Category Archives: Conferences

Welcome to Warsaw: 17th ICHG Conference 2018

Stara_Biblioteka,_Warszawa,_Krakowskie_Przedmieście_26_28Warsaw University, Old Library

The triennial International Conference of Historical Geographers is a truly international gathering of scholars whose interests lie at the intersection of the temporal and the spatial.  This year the conference, which attracted participants from 39 countries, was held at the University of Warsaw, Poland, from July 15-20. To give some idea of the scale of ICHG 2018, there were 106 thematic sessions giving 365 papers on subjects ranging from the medieval to the digital, from the Crusades to the Cold War, and from mining to memes.

IMG_0962Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, Market Place, Old Town, Warsaw

The conference was launched on the evening of Sunday July 15 with the keynote address given by our own Felix Driver in the picturesque setting of the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in the Old Town.  Warsaw’s Old Town has itself a remarkable historical geography: first established in the 13th century, much of it was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War and meticulously rebuilt using, wherever possible, the original materials.  Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it can be seen as a symbol both of Polish resilience and nationhood.  Felix spoke on the theme of “Biography and geography: from the margins to the centre,” in which he outlined the advantages of adopting a biographical approach to the writing of historical geography.

The rest of the week took place in the elegant former library building of Warsaw University, an institution which dates from 1816.  There we were generously fed and watered four times a day, and what a difference that can make to overall morale, motivation and energy levels!  A series of daily plenary talks began on Monday July 16 with Karen Morin’s sense- and thought-provoking “Prisoners and Animals: An Historical Carceral Geography,” an exploration of the linkages between human and non-human incarceration spaces and practices.  Another highlight of Day One was the roundtable discussion “Maps and Stories: What does the future look like for historical geographers?” chaired by former Landscape Surgeon David Lambert. From Miles Ogborn’s signal discussion of the limitations of current digital formats deployed in the publication of historical geographies (“Trapped in PDF world”), to Maria Lane’s advocacy of “slow scholarship,” David Bodenhamer’s revelations on the potential of “deep maps,” Jo Norcup’s call for greater intersectionality, and concluded by David Lambert’s consideration of the future for “exhibitionary geographies,” alternative approaches to our disciplinary practice were offered up for further discussion and consideration.

Our Kew session—“Biocultural Collections in Circulation”— took place on the afternoon of the same day.  Chaired by Felix Driver, with Michael Bravo as the discussant, the three papers shared the common themes of Kew Gardens’ collections and object circulation, but beyond that were significantly different in their respective foci: Keith Alcorn began with his analysis of plant and seed circulation from Kew over the extended period from the “Banksian era” to the state-funded Kew of the mid-nineteenth century; Felix and I, reflecting the research conducted in the course of the “Mobile Museum” research project, spoke of the motives, modes and meanings of distributions of objects from Kew’s Museum of Economic Botany in the 19th and 20th centuries; and Luciana Martins concluded the session with reflections on the ethnobotanical collecting practices of explorer Richard Spruce, and on the relevance of his legacy for present-day inhabitants of the Rio Negro region of Brazil.  We are thankful to Michael Bravo for his comments, which we all found helpful for the further development of our papers, and to the audience for their active interest and questions.

Echoing the theme of our session, the following day saw the double session “Mobility and the archive,” chaired by David Beckingham.  And the mobility of knowledge also emerged as a theme in Ruth Craggs’ and Hannah Neate’s session later in the week, “Global Histories of Geography 1930-1990,” in which we were invited to consider the question, “How do we globalise histories of geography?”

POLINPOLIN, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw

The programme of talks and papers was intersected mid-week by a day of field trips.  My choice was the Warsaw Jewish History Tour beginning at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a museum opened in 2013 and curated by Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimlett.  The museum celebrates 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland and commemorates the injustices perpetrated on the Jewish community on Polish soil.  I think we all had a greater understanding of both by the day’s end.

After a stimulating week of listening, thinking and talking, the conference ended on the announcement that the next conference, in 2021, will take place in Rio de Janeiro.  Até no Rio!

Caroline Cornish

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RGS-IGB Postgraduate Forum Mid-term Conference 2018


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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RGS-IBG Mid Term Conference 2018: Call For Papers


The next RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference is being held at
Royal Holloway, University of London over the 18th-20th April 2018.

Hosted by PhD students in the Department of Geography, this event provides a great opportunity for postgraduate students to present their research and discuss new ideas in a relaxed, friendly and supportive environment.

