All posts by michielvanmeeteren

RGS-IBG 2020, Call for papers: Friedrich Engels and Geography

Organizers: Camilla Royle (King’s College London,


Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) was Karl Marx’s closest collaborator. Although mentioned less often than Marx in geographical discussions, he was an important theorist in his own right. With his pathbreaking work, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), he analysed the social drivers of poverty, ill health and environmental pollution in urban areas (Clark and Foster, 2006), concerns he returned to in his later work on housing (Larsen et al, 2016, Smith, 2008, p179). Influenced by the Chartist movement, the revolutions of 1848 and the Paris Commune he was a political organiser and journalist. His wide ranging work addressed science, anthropology, philosophy, military history and more (Hunt, 2010).

Engels worked closely with Marx, his economic thinking influenced Capitaland he edited the second and third volumes after Marx’s death. However, some have questioned whether Engels’ interpretation of Marxism gave it a deterministic, economistic or dualist slant alien to Marx’s own thought (Carver, 2003; Smith, 2008, pp34-5, 87). They have suggested that this was partly responsible for reformist and authoritarian versions of socialist practice in the 20thcentury.

This paper session takes the bicentenary of Engels’ birth as an opportunity to examine his contribution to geographical thinking today. Possible themes might include (but are not limited to):

  • Engels as a philosopher and as a Marxist
  • Geographies of workers’ and peasant struggles and revolutions
  • The housing question today
  • Engels on social epidemiology, health and urban life
  • Engels on women, gender and the family
  • Engels on science, nature and the environment
  • The relevance (or otherwise) of Engels to geography in the 21stcentury


Please send abstracts (maximum of 250 words) for a 15-20 minute paper presentation to 10 February. Include a proposed title and affiliation.

Skype presentations will be considered where scholars would find it difficult to attend in person – please email the organiser to discuss.

The NERFC fellowship

The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library and the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine invite historical geographers, historians of cartography, and scholars working in related fields to apply for fellowships in the 2020–2021 New England Regional Fellowship Consortium (NERFC). The NERFC fellowship offers two dozen awards of $5000 to spend at least two weeks at three Consortium member institutions. The Leventhal and Osher collections, both NERFC member institutions, represent two of the most significant collections of cartographic material in New England, while many of the NERFC’s other 28 member institutions also hold cartographic and geographic objects in their collections. By developing a proposed NERFC itinerary at the Leventhal and Osher collections plus one additional member institution, scholars working at the intersection of geography and history will have an opportunity for a unique research opportunity.

More information:  The deadline for applications is February 1, 2020.


History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG) Sponsored Sessions, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2020, London

The History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG) invites suggestions for sponsored sessions at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2020 in London, Tuesday 1st to Friday 4th September 2020. The conference will focus on Borders, Borderlands and Bordering and will be chaired by Professor Uma Kothari.

We welcome suggestions for sessions across our remit, interpreted broadly, as the histories and/or philosophies of human geography, physical geography and associated fields.

HPGRG sponsorship can provide promotion for your session, help manage timetabling clashes, and enable bidding for funding for research group guests and awards for postgraduate presenters in your sessions.

Please send the following information to Federico Ferretti, Secretary of HPGRG (, by Monday 6th January 2020

– title of proposed session, name of organizers, and abstract of c. 200-250 words

– indication of proposed format, e.g. papers or panel discussion, number of papers, use of discussants; for possibilities of session formats, see

– number of 1h 40 minutes slots requested

– possible co-sponsorship with other research groups

We will inform session organizers about HPGRG sponsorship and further procedures by Friday 10th January 2020. The deadline for submitting complete sessions to HPGRG is Wednesday, 12 February 2020 for submission to the Society by Friday, 14 February 2020. This would leave about one month for session organisers to send out a call for papers and finalise the session programme.

Please direct any questions to Federico Ferretti ( Further details about the Annual Conference 2020 can be found at and about HPGRG at

The HPGRG committee looks forward to your submissions!

2 HPGRG Bursaries available for the RGS Midterm conference, 30 Apr-1 May Glasgow

The HPGRG is happy to announce that we will sponsor two PhD students working in the History and Philosophy of Geography domain for the RGS  Midterm conference. The midterm is a great occasion to interact with peers in the British PhD community. More information at , deadline for applications 14 Februari 2020 (apply on the link above). 

