SCGRG Call for Papers, Sponsored Sessions IBG 2014

The following sessions have been successfully sponsored by the SCGRG for the RGS/IBG 2014 conference. Please see the calls for papers below.

1. Complicating the co-production of art: Hidden humans and acting objects -1 session Session Convenors –Danny McNally & Harriet Hawkins, Royal Holloway University Contact – 

“Collaboration in art is fundamentally a question of cultural form”, John Roberts has claimed (2004: 557). By this he was bringing to attention that co-production in art is not a new phenomenon associated solely with the recent rise of socially-engaged or participatory art – rather that the production of socially-engaged art has become “a self-conscious process” (Roberts 2004: 557).

The creative process of participatory art has become a topic of increased intrigue in Social and Cultural Geography. Foci have emerged detailing its “messy materialities” and fluctuating social tensions (Askins and Pain 2011); its ability to create “senses of stability and belonging” (Parr 2006); and the art studio as an archival space “where things begin” (Sjöholm 2013: 1). More broadly, this geographical work on art can be seen as a move away from representational politics towards an understanding of art as a process constitutive of experience and meaning (Hawkins 2011). Despite this, however, geography’s attention to the intricacies of the co-productive processes of art has remained on relatively narrow grounds.

Drawing inspiration from John Roberts’ complication of the (co-)production of art, this session seeks to encourage geographers to expand their analytical lens to investigate the numerous actors and processes that go into the ‘co-production’ of art. Within this remit of actors and processes it seeks to draw attention not just to the human labour of art production, but also, alongside recent geographical attention to more-than-human publics and technological devices (e.g. Braun and Whatmore 2010; Dixon et al. 2012) the role of the nonhuman. In this light the session seeks papers that expand on both the understanding of the collaborative human work (e.g. technical staff, volunteers, gallery assistants, community groups, curators, researchers), and the role of the nonhuman (e.g. the canvas, the paintbrush, the gallery space, the gallery text panels, the raw materials) involved in the co-production of art.

  • Papers might explore some of the following questions:
  • Who are the expanded people involved in the production of art? What role do they play?
  • Who is hidden and who is exposed in the production of art (e.g. technical staff, volunteers, gallery assistants, community groups, curators, researchers, artist)?
  • What is the connection between co-production and co-authorship in art?
  • How can we think of the nonhuman as co-producers in art? What role do they play?
  • How does this problematize the idea of co-production?
  • How can this investigation extend geography’s interest in the process and meaning of art?
  • How can we think of the co-production of art as an assemblage?
  • How does this engage with wider geographical questions around co-production and (co)authorship? (For example Crang 1992; McDowell 1994; Keighren and Withers 2013).


2. Vertical Worlds -2 Sessions Convenors- Andrew Harris, University College London & Richard Baxter, Queen Mary University London Contact – Andrew Harris -andrew.harris@UCL.AC.UK,  Richard Baxter- 

Recent geographical scholarship has been marked by new attention to vertical dimensions: ups and downs, heights and depths, and spheres and volumes. However, despite important new insights on the politics of space and territory, there remains an analytical emphasis on security and segregation, and strategies of containment and control in much of this vertical turn. This session retains an interest in how a vertical focus contests flattened imaginaries within the social sciences, but aims to explore a wider world of vertical geographies. It develops a broader array of conceptual ideas, empirical forms and ethnographic engagements around the spatial entanglements of three-dimensions. By investigating a range of vertical worlds – such as mines, high-rises, bridges, farms, gardens, submarines, cable-cars, airplanes, acrobatics and climbing – the session opens up a more diverse, theoretically informed and cosmopolitan agenda for understanding and researching verticality.

General themes might include, but are not limited to:

  • Cultural representations of verticality, e.g. in films and novels
  • Everyday vertical life
  • Theorising the vertical-horizontal relationship
  • Vertical architectures and modes of transport
  • Non-urban vertical forms
  • Verticality and nature
  • New comparative geographies and histories of verticality

The format of the session (two timeslots anticipated) will be presented papers, involving academics, architects and artists. A trip to a high spot in London (e.g. Centrepoint, Westminster Cathedral, Emirates Air Line) will also be organised as part of the session. This will enable the co-production of further conversations and lived experiences of verticality between the presenters, other interested participants and the vertical architecture.


