Author Archives: simoniancook

CFP RGS-IBG 2017 – Teaching Mobilities

Jographies

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017: London, 29th August – 1st September 2017

 Convenors: Peter Adey (Royal Holloway, University of London), Justin Spinney (Cardiff University), and Simon Cook (Royal Holloway, University of London).

 CFP – Teaching mobilities: practice, pedagogies, power

Geographers are well attuned to mobilities – everyday mobilities that constitute our social lives, permitting social reproduction and subverting rules and restrictions to reassert people’s rights to public space; international mobilities that speak to the precarity of our current times, from a global migration crisis, war-torn displacement to eviction; mobilities that comprise expressive cultural practices and movements or perform deep-rooted histories of cultural identity.. Mobilities pervade our research and understandings of the world.

But how do we, or could we teach mobilities? Is mobility, as a concept or concrete example, something we can easily convey or does it offer particular difficulties or opportunities for engaging students?  Are the multiple…

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Upcoming Event: TOXIC MATERIALITIES – Where Heaven Meets Hell

News of the next Passengerfilms event on Monday 29th February. There’s a stellar panel lined up to discuss toxic materialities and the stunning film by Sasha Friedlander: Where Heaven Meets Hell (2012). Join us if you can.

passengerfilms

Join us for a screening of Sasha Friedlander’s stunning film ‘Where Heaven Meets Hell’ (2012), and an exploration of toxic materialities presented by Passengerfilms in collaboration with followthethings.com

Indonesia’s stunningly beautiful Kawah Ijen volcano, a popular tourist spot, belches smoke hundreds of feet into the air. Through the smoke tourists can see men carrying heavy baskets on their shoulders. These contain blocks of bright yellow sulphur chipped from the volcano’s smouldering slopes, destined to help make a range of everyday stuff from matches and fertilizer to cosmetics and sugar. Sulphur dioxide gas is thick in the air. It corrodes the miners’ lungs and the filmmaker’s cameras. Winner of multiple documentary film awards, Where Heaven Meets Hell provides not only a vivid insight into the harsh industrial landscapes of resource extraction but also prompts wider questions about the toxic materialities of our modern consumer cultures.

PF Toxic Materialities-POSTER-page-001

The film screening will be followed…

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Upcoming event: ‘Cities of Void’ and the apocalypse in film

News of the next Passengerfilms event. It’s on the 11 August and titled ‘Cities of Void’ – an event looking at the apocalypse in film.

Follow the links for more information.

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PFCitiesOfVoid

When: Tuesday August 11th, 7PM-10PM.

Where: JetLag Bar, W1T 6QB London (directions)

How much: £5 at the door – no reservation required.

This screening event focuses on an emerging cultural interest in post-apocalyptic space across literature, film, video gaming and academic scholarship. This growing interest is developed in the light of climate change and current economic crises.

The fascination with the dystopian is looked at through the lens of two videos shedding different light on the meaning of the apocalyptic. The first is the 1971 science-fiction feature The Omega Man (directed by Boris Sagal) which follows an immune scientist as he fights his way through deserted Los Angeles after it has been struck by a biological warfare.

The second, the award-winning typographic short film Apocalypse Rhyme (2014) by visual artist Oliver Harrison, reveals an already-present and slowly-evolving state of apocalypse.

The two films will be followed by a…

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15th July – ‘Dis/Locations’ event on changing experiences of East London

Details of the next Passengerfilms’s have been published over at their website. This event is on the 15th July and is called ‘Dis/Locations’. The evening will explore the changing experiences of East London through film. poetry, song and music with Under the Cranes (2011) as the feature film and a panel discussion including Michael Rosen, Emma-Louise Williams, Owen Davey and Tom Wilkinson.

The event is a collaboration with LIVINGMAPS and A-Team Arts. More details about the event and ticket information can be found in the reblogged post.

Hope you can join us!

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We are delighted to be collaborating with LIVINGMAPS and A-Team Artson Wednesday the 15th of July for a unique event of film and discussion, reflecting on the changing cultural landscapes and lived experiences that are ‘East London’. 

The evening reflects on poetry, song and music as the preservers of place-memory; and focuses on economic change, the architecture of the urban landscape, regeneration and belonging through a mix of creative and documentary footage, archive and spoken word to create a multisensory quality of place-experience.

The ‘Dis/Locations’ programme will include three shorts: ‘Hackney Lullabies’ (2011) by director Kyoko Miyake, Robey (2014) by Craig Bilham & Owen Davey (video-strolls.com) and ‘Robin Hood Gardens: Requiem for a Dream’ (2014) directed by James English. The feature film ‘Under the Cranes’ (2011) will be presented by director Emma-Louise Williams (film-maker, radio-producer) and script-writer Michael Rosen (poet, broadcaster and author). Presenters Emma-Louise Williams, Michael…

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The Art of Skating

Hannah Awcock provides a brief run down of the Art of Skating event, which marked the start of Passengerfilms’ 2015 programme. The event was full of Surgeons – curated by Oli Mould and hosted by Harriet Hawkins.

