DARG Sponsored Sessions at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference

Postgraduate Careers Event, March 15th 2019

Developing Areas Research group (DARG) Call for Sponsored Sessions, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London

DARG invites proposals for sponsored sessions at the upcoming 2019 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, to be held in Wednesday 28th to Friday 30th August. This year we will be launching a paper prize, offered for the best paper presented during a DARG sponsored panel.

The 2019 Conference Chair is Professor Hester Parr (University of Glasgow, UK) and the conference theme is Geographies of trouble / Geographies of hope. We invite proposals for sessions that engage with the conference themes and extend contemporary debates within Development Geography. These can be pitched as paper panels, roundtables and sessions that include Development practitioners.

Please contact DARG Chair Dr Jessica Hope with any questions about proposal for a sponsored session (Jessica.hope@bristol.ac.uk). The deadline for proposals is Friday 21st December 2018. These should include:

1. Title of session

2. Name of co-sponsoring groups (if applicable)

3. Name, affiliation, and contact details for session convenors

4. Session abstract (max 300 words, excl. references)

5. Indication of any non-standard arrangements.

We will notify you about your proposal by January 4th. The deadline for full session details to be sent by conveners to DARG (including sequence of papers, paper titles, abstracts and full author details) is 11th February 2019.

For more information on DARG see: http://www.darg.rgs.org For more information on the conference see: https://www.rgs.org/research/annual-international-conference/

Full call for sessions can be found here: https://www.rgs.org/research/annual-international-conference/programme-(1)/

DARG Sponsored Sessions at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference

We are currently sponsoring four sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2018. Please see information below and do consider submitting an abstract to one of them.


Sustainable Landscapes: how is the sustainable development agenda (re)working and (re)producing landscapes?


Jessica Hope

Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Bristol



This DARG sponsored panel interrogates reiterations of sustainable development, as it becomes a guiding principle for global development following the 2015 launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is in response to increasing recognition of human-induced climate change, and despite the concept being much critiqued as a buzzword “unavoidable, powerful and floating free from concrete referents in a world of make-me-believe” (Adams 2009). In this panel, we will debate the contemporary landscapes being changed and (re)produced by the sustainable development agenda, as well as the extent of its power in relation to wider shifts in development (Mawdsley 2016, 2017). Firstly, we will question what kinds of landscapes are being created and how – for example, through discourse and transformative imaginaries (Foucault 2002; Cosgrove 2008), assemblages, networks and actors (Braun 2006; DeLanda 2006), its methods for data collection and measurement (Jerven 2013), and the ways it encounters and values the non-human (Lorimer 2012; Sundberg 2014). Secondly, we will identify, examine and assess the practices that constitute emergent and dominant forms of sustainable development and thirdly, consider the knowledges, natures, debates and conflicts that are being overlooked or actively excluded.


Please send a 300 word abstract to Dr Jessica Hope by Wednesday February 14th along with a brief biography.


Adams, W.M., 2009. Green Development: environment and sustainability in the Third World. Routledge.

Braun, B., 2006. Towards a new earth and a new humanity: nature, ontology, politics (pp. 191-222). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Cosgrove, D., 2008. Geography and Vision: Seeing. Imagining and Representing the World (IB Tauris, London).

DeLanda, M., 2006. A new philosophy of society: Assemblage theory and social complexity. A&C Black.

Foucault, M., 2002. The order of things: An archaeology of the human sciences. Psychology Press.

Jerven, M., 2013. Poor numbers: how we are misled by African development statistics and what to do about it. Cornell University Press.

Lorimer, J., 2012. Multinatural geographies for the Anthropocene. Progress in Human Geography36(5), pp.593-612.

Mawdsley, E., 2017. Development geography 1: Cooperation, competition and convergence between ‘North’and ‘South’. Progress in Human Geography41(1), pp.108-117.

—-2016. Development geography II: Financialization. Progress in Human Geography, p.0309132516678747.

Sundberg, J., 2014. Decolonizing posthumanist geographies. cultural geographies21(1), pp.33-47.



Peripheral urbanisms: Exploring the significance of urban change and continuity across comparative peripheries


Dr Paula Meth & Prof Alison Todes

Reader & Director of Undergraduate Programme
Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield



This panel focuses on the spatial edges of large cities and city-regions across the world, with a particular, but not exclusive focus on cities in the global South. These edges present a complex mix of poorly understood, and often unresearched, urban transformations. Urban changes often signal new forms of investment, either by private sector interests, or in relation to geographically particular state-directed investment in infrastructure (including housing) or employment creation – sometimes part of national policy measures. Pressures on housing markets in other parts of a city can also have spill-over impacts on different peripheral locations. Lower land costs, particular forms of tenure and regulation may also underpin growth in these areas.  At the same time, parts of urban peripheries are subject to absences of investment, or declines in earlier interventions, tied to global shifts of capital or the repositioning of priorities, which may result in depopulation, loss of working age residents or rising poverty. These undulations have significant impacts on the everyday lives of local residents, affecting employment opportunities, and accessiblity to services, education and health, with some areas languishing while others evolve slowly under the steam of piecemeal local responses. Importantly, the nature of local, city and national governance structures shapes these changes and continuities, hence weakness or conflicting governance demands impact on these peripheral urbanisms resulting in poorly managed outcomes or the cherry-picking of particular localities over others. Urban peripheries are themselves varied, as land availability and ownership, environmental quality, transport links etc all work to differentiate urban living and urban change, with wealth and poverty evident.


Our panel aims to attract researchers (and other urban colleagues) who are interested in questions relating to particular or comparative urban peripheries. The panel will include papers from our African Peripheries project (see https://www.wits.ac.za/urbanperiphery/) but welcomes papers which draw on empirically-grounded material relating to other urban contexts. The panel welcomes papers focusing on spatial practices, political and governance trends and interventions, economic processes and social realities among other issues and reflects on the significance of these for urban theory. Papers which examine methodological or conceptual challenges of researching ‘Peripheral urbanisms’ are also welcome.





Interrogating relationships between spatial and social mobility in the Global South


Marta Bivand Erdal

Research Professor

 Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)






This session seeks to interrogate the variegated relationships between spatial mobility and social mobility in societies in the Global South. Relationships between migration and development have received substantial attention in recent years, notably foregrounding the salience of remittances at the household level (Carling 2008; Clemens and Ogden 2014; de Haas 2006). Scrutinizing the ways in which migration interacts with development processes, one conclusion appears to be that migration is an integral component to social change, whereas its exact functions and dynamics are highly context-dependent (de Haas 2010; Sana and Massey 2005; Skeldon 2014). Meanwhile, there also appears to be some potential for moving the understanding of relationships between spatial mobility and social mobility further, especially by juxtaposing analyses built on the specifics of particular contexts, and through constructive dialogue between different strands of scholarship.


This session’s engagement with relationships between spatial mobility and social mobility in the Global South, draws on scholarship at the intersections of geography, development and migration studies (de Haan 1999; Gibson et al 2010; Rigg 2007). Hence building on work which has explored the roles that migration plays in livelihood pathways for individuals and families (Myroniuk and Vearey 2014; Rigg et al 2014; Rigg 2007), some of which foregrounds the roles of education, intertwined with migration, for social mobility (Boyden 2013; Smith et al 2014). It also draws inspiration from the field of youth studies, especially in African contexts, where the interplay of spatial and social mobility emerges as crucial (Gough 2008; Langevang and Gough 2009).


In Africa, much as in Asian societies, urbanization is perhaps the most crucial process whereby spatial mobility and outcomes regarding quality of life and future prospects interact, making cities a crucial avenue for research (Gough et al 2015). Interrelated with urbanization, the rise of ‘new middle classes’ in African and Asian contexts, is receiving attention, where spatial mobility also matters (Page and Sunjo 2017). The multi-locality of livelihoods themselves is a further dimension of relationships between spatial mobility and social mobility, which merits attention (Thieme 2008; Schroder and Stephan-Emmich 2016); and associated with this, sustained transnational ties which migration might lead to, among other involving a potential insurance mechanism through remittances, as protection to various shocks (Mazzucato 2009).


For the purposes of this session, spatial mobility is understood to include rural-to-urban migration, internal and international migration, whether regionally or further afield. Social mobility, in turn, is understood in contextual, emic terms, as improvement, in terms of quality of life, the realization or promise of prospects for life, including but not limited to securing material wealth. Different units of analysis are of relevance, including individuals and families, notably with a lens sensitive to gendered dimensions, but also neighborhoods, communities, or cities. With appropriate data available, national level analyses, distinguishing between differing types of spatial mobility, and their connections with various economic outcomes, are important in order to better understand patterns at an aggregate level.


Papers addressing the challenge of ‘interrogating relationships between spatial mobility and social mobility in the Global South’, submitted for this session, might focus on – but need not be limited to – e.g.:

  • exploring the roles (and non-roles) which migration – past, and present – plays in the emergence of ‘new middle classes’ in Asia and Africa
  • exploring how education plays a role in quests for social mobility, where spatial mobility might also come into play
  • comparative analyses of the interplay of spatial mobility and social mobility, between several contexts
  • longitudinal intergenerational analyses of the interplay of spatial and social mobility in extended families (and/or households) over time



Beyond the standardised urban lexicon: Which Vocabulary Matters?