3. New Regional Geographies -1 Session Convener- James Riding, University of Sheffield Contact-  James Riding-

Each session will comprise five, 15-minute presentations. Each presentation will be followed by approximately five minutes of question time.

New Regional Geographies, explores the lived in and loved places of everyday life, regional culture, embodied practices, nature-society relations, the more-than human, visual and material artefacts, and landscape theory; essentially the small stories that make a region. Due to the significance of non-representational and relational approaches to place, nature and landscape, and the mobilities turn – which has proved influential across the Social Sciences – there is an opportunity to create a New Regional Geographies where place-based creative writers, poets and artists, cultural geographers, and academics across the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences can undertake dialogue, and produce important interdisciplinary research, which is extensive in approach. Remnants of a once descriptive Regional Geography can be seen in the radial psychogeographic wanderings of Iain Sinclair and Nick Papadimitriou, the new nature writing of Robert MacFarlane and Alice Oswald, and the biographical and cultural studies of geographers Hayden Lorimer, Fraser MacDonald and David Matless in the Cairngorms, the Hebrides, and the Norfolk Broads. New Regional Geographies, aims to contribute to the on-going re-appreciation of Region – encouraging theoretical and historical explorations of regional heritage and culture, and artistic responses to a specific region, including place-based environmental writing, personal and autoethnographic research, and embodied ethnographic accounts, as a method for critical social and cultural analysis. The session asks what next for regions of conflict, regions of religious embeddedness, and regions of economic, technological, cultural, social and environmental change, writing and performing these through a newly animated and reinvigorated New Regional Geographies.


4. Literary cartographies: the co-production of page and place-1session Convener –Jon Anderson, University of Cardiff Contact-Jon Anderson

This session invites papers that investigate the ways in which geographies of fiction co-produce the real and imagined places around us. As Piatti et al observe, geography is essential to fiction, it is “impossible to even think of literature without any spatial context” (2008:4); however, the co-productive relationship between real places and literary stories is complex. In some cases, fiction intersects directly with real world cartographies. Narratives can be based in specific countries, regions, and towns, so much so that we can visit them in person and follow our characters’ footsteps with our own. This direct coincidence of fictional and geographical space can be seen in examples such as Hardy’s Wessex, Kerouac’s California, or Auster’s New York. In other fictions, real geographies are moulded, with distances reduced, streets folded and landmarks crumpled together. In this way, (brave) new worlds are invented in the author’s and readers’ imagination. In the same way as some authors invent ‘counterfactual histories’ (see Piatti and Hurni, 2009), these re-workings may be conceived of as ‘counterfactual geographies’. However, as this session explores, any claim to a clear and reliable reality is often difficult to maintain in the realm of literature and geography. Thus, in the words of Piatti and Hurni, stories can be rooted directly in the “physically comprehensible world”, or exist in their own “rich geographical layer” above it. These complex and fascinating relations combine to produce the “geography of fiction” (Piatti & Hurni, 2011:218). This proposal aims to have one conventional paper session exploring the ways through which page and place are co-produced in reading and writing practice. Secondly, it offers a supplementary walking tour, based around a relevant piece of literature, which offer a ‘novel’ means through which to experience the co-production of page and place. This walking tour will also offer an opportunity to write the conference experience in a new way.


5. Scrapheap Challenge for Everyday Security -1 session Conveners –Lizzie Coles-Kemp & Debi Ashenden Royal Holloway University Contact- Coles-Kemp 

We propose a session that explores the design and evaluation of research methods used to develop our understandings of ‘everyday’ security. The term ‘everyday security ‘ relates to security achieved by people on their own terms to protect the aspects of space and place. The session will be used to co-produce an understanding of how to evaluate such methods. Notions of everyday security have resonance across several disciplines ranging from studies of identity in social and cultural geography (Hoogensen and Rottem, 2004, Massey 2004), to sociologies of the everyday (e.g. Shove et al. 2012, Lefebvre 1971, Blanchot 1987, De Certeau 2011) and theories of relationship maintenance (e.g Zimmerman 2010, Bhandari and Bardzell 2008 and Kjeldskov et al. 2005).  Everyday security has a particularly sharp focus in the area of technology design where security technologies are primarily still regarded as imputing a set of paternalistic values not necessarily shared by the communities that use these technologies (Lacy and Prince 2013, Coles-Kemp and Ashenden 2012). Danish HCI researchers  Niels Mathiasen and Susanne Bodker  (Mathiasen and Bodker 2011) went further and linked notions of the everyday with wider feelings of ontological security, arguing that if everyday security practices are to be supported through artifacts (digital or otherwise) designers need to better understand security for the individual in terms of ontological security.

