Category Archives: HPGRG Events

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’.

Agenda for the AGM at RGS-IBG 2019

13:10 to 14:25, Friday, 30  August,  Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Lowther Room

  1. Apologies
  1. Minutes of 2018 AGM (HJ)
  1. HPGRG Sessions for 2019 (FF)
  1. HPGRG Research Group Guests for 2019 (HJ)
  1. HPGRG Accounts (JB)
  1. HPGRG Dissertation Prize (PC)
  1. HPGRG Membership (FG)
  1. HPGRG Website (TJ)
  1. HPGRG Communications and Newsletter (MvM)
  1. Committee Membership Terms and Elections (HJ)
  1. HPGRG Information Sheet on Job Roles (HJ)
  1. 35th HPGRG anniversary in 2020 (HJ)
  1. Possible Research Group Activities (ALL)
  1. Call for Sessions for 2020 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference (HJ)
  1. Any Other Business

Newsletter 2019 #2 out now

The latest issue of our newsletter is now out!

This newsletter contains, among other things, the agenda of our HPGRG Annual General Meeting at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in London next week and a list of HPGRG-sponsored sessions during this event. You are cordially invited to attend the HPGRG AGM and the HPGRG-sponsored sessions, but the latter require official conference registration, while the former could be attended with an AGM visitor pass only (please see message from the HPGRG chair in the newsletter).

We hope that you will find this second HPGRG newsletter of interest and look forward to your contributions to future editions – the third HPGRG newsletter of this year is due to be published in the autumn of 2019.

You can see all our newsletters here.

Forthcoming AGM at the RGS-IBG

This year, our AGM will take place on Wednesday 2 September, at 13:10 in Forum – Seminar Room 1 at the University of Exeter (it’s also listed in the conference programme).

While we do not have any committee members with named roles coming to the end of their term we encourage anyone who is interested in becoming involved in the committee and its activities to attend; we’d very much welcome people who want to become involved in – and expand on – the group’s activities.

The agenda will be posted on here in advance of the meeting.




Call for Sessions: RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2015

The History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG) invites suggestions for 12 sponsored sessions at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2015 in Exeter from 2nd to 4th September 2015. The conference will focus on Geographies of the Anthropocene and be chaired by Professor Sarah Whatmore (University of Oxford).

We welcome suggestions for sessions across our remit, interpreted broadly, as the histories and/or philosophies of human geography, physical geography and associated fields. We particularly welcome session proposals that seek to engage with geography’s theoretical and philosophical underpinnings, past, present, and future.

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 HPGRG Secretary Isla Forsyth and HPGRG Chair Paul Simpson by Wednesday, 19th December 2014:

– title of proposed session (up to 15 words), name and affiliation of organizers, and abstract of c. 200-300 words

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

– number of 1h 40 minutes slots requested (note, sessions may not normally occupy more than two timeslots in the conference programme)

We will inform session organizers about HPGRG sponsorship and further procedures in early January. The deadline for submitting complete sessions to the Society is 20th February 2015. This would leave about six weeks for session organisers to send out a call for papers and finalise the session programme.

Please direct any questions to Isla Forsyth.

The HPGRG committee looks forward to your submissions!

Agenda for the HPGRG AGM at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2014

Annual General Meeting 2014

13:10 to 14:25, Thursday 28 August 2014


  1. Apologies (Richard Powell)
  2. Minutes of 2013 AGM
  3. HPGRG Sessions for 2014 (Heike Jöns and Isla Forsyth)
  4. HPGRG Research Group Guests for 2014 (Heike Jöns)
  5. HPGRG Accounts (Sam Kinsley)
  6. HPGRG Dissertation Prize (Pauline Couper; Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi; Heike Jöns)
  7. HPGRG Website (Thomas Jellis)
  8. HPGRG Membership update (Paul Simpson)
  9. Ideas for HPGRG Workshop for 2015 (Richard Powell)
  10. Call for Sessions for 2015 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, University of Exeter (Richard Powell)
  11. Discussion of Committee Roles and Responsibilities (Richard Powell)
  12. Committee Membership Terms and Elections (Richard Powell)
    • Chair
    • Secretary
    • Membership Secretary
  13. Any Other Business

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)

HPGRG Workshop: ‘Using the RGS-IBG Collections and Archives for Research and Teaching’

11.00-16.00, Friday 30th January 2009

RGS-IBG, 1 Kensington Gore, London

Following investment by RGS-IBG in ‘Opening the Archives’, HPGRG and HGRG are pleased to announce a workshop event designed for academic staff wishing to learn more about the collections and archives of the RGS-IBG on Friday 30 January 2009.

The workshop is intended to encourage further use of the RGS-IBG collections and archives, which include manuscript archives, prints and photographs, film, artefacts, maps and other holdings. It is envisaged the workshop will act as a stimulus for future research by academic staff, graduate students and undergraduates. As well as material for historians of geographical knowledge, the collections will support possible research across the entire range of geographical activities.

Interested individuals are requested to REGISTER with Catherine Souch by Monday 12 January 2009. If expressions of interest exceed capacity (twenty), efforts will be made to ensure equitable representation of HE institutions at the event, with the request that participants feed back to interested colleagues and students. A number of modest bursaries will be provided by RGS-IBG to support attendance by those with the highest travel costs.