This panel is jointly sponsored by Royal Geographical Society’s (with the Institute of British Geographers) Developing Areas Research Group (DARC) and Postgraduate Forum (RGSPGF) Session Conveners: Shreyashi Dasgupta and Noura Wahby, University of Cambridge, UK

Session Abstract: The framing of the urban lexicon has been standardised and dominated based on the Euro American context. However, contemporary urban theories from Global Cities, World Class Cities, to Ordinary Cities, Comparative Urbanism and Southern Urbanism have indicated the shift in understanding the ‘urban’ and ‘cities’ from various perspectives. The urban vocabulary is continuously growing in an attempt to capture the complex power dynamics, changing geographical landscapes as well as urban processes. How we read cities and where we place them in a global lexicon is increasingly contested especially around basic questions, such as the meaning of ‘the urban’, boundaries of country and city, among others (Parnell 2014). In particular, the nature of the inclusion of experiences from the Global South is under great scrutiny and debate. These conceptualisations have resulted in an expansion of Southern vocabulary that is continually transformed as new ground realities emerge. Debates surrounding the use of the word ‘slum’, ‘smart cities’, ‘urban poor’, ‘legal’, ‘illegal’, ‘formal’, ‘informal’, ‘periphery’ and so on are especially indicative of the power idiosyncrasies inherent in the choice of vocabulary, where adoption of different types of definitions lead to discriminatory government policies, cosmetic donor programs and complex community identities.

It is thus important to trace how Northern-based theory and concepts are applied in spaces such as the Global South, or across new geographies of national spaces elsewhere. Similarly, we aim to bring to light in-depth analyses on the adoption of new lexicons, the dominance of certain voices, the capture of terminologies by powerful stakeholders, and the recycling of words from the ground-up or vice versa. This panel aims to bring together conceptualisation and interventions that bridge the divide between theory and practice to understand produced mismatches in applying standard urban terms to ground realities.



Bhan, G (2016). ‘In the Public’s Interest: Evictions, Citizenship and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi’. University of Georgia Press.

Parnell, S and Oldfield, S (2014). ‘The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South’. Routledge: New York. RGS-IBG 2018 Annual International Conference Page 2

Simone, A. (2017). ‘Living as logistics: Tenuous struggles in the remaking of collective’ in ‘The Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South. Routledge: New York.

Schindler, S (2017). ‘Towards a paradigm of Southern Urbanism’. City. 21 (1) 47-64

Watson, V (2009). ‘Seeing from the South: Refocusing Urban Planning on the Globe’s Central Urban Issues’. Urban Studies. 46 (11) 2259 to 2275.


If you would like to participate in the session please submit an abstract (maximum 300 words) along with the name and affiliation to Shreyashi Dasgupta (sd681@cam.ac.uk) and Noura Wahby (nw352@cam.ac.uk) by Thursday 8th February 2018. The length of session will be of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It will be comprised of 5 papers that will be of 15 minutes each. A discussion of 25 minutes will follow as well as closing remarks by the session chair. We would also like to encourage scholars to explore different mediums of presentation, such as photo essays, short videos, among others.

RGS-IBG 2018: Call for DARG (Developing Areas Research Group) Session Proposals

RGS-IBG 2018: Call for DARG (Developing Areas Research Group) Session Proposals

The Developing Areas Research Group (DARG) would like to invite expressions of interest and proposals for sponsored sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference to be held in Cardiff, Tuesday 28th August – Friday 31st August, 2018.
DARG welcomes proposals that address both theoretical and empirical questions, changes and conflicts with regards to geographies of development, as well as those that engage directly with Professor Paul Milbourne’s the theme of Geographical landscapes /  changing landscapes of geography. See www.rgs.org/ac2018 for further details.
Each session length is 1 hour and 40mins and in addition to paper-based sessions we also encourage innovation formats to sessions, see here.
Please send a 300 word proposal to DARG Chair – Jessica Hope (jessicachloehope@gmail.com) by Monday Jan 15th 2018.

DARG sponsored sessions at the RGS Annual Conference 2016

The RGS-IBG 2016 Annual International Conference is due to take place on Tuesday 30 August to Friday 2 September 2016 at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The conference will be chaired by Professor Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield)

The following calls for papers for DARG sponsored sessions are now live. Please see below for details and closing dates.

1. The Blue Growth Narrative and the Global South
– Celine Germond-Duret (Liverpool John Moores University,UK)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 10-Feb-2016

2. Relational Approaches to Contemporary Indigenous Issues
– Cadey Korson (University of Oulu,Finland)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 12-Feb-2016

3. Cities, Housing and Infrastructure: the politics of urban change

– Charlotte Lemanski (University of Cambridge, UK)
– Paula Meth (The University of Sheffield, UK)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 15-Feb-2016

4. Emergent urban spaces: A planetary perspective
– Paola Alfaro d’Alençon (Technical University Berlin, Germany)
– Ana Claudia Cardoso (Federal University of Para, Brazil)
– Philipp Horn (University of Manchester, UK)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 12-Feb-2016

5. Economies of Care in the Postcolony
– Shari Daya, Department of Environmental & Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town
– Beth Oppenheim-Chan, Department of Environmental & Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 15-Jan-2016

6. Operations of capital: Studying the nexus of land, housing, and finance across the North-South divide
– Desiree Fields (University of Sheffield, UK)
– Stefan Ouma (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 01-Feb-2016


DARG Event- Careers in Academia- June 2015

On the 5th June 2015 the annual postgraduate DARG careers workshop took place at the University of Manchester with a focus on pursuing a career in academia. It was a really fantastic and rewarding day with many inspirational and incredibly knowledgeable speakers. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about the event:

“I think one of the best things about the day was that you were able to ‘historically’ track the way the speakers were able to shape their own career direction, and the way they overcame the challenges facing anybody considering an academic job post PhD. The informal nature of the event also allowed for a deeper discussion about work-life balances and how to juggle the different types of roles you have to fulfil to progress in academia.”

“I think the workshop was really good. It got me thinking about the future… the openness of the speakers about the realities, struggles and success of the PhD process and life after was really good to hear. I think more workshops like these need to be organised.”

“I think it was an interesting workshop specially in the context that I got a first hand insight to the struggles/possibilities/flexibilities that an early career researcher can face and how to cope with them. First hand accounts are always immensely useful. Not many conferences talks about such personal journeys.”

We at DARG are really looking forward to organising next years event so please stay tuned if you would be interested in attending.

Call for Papers ‘Family geographies, care and relationality’ paper session. Young People, Borders & Well-Being

Call for Papers ‘Family geographies, care and relationality’ paper sessionYoung People, Borders & Well-Being, 4th International Conference on Geographies of Children, Young People and Families, San Diego, California, January 12-15, 2015
Session organisers: Ruth Evans, Sophie Bowlby and Sally Lloyd-Evans (University of Reading)
Session theme:
Despite recent interest in relational geographies of age (Hopkins and Pain, 2007) and intergenerationality (Vanderbeck, 2007), research often focuses predominantly on children or youth without paying adequate attention to the complex gendered, age-based, inter- and intra-generational power dynamics that characterise young people’s family lives and connections to others. Analysis of caringscapes and time-space practices of care within family settings bring to the fore questions of relationality. Research suggests that young people’s caring responsibilities in the context of family illness, disability or death and often in low-income households, may have both positive and negative impacts on their wellbeing (Robson, 2004; Evans and Becker, 2009) and may influence young people’s boundary crossings (Valentine, 2003). For example, care may prevent, enable or reconfigure socially expected lifecourse transitions, such as completing education, migrating for work, initiation rites, engaging in intimate relationships, marriage, childbirth and providing for relatives (Punch, 2002; Evans, 2012; 2014). The care provided by other family members – such as by a young person’s parent or sibling to their parent or friends, or the care provided by friends, relatives or professionals to a parent, sibling or other relative – may also impact on young people’s lifecourse transitions and mobilities.
In this session, we hope to explore the informal and formal caring practices and relations that shape young people’s family lives and reflect on the powerful, often emotive discourses associated with ‘family’ in different cultural and policy contexts. We are interested in papers that address a diversity of caring practices and family relations in the global North and South. Care may be undertaken by children, parents or other family members, non-kin significant others or professionals, may be manifested through ‘proximate’ or ‘distant’ caring relations in transnational households, and may focus on care of the living, dead or dying or non-human agents and materialities. We hope that the session will make a significant contribution to the emerging field of family geographies.
Please send your title and abstract of a maximum of 250 words by 1st September 2014 to Ruth Evans (r.evans@reading.ac.uk).

Call for abstracts: The Third University of Leeds Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) conference

Call for abstracts: The Third University of Leeds Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) conference will be taking place on the 12th November 2014. The theme of this year’s conference is Does Research Make a Difference in Development? Bridging the gaps between research, policy and practice and we are very excited to open up the Calls for Abstracts (attached) to all PhD students and early career researchers across the UK. Deadline for submission for presentation and poster abstracts is 31st August 2014.