Coles-Kemp and Ashenden (2012) discovered that the more sympathetic research methods are to the everyday lives of participants, the more willing participants are to engage in data collection activities and the higher the quality of the data. This is particularly true for communities that feel excluded or disadvantaged in research participation. In particular methods such as cartoons, video, music and collage have proved particularly powerful methods of engagement, data collection and analysis.

Our proposal is that participants are encouraged to submit rich visual descriptions  (potentially in video, photographic or illustrated form) of research methods constructed from everyday artifacts that can be used to engage, collect data, or conduct analysis on aspects of everyday security. The visual description should be accompanied by a brief abstract and where appropriate a short soundscape or audio description (for those artifacts incorporating sound).

Our proposal for the session is that it is run using a World Café format. Participants move round the room discussing each artifact with its designer. Feedback is given both verbally and in the completion of postcards. Feedback focuses on how each artifact might be evaluated in terms of its research function and its form. Participants add their postcards to a wall collage to co-produce a narrative of the session.


6. Geoaesthetics: Art, environment and co-production-1 session Session Conveners –Miriam Burke, Sasha Engelman and Harriet Hawkins, Royal Holloway University Contact,  

Aim: The aim of this session is to explore how creative and artistic practices engaging with the environment co-produce geographical knowledge, and how collaboration between artists, geographers and scientists might facilitate these practices.

Alongside the well-established rise of citizen science and participatory democracies in co-production of knowledge, there has been an exciting parallel expansion in the use of creative and artistic methodologies for the production of, engagement with, and dissemination of knowledge about the environment. Building on this body of work, so often focused on human participants, this session addresses the ways in which contemporary geographical and art practices are brilliantly suited to explore and engage with expanded ideas of human and non-human ‘publics’ in the co-production of environmental knowledge. Thus, alongside artists enrolling lay or “non-expert” environmental knowings, we find other practitioners collaborating with the environment itself: for example with non-humans who are ‘big-like-us’, microbes which are not- and even with animate forces and environmental matters.


Within the ontological shift to a non-dualistic view of ‘naturecultures’, what can we learn from creative and artistic methods of co-production and engagement with the world around us? How are we, as geographers, expanding our view of publics to include non-humans and what are the implications of this for the co-production of knowledge and research dissemination in academic and non-academic contexts? How might artistic practices help geographers and others to take account of the forces and matters of the ‘geo’?

Themes may cover, but need not be restricted to the following questions:

  • What kinds of creative methodologies are being employed by artists, geographers and others to create new spaces of encounter between humans and nonhumans?
  • What tools, technologies and research practices do geographers and artists share?
  • How do we understand ‘impact’ in terms of creative co-production of knowledge with the environment, the public and nonhumans?
  • Who and what are we (artists and geographers?) co-producing knowledge with?
  • What kinds of participatory practices are invented and encouraged by creative projects that seek to enrol both human and nonhuman actors?
  • What may an expanded notion of ‘publics’ look like, and in what specific ways do creative methods contribute to new configurations of the public?
  • How can we creatively engage non-humans in the process, and how do non-humans engage us in their creative practices?
  • How is co-produced knowledge disseminated?
  • How can creative and artistic practices facilitate engagement with non-relational and insensible parts of the world?

This session aims to showcase and learn from different practitioners using these ideas in research. Creative and participatory means of presentation are very welcome. Drawing on our contacts and our art-world networks we will ensure that within these sessions we bring artists and other creative practitioners into this discussion of co-production, this is especially important given the theme of this session.


