Cultural Geography sessions at the IAG-NZGS 2021 Conference

The Cultural Geography Study Group is delighted to announce a wide range of sessions and activities we are sponsoring for this year’s combined IAG-NZGS Conference, in Sydney, 6-9 July. Full details are below.

Abstracts are due 5th April. Please send these direct to the session organisers(contact emails listed below). Please indicate in your abstract submission if, at this stage, you plan to attend in-person or online.

Further details about the conference are available here: https://www.sydney.edu.au/science/news-and-events/events/iagnzgs2021-conference.html

Additional activities, including a 30 year celebration of the Cultural Geography Study Group, and pre-conference workshop, will be announced in the coming month. Stay tuned!

Here is the list of exciting sessions:

New and Emerging Research in Cultural Geography

Session organisers: Cultural Geography Study Group, convened by Michelle Duffy, Michele Lobo and Kaya Barry. (k.barry@griffith.edu.au)

In this session we provide a forum for researchers at all levels – postgraduates, early career researchers and research leaders – to showcase cutting-edge research in Cultural Geography. Cultural geography comprises a wide-ranging group of geographical sub-disciplines that engages with the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences. Cultural domains of geographical research continue to grow in breadth and depth, with expanding theoretical formulations, methodological approaches and fields of interest. Cultural geographers embrace the historical, material, digital, discursive and affective to advance understandings of place, space and the environment. We welcome your papers that expand the horizon of Cultural Geography and that respond to this year’s conference theme: ‘Remembering, reimagining geography’. Standard papers or alternative presentation formats welcome.

Remembering, Reimagining Political Space

Session organisers: Ari Jerrems and Adam David Morton (ari.jerrems@monash.edu)

Political space, understood as the frameworks, infrastructures and geographies through which politics is exercised, has long been the site of intense contestation. In recent times, dominant constellations have been challenged by an array of social movements with diverse objectives, from contesting extractivism to forging spaces of autonomy and defending Indigenous sovereignties. At the same time, there have been numerous violent reassertions of state power often upholding colonial hierarchies and the interests of capital. To make sense of the current political landscape this session builds on the conference theme, bringing together papers seeking to remember and reimagine political space. On the one hand, papers will analyse the constitution of dominant notions of territory and sovereignty, from the violent bordering practices through which they are defended to the colonial imaginaries and violent histories underpinning them. On the other hand, papers will attempt to think political space otherwise, building on the imaginaries and practices of diverse thinkers, movements and anti-colonial struggles.   

Actually existing digital geographies in the antipodes (and elsewhere) 

Session organisers: Jess McLean and Soph Maalsen (jessica.mclean@mq.edu.au)

Digital technologies are changing the co-production of people, place and space in multiple and uneven ways. The digital is not an overlay but a specific form of entanglement of technologies with humans and non-humans, in contexts ranging from the mundane to the spectacular. From challenging how we understand spatialities and materialities, to generating new methodologies and epistemologies, ‘the digital’ is affording rich opportunities for geographic research. The digital variously produces, augments and mediates our day-to-day, and we are interested in these daily encounters and the possibilities and challenges that they hold. The emerging subdiscipline or subfield of digital geographies is capturing our understanding of these changes (Kinsley et al 2020) and this call for papers invites contributions that speak to this moment. For this session, we invite scholarship that engages with critical, feminist, decolonial, more-than-human and generative readings of actually existing digital geographies (Shelton and Lodato, 2019). These may include analyses of smart cities, smart forests, the Internet of Things, digital sustainability, social media, digital methods, digital infrastructures, rural and urban digital geographies, prop tech, platform labour, Indigenous digital innovations, digital geographies of the Global South, and more. 

