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.

HPGRG Postgraduate Dissertation Award

The prize will be awarded to an outstanding & original Dissertation concentrating on History and/or Philosophy of Physical and/or Human Geography or associated fields. We welcome nominations that examine geographical knowledge, discourses and practices in academia, but also within schools and the public sphere. Nominations are requested from Dissertation Supervisors or Heads of Departments. As long as the Dissertation & Application files are 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. The Dissertation should have been defended between January 1st 2009 and December 31st 2010. Each submission file must include: a letter of recommendation from the Dissertation Supervisor or Head of Department; a short letter from the Master’s student stressing the originality and novelty of the findings; and a copy of the dissertation.

Please email submissions (as attachments in pdf, doc or rtf format) to Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi (mathilde.leduc@gmail.com) prior to 26 June 2011.

For any additional information, please contact mathilde.leduc@gmail.com, Phone (+32) 473 174 827.

Deadline: 26 June 2011.

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.

Flows, Doings, Edges: writing a ‘relational’ PhD

HPGRG Postgraduate symposium, 28 August 2007

Cultural geography, and in particular the study of nature/society interactions, has undergone something of a ‘relational turn’ in recent years. Although there has been much theoretical innovation and growing empirical diversity, rather less attention has been paid to the implications of ‘relationality’, in its many guises, to research practice.

In August 2007, the Geography Department at Kings College London hosted a postgraduate symposium entitled Flows, Doings, Edges: writing a ‘relational’ PhD. The morning discussion focused on the general challenges of relational thinking to traditional research design, and was facilitated by Jeannette Pols, from the University of Amsterdam. In the afternoon attendees shared some of their own particular challenges and ideas.

The symposium had a strong inter-disciplinary flavour, with 35 attendees from Sociology, Management Studies, Environment Studies and Geography departments across the UK and Europe. Overall the day was a success in cultivating the beginnings of a relational PhD research community, and a larger follow-up event is planned for late 2008.

Flows, doings, edges was jointly organised by Uli Beisel (Open University), Franklin Ginn (Kings Collge London) and Michaela Spencer (Lancaster University). It was funded by the Kings College Roberts Skills Fund and the RGS-IBG History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group.

The website for the Royal Geographical Society's History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group