Call for papers : Bridging Differences: East, West, Seas and Mediterranean worlds. (34th International Geographical Congress, Istanbul 17-21 August 2020)

34th International Geographical Congress, Istanbul 17-21 August 2020

Joint CFP of the Commission History of Geography, the Commission Gender and Geography and the Commission Political Geography


Chair: Marcella Schmidt di Friedberg
Co-chairs: Virginie Mamadouh, Lynda Johnston

Call for papers:

For a long time, the categories of East, West, North and South have been used as both Cartesian coordinates and as metaphors assigning identities, often under the form of stereotypes, to people coming from different places. The successive waves of critical, radical, feminist, post/decolonial and non-representational geographies and geopolitics have increasingly questioned the essentialisation of identities deriving from these metaphors, especially criticising their use for imperialist, patriarchal, racist and reactionary political agendas, past and present. International geographical scholarship committed to these critical approaches urges us to substitute the absolute geographical metaphors mentioned above with the metaphor of ‘the bridge’. ‘The bridge’ valorises all kind of differences, as well as the decolonisation of geography by rendering it mostly inclusive (in terms of gender, ethnicity, social conditions and political/religious thought of people participating in the discipline). Further, the metaphor of ‘the bridge’ reconfigures the Mediterranean as a place of contacts and exchanges rather than a place for erecting walls, barriers or any kinds of enclosures. Interventions about other seas (and maybe deserts that function in a similar way) are also welcome. By assuming intersectional principles recognising that social, economic, political, religious, ethnic, speciesist, environmental and colonial forms of oppression are intrinsically linked the one to each other, the organisers of this joint session welcome all contributions that engage with the broad field of studies on critical, radical, anarchist, feminist, queer, intersectional, internationalist geographies. We welcome presentations that draw on critical social theory, critical race studies and socially and politically engaged scholarship, in general. The participation of non-

academic presenters such as activists and independent scholars, is especially encouraged.

Please send an abstract by 13 January 2020 following the instructions in the Conference website:

For info:

Call for papers: IGU Thematic Conference Heritage Geographies: Politics, Uses and Governance of the Past, Lecce (Italy), May 29-31 2020

The IGU Commission History of Geography would like to draw attention to the following call for papers:


For this session, we welcome empirical or theoretical contributions that place heritage- related issues in the context of Mediterranean histories, cultures and circulations. The Mediterranean has disgracefully become a (disputed and violent) frontier, while in several historical periods it has been a “valley” putting different cultures in mutual communication and cross-pollination. These notions, which are expressed in a heterogeneous way, can be found in the works of classical geographers such as Carl Ritter and Elisée Reclus, of artists such as Paul Signac and Henri Matisse and leading 20th-century European intellectuals such as Paul Valéry, Albert Camus and Gilles Deleuze. More recently, similar ideas have returned in the ‘Southern Thinking’ by Franco Cassano and in the concept of multiple ‘Souths’ by the Latin American authors of the Modernity-Coloniality-Decoloniality movement. Contributions refreshing the relations between these lines of thought and debates on geography and heritage, tangible and intangible, would be greatly appreciated.

We would especially like to receive proposals on:

Decolonial thinking and geographies of the Souths
Southern thinking and postcolonial, decolonial and anticolonial approaches in geography and cognate disciplines
Southern thinking and decoloniality in their relation to feminism and gendered approaches
Mediterranean worlds and metaphors in geography
Historical geographies of Italy and other Mediterranean countries
Historical geographies and geopolitics of land and sea
Critical and radical geographies and their relations to heritage issues
Works and lives of geographers committed to intercultural dialogue, anti-racism and anti-colonialism
Geopoetics, artistic and literary geographies from/about the Souths
Geography and geophilosophy
Geographies of migration and culture’s meetings
Any other topic in the history and philosophy of geography
[Organisers: Marcella Schmidt di Friedberg and Federico Ferretti]

To submit your abstract, please follow the guidelines below and send it to


When submitting your abstract, please include:
• Submitter’s contact details (Full first and family name(s), email, phone number, country)
• Presenting author’s and co-Authors’ details (Full first and family name(s), postal address, mail)
• Affiliation details: Institution/Company/University, city, country
• Abstract type: poster or oral
• Session number
• Abstract title
• Abstract text: the abstract should not exceed 2500 characters spaces included
• Keywords: up to 5 keywords may be provided

Deadline: 31st December 2019 Acceptance: 31st January 2020

For info :