  

Alternative Urban Imaginaries 1: Counter mapping and creative cartography

Session oragnisers: Rachel Iampolski, Alex Faustino, Prof Wendy Steele, Libby Porter (rachel.iampolski@rmit.edu.au)

In this session we seek papers that critically consider the potential of counter-mapping and creative cartography for re-imagining the contemporary city, and the possibilities for more empowering and emancipatory encounters with participants in research. Cartographic systems of categorising static and material heritage have historically served as tools of colonisation, ownership and exclusion, and more recently the surveillance and policing of public space. Important counter-narratives and imaginaries often go undocumented through more traditional research methods which can ignore or undervalue alternative modes of knowledge including emotions, memory and affect. Critical and creative forms of counter mapping aim to subvert the expert nature and authority of the researcher by appropriating the methods and aesthetics of mapmaking to engage communities differently. Activists and community organisers such as the ‘Counter Cartography Collective’ for example use these visual methods to ‘destabilize centred and exclusionary representations of the social and economic’ and ‘construct new imaginaries of collective struggle and alternative worlds’ (see https://www.countercartographies.org/). We invite papers that explore the diverse, creative ways geographers are seeking to subvert dominant urban narratives through research that is deliberately attentive to alternative urban imaginaries, histories, stories, practices, relationships, memories and rituals.

Alternative Urban Imaginaries 2: Storying Radically Interdependent Counter-Cities

Session organisers: Ashraful Alam, Donna Houston, Michele Lobo (ash.alam@otago.ac.nz)

Cities play a crucial role in imagining hopeful post-pandemic and planetary futures if openness, radical interdependencies and justice that include and go beyond the human are considered. Imagining these futures are necessary, particularly when western colonial and capitalist (il)logics and promises have failed to deliver diverse, equitable and just cities. How can we come together to design and imagine cities otherwise? Urban geographers are at the forefront of accepting the urgent challenges of the present and seeking alternative imaginaries so that cities are places of radiant and plural becomings. This session is an invitation to conceptualise and think with the Counter-City. We call for storying that values collaboration, interdependencies and experimentation through ideas, performances and case studies that explore city living and collective urban futures. The agenda is to rewrite cities of the Global North/Global South beyond conventional, expert and elitist frames. These ethical-political inquiries might use a representational/more-than representational or human/more-than-human lens to focus on the urban/digital commons, urban infrastructures and undergrounds, social difference (gender, disability, ethnicity, race, sexuality, religion etc), animal/multispecies care/justice, food security/alternative food practices, viral/microbe mobilities, and so forth.

Border Studies in Australian and New Zealand Geography

Session organisers: Andrew Burridge, Umut Ozguc, Ari Jerrums. (andrew.burridge@mq.edu.au)

In 1961, 60 years prior to this year’s IAG conference, the late Victor Prescott arrived in Australia, and took up a position at the University of Melbourne in Geography, perhaps the most influential figure in international border studies in Australia, publishing works including The Geography of Frontiers and Boundaries in 1965. Much has changed since this time, notably through the development of critical border studies, significantly expanding the scope and diversity of the ways in which we conceptualise borders. Despite growing prominence of border studies within geography, it remains a marginalised area of research in Australia and New Zealand. While across the globe there are numerous border studies groups, conferences, and associations, in Australia and NZ there are still fewer connections that bring border scholars together. In response to the theme of this year’s conference, ‘remembering, reimagining geography’, we are seeking submissions for a paper session that critically examines both the past and future of border studies in Australian and NZ geography. This includes border studies scholars working from Australia/NZ, and/or on Australian/NZ borders. Topics might include: – The history and/or future of border studies in Australia/NZ – Researching and/or teaching border studies in/from Australian/NZ institutions – Colonial and frontier borders – Indigenous borders/border studies – Onshore and offshore detention – Pandemic and quarantine borders.

Roundtable on geography under ‘change plan’: experiencing, adapting to, and resisting university restructuring

Session organisers: Natalie Osborne, Donna Houston and Ilan Wiesel (ilan.wiesel@unimelb.edu.au)

Universities across Australia are undergoing significant restructuring – including large scale forced redundancies – in response to the reduction in high-fee paying international students due to Covid19 border closures, and the exclusion of universities from government assistance programs such as JobKeeper. Concurrently, the Commonwealth Government’s higher education fees reform is driving further restructuring that will have significant implications for geography students and enrolments. The aim of this session is to facilitate an open, interactive, roundtable conversation about the impact of these ongoing events on Australian geography and geographers, including both academics and students. Participants are invited to share their experiences and insights on: how university ‘change plan’ and restructuring have impacted geographers; critical geographical perspectives on the drivers of such restructuring, including factors that long precede Covid19; and, examples of ways in which geography staff and students are resisting or adapting to restructuring, redundancies, and early retirements. Our goal is to support co-learning and relations of solidarity to help us imagine and prefigure better, more just ways of thinking and learning together within and beyond the university.