Postgraduates from all stages of their research are welcome to present, and the conference provides an ideal opportunity for first-time presenters, or those preparing for other conferences or their PhD Viva. If you want an opportunity to practice your presenting skills or to network with fellow postgraduate geographers, this event aims to foster a relaxed and informal space to discuss your research, offering a diverse and often interdisciplinary array of topics.

On top of a packed programme of paper and poster presentations, the registration fee (£60) will also include: workshops, keynote speeches, research working group meet and greet sessions, a drinks reception and three-course meal on the Thursday evening.


The call for papers is currently open, and the conference invites any submissions from postgraduate researchers from all areas of geography, proposals may focus around a specific paper or chapter, a research project or thesis more generally, or topics relating to research methods and fieldwork (whether successful or challenging).

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words along with four keywords, your full name and university, and your intention to present a poster or paper to by no later than Friday 19th January 2018.

To find out more and apply please visit the conference website the

Please follow  @RGSmidterm2018 for more information and regular updates.

If you have any additional enquiries regarding the conference, feel free to contact the organisers at:


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Radical Cities, Radical Narratives

Radical Cities.pngImage Courtesy of Emily Hopkins

Radical Cities, Radical Narratives was an inter-disciplinary conference held by English and the Centre for the GeoHumanities on October 20th 2017.  I was really lucky to be invited onto the Radical Cities, Radical Narratives conference committee alongside Laurie, Serge, Ahmed and Gareth from the RHUL Department of English. The conference wanted to attract academic work that dealt with the themes of both narrative form and practice in relation to the social, material and aesthetic contemporary city.

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Notes on a Conference: RHUL Geographers at the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Midterm Conference 2017

As a first-time conference go-er, I was admittedly pretty nervous when I jumped on the train to Cardiff. Holding my prompt cards in one hand and my phone in the other, I found myself running through Paddington station at 9am with my (two!) backpacks, voice-recording my slightly-out-of-breath self reciting my presentation in preparation for the conference. This was not the picture of serenity I had hoped I would embody, but it did (and still does) make for quite an amusing listening experience.

In hindsight, I wish I’d have been able to relax a little more. Because the first thing to say about the RGS PG Midterm conference, is that it is very friendly; and very supportive. People had said this to me before, Continue reading

Royal Holloway’s AAG Participants 2017


USS Constitution in Boston – “Old Ironside” Image Credit/Source

Royal Holloway University of London Geography Department AAG Participants 2017

The preliminary programme for AAG is now out and the following are links for you to see who from the department is doing what!

Adey, Peter – Royal Holloway, University of London


Authors Meet Critics: Life in the Age of Drone Warfare — Discussant
Exploring the Modular, Material and Performative Politics of Security (3) — Panelist

Brickell, Katherine – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: Feminist Geolegalities


Feminist Political Geographies 5: Resistance and Social Movements — Presenter
The makeshifts of evictions, occupations and resistance — Panelist

Burke, Miriam – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: Threads, ties and tangles: exploring the idea of ‘more than human’ social reproduction as a means to cultivate caring practices for the climate using participatory art practices.


Feminist approaches to a changing climate — Organizer, Presenter

Cook, Simon – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: Stopping on the move: tales from the run-commute


Mobile bodies, technologies and methods: critical perspectives — Discussant
Mobile dwelling 1: Labouring — Presenter

Crawford, Daniel – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: Apophatic Geographies


Into the Void III: Supernatural — Presenter

Dodds, Klaus – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: Dredging up the volume: China, earthly engineering and the projection of geopower in the South China Sea


(Extra)territoriality Part I: Occupation, disputed territory, and geopolitics — Presenter
Colin Flint’s “Geopolitical Constructs The Mulberry Harbours, World War II, and the Making of a Militarized Transatlantic” Panel Discussion — Panelist

Duggan, Mike – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: Tuning a sense of place 


Mobile dwelling 3: Spacing — Presenter

Hawkins, Harriet – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: Four Voids


Feminist approaches to a changing climate — Chair
Into the Void V: Disintegrated — Presenter
Mary Gilmartin’s “Ireland and migration in the twenty-first century”-Panel Discussion — Chair, Organizer
Sense as a field’s experience in geography of arts: methods and tools, positionality and teaching — Discussant
Zine stations: craft & play your way through AAG — Chair, Organizer

Mould, Oli – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: The Seven Ethics of Urban Subversion


Emancipatory Horizons of an Urban Century: Interrupting the Anthropo-Obscene — Presenter
How to think about cities? — Panelist
Protest Camps: Politics of Care and Social Reproduction in contemporary social movement politics — Panelist