7. Geographies of Making/Making Geographies: Creativity, Practices, Economies and Knowledges -2 sessions Session Conveners –Laura Price, Royal Holloway University, Stephen John Savile & Robert Mackinnon, University of Aberystwyth  Contact-Price, Laura -Laura.Price.2011@LIVE.RHUL.AC.UK

This session proposal hopes to continue discussion from the AAG sessions of the same name to be held in Tampa, 2014. These sessions gathered considerable interest from researchers and academics that were unable to attend the AAG but hoped there would be similar sessions held at the RGS-IBG 2014. We are proposing two sessions of five x 20 minute papers and one participatory/practice-based session with workshops on ‘making’ – with time at the end to reflect and draw together the paper, and practice based outcomes. We would like to suggest hosting these practice-based workshops at the Sackler Centre in the Victoria and Albert Museum.


The power and significance of creative material practices of ‘making’ has commanded increasing attention within and beyond Geography (Sennett, 2008, Crawford, 2009, Charny, 2011, Institute of Making, UCL). Whether this is critical engagement with craft and vernacular creativities, artistic practices, or the extensive range of making practices studied under the banner of the creative economy. Scholarship not only acknowledges the social, economic, political and cultural potentials of these practices, but also increasingly doing so by way of in-depth studies of the material, practiced and embodied dimensions of making. This represents, we argue, a requirement that we revisit and re-negotiate the spaces and practices of production, and that we interrogate the politics therein.

Geographical research on the creative economy, alongside cultural-social geographies of arts and creative practices, give us the foundation for these studies of the geographies of creative making and crafts whether this be explorations of creative cities, clusters or networks, the intersections of creativity and place, or making in the home or in the studio, or at the scale of the notebook (Scott 2002; Pratt 2008; Bain, 2009; Edensor et al.  2009; Brace and Putra-Jones, 2010; Rogers, 2011; Sjoholm, 2012; Harvey et al, 2013). Alongside this research we find attention being turned to the multiple lives of things, reworking and extending biographies of objects via practices of, for example, mending, repairing, up-cycling or other ways of creatively re-working objects, including second-hand consumption practices (Gregson and Crewe, 2003; Gregson et al, 2012; De Silvey and Ryan, A Celebration of Repair). Long recognising the place-making possibilities of such forms of creative making, we now find a growing attention to the productive force of these material, embodied practices. This might concern thinking through the production of human subjects through their material relations with the world, or it might explore the broader social context of communities of makers and the growing appreciation that “making is connecting” (Gauntlett, 2011).

In these sessions we seek to expand geographical engagements with making and explore and experience some of the ways that geographers can attend to the power of making (V&A, 2011). We are interested in both sustained research with, and participation in making and re-making practices and communities, but also wider theoretical reflections on the use of ‘making’ as a geographical tool to understand and conceptualize the world and to comprehend the social, cultural, political and material relationships therein.

In the workshop sessions we wish to enchant and develop some aspects we hope will come out in the theoretically informed papers, by encouraging participants to make and remake tangible objects. This could take the form of guided making sessions and/or semi structured repair/hack/and modify workshops. We are looking for proposals for guided workshops that will ask and perhaps multiply questions through the hands (and other making tools). What small acts of creation can re-make our theoretical approaches?

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers but by no means limited to the following 

– The taking/making place of creative making. – How communities of making are formed and held together (and dissipate)? – How can making make communities? – How are making identities formed through enthusiasms and skill? – Making as a force in the world, as an agent of social, cultural, political change/activism. – Methodological questions raised by studying creative making practices. – Making and theorisations of embodiment, affect, materiality, skill, habit, craftsmanship and improvisation. – Explorations of making and the visceral (making as therapy, feelings of joy, boredom, pain-staking, enchantment, comfort)

We invite 20 minute guided participatory activities exploring:

– A politics of becoming closer – making with objects and being in our creations. – How objects, especially tools, can make us in our acts of making. – Making and theorisations of embodiment, affect, materiality, skill, habit and improvisation. – Explorations of making and the visceral (making as therapy, feelings of joy, boredom, pain-staking, enchantment, comfort). – Making as a force in the world, as an agent of social, cultural, political change/activism (upcycling/repair/craftvism) – Methodological questions raised by studying creative making practices.