Regenerative, Resilient and Really Diverse, New Economic Geographies

Session organisers: Stephen Healy, Katharine McKinnon, Kelly Dombroski (stephen.healy@westernsydney.edu.au)

Just as ecological diversity produces resilience, so too does economic diversity. This has become obvious in times of COVID-19. In a short time span we’ve learned about the vulnerabilities that come with over-reliance on single sectors—e.g. tourism, education. At the same time, we come to appreciate the remarkable capacity for mutual aid in some communities, and creative adaptation in others. Diversity enables resilience but in return it requires our care and attention. We need to think with and accommodate for difference, the multiplicity of ways that economies, ecologies, infrastructures and built environments work to sustain us (humans) and others (more than human) who are here, as well as those yet to come. Scholarship in the subfield of diverse economies explores the possibilities for regeneration and resilience that lie in diverse economic practices. For instance, The Handbook of Diverse Economies (Gibson-Graham and Dombroski 2020), Reimagining Livelihoods (Miller 2019), and Birthing Work (McKinnon 2020) share an insistence that effective responses to the most pressing challenges, including climate change, care delivery in the context of a pandemic, and the work of building more just and liveable cities, must take place by articulating and acting on common concerns in the context of cultural, and cosmological difference.

‘Geographers Declare Action’ Workshop

Session organisers: The Geographers Declare Working Group, contact: Susannah Clement (susannah.clement@gmail.com)

This workshop will be an interactive session to ‘action’ the ‘Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Declaration by Geographers in Australia’ launched at the plenary session (see separate application), as a response to the recommendations of the Strategic plan for geography, ‘Geography: Shaping Australia’s Future’ (NCGS, 2018), and contribute to the conference theme of ‘Remembering, reimagining geography’ through a focus on the ‘big issues’ i.e. climate change, social justice and biodiversity loss. The declaration will be a public statement that acknowledges and foregrounds the interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequalities. The workshop will be an opportunity to devise a plan of activities and actions to give life to the declaration. What can you/we/the discipline/policy makers do and how can we lead, enable, support, lobby and assist in making desirable change happen? Join us and find out during what is designed to be a collaborative discussion, learning from the experience of those involved in other declarations (such as Planners Declare), and with the end goal a programme of bold actions. All geographers, geography educators, allied professionals, practitioners and members of cognate disciplines are welcome to join us for a rewarding reimagining-focused session.

Rethinking Counter-Urbanisation – Explorations into Australian internal migration away from the cities

Session organisers: Caitlin Buckle and Nick Osbaldiston (caitlin.buckle@sydney.edu.au)

There has been an upsurge in media interest in recent times on the idea that people are fleeing the cities for life in regional Australia. Across the world movement out of the cities has been discussed under the guise of counter-urbanisation, amenity migration, lifestyle migration and even voluntary simplicity. Such interest echoes earlier times in the early 2000s when the supposed ‘seachange’ phenomenon held national interest (Burnley and Murphy, 2004). However, despite the media attention there is skepticism over this supposed new wave of migration. As Bernard et al. (2020) have suggested in a recent report, internal migration will be influenced by local and national economic conditions. Furthermore, regional Australia is not a homogenous space with several pockets attracting significant population increase (such as the Gold Coast) while others find population turnaround a more difficult task. In this proposed session we seek to define and explore counter-urban migration further by investigating the past trends and what occurred, through to current movements of people before and during the pandemic lockdowns. We propose inviting contributions such as those that seek to: define and investigate ‘counter-urbanisation’ trends, explore motivations and lived experiences of counter-urbanisation, ask questions about whether the ideal of remote working will sustain this trend, and investigate the impacts of counter-urbanisation on climate and communities

Virtual Research Showcase

Virtual Research Showcase

Friday 3 July 2020, 10am – 1pm (AEST) online via Zoom

Join us for an informal virtual showcase of research in Cultural Geography. In place of the annual showcase of research that usually takes place at the IAG conference, this event will be an opportunity to share our research, receive feedback and have discussions, and importantly, socialise with others working in cultural geography.

