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Conference Symposium on Geography and its Publics, Manchester, 22-28 July 2013

HPGRG is supporting a Conference Symposium on “Geography and its publics” at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, taking place in Manchester from 22-28 July 2013. Please find below the call for papers in English and in French. HPGRG looks forward to your contribution.


Call for papers, ICHSTM Manchester 2013, 22-28 July 2013

 Conference Symposium on Geography and its Publics

Six 90-minute paper sessions including two keynote lectures by Professor Karen Morin (Bucknell University, USA) and Professor Charles Withers (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Organised by the IGU/IUHPS Commission on the History of Geography and the History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

1 – Theme

This conference symposium invites papers on the theme of ‘Geography and its Publics’. Throughout its history, geography has been utilized to serve wider political, economic, social and cultural interests. Modern nation states, for example, employed cartographers to document geographical features as a basis to information for statistical intelligence and military operations. In the nineteenth century, business and government interests supported the foundation of geographical societies for the co-ordination of exploratory projects, reports of whose work often enthralled or enraged the general public. Since the institutionalisation of geography at the end of the nineteenth century, audiences for geographical knowledge have multiplied and diversified, reflecting a growing awareness of the production and application of geographical knowledge.

The aim of this conference symposium is to bring together scholarship on the nature of geographical knowledge in relation to geography’s publics. This includes not only a range of private and public workplaces in which geographical knowledge has been made and used (for example, governmental policy, military strategy, industrial development and the media), but also includes other settings, formal and informal, in which geography has been communicated to the wider public, mainly to shape people’s geographical imaginations and understanding. Key questions may thus address the utility of geographical knowledge, the processes and practices that transfer geographical knowledge between different epistemological realms, the nature of a public for geography, and the wider impacts of geographical knowledge on society.

We will organise six 90-minute paper sessions, each of four contributions, including two keynote lectures by Professor Karen Morin (Bucknell University, USA) and Professor Charles Withers (University of Edinburgh, UK).

2 – Organisation

If you wish to present a 20-minute paper on the theme of ‘Geography and its Publics’ at the Manchester Congress in July 2013, please send an email to Dr Heike Jöns at no later than 31 October 2012, providing the presentation’s title, the name and affiliation of its author(s) and an abstract of up to 2500 characters (either in English or in French). Please note that individuals can only present or co-present one paper at the Congress but in a range of different languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic). For further details, see

We as the organizers are looking forward to receiving your contributions and would be happy to discuss any comments or questions.

Dr Heike Jöns (Loughborough University, UK – Secretary of the History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society with IBG)

Prof Jacobo García-Álvarez (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain – Chairman of the IGU/IUHPS Commission on the History of Geography)

Dr Jan Vandermissen (National Committee for Logic, History & Philosophy of Science, Belgium)


Appel à Communications, ICHSTM, Manchester, 22-28 juillet 2013

 Colloque – Symposium Géographie et sphère publique

Il est prévu 6 sessions de communications, de 90 minutes chacune, incluant deux conférences données par les Professeurs Karen Morin (Bucknell University, USA) et Charles Withers (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Organisées par l’UGI/UIHPS Commission Histoire de la Géographie et la Groupe de Recherche sur l’Histoire et Philosophie de la Géographie de la Royal Geographical Society (& IGB)

1 – Thème abordé

Les organisateurs appellent de leurs vœux  des commissions sur la thématique Géographie et sphère publique. Tout au long de son histoire, la géographie a été utilisée pour servir les intérêts politiques, économiques, sociaux et culturels. Ainsi par exemple, les États modernes ont employé des cartographes chargés de produire différents types d’informations relevant la prospective économique et de l’intelligence militaire. Au XIXe siècle, les intérêts économiques privés et gouvernementaux furent souvent à l’origine de la fondation de sociétés de géographie dont les travaux et la promotion d’explorations « exotiques » ont alors souvent captivé le grand public et fait débats. Depuis l’institutionnalisation de la géographie (universitaire) à la fin du XIXe siècle, l’intérêt pour la connaissance géographique n’a cessé de croître et diversifier, reflétant cette prise de conscience croissante de la diversité des champs de compétence de la connaissance géographique et de ses productions.

L’objectif de ce colloque symposium est de rassembler des réflexions académiques sur la nature de la connaissance géographique en rapport avec les attentes de la sphère publique. Cela représente une large variété d’institutions, publiques et privées, au sein desquelles les connaissances géographiques ont été et sont toujours utilisées (les politiques gouvernementales, la stratégie militaire, le développement industriel et les médias,…). En parallèle, la connaissance géographique qui est vulgarisée (via notamment l’enseignement et les médias) façonne de même l’imagination du grand public et joue sur sa compréhension des phénomènes sociaux, économiques et « naturels », entre autres. Les questionnements abordés porteront sur l’utilité de la connaissance géographique, sur les processus et les pratiques caractérisant le transfert des connaissances entre les différents domaines épistémologiques, sur la nature des publics de la géographie, et plus généralement, sur les impacts sur la société de la connaissance géographique.

Six sessions de communications, de 90 minutes chacune, incluant deux conférences données par les Professeurs Karen Morin (Bucknell University, USA) et Charles Withers (University of Edinburgh, UK), seront donc organisées.