Robinson, Nicholas – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: How to Backup your Nation-State in a Digital Era: The Estonian Data Embassy


Curating (in)security: Unsettling Geographies of Cyberspace (1) — Presenter

Simon, David – Royal Holloway, University Of London


Can African urbanism break cycles of disaster risk accumulation? — Panelist
CITY Panel II: Capitalisation and Materiality: post-colonial thought and urban-rural revolts — Panelist
The adaptation-development nexus: megacity transitions from resilience to transformation — Discussant

Stansfeld, Katherine – Royal Holloway

Abstract: The limits of place? Boundaries and multiplicity in north-east London


More than lines on a map? Rethinking neighborhoods and regions — Presenter

Thornton, Pip – Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract: a critique of linguistic capitalism (and an artistic intervention)


Author doesn’t meet the critics: Gilbert Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects — Panelist
Curating (in)security: Unsettling Geographies of Cyberspace (1) — Organizer
Curating (in)security: Unsettling Geographies of Cyberspace (2) — Organizer, Presenter

CFP: Labour and life: changing geographies of the workplace

Call for Papers for the Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference, 29 Aug – 1 Sep 2017, London, UK.

Session sponsored by the Economic Geography Research Group.
Labour and life: changing geographies of the workplace
This session will reflect on changes to capitalist work, its spatial constitution, and the consequent relations between labour and life. Classic accounts of the capitalist labour process emphasised disciplinary power, exercised through workplaces bounded in time and space, and producing a degradation of both work and workers (Braverman 1974; Wright 2006). Today, organisational theorists emphasise a capitalist ‘biocracy’ in which a range of life abilities are ‘put to work’ through the blurring of boundaries between work and non-work spaces, times and identities (Fleming 2014; Gregg 2011). Far from heralding a new halcyon era of creative labour, for some these developments have gone hand in hand with growing precarity, intensified labour exploitation and a suffocating ideology of work.
These arguments over changing relations between labour and life need critical engagement. In particular, geographical scholarship usefully resists all-encompassing accounts of changing capitalist work cultures, instead focusing on how the organisation and experience of work are shaped by particular and varying workplace geographies. The geographies of workplaces have been a recurrent but underexplored aspect of labour geographies (e.g. Castree 2007; Crang 1994; Henry & Massey 1995; Kanngieser 2013; McDowell 2009; McMorran 2012; Stein 1995). This session will foreground current scholarship in this area. The intention is for two ‘modules’ with four presentations in each. Potential foci for contributions include:
•  The theorisation of workplace geographies;
•  Workplaces as sites of discipline and / or biopower;
•  Workplaces as sites of pleasure and vitality;
•  Digital socio-materialities and the re-making of workplace geographies;
•  Workplace architectures and affective atmospheres;
•  Labour resistance and the politics of ‘anti-work’;
•  Gendered geographies of the workplace;
•  Creative methods for researching working life.
Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words to Philip Crang, via email at, by 7 February 2017. We will endeavour to contact all abstract authors with a response by 13 February.
Adam Badger, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. Email:
Philip Crang, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. Email: (corresponding convenor)
Katy Lawn, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. Email:

CFP: Networks of Knowledge: Communicating Geographical Knowledge in the Long Nineteenth Century

Call for Papers
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, 29 August–1 September 2017.

Lecture Theatre

Networks of Knowledge: Communicating Geographical Knowledge in the Long Nineteenth Century

Sponsored by the Historical Geography Research Group

Convened by: Benjamin Newman, Royal Holloway, University of London & Royal Geographical Society (w. IBG) & Innes M. Keighren, Royal Holloway, University of London.

The long nineteenth century witnessed a spike in the production and dissemination of geographical knowledge—a consequence of imperialism and scientific exploration on the one hand, and of improvements in the technologies of print and visual illustration on the other. Whether in the guise of thrilling accounts of heroic “discovery”, or more mundane records of empirical observation, such geographical knowledge was communicated to growing popular and professional audiences through books, periodicals, illustrated lectures, and exhibitions. The development of geographical societies and disciplinary periodicals during this period facilitated the dissemination of knowledge through institutional networks.

In recent years, historical geographers and historians of science have been concerned with the role of institutional networks in the circulation and consumption of knowledge, and with how local circumstances influence the mobility and reception of ideas (Finnegan, 2016; Keighren, 2010; Ogborn, 2010; Rupke, 1999; Secord, 1999; Withers, 2010). It is in relation to such work that we invite historical geographers and allied scholars to present current research concerned with the dissemination of geographical and related knowledge. We welcome papers that consider, among other things, geography’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century print culture, its performed oral traditions, and the technological advancements that encouraged the spread of knowledge to domestic and international audiences, both lay and specialised. Papers dealing with the role of speech, print, image, and object are particularly welcome.

