Image from AC2019: Panel 8 Photography
With one month to go until our Annual International Conference, we caught up with this year’s Chair of conference, Professor Uma Kothari from the University of Manchester, to discuss this year’s theme of Borders, borderlands and bordering, her advice for those attending and what she’s most looking forward to about this year’s event.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s conference?
I am most looking forward to the different conversations that will take place as we engage with the profusion and rich variety of stimulating sessions and plenaries. It was of course very disappointing that we had to postpone the conference last year but following the long period of lockdown, I am delighted that we will once again have the opportunity to meet with each other, online and in-person.
Why did you opt for the theme, Borders, borderlands and bordering, in particular?
I selected this theme because it allows us to look across spatial and temporal boundaries and demarcations, while also inviting their transgression. As has become especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, borders are as salient now as they have ever been. National and regional borders persist to divide and separate people just as social, cultural and environmental borders segregate and compartmentalise us. And yet as geographical thinking incorporates an ever wider array of subjects and objects, these conceptual and material divisions are being challenged in new and innovative ways.
What are you hoping to see across the breadth of this year’s sessions?
The theme of bordering allows us to consider a variety of scales, to explore multiple temporal dimensions and various geographical processes. I look forward to engaging with the breadth of sessions that address such concerns and that bring together the diversity of work being carried out in the various sub-disciplines within geography. These include sessions that cover cities and urban development, geological and ecological dimensions, and human/more-than-human relations. I am also looking forward to witnessing a variety of forms of presentation and a range of methods being adopted to explore key themes, including creative, artistic and performative geographies. One of the contributions I am particularly looking forward to is the session on film geographies.
Uma Kothari courtesy of University of Manchester
What aspects of the conference are you particularly keen for delegates to engage with?
I very much hope that participants will engage fully with the conference beyond their own sessions including participating in the welcome event, the plenaries and in informal discussions. Above all, I hope that, whether attending in-person or online, everyone finds opportunities to engage with each other and with the various Research Groups.
How do you think the hybrid nature of this year’s conference is going to enhance people’s experience of the event?
Despite initially presenting some challenges, the hybrid nature of the conference has enabled much wider participation, diversity and inclusion. This year’s conference is set to be the largest in terms of delegate numbers and the most diverse in terms of the geographical spread of attendees. The experience of participating in the conference will be further enhanced by adherence to the revised and updated Society Research Committee’s Code of Conduct for AC2021 to ensure it is fit for both in-person and virtual elements. In this context, we remind everyone to be kind to each other, which is even more important in these uncertain and unsettling times.
Do you have any advice for early career researchers or graduates to ensure they make the most of the conference experience?
We particularly welcome early career researchers and graduates and recognise how intimidating it can feel to attend and/or present a paper at a large conference, such as this. I would encourage you to join the welcome event, introductory sessions, and the postgraduate and early career researcher events we have planned in order to connect up with others who may be feeling similar to you. Conferences are important events to meet others and to form networks as well as to find out about the wide range of work being carried out, not only in your own field but beyond.
Find out more and register for the conference.
This month we are speaking to Bradley Rink to find out more about his project as part of the Wiley Digital Archive Research Fellowship.
New data show that the number of students applying to study geography at university in 2021 has risen by 3% from the equivalent figure in 2020.
Earlier this month, the editors of the Society’s journals and book series, along with the publishers, Wiley, met to discuss the publications over the past year and to look forward to the future.
By placing a booking, you are permitting us to store and use your (and any other attendees) details in order to fulfil the booking.
We will not use your details for marketing purposes without your explicit consent.
You must be a member holding a valid Society membership to view the content you are trying to access. Please login to continue.
Join us today, Society membership is open to anyone with a passion for geography
Cookies on the RGS website