RGS Annual Conference 2020 DevGRG Sponsored Sessions

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 ayushman.bhagat@durham.ac.uk . 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 (d.moyo.1@research.gla.ac.uk) and Deborah Dixon (deborah.dixon@glasgow.ac.uk) 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.

Instructions for authors

Please email paper proposals (title, author affiliation and 250 word abstract) toTanja.Bastia@manchester.ac.uk and Matthew.Walsham@Manchester.ac.uk

The deadline for proposals is 31st January 2020.

Rethinking barriers to sustainable rural energy access

Natalie Boyd Williams (University of Stirling – n.a.boydwilliams@stir.ac.uk)

Hannah Mottram (University of Sheffield – hfmottram1@sheffield.ac.uk)

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 <ucesnwa@ucl.ac.uk> 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 (aysegul.can87@gmail.com) and Yannick Sudermann (y.sudermann@gmx.de) by Friday, February 7th, 2020

Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Winner 2019

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.

DARG Travel Prize Winner 2019

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 cordelia.freeman@nottingham.ac.uk

DARG Postgraduate Travel Prize Winner

We are delighted to announce the winner of our DARG postgraduate travel prize, Kavita Dattani who is an MRes student at Queen Mary, University of London. We received a very strong set of applications so congratulations Kavita!

Kavita’s research project is entitled “Digitising Domestic Work: investigating the role of digital technologies and on-demand platforms in the work-lives of Delhi’s domestic workers“. The prize is £800 toward fieldwork costs and Kavita will be spending the summer in Delhi where she will conduct interviews and focus groups. We wish Kavita the best of luck with her research and are looking forward to her report on her return.

If you are interested in applying for future funding, our travel prize closes on 1 June every year. More information can be found on our funding page. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Report on DARG-sponsored meeting on The Caribbean Region: Adaptation and Resilience to Global Change by Duncan McGregor and David Barker

The sixth in the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers British-Caribbean Seminar Series was held at the Department of Geography and Geology, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica, June 23rd-27th, 2014.  The Seminar was organised by Professor David Barker, Dr Thera Edwards, Dr Kevon Rhiney (Department of Geography, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus) and Dr Duncan McGregor (Department of Geography, Royal Holloway), with the financial support of the Climate Change Research Group and the Developing Areas Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.  These funds were used specifically to provide subsidised conference attendance, including fieldtrips, for 7 postgraduate and 1 undergraduate students from the Caribbean region.
The meeting had a truly international flavour, including as it did participants from the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Colombia and 8 Caribbean Territories (Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St Vincent, St Kitts & Nevis and Martinique), who enjoyed 3 days of research presentations and 2 field days.
Over 60 participants took part, with 44 papers presented within the overarching  theme of adaptation and resilience to global change within the Caribbean region.  Papers ranged in topic from regional and national frameworks for action; approaches to  resilience-building, in coastal, urban and agricultural systems and through education and technology; with particular groups of papers concentrating on eastern Caribbean and Guyanese environments and on key niche industries such as Jamaica’s coffee industry.  Several ‘local’ and ‘international’ postgraduates presented in these sessions, and this Next Generation acquitted itself with distinction.
Two field days underscored the human vulnerabilities of Jamaica in terms of inner-city regeneration and rural economic adaptation and development, and stimulated much debate during and after the trips. ‘Team spirit’ was fostered by a variety of evening social occasions, which provided ample opportunity for individual exchanges of research experience and ideas, and for ‘networking’. 
A successful publication outcome is anticipated, thanks to generous sponsorship from the Jamaica National Foundation and from USAID Project funds.  Negotiations are under way with the University of the West Indies Press to produce substantive Proceedings, and Special Issues of the regional journal, Caribbean Geography, are anticipated. This will mirror the outputs from previous seminars, which have resulted in four edited volumes and six Special Issues of Caribbean Geography, a total to date of around 100 individual chapters and papers.
In this context, the organisers of the meeting are presently drawing up a synopsis of the principal conclusions drawn from the meeting.  This will not only act as a suitable postscript for the major publications anticipated, but as a strategy document to inform the wider research and decision-making community of the principal problems associated withThe Caribbean Region: Adaptation and Resilience to Global Change, and the major research directions crucial to the alleviation of these problems. 

Committee Elections – DARG needs you!

As noted in the last newsletter, this AGM will see a significant change in our committee membership, as we will have space for up to four full committee positions, including that of Chair. If you are interested in standing for a place on the committee as a regular committee member or as a PG representative and wish to discuss this, please get in touch with Glyn Williams (glyn.williams@sheffield.ac.uk) or Nina Laurie (nina.laurie@newcastle.ac.uk) to find out more about the roles involved.
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. Nominations must be proposed and seconded by members of the Group and must receive the assent of the nominee before submission to Nina as DARG Secretar (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.  

