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 ( 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.


Undergraduate dissertation prize

The Developing Areas Research Group in conjunction with Earthscan offers an annual prize for the most promising dissertation concerning ‘The Geography of Developing Areas’. The author of the winning dissertation receives £100 worth of Earthscan books of their choice, and 25% discount on any further Earthscan books ordered.

The prize is open to any student taking a first degree in Geography. Students taking joint degrees are eligible to enter for the prize, provided that at least half their course is in Geography. It is suggested that no Department of Geography submits more than one dissertation for this prize. Dissertations will be evaluated by three members of the DARG Committee.

Dissertations, along with a copy of the instructions given to students, should be sent by email as a PDF to the DARG Undergraduate Prize Committee at: S.L.Parker at

Emails should include “DARG UG dissertation sumbission” as the email subject. Please also include student details, and who to contact to announce the winner.

Deadline: 14th July 2014

Cultural Geographies of Development: Politics, Approaches and Methods for Teaching Geography Undergraduates

Date: Monday 30th June 2014, 9.45-1.00

Venue: Room 311, Geography Building, School of School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

This half-day event is organised by Dr Pat Noxolo, University of Birmingham, and is funded by the University of Birmingham Excellence in Teaching Fund, with postgraduate travel bursaries funded by the Developing Areas Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society

Description: There was a time in development theory and practice when ‘culture’ was seen as a collection of inconvenient local traditions that would be swept away by modernisation.  But culture has proved remarkably adaptable, so that globalisation has only increased cultural diversity and the awareness of difference.

This half-day event is for established, new and potential lecturers in development geography.  It is an opportunity to explore, through discussion, why, what and how we can teach students about what is meant by culture, its geographies, and its changing relationships with the spaces and places of development.  How can students understand processes of cultural change in relation to a range of development practices, and the challenges of living and working with cultural difference in an increasingly interconnected but still highly unequal world?  And what are the possible implications of the increasingly diverse cultures of development practitioners, organisations and institutions, for students’ future roles and responsibilities in addressing global inequality?

The timetable for the event is as follows:

9.45 Welcome and opening thoughts (Dr Pat Noxolo, University of Birmingham)

10.00 Discussions and experiences 1 (facilitator: Pat Noxolo): Cultural geographies of development: opportunities and dangers?

10.45 Break

11.00 Discussions and experiences 2 (facilitators: Drs Clare Madge and Jen Dickinson, University of Leicester): Curricular movements: whose geographies, what culture, which developments?

11.45 Discussions and experiences 3 (facilitators: Dr Susan Mains, University of Dundee, and Clare Newstead, Nottingham Trent University): Changing teaching and learning methods: changing geographers?

12.45 Closing thoughts (facilitator: Pat Noxolo)

1.00 Close and buffet lunch

The event is intended as an informal opportunity for discussion based on teaching and learning experiences, so please come prepared to share your thoughts and practices.

Participation is free, but please email Dr Pat Noxolo by Monday 23rd June for catering purposes.  To apply for a postgraduate travel bursary to contribute to travel within the UK only, please email Dr Pat Noxolo by Monday 23rd June, giving details of your postgraduate research, and with a short statement (up to 150 words) saying why your research and teaching/future career make this a relevant event for you.

DWS Prize Winner 2014

The results of the 2014 DWS essay competition run by DARG and sponsored by Routledge publishers are:

Winner:  William Nicolle  Exeter School

Highly Commended:  Noah Lipschitz, St Albans School and Tom Blackshaw  Exeter School

The essay title was: ‘Examine the view that levels of inequality are increasing within cities in the Global South’

Well done!

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.

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 ( 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

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

Marcia Vera

Regina Hansda

HEA STEM (GEES): Field courses in the Global South for Geography, Earth and Environmental Science students in UK higher education

This briefing report is intended to support fieldwork to destinations in the Global South1 for students in all GEES disciplines (Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences) at UK institutions of higher education. While the focus is on field courses at undergraduate level, many of the issues identified will also be relevant to postgraduate field courses in the Global South. This briefing report is intended to support fieldwork to destinations in the Global South1 for students in all GEES disciplines (Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences) at UK institutions of higher education. While the focus is on field courses at undergraduate level, many of the issues identified will also be relevant to postgraduate field courses in the Global South.

You can access the full report by going to the Higher Education Academy website here


‘DARG Postgraduate Careers Workshop: Opportunities in the non-governmental organisation NGO sector’

This workshop will be held at the RGS in May. For one of the sessions recent graduates will be invited to speak about their experiences getting employment in NGOs and or dividing their work between academic research and NGOs. Ideally another postgraduate is needed to speak at this session. In particular the organisers are looking for a recent graduate (last few years), preferably based in London, who now work in the NGO sector. Please email Jessica Hope with any suggestions at

RGS-IBG medals and award nominations

RGS-IBG medals and awards recognise excellence in geographical research and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement.  Any Fellow or member of the Society may make a nomination, and Research Groups are welcome to support nominations. The deadline for nomination is the end of February. The list of medals and awards is as follows:
·      Gold Medal – Founder’s and Patron’s Medals for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery. The two Gold medals are both approved by Her Majesty The Queen.
·      Victoria Medal for conspicuous merit in research in Geography Busk Medal for conservation research or for fieldwork abroad in Geography or in a geographical aspect of an allied science
·      Cherry Kearton Medal and Award for a traveller concerned with the study or practice of natural history, with a preference for those with an interest in nature photography, art or cinematography
·      Murchison Award for publications judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding recent years
·      Back Award for applied or scientific geographical studies which make an outstanding contribution to the development of national or international public policy
·      Cuthbert Peek Award for those advancing geographical knowledge of human impact on the environment through the application of contemporary methods, including those of earth observation and mapping
·      Gill Memorial Award for the encouragement of geographical research in early career researchers* who have shown great potential (*defined as within 10 years of completing their PhD)
·      Ordnance Survey Awards in recognition of excellence in Geography education at the secondary level Taylor and Francis Award for excellence in the promotion and practice of teaching and learning in Higher Education
·      Ness Award for travellers, particularly those who have successfully popularised Geography and the wider understanding of our world and its environments
·      Fordham Award for distinguished contributions to the field of cartobibliography (this is not awarded every year)
·      Geographical Award for a company or individual that had provided outstanding (non-commercial) support for individuals or groups learning through scientific expeditions; or for an expedition(s) that has had a significant impact in inspiring and raising the understanding of geographical issues among schools or the public
·      Honorary Membership for outstanding services and contributions to a geographical dimension of public life Honorary Fellowship for service to the cause of Geography or to the work of the Society
Nominations should consist of a completed nomination form with a statement of 200-300 words outlining why the candidate should receive the award, a CV of the candidate and written support of approximately 200-300 words from two additional Fellows or members of the Society (ideally from different institutions/departments). Membership numbers of the proposer and supporters should be included in all correspondence. Full details and nomination forms can be found at: