The Development Geographies Research Group of the RGS-IBG invites session proposals for (co-)sponsorship by our Research Group for the 2023 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference. The conference will be held from Wednesday 30th August to Friday 1st September in London. Session sponsorship means that a session is tagged in the conference programme with the Research Group’s name and gives session organisers the opportunity to promote the session through our Research Group networks.
Unfortunately, session sponsorship does not include financial sponsorship. DevRG is however able to offer a limited number of guest passes (covering the registration fee for a day’s in-person attendance at the conference, but not travel or accommodation). The application process for guest passes will be announced via our mailing list later in spring 2023.
The 2023 Conference Chair is Professor Harriet Bulkeley, Durham University, and the conference theme is Climate changed geographies. The theme invites a conversation about how climate change is, and is not, changing our discipline – our ways of knowing, exploring, understanding and acting geographically – and with what consequences. It also opens up debates about the kinds of geographies – urban, political, social, cultural, economic, regional, glacial, fluvial and more – that are and are not being changed by climate change.
We are keen to sponsor sessions that directly relate to the conference theme but also those sessions that engage with broader issues of contemporary concern to development geographers. The sessions can be pitched as paper panels, roundtables, workshops and sessions that include Development practitioners. We strongly encourage innovative and inclusive formats. We also strongly encourage sessions which are led by or include scholars or practitioners based in the Global South. We would be particularly interested in session proposals on the following themes:
Geographies of extraction
Ecological debt and climate reparations
Indigenous territories and climate knowledges
Decarbonisation and development
Opportunities for hybrid sessions are available, but very limited. They will be allocated on an open, competitive basis, with priority for innovative sessions that make the most of hybrid opportunities and functionality. Guidance for session organisers can be found here.
The deadline is Monday, 13 February 2023 at 5pm.Please contact DevRG Co-Chairs Dr Kalpana Wilson and Dr Katharina Richter if you would like your session to be considered for sponsorship (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org). We will endeavour to notify you as soon as possible. There are no forms, if you are interested, please email us with the following information:
1. Title of session
2. Name of co-sponsoring groups (if applicable)
3. Name, affiliation, and contact details for session convenors
5. Indication (if known) of preferred session format (in-person, hybrid, or online) and session type (papers, panel, workshop, etc.). See here for some suggestions. Sessions will be limited to TWO timeslots in the programme. A timeslot is 1 hour 40 minutes
6. Indication of any non-standard arrangements and/or hybrid session requirements (and a justification how the hybrid session would be competitive).
Details of the individual papers in the session are not required at this point.
This year marks the return of the DevRG’s Early Career Best Paper Prize. It is awarded with the IDPR Journal, whose editors (Dr Dan Hammett & Dr Glyn Williams) will work together with the winner of the prize to develop their paper for publication. Candidates can submit an abstract and a paper outline to be judged by a panel. The paper will then undergo a normal peer review process. Only papers from sessions sponsored by DevRG can apply. Further details on the entry process will be circulated via our mailing list, website and twitter account shortly.
The Developing Areas Research Group offers an annual prize for the most promising dissertation concerning ‘Development Geographies’. The author of the winning dissertation receives a £100 book voucher. This year, the voucher was for the Lighthouse, an independent bookshop in Edinburgh.
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2022 prize is Samuel Street from UCL with the dissertation title: ‘Navigating the maelstrom: The conjunctural geographies of Nigerian online freelancers’. Many congratulations, Samuel!
Navigating the Maelstrom is a highly original dissertation that is both theoretically advanced and empirically grounded. It advances the emerging area of labour geographies on the ‘gig economy’ by moving past the Western academic focus on the ‘proletariat’ lens of unstable work to also engage in the ‘generative possibilities’ of recentering young Nigerians as protagonists in their own narratives of economic agency.
We would also like to congratulate Megan Clark from the University of Edinburgh whose dissertation was highly commended. Megan’s dissertation was titled: ‘When the taps run dry’: living with crumbling water infrastructure in high-density suburbs and informal settlements in urban Zimbabwe’.
