Session at 2019 Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographic Society with IBG

The civic responsibility of the academic is to produce socially relevant knowledge that is attuned to basic principles of social justice; respect for human decency and diversity; the affirmation of the positivity of difference; and academic freedom, antiracism, openness and conviviality (Braidotti 2013). However, geographical, sociological, urban and architectural education and research still often emerge from the outside, from the distant, objectifying gaze of the Western “expert”, who learns through individualised, rational knowledge.

We are interested in forms of learning that do not adhere to the normative structures and communications of such academic disciplines, but enrol and embrace a host of creative, resistant, mundane and “unknowable” things, which are customarily refused by institutional channels. Approaches that are less preoccupied with knowing or understanding, but that instead engage, feel, or intervene to create, complicate, open out, and envision. We are seeking to (re)define the status and value of geographical, sociological and urban research through an affirmative engagement with the present, and through ethical and adequate representations of our situated historical location.

This session therefore calls for papers that work through interdependence, inhabit the in-between, and build on common interest and hope as generative forces in the production of spaces, knowledges, and ways of being together. Approaches that refuse to be for or against, that work through the process of becoming ethical, and create spaces of multitude through socially just pedagogies (Haraway 2008, Braidotti 2013).

The focus of this session is as much ethical as it is processual, to address our construction of self as scholars, and the construction of our fields of enquiry. We therefore welcome papers that engage with the following themes and more, from an affirmative ethos of conviviality and multiplicity:

  • Interdependence, in-betweenness, milieu (Serres 1982)
  • Being together, with(in), insile (as opposed to exile)
  • Interest, openness, joy and interaction
  • Commoning and the commons: knowledge commons (in education, research and critical practice) and spatial commons (communally produced and shared urban, geographical, architectural spaces)

Please submit your abstracts by Friday 8th February 2019 to Sabina Andron ([email protected]) and Dan Webster ([email protected].uk). We will then select submissions for our full RGS-IBG session proposal to be submitted by mid-February.

Session conveners:

  • Dan Webster, School of Natural & Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Dr Sabina Andron, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London