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Chair's theme

The Annual International Conference 2018 is chaired by Paul Milbourne (Cardiff University, UK).

Geographical landscapes / changing landscapes of geography

The theme of geographical landscapes / changing landscapes of geography provides an opportunity to explore ideas of landscape within geographical scholarship, the popularity of landscape beyond the academy, and the shifting landscapes of geography as an academic discipline.

Landscape has long been a central concept within geography. The conference will offer critical reflection on the position of landscape within contemporary geography. It will also seek to develop dialogue between human and physical geographers, and engage with researchers from other cognate disciplines working on landscape. The conference will provide a broad perspective on geographical landscapes in terms of spatial and temporal context, methodological approaches and thematic coverage. Examples of potential themes include:

  • Landscapes of the past, present and future
  • Rural, urban and post-industrial landscapes
  • Colonial, post-colonial and decolonial landscapes
  • Landscapes of power, oppression, exploitation and conflict
  • Landscapes of resistance and justice
  • Landscapes of community and care
  • Spaces of nature and more-than-human landscapes
  • Landscape representations, belongings and identities
  • Bodily engagements with landscape
  • Beyond the land: digital landscapes and soundscapes
  • Liquid landscapes: coastal spaces, seascapes and blue infrastructure
  • Edible landscapes: spaces of food production and consumption
  • Ordinary, mundane and everyday landscapes
  • New landscapes of austerity and Brexit

Beyond academic scholarship, landscape has emerged as one of the key public faces of geography through the publication of numerous popular books and broadcasts of television shows and radio programmes on seeing, moving through and engaging with landscape. This has provided geography with a greater sense of recognition and relevance, even though the term ‘geography’ is often absent from these texts. The conference will explore this popular interest in landscape from the perspectives of those within and beyond the academy.

The landscapes of geography are also changing. The conference will encourage critical discussion of the shifting contours of geography as an academic discipline. It will also engage with the changing external landscapes within which geography is positioned. Brexit and recent rounds of restructuring of the (higher) education sector in the UK are presenting new challenges for the discipline in relation to internationalism, marketization, and understandings of excellence in the context of research, impact and teaching. How are these changes impacting on geography and geographers in the UK, and to what extent are such shifting external landscapes evident in other countries?

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