When the taps run dry is an excellent piece of work, both detailed in theoretical and empirical analysis and clear and engaging in tone. It brings together under-researched concepts of ‘everyday practices’ and ‘heterogeneous infrastructure configurations’ to make a strong and original contribution to research in development geographies, through exploration of the notion of ’embodied infrastructure’. The qualitative research in urban Zimbabwe uncovers some fascinating findings.
The prize will be running again at the end of the 2022-23 academic year, the deadline is usually 1 July. Please check our website and twitter for updates.
The Development Geographies Research Group (DevGRG) of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) runs an annual essay competition. This competition is in memory of David W. Smith, an outstanding scholar committed to researching cities in the Global South. He died in 1999. This year, we invite Y12/Lower Sixth students from across the UK to submit their entries.
Theme: This year we are delighted to run a photo essay competition with the theme of ‘Repair, Recovery and Reparation’ specifically addressing the question – How do individuals, communities and/or environments repair, recover and seek reparation after a disaster? The theme for the competition engages with the RGS-IBG’s Annual Conference https://www.rgs.org/research/annual-international-conference/chair-s-theme/.
We encourage all students to submit 3 images exploring the theme. Each image should tell their story clearly supplemented with a title and a description of no longer than 300 words. Please explain how the photographs interpret the theme.
All entries must be in PDF/JPEG/.jpg or word doc format (not more than 3MB) and appropriately cited. Kindly include your name, school/college, and contact details.
Please submit your entries (and any questions) to the DevGRG schools prize committee at email@example.com by 1st August 2022 at 23:59 UK time. Entries received after this time will not be accepted. Due to the volume of entries we receive, we will only contact you if you are selected as one of our winners.
By submitting your photo-essay to this competition, you acknowledge that you are the only author of your work and that is it your original work.
The judging panel will comprise of committee members of DevGRG. The panel will assess the entries and determine the winning entry based on theme, imagination and originality, quality of the photographs, and the development of ideas through the description of the photos.
The winner receives an RGS certificate and a book voucher of £100.
The Developing Areas Research Group in conjunction with Routledge offers an annual prize for the most promising dissertation concerning ‘Development Geographies’. The author of the winning dissertation receives £100 worth of Routledge books of their choice.
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2020 prize is Rai Saad Khan from the University of Oxford with the dissertation title: ‘Lahore’s Performative Statehoods: A study of the form and practices of statehood of the Walled City of Lahore Authority in Pakistan’. Many congratulations, Rai!
We would also like to congratulate Wafia Yahyaoui from Queen Mary, University of London whose dissertation was highly commended. Wafia’s dissertation was titled: ‘”Life is Expensive…” Navigating Waithood in Oran, Algeria’.
The prize will be running again at the end of the 2020-21 academic year, the deadline is usually 1 July. Please check our website and twitter for updates.
Please see below for information about the sessions we have sponsored at this year’s Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual Conference:
Trafficking (and) Borders
Session Convenor: Ayushman Bhagat (Durham University, UK) Abstract On October 23, 2019, dead bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were found inside a refrigerated lorry in Essex, UK. These people were considered to have been trafficked by several media personnel, politicians, and NGO workers. Paradoxically, the narrative of trafficking would have placed the burden of victimhood on them, if they would have found alive in the UK. Further, the same narrative would have transformed them into subjects of detention, deportation, and prosecution, if the UK border police would have intercepted the lorry before its entry inside the territory. These are some of the repercussions of the dominant narrative of Human Trafficking which demands strict border controls, restrictive immigration practices, greater migrant policing and surveillance as preventive measures to avoid such incidences.
