Thursday, 28 August 2008


Loughborough University
8-9th September 2009

Responding to the growing interest in spaces of education within geography and cognate disciplines, this conference will provide a unique opportunity for debating key themes and concepts concerning the production, consumption and governance of education at different scales and in different cultural contexts. Recognising the diversity of sites of education and learning which are accessed at different stages of the life-course, it is intended that the conference will address issues relating to primary, secondary and tertiary education, as well as the wider production and circulation of knowledge within these spaces. Papers are hence welcomed which address any of the following themes:
• School catchments, parental choices and access to education
• Inclusions and exclusions in spaces of education
• Extended schools, families and communities
• The university in its social and cultural context
• Studentification and student cities
• Academic mobilities and migrations
• The globalization of education
The conference is supported by the Centre for Research in Identity, Community, Society (CRICS), based in the Department of Geography, Loughborough University, the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group (SCGRG) and the Children, Youth and Family Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society. There will be a limited number of bursaries to support the attendance of new career, postgraduate and unwaged delegates.
Please send abstracts (no more then 250 words please) to

Call for papers

Reinvigorating Social Geography: the politics and praxis of Social and Cultural Geography in the UK

A two-day conference of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG

University of Brighton 30-31 January 2009

The main aim of the conference is to provide a supportive, collegiate and stimulating environment to explore ‘what’ and ‘where’ are the contemporary social geographies within the context of the Social and Cultural nexus. Often viewed as an exciting and progressive sub-discipline of British and European geography, the conference seeks to ‘take-stock’ of the positionality of social geography, as Social and Cultural Geography becomes increasingly mainstream. A significant presence at RGS/IBG conferences, combined with a marked growth in journals, books and monographs, undergraduate dissertations, and specialised Masters programmes in this area, is testament to the penetration of Social and Cultural Geography across a range of academic arenas.

Yet as the reach of the sub-discipline continues to extend, there are ‘mutterings’ of a possible divorce between different strands of the research group, arguably often based on perceptions and hearsay. In light of these recent informal discourses and the possible, inter-linked, forging of new research groups, the conference provides a timely opportunity to explore the general health of relations within the Social and Cultural Geography nexus. Fruitful, and potentially, provocative themes which delegates may wish to discuss are:

What and where is contemporary social geography?
How important are individual, self-definitional markers of the members of Social and Cultural Geography?
How are social geographers now defined by ‘others’ outside of the research group?
Where does social geography currently fit within the context of Social and Cultural Geography, and the wider disciplinary boundaries of human geography?
Have the set(s) of practices employed by social geographers changed over the last decade, and, if so, how have they changed?
Have the overlapping interests of social geography with other sub-disciplines of human geography been re-cast over the last decade?
Are perceptions of the marginalisation of some streams within Social and Cultural Geography accurate?
How inclusive / exclusive are Social and Cultural geographies?
Are social and cultural geographies inseparable?
Is there substance to some interpretations of the ‘policing of sub-disciplinary boundaries’ within the Social and Cultural nexus?
Are discussions of internal conflicts harmful for the vitality of Social and Cultural Geography, or simply evidence of a vibrant and active research group?
Is a deep splintering of sub-groups unfolding within Social and Cultural Geography?
Does the current mission of the Social and Cultural Research Group provide a meaningful base for social geographers?
How do social geographers currently interface with other sub-disciplines of human geography?
Are social geographers increasingly multi-positional within human geography, and is this linked to the activities of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group?
Should social geography be restricted to analyses of social relations?

Papers/presentations are sought which focus on one or more of the themes, outlined above.

The event will include short interventions from panellists, drawn from Social and Cultural Geography. Confirmed panel speakers include Rachel Pain, Phil Hubbard, Sophie Bowlby, Anoop Nayak, Peter Hopkins.

Please send abstracts or expressions of interest, before the end of September 2008, to one of the conference organisers:

Darren Smith (
Kath Browne (
David Bissell (

Attendance by postgraduate and research students at the conference is encouraged, and travel/registration bursaries will be available.

Details of the conference venue, accommodation and registration will be provided at a later date.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Annual Conference

Just over a week now until the Annual Conference of the RGS-IBG and I thought I'd take this opportunity to remind you of what the group is doing at the conference. This includes an unprecedented number of paper sessions, as follows:

Non-representational geographies (Weds)
The promise and problematic of technology (Thursday)
Events space (Thursday)
Fit Cities (Thursday)
Where species meet and mingle (Friday)
Photographs matter (Friday)
Mapping social enterprise (Friday)
Matters of interdisciplinarity: archaeology meets geography (Friday)
Migration and everyday matters (Friday)

I hope you agree this is lively and varied line-up that covers the gamut of social and cultural geography.

Our AGM is on Weds 27th August 1310-1425 in the Drayson Room (ground floor, next to Ondaatje Lecture Theatre), and all members are welcome. We are very keen to hear from people who want to propose sessions for RGS-IBG Manchester 2009; who have ideas about other meetings or conferences; who want to seek sponsorship for their own event; or want to get involved in the group as committee member (or any other capacity).

Full details of the annual conference are available online at:

I look forward to seeing you there!