8. Defining the Spatiality of Co-Creation, Collaboration and Peer Production in the Digital Age-1 session Session conveners –Penny Travlou, University of Edinburgh, Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett. Contact- TRAVLOU Penny

This session looks at novel models of creativity in reference to collaborative practices, co-creation and peer production focusing on their spatiality within a transglobal and digitally-fused environment. Within this context, creativity is understood as a synergy of spaces, practices and artifacts, interlinked in such a manner that their singularity(-ies) form an assemblage. Spaces are lived by bodies (both human and non-human); practices are performed by bodies; artifacts are made by bodies. The connecting commonality here is a community of bodies – people and things that make this assemblage happen. We can consider creativity, and subsequent knowledge formation, as forms of social interaction rather than the outcomes of social activities. Whilst we commonly perceive creativity as the product of the individual artist, or creative ensemble, from this perspective creativity can also be considered an emergent phenomenon of communities, driving change and facilitating individual or ensemble creativity. Creativity can be a performative activity released when engaged through and by a community. Creativity, thus, can be also regarded as an emergent property of relations, of communities. As James Leach (2004), the British anthropologist, suggests creativity can be proposed as a collective becoming where the creation of new things, and the ritualized forms of exchange enacted around them, function to “create” individuals and bind them in social groups, thus “creating” the community they inhabit and generate new places in the landscape.

Following this theoretical framework, the session looks for papers that investigate the spatiality of novel forms of creativity presenting examples of creative landscapes. Papers can focus and reflect on one of the following issues:

  • Case studies on spaces of collaborative and co-creative practices such as hackerspaces, fablabs, co-design studios, online forums and collaborative platforms, social innovation hubs, DIY biohacking labs etc. We will particularly welcome papers that reflect on spaces of co-authorship and co-production where authority and voice of the persons involved may shift towards horizontal structures of power and control.
  • The methodological framework(s) that best accommodate(s) these insights on the spatialities of creativity as an emergent property of assemblages (e.g. collaborative ethnography, co-design and prototyping, research by design, digital research methods, multi-sited fieldwork).
  • Insights and reflections on the current theoretical approaches on co-creation and peer production in the digital (network) age: collaboration, Do-It-With-Others (DIWO), hacktivism, open source and free software movement, heterarchy, commons and peer-to-peer culture. Special focus will be on the linkage of the above concepts to current theoretical debates within cultural geography.

The session will also include a fieldtrip to Furtherfield Gallery and Furtherfield Commons in Finsbury Park. Furtherfield is a “dedicated space for media art”, providing a platform for “creating, viewing, discussing and learning about experimental practices in art, technology and social change” ( Unlike commercial private galleries, however, Furtherfield functions as a non-profit artist-run space, aiming to “initiate and provide infrastructure for commissions, events, exhibitions, internships, networking, participatory projects, peer exchange, publishing, research, residencies and workshops” ( The scope of the field visit is to look at a ‘creative’ space that champions co-creative and peer production practices where digital artists, audience and local communities work together through cultural practices and creative processes exploring ways to establish contemporary commons.


9. Military Mobilities-1 session Conveners –Kimberley Peters and Peter Merriman, University of Aberystwyth Contact- Kimberley Anne Peters ? Peter Merriman -prm@ABER.AC.UK

“Military geographies may be everywhere, but they are often subtle, hidden, concealed, or unidentified” (Woodward 2005, 719). In recent years geographers have paid increasing attention to military spaces and practices – from the scale of the body to global geopolitical strategies and military operations – but few studies have explicitly focussed on military movements and mobilities. For this session we invite contributions from scholars working across a range of disciplines and sub-disciplines in order to facilitate a critical dialogue about military mobilities and immobilities in the past, present and future. We invite papers which address a range of topics, in any time period, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Secret and covert mobilities – e.g. special forces operations, extraordinary rendition, mass evacuations
  • Strategic mobilities – military tactics, logistics etc.
  • Infrastructures underpinning and enabling military mobilities
  • Mobilities afforded by distinctive technologies such as the submarine, drone, stealth bomber, bomb disposal robot, motor car, space shuttle, helicopter, horse, trench, tunnel, and tank.
  • Relationship between military and non-military/civilian mobilities – e.g. use of civilian guides and translators, private security forces, civilian public transport, etc.
  • Simulation of military mobilities for operations or entertainment – military logistics, military strategies, computer games, etc.
  • Role of strategic sites as bases or control centres for military mobilities (e.g. Diego Garcia, Gibraltar, Guam, Northwood, Pearl Harbor, and the Pentagon)
  • International Defence Training – mobilities associated with international training sites; multi-national war gaming exercises.
  • Role of military mobilities in international policing of seas
  • Experiences and accounts of travel in the military
  • Social, cultural, political and economic geographies created by military mobilities, including studies of military communities, commodity circulations, etc.
  • Mobilities of military families
  • Mobilities of peoples displaced by military activities, ranging from refugees created by war and conflict, to those evicted from land to build military bases, airfields and training grounds.
  • Mobilities of the militarised body and the injured body.
  • Histories of military mobilities and empire.