Whilst celebrities, politicians, activists, consultants, responsible corporate staffs and some academics endorse this ever-burgeoning narrative of Trafficking (Kempadoo, 2015), critical scholars from several disciplines repeatedly highlight the ambiguity of the term ‘Human Trafficking’ which is often invoked by different actors to render their respective political agendas (O’Connell Davidson, 2010). Critical scholarship unfailingly problematizes the politically contested definition (Anderson, 2007; Chuang, 2014), shoddy researches (Tyldum, 2010), exaggerated numbers of victims (Feignold, 2010; McGrath and Mieres, 2014), unethical representations (Andrijasevic, 2007), global politics of rescue (McGrath and Watson, 2018) and counterproductive interventions (Kempadoo, Sanghera and Pattanaik, 2012), which render rightlessness, oppression, and exploitation among the very people the narrative anti-trafficking promises to protect (O’Connell Davidson, 2015). This is what is known as the ‘collateral damage’ of anti-trafficking interventions (GAATW, 2007).
In Geography, these concerns are reflected in the debate over how labour regimes (Strauss and McGrath, 2017), citizenship regimes (Richardson et al., 2016) and immigration regimes (Aradau, 2008) are conceptualized. However, the consequence of this politically charged multi-disciplinary arena of ‘Human Trafficking’ on the wider conceptualization of borders remains relatively unexplored (see: Laurie et al. (2015)). Hence following a call to study “Geographies of Trafficking” (Laurie, Richardson, Poudel and Townsend, 2015; Smith, 2018), this session aims to bring together scholars from different sub-disciplines – border, migration, citizenship, security, labour, gender – to problematize (anti-)trafficking through borders and, at the same time, conceptualize borders through (anti-)trafficking. Through this, we aim to explore:
1. To what extent can we understand and position Human Trafficking as border producing narrative? 2. How do the interventions following the discourse of Trafficking structure and multiply borders for the people on the move? 3. How could we utilize insights from critical border/migration/security studies to analyze the collateral damages of anti-trafficking interventions? 4. How can we conceptualize rescaling, respatialisation, and reconfiguration of borders through trafficking discourse? 5. What are the Northern and Southern perspectives of understanding (anti-)trafficking through borders or understanding borders through (anti-)trafficking? 6. How do people on the move, or in the labour relation respond to these borders of (anti-)trafficking? 7. How can we study borders and trafficking together to avoid ‘methodological nationalism’ and ‘methodological individualism’ in the research?
Incorporating borders as an analytic to examine (anti-)trafficking could offer new insights on (re)production of contingent forms, sites, agents and practices of exploitation. The aim here is to advance the call of studying “Geographies of Trafficking” through the analytic of the border.
Instructions for Authors We invite contributions for a paper session and a roundtable discussion to advance geographical perspectives on Human Trafficking and identify new conceptual and methodological arena within this multi-disciplinary field of study. Please send your title, abstract (of approx. 250 words), affiliation, and expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org . We will notify presenters by 12 February.
