‘Engaging Geography’ is a seminar series (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) that aims to explore and respond to key challenges facing geography in 2008 and beyond: the ‘state’ of the discipline, its disciplinary identity and public face; a lack of interaction between academic, school, and other geographers; the perceived inability to engage with and influence the world and public(s) ‘out there’ (see Castree et al, 2007); and the increasing calls for academics to play more prominent public roles, at a time of developing growth in ‘public’ variants of many social science disciplines (see Attwood, 2007).
Our first seminar will be held on Friday and Saturday January 23rd and 24th, 2009 at the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK (see www.starandshadow.org.uk ):
‘How did that happen?’ The creation of time and space for public geographies
This introductory event will be held over a 24-hour period, with the aim of identifying common themes and issues about ‘new public geography’ through panel discussion and open floor debate, presentations and interventions of varying types focused on exploring ‘how did that happen?’
We wish to encourage anyone with an interest in ‘engaging geography’ to participate – academics, researchers, students, practitioners, and, of course, members of ‘the public’. We hope to facilitate the inclusion of as wide a constituency of ‘geographers’ as possible, by creating time and space for discussion around stories of engagements, the initiation of enduring relationships and research, issues of communication/translation, engaging geographical work beyond academic publication, successes and failures, and perceptions of those on ‘the receiving end’ of geographical engagements, with a particular focus on exploring how publics value the time and expertise of geographers.
PLEASE FORWARD TO ANYONE YOU THINK MAY BE INTERESTED…
The seminar will include:
Friday 23 Jan
· Arrivals, lunch, informal conversations …
· ‘How did that happen?’: panel discussants and open floor debate
o Susan Buckingham (Middlesex University)
o Ian Cook (Exeter University)
o Rachel Pain (Durham University)
o Tom Wakeford (Director, Beacons of Public Engagement)
· ‘Conversations I’: small group debate and feedback, drawing on people’s wider experiences and thoughts on public geography*
*Participants are encouraged to do some ‘homework’ for the seminar, asking students, colleagues, research contacts, family and/or friends relevant questions around ‘what is public geography?’ – and to bring their ‘findings’ with them
· Evening meal … in honour of Dr. Duncan Fuller, who was the driving force behind this seminar series before his unexpected death early in October
Saturday 24 Jan
· Film screening: collaborations between geographers/academics and ‘publics’
o Matthew Gandy (UCL)/PUKAR: water issues in Mumbai
o Neil Percival (Northumbria Uni): community film making – experiences of racism in the north east of England
· ‘public geographies in action’ – presentations of (local) case studies with Q&A
o Neil Denton (Newcastle City Council): ‘Perceptions of safety at the neighbourhood level’
o New Line Graffiti Promotions
o Participatory Evaluation and Appraisal in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (PEANuT)
o John Woodward (Northumbria Uni) Antarctic research / schools education work
· ‘Conversations II’ – round up of emerging themes, ‘where do we take this’, discussion around dissemination and outputs etc
· public-orientated intervention in Newcastle city centre, around the issue of ID cards…
All participants are encouraged to bring posters/leaflets/info about specific projects/research they feel is relevant to debate: space will be made available to present any such material.
We hope to also show the photographic exhibition that resulted from the ‘Rescue Geographies’ project, recently installed at MADE gallery in Birmingham, throughout the event: see http://www.rescuegeography.org.uk/default.htm
The seminar is FREE TO ATTEND, and being run midday Friday to Saturday afternoon in order to enable those outside academia with work commitments Mon-Fri to attend for at least part of the conference – please indicate on the application form (available from firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0191 227 3743) which days you intend to participate.
Later seminars in this series will include:
Geographers, artists and their publics.
Activist Geographies: developing collaborating research priorities with social movements.
Geographies and policy.
Border crossings – geographies in schools.
Communicating public geographies…
— Stuart Hodkinson
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Engaging Geography is a seminar series (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) that aims to explore and respond to key challenges facing geography in 2008 and beyond. Our first seminar will be held on Friday and Saturday January 23rd and 24th, 2009 at the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK (see www.starandshadow.org.uk ): ‘How did that happen?’ The creation of time and space for public geographies.
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