2 – Organisation

Si vous désirez soumettre une proposition de communication de 20 minutes, veuillez l’adresser par courriel au Dr Heike Jöns at pour le 31 octobre 2012 au plus tard. Le document transmis comprendra le titre, nom et qualité du ou des auteurs, ainsi qu’un résumé de 2500 caractères. À noter de plus que l’auteur ou les co-auteurs ne pourront présenter qu’une seule communication dans le cadre de ce colloque.

Langues du colloque : les résumés communiqués devront être soit en anglais, soit en français. Toutefois, les communications acceptées pourront être données dans les langues suivantes : anglais, français, espagnol, allemand, italien, chinois, portugais, russe et arabe classique. À noter qu’il n’y aura pas de traduction simultanée.

Pour plus de détails, se référer au site suivant :

Dans d’attente de vos propositions et en demeurant à votre entière disposition pour toutes vos interrogations,

Les organisateurs,

Dr Heike Jöns (Loughborough University, UK – Secrétaire du groupe de recherche sur l’Histoire et Philosophie de la Géographie de la Royal Geographical Society & IBG)

Pr. Jacobo García-Álvarez (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Espagne – Président de la Commission sur Histoire de la Géographie de l’UGI et de l’UIHPS)

Dr Jan Vandermissen (National Committee for Logic, History & Philosophy of Science, Belgium)

Geography and post-phenomenology

James Ash recently posted a useful introduction to conceptualisations of post-phenomenology to inform the upcoming RGS-IBG conference session he is co-convening with Paul Simpson. The ‘Geography and Post-Phenomenology’ session is sponsored by the HPGRG. Here is the introduction to James’ post:

The term post-phenonenology has been floating around for a number of years in geography (see the work of John Wylie and Mitch Rose) and other disciplines such as Philosophy and Science and Technology Studies (see for example the work of Don Ihde). Paul and myself both came to the term during our theses, although quite independently of one another. Myself through the work of Heidegger and Paul through the work of Husserl.

The session should be a good opportunity to think about what the term might mean and what it could offer contemporary human geography.

Please visit James’ blog to read more.

Philosophy in Geography

As a part of the mission of the HPGRG, we seek to foster and promote research concerning contemporary philosophies, theories and methods related to geography. We would like to gather together some commentaries, introductions or reflections upon theoretical influences in human geography on this website as a potential resource. We invite expressions of interest, links to pre-existing blog posts or suggestions for possible topics, please contact Sam Kinsley.

With this aim in mind, in the next few posts we will collect some existing useful work from the blogs of fellow geographers that opens some insights into contemporary theoretical interests within human geography.

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference 2012

Call For Papers: ‘Geographical Reflections’

University of Nottingham

This is a call for papers for the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-term Conference, to be hosted over the weekend of 20th – 22nd April 2012 at the School of Geography, Nottingham University. The aim of the conference is to provide a welcoming, relaxed and supportive environment for postgraduates to present any aspect of their research to their peers.

Continue reading RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference 2012

Overview of research quality in History & Philosophy of Geography

A message from Felix Driver:

As HPGRG members may know, the ESRC is currently undertaking a review of UK human geography in partnership with the AHRC and the RGS-IBG, the latest in a series of subject-based reviews. This is intended to ‘highlight the standing and contribution of UK human geography against international benchmarks’, and to ‘identify ways of enhancing performance and capacity, and promoting future research agendas’. This review is being undertaken by an international panel of eight academics, chaired by Professor David Ley from UBC, and is independent of the REF exercise. Continue reading Overview of research quality in History & Philosophy of Geography

Report on ‘Re-doing Biopolitics’ session, RGS-IBG 2011

A report by Olly Zinetti, Open University

The session, ‘Re-doing Biopolitics’, was rooted in conceptions of biopolitics derived in particular from Esposito’s text, Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy (2008). It was from the interconnected nature of livingness the text proposes, and the political consequences affirming such interconnectedness generates, where discussion began. Knowing, then, that biosecurity – making life safe – is not static, rather it is a set of ongoing practices (Hinchcliffe and Bingham, 2008), the session and its speakers sought to tease out the workings of those practices, with papers focussed on the empirical. Continue reading Report on ‘Re-doing Biopolitics’ session, RGS-IBG 2011

Report on Re-imagining Biopolitics and Biosecurity, RGS-IBG 2011

A report by Krithika Srinivasan, King’s College London

I presented a paper entitled ‘Controlling dogs, protecting turtles: Contemporary biopolitics in more-than-human India’ in the HPGRG session ‘Re-imagining biopolitics and biosecurity’ at the RGS-IBG AC 2011. This paper stems from my PhD project, and examines two cases of public debate around human-animal relationships in the world’s largest democracy, India. While one case deals with conflicts around the control of street dogs (animals that are considered ‘pests’), the other explores conflicts relating to the protection of ‘vulnerable’ Olive Ridley turtles.
Continue reading Report on Re-imagining Biopolitics and Biosecurity, RGS-IBG 2011

Echoes of the New Geography? Progress in Human Geography review

The Chair of the HPGRG, Dr Richard Powell, recently published his first in a series of articles for Progress in Human Geography concerning the History and Philosophy of Geography. Please find the abstract below:

Taking as its cue the debates in 2009 at the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) about the relative role of the institution in geographical exploration, science and pedagogy, this essay reviews recent work in the history and philosophy of geography. It argues that there is a long tradition of debates between educators and explorers within the RGS, and shows how these have been revisited in current work on Halford Mackinder and Charles Darwin. It concludes that attention to the processes of remembering and forgetting should be particularly acute at this moment in the history of geographical practices.

This article is available online from Sage.