Call For Papers Deadline: 05-Feb-2020
Digitising Geographies of Indigenous Folklore in the Global South: Colonial and Decolonial Praxis
Session Convenors: Dumisani Moyo (University of Glasgow, UK) Deborah Dixon (University of Glasgow, UK) Abstract “The emphasis is on respect for tradition as well as nature in general. The respect for tradition goes along with the belief that everything, according to the elders’ vision of the world, trees, animals, rivers, stones, mountains, are endowed with life, hence the interaction of humans and non humans in the folktales. Mountains, trees or stones were believed to be the abode of the spirits. Because today respect for these has disappeared, we see the wanton cutting down of trees, the destruction of sacred places and the disinterest in oral traditions” Boston Soko, Professor of Oral Literature, University of Mzuzu. (see https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/csr/ForTheNextGeneration/malawi/). The study of Indigenous folklore has recently benefited from a heightened impetus. UNESCO in particular has signified the importance of this with two key documents: the (1982) Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore, and the (2003) Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Contemporary to this shift are 21st century efforts to develop and deploy a digital humanities; efforts that intersect with some lines of research in a creative geohumanities. In the Global South, the United Nations (through its agencies including UNDP and UNESCO) is partnering with national government agencies and philanthropocapitalism to research, document and digitize folklore, to conserve, protect and promote cultural heritages. To borrow Betiang and Akpan’s (2018) phrasing, this convergence of media technologies, industry and markets, has, among other consequences, altered spaces of being and knowledge production for all persons involved, and the modes/technologies for the creation, production, distribution, and consumption of Indigenous knowledges. While the digitisation of Indigenous knowledges has received considerable attention in traditional humanities, arts, literature studies, linguistics, media studies, journalism, law, history and other fields of study (for example, Betiang and Akpan, 2018; Broadwell & Tangherlini, 2017; Chisiza, 2017; Hagedoorn & Sauer, 2018; Hunt and stevenson, 2017; Pomadaki, Dimoulas, Kalliris, & Paschalidis, 2019; Risam, 2018; Sauer, 2017; van Krieken, 2018), geographers have arguably, and rightly, remained cautious. Folklore has been a space of ontological, teleological and epistemological escape/freedom from colonial/imperial negativities, and negativism more generally (see Mbembe, 2017: Ch. 5). Reading Mbembe in conversation with his interlocutors, including geographers, a decolonial reading of and approach to digitizing folklore would unsettle a ‘capturing’ or ‘preservation’ of Indigenous knowledges. What teleologies, ontologies and epistemologies come to bear in these interactions? How do these questions reflect in the digitization process itself, and in the results – viewed as pluriversal for the digitizer, the narrative and the storyteller, their environments and communities (see Blank, 2009; Thairu, 2007; Sauer, 2017)? Such a nuanced reading might help awaken new sensibilities that could reshape geographical methodology, as well as the ethical considerations of digitization. With this in mind, this session calls for papers that address themes and questions including but not confined to: 1. What happens when Indigenous knowledges are demarcated as a valuable ‘cultural heritage’? What kind of geopolitics, and ongoing colonialities, are at work in framing Indigenous knowledges? 2. How are organisations, individuals, technologies, and sites enrolled into digitisation efforts, such that a logistics of preservation is designed and enacted? And what epistemological frameworks does a digital humanities bring to bear in identifying, collecting, translating, preserving, storing, analysing and disseminating folklore? 3. How do Indigenous folklores on, for example, agriculture, land use and environmental management, resist, challenge, escape and/or lend themselves to digitization? 4. How might a substantive focus on the digitisation of Indigenous folklore facilitate decolonising epistemologies and practices more broadly?
Instructions for Authors Please send your title, abstract (max. 250 words), and full contact details to Dumisani Moyo (email@example.com) and Deborah Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 10th of February 2020. We will respond to you about the selection of papers by February 14th.
The Development Geographies Research Group run a paper prize for early career scholars, awarded with IDPR Journal. Early career contributors to this session thus qualify to submit for the prize; seeing it is a DevGRG sponsored session. Early career is defined as researchers not on a permanent academic contract within 10 years of their PhD or within 5 years of completion with a permanent contract (plus any relevant extensions to this period for parental leave or other necessary career break).
Call For Papers Deadline: 10-Feb-2020
Intergenerational boundaries and migratory borders
Convenors: Dr Tanja Bastia and Matthew Walsham (University of Manchester)
Migration can reshape relations between generations, with profound consequences for families that span national borders or internal boundaries. The challenge of caring for children in these contexts has often overshadowed the issues that older people face – whether it is they or other family members who move. Migration may also transform how younger generations perceive ageing and plan for their own old age. Research on intergenerational relations in transnational families is often disconnected from debates on similar dynamics within national borders.
This panel welcomes contributions which explore changing intergenerational relations in the context of migration including:
· The processes of intergenerational change in contexts of international and/or internal migration, including comparative perspectives
· The strengths and weaknesses of different conceptual framings for understanding relations between generations e.g. transnational care, multi-local households, translocal families, global householding, etc.