10. No Man’s Land -1 session Conveners –A.D.Pinkerton, Royal Holloway University and Noam Lesham, Durham University Contact and  Geographies of No Man’s Lands: materiality, genealogy and agency

This session seeks papers that open up new critical engagement with the no-man’s lands of the 20th and 21st century. Our agenda is to critically explore the genealogies, spatialities and agencies, which emerge from empirical and conceptual no-man’s lands. We are interested in challenging the ambiguity that has come to cloud ‘No Man’s Land’ and to insert new intellectual rigour into its scholarly application.

With its origins in medieval England to describe disputed territories between fiefdoms, ‘No Man’s Land’ is now most readily associated with the materially decimated tract of earth that divided Britsh and German trenches during the First World War. But the story of No Man’s Land does end in 1919. Mechanised war and subsequent ‘diplomatic’ resolutions have created a veriaty of no-man’s lands, from demilitarized zones to disputed border regions. Other areas have been condemned as No-Man’s Lands becauase of environmental distaters and ruination. The 30km exclusion zone around Chernobyl is perhaps the most obvious example, but evacuated mining towns from North America to Australia offer equally important insights into the production of such spaces.

Inspired by the intellectual rigour invested in the term in the two decades that followed the First World War (by thinkers like Walter Benjamin and Ernst Junger) we aim to explore the significance of No Man’s Lands as a productive analytical concept for contemporary social, cultural and geo-political scholarship. We invite concpetual interventions and empirical reflections, past and present, as well as critical efforts to reflect on cases drawn from beyong the Euro-American experience.

Papers may explore:

  • processes through which No Man’s Lands are produced, enforced and/or resisted (including, for example ideas of enclosure and abandonment, urban and biopolitical governance);
  • the social life of No Man’s Lands, including the agencies and mobilities of those who inhabit (or disinhabit) these spaces;
  • critical archaeologies and geopolitical anthropologies;
  • Materialities and ecologies;
  • creative and artisitic practices of intervention and representation of no-man’s lands;
  • Genealogies and histories that expand or exceed the WWI paradigm;
  • theoretical and methological reflections.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to and


11. Co-Creating Climate Futures -1 Session Convener –Saffron O’Neill, University of Exeter  Contact –S.O’

The process of responding to climate change requires an understanding of values at risk, in order that potential trade-offs, limits, and barriers are illuminated when making decisions. For example, when making decisions about climate change adaptation, some values are quantifiable (e.g. land lost with sea-level rise), but many are not (e.g. loss of unique places). Adaptation decisions are most often based on quantifiable values, partly as decision-making processes are still needed which can elucidate these important, but intangible, values at risk. Thus, methods of working to co-produce knowledge about the values at risk (both of the phenomena of climate change, but also in our response to climate change) are needed. This opens up spaces for cultural and social geographers to engage creatively with the idea of climate change; and to also engage beyond the discipline and the academy with interdisciplinary researchers, artists, policymakers and others.

