The three-day RGS-IBG Annual International Conference attracts over 1,800 geographers from around the world.
The chair's theme for the 2019 Annual International Conference is Geographies of trouble / Geographies of hope. The theme has been selected by the chair of conference, Professor Hester Parr (University of Glasgow, UK), in conversation with the Society's Research Groups and with the Research and Higher Education Committee.
The conference programme will include sessions and papers which engage directly with this theme, as well as others focusing on all areas of geography. For more information, please see our call for sessions, papers and posters.
We are said to live in troubled times. Newsfeeds stream endless updates of political stalemate, Brexit-related anxieties, threats of chemical geopolitics and pending economic crises. Particular world regions or discrete places are often declared unstable in their troubles. People constantly migrate across the world, seeking something else, but at critical risk from seas, gangs and public rejection. Powerful leaders are said to be making their mark via protectionist policies, promising to bring long-due privilege back home. Meanwhile, the earth heats, landscapes degrade and climate becomes a war of words and the subject of belief. Such a troubling list inevitably registers in different ways with different people, places and expert communities. Some take action, while others struggle for a sense of meaning and place-in-the-world, alienated by the stark polemics - and circuitous debates - provoked by the apparent challenges tied to contemporary planetary inequalities.
In such times, what is the role for geography as a specialist and analytical form of earth writing? Should we both trouble geography, and its production of knowledge, as well as interrogating worldly troubles - and to what end? What can geography trouble by its ideas, research and interventions in different times and places, but also in hopeful, positive and productive ways? Simply listing troubles is clearly not enough. Indeed, should we be always hopeful, individually and collectively, by focussing on progressive theory, practice and action in the face of trouble? If geographers do seek to trouble the world in hopeful ways, especially through their increasing public work, what is the future status and purpose of geography as an academic discipline for change in the 21st century?
Some points of departure are:
Who, what and where is troubling, troubled and troublesome?
Where is hope in the current times?
Does history hold useful lessons and stories about trouble and hope?
How are troubles and hopes situated, scaled and relational?
What is gained and lost in aligning trouble and hope?
How might we best conceive of geographies of trouble and hope?
Can interdisciplinary encounter involve particular troubles and hopes?
What happens in troubled spaces and places where there is no hope?
What is the purpose of a troubling but hopeful geography?
Should geographers ‘stay with the trouble’ and if so, why and how?
How can geography’s public role include a troubling of worldly power?
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