· The challenges faced by older people in mobilising care and other forms of support in translocal settings and policy responses
Although we are open to papers that focus on both the Global North and the Global South, we are particularly interested in those focusing on the latter.
Globally, over 10% of the world population does not have access to electricity, and 40% do not have access to clean fuels for cooking – and levels of access are much lower in rural areas. At the same time that political pressure to improve access globally is increasing, however, the rapid onset of climate change imposes structures on the type and intensity of energy access globally.
Despite technologies continually developing and achieving economies of scale, global energy access targets continue to be unmet. Projects are too often engineered through the lens of technological and economic aspirations rather than attending to the specific needs and aspirations of individual communities.
In this session we would like to address questions that explore this idea further as well as investigating the critical importance (and limitations) of the social scale of energy access, with a view to extending practical social methodologies. We would also like to explore reasons for the slow progress towards universal energy access and interrogate how energy access is defined or understood, as well as questioning the premise of the existing energy access goals.
This session will include 4-5 presentations with time for discussion between speakers and session participants. We encourage speakers to consider the following questions, and how these relate to your research or projects.
How can we identify and cross the borders we have in our understanding of user experiences and realities to enable more sustainable access?
What are the limits of current research approaches?
How can research be done differently?
What are the effects of not fully understanding the energy capabilities, understandings and aspirations of communities?
How do issues of energy justice materialise for communities?
How are energy access policies and projects evaluated, and is success measured appropriately?
What issues arise from conflicting approaches and understandings of different stakeholders, including the role of actors in the ‘Global North’?
Are current understandings of and ways of measuring energy access appropriate?
We hope to be able to support distance/virtual participation in this session. If you would not be able to travel to London for the conference, please indicate this in your abstract submission. We also encourage participation from groups and individuals outside of universities and academia.
Please send your paper title, abstract (up to 150 words) and full contact details to both session convenors by 30th January 2020. We will confirm participation in early February.
Crisis in Latin America: symptoms and consequences for urban Children and Youth
Session convenors: Maria Jesus Alfaro Muñoz (University of Birmingham) and Natan Waintrub Santibáñez (University College London) Sponsorship: Geographies of Children Youth and Families Research Group (GCYFRG) & Development Geographies Research Group (DevGRG)
Latin America is experiencing a profound process of social change. In different forms and with different intensities, the social unrest has challenged models of development which, despite achieving relative progress in recent decades, are still reproducing historical divisions and injustices. The social discontent is (re)shaping relationships of power, the public sphere, and the everyday experiences of children and young people in the urban realm. This sequence of events asks for us to rethink the place of children and young people within local and global processes (Aitken, 2013). Moreover, it makes us rethink the role of children and the youth as part of this social process, either as passive agents who cope with injustices and obstacles in urban public spaces, or as active protagonists of public citizenship demonstrations, claiming for their right to better societies.
Wells (2017) suggested that the political and economic structures surrounding children and young people’s everyday lives is increasingly constraining their agency. In this sense the session invites papers that aim to critically question how children and young people experience urban constrains, navigate local landscapes and engage with social movements within their own agency in Latin America.
We seek to explore the practical and theoretical implications of the changing Latin American landscape for children and the youth. We aim to discuss urban childhoods in convoluted times examining the interconnectedness of their lives (Holloway and Valentine, 2000) and the way their everyday lives are structured and shape by local processes.
Papers may include but are not limited to:
The role(s) of children and young people in the process of social change
Children and young people’s urban everyday experiences within a local landscape of social unrest.
Living in social unrest and the coping strategies in which children navigate the urban space
Civic and social participation of children/youth in public space
Children everyday use and appropriation of the public space.
Spatial discourses of children and young people everyday subjective and emotional experiences.
Dreams and expectations for children and young people’s future societies.
Children and young people’s perspectives and vision for the urban realm.
