The Geographical Canon? workshop: Oxford, 15 June 2012

The HPGRG are supporting an event to discuss whether or not the discipline of geography has a canon. ‘The Geographical Canon?‘ will be held on 15th June in Oxford, convened by the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, in The JCR Lecture Theatre in St Catherine’s College.

Attendance and refreshments at the workshop are FREE, but prior registration is required (for lunch numbers etc.).  Please email Richard Powell ( to reserve a place as soon as possible, and by 31 MAY 2012 at the latest.

The HPGRG Committee are also pleased to announce that a number of bursaries are available to support the travel costs of postgraduates, postdoctoral fellows and early career researchers attending the workshop. Applicants should send full name, position, contact details, estimate of travel costs and a statement (100 words maximum) of research interests and why you wish to attend the seminar to Richard Powell ( by FRIDAY 18 MAY 2012.

The focus of the workshop is to discuss if there is a geographical canon and thus poses questions such as:

Did geography have a canon that has been forgotten? Or did it never have one? Or was there just a weak canon? And if there is/was a geographical canon, what/who should be on it? Why? Why has there been such relative reluctance to enforce a canon, in comparison to related fields? What sorts of implications have disagreements about a geographical canon had for the disciplinary community? Have historians of geography spent too much time in recent years investigating the hidden histories and micropractices of geography, to lose the bigger picture?

We believe that the wider context of higher education across the UK, the rest of Europe and North America, and its implications for Geography in particular, make this an important moment for further consideration of these questions in their intellectual and political contexts by as a wide a community as possible, including geographers and related practitioners.

The format for the event involves six contributors, each speaking for 30 minutes, with 15 minutes for discussion of each paper. There will also be an extensive audience discussion session, providing plenty of time for audience interaction.

Workshop Schedule: The Geographical Canon?

Venue: JCR Lecture Theatre, St Catherine’s College, Oxford – Friday 15 June 2012

09.30-10.00 Registration and Introduction
10.00-10.45 Forgetting ourselves: canonicity and memory in geography – Dr Innes Keighren, Royal Holloway, University of London
10.45-11.30 The Canon versus the Classic? – Dr Avril Maddrell, University of West of England
11.30-11.45 Coffee/Tea
11.45-12.30 The Geographical Tradition, divergent geographical canons and the functioning of geographic discourse – Professor Robert Mayhew, University of Bristol
12.30-13.15 Geography Education and the Geographical Canon – Jo Norcup, University of Glasgow and University College London
13.15-14.15 Lunch
14.15-15.00 Canons and Wars: Military Geography and the Limits of the Discipline – Associate Professor Matthew Farish, University of Toronto
15.00-15.45 Geography and other disciplines – Professor Andrew Barry, University of Oxford
15.45-16.00 Tea/Coffee
16.00-17.00 General discussion
Chair: Dr Richard Powell, University of Oxford

More information is available on the Oxford School of Geography and the Environment website.

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