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The first Passengerfilms of 2015 had a great turnout (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser.) The first Passengerfilms of 2015 had a great turnout (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser).

Tuesday night saw the launch of Passengerfilm’s 2015 programme in the Jetlag Bar, Fitzrovia. The title of the evening, curated by Dr. Oli Mould, was The Art of Skating. The evening began with a showing of Blue Line, a short film that follows skateboarders as they move through the urban landscape. The feature film wasBeautiful Losers, a documentary about a group of American artists who became famous for their ‘do-it-yourself’ style of street art in the 1990s. A short film calledXerox and Destroy was also shown, about the Photocopy Club, an unconventional exhibition of skateboard photography. The discussion after the screenings was chaired by Dr. Harriet Hawkins (Royal Holloway, University of London), and featured Professor Iain Borden (Bartlett School, UCL), Marc Valée, a documentary filmmaker, and Sabina Andron (Bartlett School, UCL).

The films shown focused around art and skateboarding (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser). The films…

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Introducing Simon Cook – PhD Student

Hello Surgeons!

I officially joined the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group as a PhD student in October this year, and although not technically new to the department or to the blog, I am here to introduce myself as part of a series of new students saying ‘Hello world’.

CookSimon

Personal Profile

I joined the Department of Geography at RHUL in 2013 to undertake the MA in Cultural Geography and have since stayed on the do my PhD under the expert supervision of Professor Pete Adey. Prior to this I was based in the wonderful School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at Plymouth University from 2010 – 2013 where I really gained my enthusiasm and passion for human geography. My postgraduate studies are funded by an ESRC 1+3 studentship.

Research Interests 

I am a human geographer with broad interests that transect social, cultural and transport geography. My principle research enthusiasms include:

  • Running geographies
  • Corporeal mobilities
  • Active transport
  • Connections between transport geography and mobilities research
  • Intersections of transport, sport and leisure practices
  • The revitalisation of sport geographies
  • Mobilities design
  • Mobile methods
  • Public geographies/engagement

My research concerns a range of banal and mobile practices that occur in public spaces and their importance for street-level politics, urban design, the experiences and meanings of everyday life as well as understandings of place, space and mobility. I am intrigued by practices that cross-boundaries, that can simultaneously be transport and leisure modes and the tensions that these can conjure up. I also hold a wider interest in methodological innovation and public geographies. All these curiosities are currently manifest in my PhD study that is a broad project exploring the mobile practice of running with a specific focus on run-commuting and running’s potential as a transport mode. This project is provisionally titled Run-Commuting in the City: Movement, Meaning and Experience and seeks to 1) understand the emerging practice of run-commuting, 2) assess its potential as a transport mode, and 3) explore what can be done to encourage the practice.

Run-Commuters.  Thanks to Gareth Lewis for the image.

Run-Commuters.
Thanks to Gareth Lewis for the image.

Contact Details

If you want to find out more about my work and discuss any of it with me (and please do), there are a range of ways to follow my research and contact me:

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Running as Transport

Jographies

The Perils of Commuting 

Trains hey. Love them but they are not the most reliable and certainly susceptible to “inconveniences” being caused. Yesterday I had a stark reminder of this. My journey back from Royal Holloway to Guildford requires two changes, fortunately I was offered a lift to the first change en route and was looking forward to getting home earlier than anticipated.

O how naive.

Due to the very sad occurrence of someone being hit by a train, I had an hour wait for a train to arrive to take me the 10 minutes from Weybridge to Woking. Upon alighting, I was faced with another hour wait for my connecting train to Guildford – again a ten minute journey. With no buses running that late, I had a choice between waiting for the train or paying for a taxi.

In the end, I decided to run. A route I…

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A Public Conversation about Public Geographies: Introducing the Series

A brief introduction to a series of posts I am writing over at my blog about public geographies, reflecting on a twitter conversation that occurred back in October. Future posts will take a focus on a different theme emanating from the conversation and other thoughts regarding doing public geographies and the impact agenda.

Jographies

Recently (well it was recently when I started writing this post – it has been in the draft stages for quite a while now) I was involved in a twitter conversation about the idea and practice of public geographies. Whilst geographers have long been interested in geography-in-public there is currently a reinvigorated and lively debate about the topic. The full conversation has been storifyed and is available here.

This ongoing discussion, that began with Duncan Fuller’s and Kye Askins’ 2007 paper, is interrogating what public geographies means, what challenges and opportunities does it present, what geography-in-public should be and what responsibilities do researchers have to make geography public. A good chunk of this dialogue has revolved around digital scholarship and the enhanced opportunities that social media platforms offer academics to make their work public.

Public geographies was the subject matter of a seminar I attended for my MA Cultural Geography

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