This session would open up a call to geographers to be more imaginative in the types of methods they use to investigate the performance of the ‘everyday’, particularly in regard to climate change. It would bring together a diversity of people, in order to support and constructively critique the idea of co-production of knowledge, as it applies to climate change. Presentations (this would include visual exhibits or installations as well as verbal presentations) would include:

  • Papers which have used creative methods for co-creating understandings of climate change (this might include photo-elicitation, ethnography, video-diaries)
  • Presentations from creative artists who had engaged with co-production of climate change (such as poets, visual artists, photographers)
  • Insights from decision-makers involved in co-creation processes (for example, local government climate officers, DECC policymakers)


12. Intermingled, entangled, consumed?  Eating and the co-production of bodies -1 session – Post-graduate session Conveners-Suzanne Hocknell & Louise Macallister, University of Exeter Contact -Suzanne Hocknell and Louise Macallister

I eat an apple. Bite, chew, swallow. Where has it gone? (Mol, 2008: 29).

Recent work in Social & Cultural Geographies, following amongst others Haraway (2008), Mol (2008) & Bennett (2010), suggests that we cannot continue to conceptualize either ‘I’ or ‘apples’ as discrete bodies.  For example Hinchliffe et al call for a shift from comprehending bodies as bounded by borderlines, to imagining ‘topological spaces of the borderland’ (2013:541) ‘wherein pathogens, hosts, knowledge practices and others beside intra-act to make life more or less safe’ (2013:540).

‘Where does eating apples happen?’ (Mol, 2008: 28).

I eat an apple – apple and human fold with gut microbiota to create new material formations with(in) the body, and together we are eating amongst other things – industrial food practices, the labour of migrant workers, and socio-economic norms about who should eat what and how much.  But it doesn’t stop there – when I eat an apple I enter assemblages with dental plaque, with hormones, sewage systems, public health policies and marketing strategies.

‘“I eat an apple”?’ (Mol, 2008: 28).

Alimentary assemblages reveal ‘glimpses…of intermingling bodies that suggest other ways of inhabiting the world’ (Probyn, 2000: 8).  For Hayes-Conroy & Hayes-Conroy ‘small-scale resistances’ to food logics and food practices ‘such as a conscious attempt to retrain tastebuds – are…politically relevant on multiple scales’ (2008: 469).

For this session we invite reflections on how our logics and practices of eating co-produce bodies materially, socially, ethically and politically with multitude others.  Possible themes include: Who, where, and what are eater & eaten?

  • Geographies of digestion
  • Eating and epigenetics
  • Alimentary identities
  • The biological co-production of body size
  • ‘Industrial’ foods & the co-production of bodies
  • Eating hierarchies
  • Eating, conviviality and the co-production of communities
  • Eating well? ‘Ethical’ eating and (re)making the world

Format:  Paper session with 5 papers and time for discussion.


13. Postgraduate Snapshots: Engagements in Social and Cultural Geography-1 session –Post-graduate session Session convenors: Emma Spence (Cardiff University) and Richard Scriven (University College Cork, Ireland) Contact-Emma Spence ( and Richard Scriven (

The aim of this session is to explore the different ways in which postgraduates are (co)producing social and cultural geographies through their research, collaborations, methods, and encounters. Postgraduate research is frequently at the forefront of changes and challenges in the discipline, with large research projects, funding agendas, and national and institutional policies fundamentally shaping the work undertaken by postgraduates, but this is largely unrecognized or lacks serious reflection and discussion. This session allows for considerations and explorations of how ‘co-production’ is manifest in this arena by engaging with the diversity of postgraduate research.

We are seeking postgraduates to present a ‘snapshot’ of their research and co-productions. In line with the title of the session, we seek contributions that focus on one element, such as new fields of inquiry, theoretical emphasis, emerging methods, collaborations, and innovations. We ask applicants to provide a snapshot (whether a photograph, a quotation, a field diary entry, an image of an object, or mini-video clip, for example) complete with an abstract (of max 150 words) that explains how the snapshot showcases both contemporary social and cultural geography research and elements of co-production.

It is envisaged that the ‘snapshot’ will be the main artifact around which each contribution is orientated. In order to facilitate discussion, we encourage participants to consider presenting in innovative and engaging ways by fully utilizing their snapshots.

Please email prospective contributions to both session organisers Emma Spence ( and Richard Scriven ( The deadline for submissions is Friday 14th February 2014. Please include:

  • A title for your ‘Snapshot’
  • The Snapshot
  • An abstract (max 150 words)
  • A short description of how your presentation will use your Snapshot (max 100 words)