Dr Samantha Saville (University of Cambridge) has been awarded the Society’s Area Prize for the best article by a new researcher in the Society’s journal Area, for her article Towards humble geographies. We spoke to Dr Saville about her paper, the publication process, and her advice for other early career geographers.
Towards humble geographies tries to bring a range of ideas from feminist, situated, more-than-human geographies together. I suggest that thinking with and practicing humbleness can encourage us to be more open, honest and improve the way we relate to each other and the world.
It really stemmed from writing the methodology chapter of my doctoral thesis and reflecting on how I could convey my approach to that research. As the paper explains, the connection with humility was made by some of my interview participants.
There’s also a political thread running through the paper that connects humility with arguments for a more caring, gentle academic culture that resists the competitive tendencies of neo-liberalised education systems.
Having given a presentation at the Society's Annual Conference, I was encouraged to try and expand these ideas into a paper.
I’ve read many inspiring pieces in the journal, particularly around ethics and methodological approaches. I hoped this paper would be on-topic. The shorter word length seemed attractive (and of course was later a real challenge!) and the wide potential readership of the journal was appealing for a piece that I wanted to speak to researchers of all stripes and interests. I have certainly not regretted it.
The reviewers’ comments were supportive, challenging but most of all very helpful in pushing me to write what I meant clearly and refine my initially woolly thoughts! They spotted links to literature I had not made myself that enriched my thinking and the argument. I have received many complements on how well written the paper is, but at this point it feels very much a group effort from the editors, reviewers and other readers. I am so grateful they invested time to its development. I enjoyed their puns on humble opinions as well!
I would certainly recommend it. The editorial team are wonderfully understanding, supportive and dedicated to helping get an argument out there in its best form. Publishing takes stamina and persistence, so that support and positive tone can really make a difference, especially when you have fewer experiences under your belt.
I would also suggest that starting with one argument, one key finding you think really matters and you are passionate about, can help get you through the process.
The Society’s 45th annual fieldwork and planning seminar this November is a weekend for anyone aspiring to undertake original geographical field research.
12 October 2021
We are delighted to announce the appointment of five new Editors for two of the Society’s academic journals and the RGS-IBG book series, alongside the appointment of a new Managing Editor for the Society’s academic publications.
16 October 2019
These steaming swamps share similar characteristics to UK bogs but are densely forested
How our response to natural disasters can be improved and lessons learnt which benefit vulnerable communities worldwide in the long-term
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