices and the making of ethnographic collections.

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Rachael.Utting.2017@live.rhul.ac.uk

Kim Walker kim_walker_

I previously studied BSc & MSc (Research) in herbal medicine at the University of Westminster. I have been writing & editing popular books on herbal remedies and teaching workshops on plant identification, folklore and remedy making.  I love being outside and see the hedgerows as libraries of knowledge, there is so much to know, see, taste and do with plants and I love to share that with people. I currently live on and off a narrowboat where I take foraging trips and workshops throughout the summer.My interest in plants and plant history led me to work with the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew where my previous research (for MSc dissertation) looked into the development of Eucalyptus as a medicine in the 19th Century. I am now be undertaking my PhD project on another medicinal part of the collection. The Title of my PHD is ‘Biocultural collections and networks of knowledge exchange in the 19th century: the quest for quinine’. Based on the large cinchona collections within the Economic Botany Collection at Kew, this collections based research will trace the networks of exchange, circulation of specimens and key players in this story, shedding light upon the development of this important anti-malarial. A collaboration with Royal Holloway,. I am supervised by Felix Driver (RHUL) and Mark Nesbitt (RBG, Kew).

 

 

David Williams

David Williams

Shared Sacred Space in the Byzantine Mediterranean. Byzantium and the Latin West.

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David.Williams.2014@live.rhul.ac.uk

Nina Willment

Nina Willment.jpg

Hi I’m Nina. Before completing my PhD, I completed the BA Geography and MA Cultural Geography courses at Royal Holloway. The current title of my PhD is ‘Geographies of the creative workplace: the case of British travel bloggers’ and I am supervised by Philip Crang and David Gilbert. My research seeks to advance understanding of contemporary work cultures within the creative economy through an empirical case study of British travel bloggers. My project’s primary interest is in the working lives and workplaces of these travel bloggers but it will also aim to contribute to research literature on the wider politics and economics of creative labour and the geographies of travel writing. As a result, my research will pay particular attention to: travel blogger’s constructions of their creative careers; the aesthetic, affective, curatorial and aspirational components of their work; and their varied workspaces. It also aims investigate how travel bloggers’ navigate the insecure political economy of their industry. I’m the events manager for the Royal Geographical Society Postgraduate Forum and venues manager for Passengerfilms. Outside of my PhD, my favourite thing to do is to travel the world. I also enjoy upcycling furniture, drinking wine and anything to do with dachshunds.

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Nina.Willment.2013@live.rhul.ac.uk 

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Work/Now: A Workshop on Labour and Life

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On Tuesday 6th Feb, Bedford Square was transformed into a space of lively discussion for the first in the series of the Work/Now workshops, entitled WORK/NOW: a workshop on labour and life. Organised by Katy Lawn and I, this first workshop focused on key debates and issues on studies of work and the workplace. Open to scholars of all disciplines, the event sought to encourage creative ideas, discussions and interventions around questions of: How does work use elements of life itself in its logics? How do we work now? Where do we work now? And, what does it mean to work, now?

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RGS-IGB Postgraduate Forum Mid-term Conference 2018

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Back in April, Royal Holloway, University of London had the pleasure of holding the RGS-IGB Postgraduate Forum Mid-term conference! Blessed with unseasonably beautiful weather, we welcomed nearly 100 PhD students and early career researchers to leafy Egham! It was great to have so many people make the journey to us from across the globe join us for a few days of amazing conference presentations, posters, workshops, keynote speeches and all around great company! (In addition to what we hope was great food and drinks and that 100% Instagram-able Founders pic!)

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Englishness, Nationalism, Brexit.

Saskia and Jeremy

Image courtesy of Ed Brookes.

This week’s Landscape Surgery was convened by Saskia Papadakis (RHUL) and Jeremy Brown (RHUL in conjunction with the British Library) and was entitled Englishness, Nationalism, Brexit. The  session focused on historical and contemporary understandings of ‘Englishness’ and how nationalism continues to influence British politics.

