I’m excited to be share this call for papers, sponsored by the History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG), for the 2017 RGS-IBG Conference. I’m hoping that this a session that people might take as a fun opportunity to think through or speculate on topics or concepts relating to their research that they may have overlooked as ‘opposites’ of core research interests, as well as a session in which the act of thinking through antonyms is itself reflected upon. Submissions of abstracts of up to 300 words from people at all career stages, from across or outside the discipline, and with ideas that are currently only loosely formed are welcome! Please email me if you have any further questions – the deadline for submissions is Monday 13th February
Becoming Geography’s others: thinking through antonyms
RGS-IBG 2017, London, Tuesday 29 August to Friday 1 September 2017, Sponsored by the History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG)
Session Organizer: Dr Robert Shaw, Newcastle University, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Geographers who count on the stability of points should beware. They may not be what they are since they are always already becoming-other” (Doel, 2000, p.122)
All research projects have their others: people, places or concepts which sit in opposition to our main topic of research. These oppositions often function to given a sense of stability to our research. If we know what something is not, we can start the work of deciding what it is.
This session invites geographers from across the discipline to explore their research through a paper focusing on some sort of ‘opposite’ to their main topic, social group, place or concept (for example, the relational to the non-relational, a shopping mall to a garbage dump, the day to the night). Papers might attempt to break down the binaries between the two items being considered, or they may show the ways in different actors carry out work in order to (re)produce boundaries. It is hoped that papers will, to some extent, focus on what the act of reflecting through opposites might mean intellectually for research, or the discipline of geography. Reflections could use the consideration of the antonym to help define, understand, explore or elucidate something about their main topic of research, to consider the positionality and power involved in the production of opposites, or alternatively presenters might offer insights from their existing work to comment on the antonym. The aim, following Doel’s quote above, is to destabilize the ‘points’ that constitute our research by attempting, and failing, in the act of thinking or becoming our research’s others.
Contributions from people at all career stages, from across or outside the discipline, and with ideas that are currently only very tentative or loosely formed are welcome! Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words to email@example.com by Monday 13th February