You do not have to be an IAG or study group member to attend – all are welcome! Any questions, please contact Kaya Barry <k.barry@griffith.edu.au> and Michelle Duffy <Michelle.Duffy@newcastle.edu.au>.

Schedule

10.00 – 10.20 Bryan Smith – Mapping settler memory: The case of Townsville
10.20 – 10.40 Diti Bhattacharya – Rivers of Memory: Re-Negotiating Discordant Colonial Identities through Indian Tourism and Heritage Sites
10.40 – 11.00 Kaya Barry, Michelle Duffy, Michele Lobo, Caroline Scarles and Peter Varley – A Conversation through Listening

11.00 – 11.05 Break

11.05 – 11.25 Rowena Butland – “It’s So Noisy”: Aural Interactions Within the Angkor World Heritage Area
11.25 – 11.45 Adam Keen – Stopped Down Cities: The Ethical Worlds of Street Photography on and off the Street
11.45 – 12.05 Jess McLean and Sophia Maalsen – Geographies of digital storytelling: Care and harm in a pandemic

12.05 – 12.10 Break

12.10 – 12.30 Madelaine Moore – Re/productive Unrest: understanding struggles over water through social reproduction theory
12.30 – 12.50 David Reynolds – Effort and change: avoiding plastic materials
12.50 – 13.10 Candice Boyd – Recruiting via Facebook

13.10 Finish

IAG Conference – Sponsored Sessions [cancelled]


UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Institute of Australian Geographers Conference has been cancelled. The IAG 2020 organisers are in discussions regarding next steps and possible alternatives to a full, face-to-face conference. Further updates will be available at the conference website: www.une.edu.au/iagc2020. For our part, the cgsg would like to thank all who submitted sessions and abstracts. We look forward to when we meet again.


There are 5 sessions sponsored by the Cultural Geography Study Group for this year’s IAG conference at UNE Armidale in July – a wide range of themes:

  1. Rethinking Infrastructure: Change, Challenge and Creativity
  2. Environmental change and intimacy
  3. New and emerging cultural geography
  4. Geographies of the ground: materials, mobilities, temporalities
  5. Regional resilience and vulnerabilities in the Anthropocene

Details for each are below with contact info. Deadline for Abstract submissions is 20 March 2020. Please submit a copy of the abstract via the conference website and email to session organisers: www.une.edu.au/about-une/faculty-of-humanities-arts-social-sciences-and-education/hass/news-and-events/the-institute-of-australian-geographers-annual-conference-2020/registration-institute-of-australian-geographers-conference-2020

Continue reading “IAG Conference – Sponsored Sessions [cancelled]”

New group paper: ‘Experiential attunements in an illuminated city at night: a pedagogical writing experiment’

Event flyer for the workshop, by Vickie Zhang

Two years ago, at the 2017 Institute of Australian Geographers annual conference in Brisbane, the study group held a workshop with Professor Tim Edensor (Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Melbourne). Tim had just released his book From Light to Dark: Daylight, Illumination and Gloom (Minnesota, 2017), and about two dozen of us, from graduate students to seasoned academics, gathered to think about themes of light, illumination and movement through urban space.

Upon evening fall, we ventured outside: threading ourselves through the illuminations of Brisbane city. Together, we reflected on the force of light, asked after the nature of attunement, and began to think about the challenge of learning to write creatively.

Our experiences of the day have been collected into an article, recently published ahead of print at GeoHumanities. We are rather proud of the piece, which meanders through writing from 16 attendees that day, and are especially grateful to the editors at GeoHumanities for generously welcoming our wandering experiment.