Prior to the session, surgeons were invited to read Michèle Cohen’s paper (2001) ‘The Grand Tour. Language, National Identity and Masculinity’. Jeremy began by explaining how the paper explores changing attitudes to concepts of ‘Englishness’ and masculinity in relation to the notions of the Grand Tour in the 18th Century. Surgeons were then also invited to consider Satnam Virdee and Brendan McGeever’s paper (2017), ‘Racism, Crisis, Brexit’. Summarised by Saskia who highlights how the paper positions racism within England at the centre of debates around what may have led Brexit in the UK. Surgeons were then asking to note down three key words which we felt highlighted the relationship between the texts. A selection of these words are present within the word-cloud below:

LS Word Cloud

Following this, we broke off into smaller groups and were asked to consider the following pairs of questions and to feedback our thoughts and ideas to the wider group as a whole:

Firstly, Group 1 were asked to consider the idea of ‘is the nation-state a useful category of analysis/unit of space?’. Group 1 began with the provocation of can you afford to vacate the nation state? If you do vacate the nation-state, then do you leave it as a political weapon? This led to a consideration of questions around issues of strategic nationalism and the idea of the potential of the nation-state as a bottom up power. Group 1 also raised the idea of the limitations of the nation state as a unit of analysis being linked to the idea of the nation state being a bounded space that we want to imagine as sealed. This lead to subsequent discussion of the idea of the EU as trying to complicate the unitary nature of the nation state. Following this, the group introduced the idea of the known territory and ideas of the city state juxtaposed against the imagined community of the nation state to examine how the nation state may be limited as a category of analysis by the fact that is constantly either too big or too small. The discussion concluded on the evocative nature of the nation-state and the conclusion that the state-of-feeling surrounding the nation-state contributes to the problems of using the nation state as a useful category of analysis or unit of space.

Group 1 were then asked the question ‘what does ‘Britishness’ mean to them?‘. Discussion was ignited by dialogue describing how when this question has been asked previously, answers had usually involved stereotypes and consumption based activities. This raised additional questions surrounding the idea of ‘Britishness’ as a shared cultural way of life or ‘Britishness’ as an aesthetic. It was also noted how many responses to this question are intertwined with personal biographies such as personal migration histories.

Group 2 explored the question ‘can a national identity be constructed without an imagined outsider’. Group 2 deconstructed this question by asking what is truly meant by an outsider. They also considered what would happen if the question asked of an imagined other instead of outsider. The group then moved on to discuss issues such as if national identity is constructed or performed and if this performance of national identity can ultimately be disentangled from geographical imaginations. 

Group 2 were then to asked ‘Does the UK still serve a purpose‘. Following this, Group 2 noted how they felt that the answer to this question was dependant on what the group took the word ‘purpose’ to mean. Discussion then turned to potential imaginative future of the UK in a world of degrowth and ideas around the concept of the UK and territorial containers. Group 2 concluded on dialogue surrounding imaginary alternative futures such as giant bureaucracy and how these may effect embedded in ways of thinking about the world. 

Finally, Group 3 had to explore ‘when did Englishness/Britishness first begin’. In response to this question, discussion was ignited surrounding when the Act of Union was officially enacted, the historical background of the concept and the different incursions of the term throughout history. Group 3 then highlighted how this question is usually addressed by historians or politicians retrospectively. 

Discussion from this session ended with Group 3 contemplating the question of ‘is it possible to imagine a positive future post-Brexit’. Deliberation on the idea of a positive future post-Brexit was hard-pressed but amounted to ideas of damage limitation and the potential of the UK nation-state to move away from some of the EU’s neoliberal, bureaucratic problems. However, discussion ended on the point that the UK would be hard-pressed to change any of these problems following Brexit.