Reminder: DARG Committee Elections

At this year’s AGM we will be voting for a new Chair of DARG and for up to three committee members to replace members of the current committee who are coming to the end of their terms of office. Anyone standing for Chair should be a Fellow of the RGS: non-RGS members may stand as committee members, but may not hold the post of Treasurer or Secretary.

Anyone interested in standing for these posts can get in touch with a member of the current committee to find out more about the roles involved. Nominations must be proposed and seconded by members of the Group and must receive the assent of the nominee before submission to the Secretary, Nina Laurie (nina.laurie@newcastle.ac.uk). This year, we’re asking all people standing for committee/Chair to write a short statement (maximum 250 words) on what they would bring to the role – and we aim to circulate these to all members ahead of the AGM.

All nominations should be sent to Nina on/before 11th August.


CFP: Food Justice: knowing food/securing the future

University of Reading, UK, 16th-17th July 2014 Sponsored by the Norma Wilkinson Trust, the Geographies of Justice Research Group, the RGS-IBG and the University of Reading. http://foodjustice2014.wordpress.com/

Organizers: Agatha Herman, Mike Goodman & Sally Lloyd-Evans (University of Reading)

From farmers’ markets to food deserts, food banks to community allotments, the concept of food justice engages with the contemporary global challenges of food access, sovereignty and security through the lens of social and spatial inclusion/exclusion. This two-day conference aims to make space for otherwise marginalised stories and relations with food by creating an opportunity for academics, civil society and policy professionals to work together to discuss and address some of these issues. The conference focus on justice and inclusion/exclusion connects into broader social debates on inequality, race, gender, class, identity, livelihoods and agency and we welcome anyone interested in these issues to come along and participate.

Depending on the quality and volume of papers received, we plan to produce either a special themed journal issue or an edited volume in the Ashgate Critical Food Studies series alongside an overview report to be disseminated to civil society and policy organisations.


Confirmed speakers include Nik Heynen (University of Georgia), Liz Dowler (University of Warwick), Mike Goodman (University of Reading) and David McAuley(The Trussell Trust).

We invite you to submit papers on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Concepts of justice in the context of food
  • Food access and exclusions
  • Austerity, access and diets
  • Food banks and alternative food supplies
  • Civic Food
  • Food, identity and body image
  • Food and family
  • Community gardening/production
  • Food activism
  • Food policy and policy contexts
  • Conventional and alternative food networks
  • Sustainability/resilience of food systems
  • Changing food geographies
  • How to practise food justice

Contributions are welcome from a range of areas across and beyond geography, including engagements from outside academia.

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to Agatha Herman (a.l.herman@reading.ac.uk) ASAP!


DARG ANNUAL POSTGRADUATE WORKSHOP 2014 — Book now! Only 10 places left —



— Book now! Only 10 places left —

Careers in the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector.

Friday 9 May 2014, at the Education Centre, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Arrival from 9.30 for a 10.00 start, workshop ends at 17.15.

The workshop will bring together speakers from some of the UK’s most influential universities and from the largest international NGOs in the world, creating a unique opportunity for postgraduate students to better consider and plan their future careers.


Places cost £14 and must be booked and paid through the following link https://dargworkshop.eventbrite.co.uk

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Lunch and tea/coffee are included in the workshop fee.

The workshop will provide postgraduate students with much needed guidance and information on opportunities and routes into the NGO sector. The sessions cover how to bridge academic work and NGO work; an overview of available positions; possible routes in; and CVs and cover letters. There’ll be a range of speakers, along with practical advice and lively discussions.

Speakers include:

· Madhu Malhotra, Director, Gender, Identity and Sexuality, Amnesty International

· Deborah Hardoon, Senior Researcher, Oxfam GB

· Benedict Dempsey, Senior Humanitarian Affairs Adviser, Save the Children,UK

· Professor Caroline Moser, University of Manchester

· Dr. Deborah Sporton, University of Sheffield

· Janet Reilly, Human Resources, Development Initiatives

· Shaun Harris, Deputy Director, LSE Careers

· Recently Graduated PhD students: Dr. Gemma McKenna (Parliamentary Researcher), Dr. Katy Schofield (Synchronicity Earth), Dr. Susannah Fischer (Researcher Climate Change Group, IIED).

The event will be open to all postgraduate DARG members, whether on taught courses or undertaking research. If you are not a DARG member you can join at the event. Annual student subscription is £2. Membership is free to RGS-IBG postgraduate fellows.

For further information please contact the DARG Postgraduate Representatives

Jessica Hope Jessica.Hope-2@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Marcia Vera marcia.vera@sheffield.ac.uk

Regina Hansda rh478@cam.ac.uk