Category Archives: Dissertation Prize

HPGRG Dissertation Prize 2019 Announced

We are delighted to announce that the dissertation prize panel recommended a joint award of the prize to two dissertations of exceptionally high quality. The joint winners of this year’s prize are Olivia Russell (University of Edinburgh) and Mitchell Wilson (University of Bristol).

Olivia Russel’s dissertation, Geography, Cartography and Military Intelligence: Gertrude Campbell’s Cartographic Work for the Royal Geographical Society in 1913 to 1918, is a study of archival material relating to the life and cartographic work of Gertrude Bell, focusing on her contributions to military intelligence in World War I through cartographic work in ‘Arabia’. The work presents a nuanced, multiple understanding of Bell and her activities. Empirical chapters are structured through three key themes (informed by a critical engagement with literature) and demonstrate keen attention to detail in the use of evidence and construction of arguments. Overall, the dissertation draws on a great range of primary source material from the archives of the RGS, using these to consider issues around both colonialism and the role of women in the production of geographical knowledge. It thus responds to very contemporary questions about structural issues within the discipline. This is a standout dissertation addressing the history of geography, which adds to calls for the inclusion of ‘all marginalised knowledges’ within a critical historiography of the discipline.

Mitchell Wilson’s dissertation, Expanding the Empirical Repertoire of Non-Representational Theory Through a Methodological Reflection on Creating a Documentary Film, presents a theoretically sophisticated discussion of Geography’s relation to film-making, and takes direction from a range of multi-disciplinary work (including non-representational theory and visual culture), making new connections between them. It then embarks on the production of a documentary film to demonstrate how film-making techniques can be used to engineer affect, thus moving beyond ‘critique’ to become productive. The documentary, which is very thoughtfully curated and presented, explores the art and subversive qualities of drag through the performances of Ty Jeffries. This is then used to explore the nature of ‘hope’ in the Anthropocene: a discussion which simultaneously seems somewhat tangential and yet in keeping with the “ephemerality and transitory nature” of the research. Overall the work is remarkable in its level of sophisticated and critical engagement with literature; in its care and attention to detail; and in its sensitivity. It forms an important contribution to discussions around videographic geographies, presenting astute readings of Spinoza to think hope as ‘unsteady joy’.

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HPGRG Dissertation Prize 2018 Announced

We are delighted to announce that Sophie Buckle (University of Bristol)  has won the dissertation prize for 2018. The prize panel noted that the dissertation is “a highly impressive, ambitious and thoughtful piece” that speaks to debates in Geography and beyond; the “interweaving of theory and praxis through poetry is particularly impressive”.

Sophie has allowed us to reproduce her dissertation – “Writing Between Worlds: An Audiencing of Leanne Simpson’s Stories as Theory for Decolonising Academic Writing Practices”” – on our website.

Submissions for Dissertation Prize 2018

The History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group, in conjunction with SAGE Geography, is pleased to offer an Undergraduate Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation in the histories and/or philosophies of geography. We welcome nominations addressing the history of the discipline, philosophy of the discipline, and/or geographical knowledge, discourses and practices across academic, public and/or private spheres. The winner will receive a prize of £50 and a year’s free subscription to their choice of Progress in Human Geography or Progress in Physical Geography, and have their dissertation published on the HPGRG website. The dissertation should have been completed within the past two years and be written in English. We welcome nominations not only from the UK but also from other countries. Depending on the number and quality of submissions, the prize may not be awarded every year. Please direct all questions and submit an electronic copy of the dissertation (PDF format) with your letter of recommendation and the candidate’s contact details to Dr Pauline Couper. As far as possible, please provide a non-university email account for the candidate as contact will likely happen after their graduation.

Deadline: 13 July

Past winners can be found here.

HPGRG Dissertation Prizes (2015 and 2016) Announced

We are delighted to announce the dissertation prizes for 2015 and 2016.

Kirsty Matthews (Durham University) won the prize in 2015 for her dissertation “Mattering the Mind: Subjectivity and Not Knowing Within Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”, which was described as a most impressive piece of work.

Mirjami Lannto (University of Glasgow) won the prize this year, for her outstanding research on “Experiencing River Landscapes: the Affective Capacity of Landscapes and its Potential in Environmental Management”. She has granted us permission to reproduce her dissertation on the site. In addition, Samuel Nutt (Durham University) received a commendation for his dissertation, “The Anxieties of Empire in Byron’s Turkish Tales: Exploring the Potential of Fiction in Postcolonial Geography”.

Congratulations to our winners. The list of past prizes can be found here.

Reminder: Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

Entries are invited for the HPGRG undergraduate dissertation prize. The prize of £50 will be awarded for the best dissertation in the histories and/or philosophies of geography or associated fields.

Nominations are requested from Dissertation Supervisors or Heads of Department. The dissertation should have been completed within the past two years and be written in English. We welcome nominations not only from the UK but also from other countries. Depending on the number and quality of submissions, the prize may not be awarded every year. Details of prize winners from previous years are listed here.

Please direct all questions and submit an electronic copy of the dissertation (PDF format) with your letter of recommendation to Dr Pauline Couper (p.couper@yorksj.ac.uk).

The deadline is 12 July 2015.

HPGRG Dissertation Prize Winner 2014

The HPGRG committee are pleased to announce the winner of the annual dissertation prize.

First prize: Sebastian Koa (University of Oxford) “Propositions for a radically empirical geomorphology”

Commendation: Max Kirchner (University of Bristol) “Speaking truth to power: Theorising Edward Snowden’s Whistleblowing through Michel Foucault’s concepts of parrhesia and the event”

A list of all the previous winners can be found here.