Monday, 1 December 2008

CFP RGS (3) Geographies of the seasons

Geographical research has yet to fully explore the changing ways in which societies relate to seasons. This is somewhat surprising when the seasons could easily be understood as shaping an important and contextually sensitive approach to the ways in which people live with the climate. Across the western world many lifestyles are becoming deseasonal as people spend more and more of their time indoors. Yet others contend that the effects of the seasons are increasingly important as higher summer temperatures make particular forms of mortality and morbidity more common. There are also concerns about winter with regard to how various groups cope with cold and how they could pass through this time more effectively. Various public promotions meanwhile encourage us to link our lives more fully to the seasons. Sustainability agendas sometimes promote seasonal living as a means of having more authentic forms of existence in terms of food consumption and other activities. Yet commercial interests with respect to clothing and lifestyles use this same strategy to sell products and services we might not otherwise need. There are clearly many reasons why we might be interested in seasons. This session will provide a new forum for geographers and others interested in seasonal experience to come together. This is a potentially important research topic and it could be usefully enriched by a number of conceptual and empirical approaches at this stage. The aim is to explore these issues and thereby initiate a new conversation about how a focus on seasons could feed into various policy and academic agendas.


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