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.