This commentary spurred a whole group conversation around how the lived experience of Europe, evidenced within Grand Tour narratives, has been enacted within contemporary Europe and how this may change in light of Brexit. Practices that cultivate Europe as a space such as the expat community and cross-European exchange schemes were used as evidence for this.

The session concluded on us all personally reflecting on how the issues discussed within the session may directly impact our research. We were challenged to summarise this in just 7 words! The 7 word sentences generated were extremely varied but highlighted the potential impact and influence the session had on surgeon’s research. We would like to thank Saskia and Jeremy for such a wonderful session.

Reflection

Image courtesy of Ed Brookes

Nina Willment

Flow and the City: Adam Badger

 

AB1If a picture really can tell a thousand words, then Edgar Allan Poe’s Man of the Crowd could be depicted in just over three and a half images. Although clearly metaphorical, it does highlight the power of the image in cultural forms and debates. The geographical literature on visual methods is far too big and better written than anything I could pen for me to bother condensing into this small space. So I just won’t.

What follows, is a collection of images captured on one psychogeographical wondering through Brixton, on one dark and wet night a couple of years ago. Obsessed at the time with the notion of ‘flow’ and it’s place in the city, these present a mix of long and short exposure images that hopefully play with the idea of stasis conjured by the photographer – why is it when we take photographs we so often stand still? None of them have names because I don’t want to taint your judgement of the image, of what it is – and also because I’m terrible with names.

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‘Urban detours: play, performance, politics’

27653443_10155422464308693_1111895170_oIn this week’s landscape surgery we are taken on a tour of London organised by the ‘Urban Detours Guide Team’ (Cecile Sachs Olsen, Hattie Coppard and Jonathan Moses). They invite us to take part in a ‘walkshop’ and explore urban space in alternative and creative ways, as we play with its meaning, content and context.  The tour takes the form of a ‘sound-walk’, walking silently through the city in order to embrace sounds and experiences as they happen. We are given three rules:

  • No Speaking
  • Follow The Instructions
  • Play Along

What follows is a series of text and images that attempt to document part of our experience as we delve into the various textures, smells and audiovisual registers that the city produces.

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MA students visit the RGS-IBG

MA students in the archive

On 5 February, the MA Cultural Geography (Research) students were introduced to the holdings of the RGS-IBG. Following a series of talks from current (and recent) CDA researchers, the students spent time investigating the journals and logbooks of Foley Vereker. In what follows, the students offer their reflections on their experience.

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Roundtable: the materialities of geographical representation

 

Roundtable

Image Courtesy of Ed Brookes

On Tuesday this week, Landscape Surgery were fortunate enough to host Tania Rossetto (University of Padua, Itlay), Luciana Martins (Birbeck University) and Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes). The three led a panel session on the materialities of geographical representations, with a specific focus on their ongoing research on maps, films, photography, drawing, and lantern slides, and broader methodological issues.

Picture3Image Courtesy of Pavel Fric/ Yvonne Fricova

The session began with Luciana discussing her work on Guido Boggiani and the Caduveo body painting. Luciana described how she works through the visual archive of expeditionary travel and the distinct forms of visual culture implicit within European travels in South America (1850-1950). She aims to bring exploration photography and film into dialogue with expeditionary drawing. She also describes how she seeks to explore the embodied experience of image making in expedition and the ‘dialogical aspect’ of image making which occurs through cross-cultural interaction in the field and the editing and re-editing of these images through new contexts of storage and display. Luciana began by describing her first encounter with the Caduveo images in an exhibition of images, drawings and postcards of the Caduveo at the Museu Historico de Pantanal Corumba.

Picture4Image Courtesy of Pavel Fric/ Yvonne Fricova

Luciana then traced the process of transformation of Caduveo body painting into the ethnographic and material work of Guido Boggiani. Boggiani drew many sketches of the Caduveo and their body paint. Following Boggiani’s death, German ethnologist Robert Lehmann-Nitsche published Boggiani’s photographs in a postcard series. Lehmann-Nitche however believed he needed to adjust and calibrate these images in order for these postcards to fufil their role in the circuit of the visual economy of ethnographic types. Luciana used these postcards to begin her discussion into how the body painting of the Caduveo has been re-embodied and re-materialised as it moved from skin to paper to tiles, ceramics and fashion.

Lantern Slides 2

Image Courtesy of Ed Brookes

Next, Emily began her presentation by distributing a variety of lantern slides, asking us to engage with them and ask questions of our interactions with the medium; how they looked, how they felt, what we thought of them. This opened up her discussion of the role of lantern slides in the history and development of the RGS and the geographies of geography. Through a focus on the lantern slide, Emily discussed the implication of material objects in shaping both the RGS and the wider body of geography. Emily discussed how during the 19th century, lantern slides were used to both educate and entertain. As a result, Emily explained that the medium transformed who the geographer was and could be, through the presence of the lantern slide in scientific, mixed audience and children’s lantern slide lecture series at the RGS. These lectures shaped and diversified the demographic studying geography and lantern slides were often the centrepiece of these discussions. 

Lantern Slide

Image Courtesy of Ed Brookes

Emily then went on to highlight how lantern slides afforded experiences of wonder and virtual travel to increasingly wide audiences within the RGS and beyond and therefore the implication of lantern slides in the reconfiguring of time and space. Emily concluded with a discussion of her work in re-mediating the lantern slide within the digital world through her cataloguing, photographing and image editing of 1000 lantern slides from the RGS-IBG collections to LUCERNA ((https://www.slides.uni-trier.de).

Map Tracing

Image Courtesy of Ed Brookes

Finally, Tania introduced us to her research which applies the ‘pragmatic speculative realism’ proposed by Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology to the realm of cartography. She explained how her work is inspired by an object-orientated philosophy to propose an ontography of maps. Tania highlighted how this object-orientated approach can contribute to map studies but also how an object-orientated cartographic theorization can contribute to ideas of speculative realism. In passing around map-like objects, Tania asked us to consider how the explosion of geovisual devices and practices is profoundly changing the profile of cartography within society and has meant that cartography has somehow receded into the background. Tania therefore proposed that a more explicit object-orientated approach to maps should be adopted as emergent cartography remains concentrated on human knowledge, action and use. Map theory has therefore not yet attempted to put cartographic objects in the foreground and therefore Tania described how her object orientated approach can allow the anonymous lives and various spatialities of cartographic objects to be made visible.  Tania also discussed her use of photographic and visual methods, which she feels allow the map to give back its experience of being touched.

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Image Courtesy of Tania Rossetto

The subsequent discussion session ranged from questions of the ‘cragginess’ of material culture vs the ‘repulsiveness’ of digital culture, the uses and limitations of digital methods, the role of geographers as peddlers of illusion, the responsibility of digital restoration and the role of the interface in object materialities. We would like to thank Luciana, Tania and Emily for leading such a lively and well received session. We wish them all the best with their ongoing research and hope to welcome them back to a Landscape Surgery session in the near future!

edit: We would very much like to thank Emily Hayes for clarifying her work with the cataloguing and image editing of lantern slides. The blog had previously incorrectly stated that Emily’s work involved the ‘uploading of
some of the 20,000 lantern slides owned by the RGS to LUCERNA: the
Magic Lantern Web resource platform.’ In fact, Emily work involves the ‘cataloguing, photographing and image editing of 1000 lantern slides from the RGS-IBG collections to LUCERNA
(https://www.slides.uni-trier.de)’. The society estimates that there are approximately 20,000 slides in the society’s holdings overall and other individuals were involved in the actual uploading of the images. We would like to thank Emily for clarifying this and for bringing this mistake to our attention. We would also like to apologise for any inconvenience this error caused.

 

 

Nina Willment

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