Developing Areas Research Group AGM

The DARG AGM will be held during the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, on Thursday 28th August from 13:10-14.25, in the Sunley Room of the RGS.
Any DARG members (or other interested people) who are not registered to attend the conference but who wish to attend the AGM can gain a free visitor pass for the meeting by emailing AC2014@rgs.org and providing their name, affiliation, email address and the meeting(s) they wish to attend.  The RGS will confirm receipt and arrange a visitor pass for them to collect from the registration desk on the day.
Items for the AGM agenda will include our new Constitution, discussion of DARG’s prize to remember the work of David Drakakis-Smith, and importantly the election of new committee members.

DARG PG Travel Award

This year’s prize winner is Felicity Butler (RHUL), for her research in Northern Nicaragua on Including Unpaid Labour in Community Fair Trade Products.  Congratulations to her: this year’s competition saw a very high-quality list of applications.

One year lectureship in Development Geography

The Department of Geography at the University of Portsmouth wishes to appoint to a one-year lectureship in Geography (Development Studies). The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to our established teaching programmes and in particular deliver two units in ‘Geography and Development Studies’ (2nd year undergraduate unit) and ‘Gender and Development’ (3rd year undergraduate unit – some flexibility of specialist area within the realm of development studies may be possible for this unit). Further details of our current teaching and research activities are available through the Department of Geography webpages on the University website (www.port.ac.uk).
Applicants should have a PhD and have teaching experience and be research active commensurate with career stage. You will be encouraged and supported in the development of your personal teaching and research agenda and encouraged to collaborate with colleagues in developing and enhancing your existing career profile.
You will be required to demonstrate experience of teaching and be willing to contribute to our geography teaching programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including tutorials, fieldwork, dissertation supervision and core teaching within the geography curriculum. Existing experience of delivering specialist option teaching would be an additional advantage as detailed above and within the realm of geography and development studies.
Interview Date: 7 August 2014!
Salary: £32,590 to £35,597
Start date: no later than the 1st September 2014.
Candidates are welcome to discuss this post further with:
Dr Simon Leonard (Head of Department)
tel: 023 9284 2501/2507
For detailed information about this vacancy, please select this link: 10012288 – Lecturer in Geography.docx

 

Professor Rob Potter (1950-2014)

As many members may already know, Rob Potter, Professor Emeritus at the University of Reading, and a leading academic in the areas of urban and development geographies, has died. Rob was an active member of DARG, serving on its committee, and co-editing The Contemporary Caribbean (Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2004) within the Group’s series of regional geography books. Previously Professor of Geography and Head of Department (1994-1999) at Royal Holloway, University of London, he joined Reading in 2003 and later became Head of the School of Human and Environmental Sciences. An elected Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, Rob was awarded the higher doctorate degree of DSc by the University of Reading for his contributions to the fields of geographies of development and urban geography, with particular reference to Caribbean development studies.

Rob had a long and distinguished research career, with more than 30 books and monographs and over 250 journal articles and book chapters, and was founding editor of the journal Progress in Development Studies from 2001.  He also supervised over 30 PhD students, and was in constant demand as PhD examiner, journal manuscript referee and as external assessor for senior appointments both in the UK and overseas. He particularly enjoyed being in the field, whether on undergraduate fieldtrips or in the Caribbean.  He had over 30 years’ research association with the Eastern Caribbean, researching principally on urbanisation, housing  and planning, but also on, among others,  tourism, gender, returning migrants and human aspects of environmental hazard.   Rob always insisted on publishing not only in ‘high impact’ international journals, but also in Caribbean journals and other locally-accessible outlets.  Even during his illness, he continued working on the third edition of the Companion to Development Studies, which arrived just two days before he passed away.  This last publication was a fitting tribute to his contribution to scholarship in, and of, developing countries.

Rob was always very supportive of junior colleagues and especially of women in academia.  He maintained high moral standards and was a person with great integrity. He was very fond of his text books and worked very hard in getting them published and they were very successful.  He privately and bravely battled with cancer since 2009.  He will be greatly missed. If anyone is wishing to make a donation in memory of Rob can do so by sending a cheque made payable to either ‘The Pilgrims Hospice’ Canterbury or the Royal Free Trustees Grant (311) “The Quiet Cancer Appeal” at the Royal Free Hospital, London.

 (with thanks to the RGS and Vandana Desai)