Please submit abstracts (250 words max) to Ben Newman ( and Innes Keighren (, along with a title and author details, by 10 February, 2017.


The city of San Francisco. Birds eye view from the bay looking south-west. Library of Congress (G4364.S5A3 1878 .P3).

The city of San Francisco. Birds eye view from the bay looking south-west. Library of Congress (G4364.S5A3 1878 .P3).

The preliminary programme for the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers has recently been published. The Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London will be strongly represented by both staff and doctoral researchers (detailed below).

Felicity Butler


Valuing Unpaid Care Work in Community Fair Trade, Creating Resilient Households? A Case Study of The Body Shop Trading model with a Nicaraguan Sesame Cooperative


Producing Vulnerabilities 2: Gender and Cooperative Responses in Latin America — Presenter

Mike Duggan


The lived experiences of a digitalizing world: where sleek technologies come up against the harsh realities of our cultural geographies


Geographies of Media IV: Digital technologies, everyday geographies and experiencing space and place (1) — Chair, Organizer, Presenter
Geographies of Media V: Digital technologies, everyday geographies and experiencing space and place (2) — Chair, Organizer

David Gilbert


The creativities of everyday faith spaces and participatory research approaches


Creative Approaches to Researching Religion in the City 1: Embodied Practices and Narratives of Everyday Religion — Presenter
Creative Approaches to Researching Religion in the City 3: Negotiating Difference and Urban Space — Discussant

Harriet Hawkins


Making Earth Futures


Creative Approaches to Researching Religion in the City 2: Exploring Faith through Participatory Public-Engagement Art — Discussant
Editor Meet Critics: Harriet Hawkins and Elizabeth Straughan’s “Geographical Aesthetics” (2014, Ashgate) — Panelist
Editor meets critics: The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide — Chair, Organizer
Geographies of Making: Creative Practices and Agentic Materiality — Presenter
Global Art Worlds and a World of Cities 2 — Discussant

Natalie Hyacinth


SoundWorlds of the Sacred: Sense, Spirituality and Musical Performance


Creative Approaches to Researching Religion in the City 1: Embodied Practices and Narratives of Everyday Religion — Organizer, Presenter
Creative Approaches to Researching Religion in the City 2: Exploring Faith through Participatory Public-Engagement Art — Chair, Organizer
Creative Approaches to Researching Religion in the City 3: Negotiating Difference and Urban Space — Organizer

Rikke Jensen


The Social Military: networked spaces, military places


Geographies of Media XIV: Media, governmentality, and managing the ‘more than human’ environment (2) — Presenter

Anna Nikolaeva


Understanding Sociality and Agency of Mobile Publics: Expectations, Interventions and Possibilities


Making Sense of Heterogeneous and Unequal Geographies of Passengers II: Situated, Embodied and Active Aeromobile Passengerings — Presenter
Theorizing Mobility Transitions: Scales, Sites and Struggles — Chair, Organizer

Alasdair Pinkerton


The Social Military: networked spaces, military places (Co-Presenter)


Geographies of Media XIV: Media, governmentality, and managing the ‘more than human’ environment (2) — Co-Presenter

Katherine Stansfeld


Practising encounters: using visual ethnography to explore conviviality in super-diverse Finsbury Park, London


Contestations and negotiations over place in super-diverse neighborhoods 2: Everyday encounters with difference — Presenter

Pip Thornton


The Production of Context and the Digital Reconstruction of Language


Toward a Geographical Software Studies 2: Language and tools — Presenter
Toward a Geographical Software Studies: methods and theory — Panelist

RHUL Geography Department to host ‘Cornwall Connections’ Symposium

On 12th March 2016 the Institute of Cornish Studies, part of the University of Exeter, will be holding a symposium at Royal Holloway, University of London in association with the Geography Department of that historic institution. The aim of the day is to explore both historical and contemporary connections between Cornwall and London with papers exploring topics like migration and centre-periphery relations. We would welcome papers from a broad range of disciplines and presented in a conventional lecture format or in a film or poster presentation.

It is appropriate that the symposium is being held at Royal Holloway since Thomas Holloway, the founder of the institution, had connections to the West Cornwall town of Penzance. If successful the aim is to hold similar events in the future both in other areas of Britain and overseas.

If you are interested in giving a presentation please send an abstract of 150 words along with name, title and institutional affiliation to both and by 10th February.

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