Keywords: Latin America, Social Unrest, Children, Youth, Everyday Experiences, Urban Childhoods
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Maria Jesus Alfaro Muñoz <MXA964@student.bham.ac.uk> or Natan Waintrub Santibáñez <email@example.com> by February 5th 2020. This should include title, author affiliation and email address.
We want to encourage the wider community of children’s geographers within UK and overseas tackling Latin American contexts to participate. In that sense, do keep in mind that whilst attendance to the session is ideal, we are also considering video-conferencing for up to a defined 20% of the authors if needed.
Urban Inequalities and the Social Contract in The Global South
“Social contract theory dates back to writings of Rousseau, Locke, and Hobbes and, in a newer definition (Loewe et al 2019), refers to “the entirety of explicit or implicit agreements between all relevant societal groups and the sovereign (i.e. government or any other actor in power), defining their rights and obligations towards each other”. With the dismantling of the welfare state, recent political narratives focus on reframing and realigning the relationship between government and governmental institutions and, thus, the respective contract between citizens and the state. Claims to renegotiate the social contract also seem to be causative regarding recent mass protests in Latin America, Northern Africa and Asia. We argue that massive urban transformations play a significant role in this. Therefore, using an urban lens one can argue that the local social contract in many cities in the Global South is under threat by:
• Retreat of the state from social housing and the production of an affordable centrally located housing stock • Gentrification and mega housing projects • Displacement • Segregation and marginalization
We seek papers dealing with urban transformations in the Global South through the perspective of the social contract and the impact of these on state-society relations on a local scale. Papers may address – but are not limited to – the following aspects:
-How the concept of the social contract can be used to explain urban inequalities in the Global South -Provision of social services (or the lack thereof) during processes of urban transformation (i.e. social housing, municipal/legal services, health care, education). -Withdrawal of state protection (i.e. property rights, use of police force, landlord harassment, forced evictions) -Recognition of the state’s legitimacy (trust in the state and its institution) -What can be done to increase social cohesion or strengthen the social contract for cities under scrutiny
If you would like to propose a paper presentation, please send abstracts of up to 250 words to Aysegul Can (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Yannick Sudermann (email@example.com) by Friday, February 7th, 2020
The Developing Areas Research Group in conjunction with Routledge offers an annual prize for the most promising dissertation concerning ‘Development Geographies’. The author of the winning dissertation receives £100 worth of Routledge books of their choice.
We are delighted to announce that the 2019 winner of the prize is Lucy Petty from Newcastle University. Lucy’s dissertation was titled ‘Responsible Volunteering: A Viable Solution? A Postcolonial Reading of International Volunteering in Jambiani, Zanzibar.’ The committee noted that Lucy made exceptional use of chosen methods and that the dissertation structure was excellent. Many congratulations, Lucy!
We would also like to congratulate Helen Cussans of Durham University whose dissertation was highly commended. Helen’s dissertation was titled ‘‘Now is the time for change and it starts with our girls’: Exploring the practice, effects and attitudes towards Female Genital Mutilation amongst women from Isiolo, Kenya.’
The prize will be running again at the end of the 2019-20 academic year, the deadline is usually 1 July. Please check our website and twitter for updates.
The DARG committee is delighted to announce the winner of the 2019 DARG travel prize. The winner is Chidinma Okorie who is a PhD candidate at Loughborough University.
Chidinma’s research project, ‘The Geographies of Nigerian Commonwealth Scholars and the Migration Education-Development (M.E.D) Nexus’ was noted by the committee as research that will make an important contribution to development geography. Chidinma will receive £800 towards her fieldwork in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria. Many congratulations, Chidinma!
The DARG committee thanks all candidates for their applications, they really do show the strength of early career research in development geography. We would like to say a particular well done to our runner up, Floor van der Hout from Northumbria University. We wish all candidates the best of luck with their fieldwork.
The DARG travel prize will run again next year, please keep an eye on our website and twitter account for updates. Questions can be directed at the prize co-ordinator Dr Cordelia Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org