If you are behind a paywall and would like to receive a copy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Citation: Zhang V, Kelly D, Rodriguez Castro L, Iaquinto B L, Hughes A, Edensor T, McKay C, Lobo M, Kennedy M, Wolifson P, Ratnam C, Buckle C, Dorignon L, Adamczyk E, Barry K, & Bissell D (2019), ‘Experiential attunements in an illuminated city at night: a pedagogical writing experiment’, GeoHumanities. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1080/2373566X.2019.1624187

Newcastle Port workshop, 2019

liminal zones workshop

Photograph: Rachel Hughes (2018)

Liminal Zones:
Where sea and land meet

Friday 15 November, 2019, University of Newcastle, Australia

Supported by the Institute of Australian Geographers

In last year’s workshop – Oceanic Responsibilities and Co-belonging – we sought to open up discussion about the intricate, deeply entangled relations between the human and nonhuman world, and what this means in the age of Anthropogenic climate change.

Our aim this year is to build upon these earlier discussions, and explore those zones of intersection and encounter between ocean and land. As with our first workshop, the format for the day reflects our commitment to participatory methodologies that build capacity amongst research participants and project stakeholders, and pursues research grounded in the concerns of our contemporary world.

Our focus is on the port – and the Newcastle Port more specifically – as one of the intersection points between land and water. As Ng et al. (2014: 84) note, ‘ports have played important roles in the socio-economic development of cities, countries and regions throughout the history.’ Yet, these are now often places of rapid deindustrialisation and transition, which not only impacts on the economic wellbeing of these communities but also the foundation of community identities (Stevenson & Paton 2001). While past research has focused on transport, management, policy and governance, we seek to trace the network of human and non-human actors that generate these liminal zones – mindful that the frames we might use necessarily overlap and leak into one another (Lehman 2013). Our interest, then, lies in the intersection of the cultural, social, environmental and material significance of port places.

What we hope to achieve at the conclusion of this symposium is a map of future collaborative projects that are responsive to the opportunities, issues and challenges of port life in general, and the Port of Newcastle in particular.

RSVP Please email Michelle Duffy on <Michelle.Duffy@newcastle.edu.au> by Thursday 31 October, 2019.


Workshop program

Venue: University of Newcastle City Campus, Room X803
Date: Friday 15 November, 2019 (lunch will be provided on the day)

Morning
Visit to Newcastle Port
Presentations by stakeholders and researchers
Afternoon
Group discussion
Planning for future projects: academics/postgraduate students/stakeholders
Concluding Panel

For those already in Newcastle on Thursday evening, we will also organise an informal, self-funded dinner (venue to be advised).

Continue reading “Newcastle Port workshop, 2019”

IAG 2019: Documentary Filmmaking Workshop with Australian Film-Maker Molly Reynolds

Tuesday July 9, 2019, 10am – 4pm
at The University of Tasmania, Hobart

Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) Annual Conference

The Cultural Geography Study Group is excited to be organising a pre-conference workshop on documentary-making at the 2019 IAG in Hobart, to be run by distinguished Australian film-maker Molly Reynolds.

Molly is a film-maker and cross-platform storyteller, whose documentaries (including Another Country, Twelve Canoes) have played at leading film festivals around the world. Molly has worked and filmed extensively with the Yolngu people of Ramingining in the Northern Territory, producing a suite of award-winning documentary films and other screen-based media on changing life in the region.

The workshop aims to have a practical focus, for geographers interested in incorporating documentary productions and techniques in their research. The event is targeted towards those curious about video and documentary, but perhaps not yet sure if it’s for them, or how to get started. There will be plenty of time for casual discussion and, as always, our pre-conference workshops are a particularly great chance for new graduate students to meet some friendly faces before the conference begins. There will also be more than enough time to stroll from the event to the conference’s opening plenary at 5pm.

The workshop is generously supported by the Institute of Australian Geographers; it is free of charge and open to geographers from all subdisciplines. You do not need to be registered for the conference to attend. RSVP is open until the event – please just let Vickie Zhang <vzhang@student.unimelb.edu.au> know that you would like to attend.

Continue reading “IAG 2019: Documentary Filmmaking Workshop with Australian Film-Maker Molly Reynolds”