This year’s Annual International Conference is made up of more than 400 individual sessions, meaning delegates will be spoilt for choice. Here is a selection of just a few of them.
Among the pre-conference workshops taking place on Tuesday 26 August is a networking and training symposium for postgraduate students. Jointly organised by the Postgraduate Forum and the Society, the workshops and discussions are led by established professional geographers and are designed to help postgraduates develop transferrable skills whilst also enriching the experience and value of attending the conference.
There are further events and sessions throughout the conference aimed at postgraduates and early career researchers. Richard Scriven, convenor of the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum sponsored sessions, says: “These sessions provide a space for ideas and emerging research to be discussed and refined in a constructive manner, which can act as a crucial first step in getting papers published in scholarly journals and is especially important for postgraduates and early career researchers. In addition, we’ve put a greater focus on diverse communication skills and dissemination strategies in the sessions meaning the role of interactivity and innovative presentation styles have been emphasised.”
Many of the 400 plus sessions are traditional plenary and keynote lectures as well as presentations of papers, but the conference programme also includes plenty of interactive session formats including workshops, World Café discussions, ‘author meets critics’ dialogues, and a range of roundtable and expert panels. Among the more innovative sessions this year are two art exhibitions and a visit to a museum.
The main entrance foyer will play host to an immersive ‘aliveness machine’ which translates information about animal activity into an animated artwork in support of a paper being discussed in a session on the co-production of knowledge with humans. In addition, an in-situ and virtual exhibition that examines the critical roles of artists and communities in contemporary urban public art will be on display in the Pavilion.
As part of a session commemorating and remembering the First World War, Imperial War Museums London (IWM) is offering delegates the opportunity to attend an out-of-hours tour of the museum’s new First World War galleries along with the chance to meet with some of the curatorial team behind these displays. James Wallis, a Collaborative Doctoral Award student at IWM, says: “This event gives participants a unique opportunity to learn about the processes and challenges of using historical galleries to display the First World War from an insider’s perspective. The latest historical research illustrated by papers earlier in the session will marry up with the content of the galleries, and chime with the wider centenary commemorations.”
These selected sessions illustrate not only the breadth of activity at the conference but also the variety of participants. As ever, this year’s conference features contributions from a wide range of backgrounds across academia, art, non-governmental organisations and others, and many will result in follow-up activities such as published papers and books, websites, blogs and policy recommendations.
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