RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2012 CFP: Geographies of Enthusiasm

We’ve put together a session for the RGS-IBG Annual Conference in Edinburgh this July. It seeks to explore the multifarious ways in which people explore and conduct fieldwork in their spare time. We’re interested in all manner of enthusiasms that involve exploration and fieldwork. The call for papers is pasted below. Please do get in touch if you’re interested.

– Hilary

Geographies of Enthusiasm: Exploration and Fieldwork

RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2012, Edinburgh
Sponsored by the Historical Geography Research Group
Organisers: Hilary Geoghegan (Exeter); Hannah Neate (UcLan); and Ruth Craggs (SMUC).

Exploration is a well-established field of research, with geographers examining the contested histories of colonial exploration (Driver, Heffernan, Livingstone); spaces and cultures of modern exploration (MacDonald, Matless, Naylor and Ryan); and, more recently, practices of urban exploration (Bennett, Edensor, Garrett). Associated concepts of the ‘field’ and ‘fieldwork’ have been the subject of sustained focus in relation to teaching practice (Hall et al., Maguire), researcher positionality (Kobayashi, Dewsbury and Naylor) and lived experience (Lorimer). This session extends these debates by examining notions of exploration and fieldwork in other registers.

Hidden and local histories, enthusiast knowledges, as well as popular and professional practices have emerged as themes worthy of further study in relation to exploration and fieldwork. This session is interested in people, places and cultures that have for various reasons been overlooked, regarded as old-fashioned or too readily classed as mundane, non-spectacular, even ‘amateur’. Papers will discuss a culture of exploration that involves romance, revery, memory, as well as political purpose and physical endeavour, and incorporates fieldwork carried out at weekends, on the off-chance or as part of daily life. Focusing on landscapes of exploration in the city, suburbia, and/or the rural, places that are inhabited, cared for and preserved, practices and techniques based upon archaeology, local history and architectural significance, this session offers an opportunity to challenge how geographers have examined people’s understandings of the world, their place within it, and their fascination for it.

We welcome papers on:
* spaces of exploration and fieldwork both historical and contemporary;
* everyday, mundane and undramatic forms of exploration;
* special interest groups, amenity societies and volunteers;
* the role of experts and amateurs in exploring, knowing and caring for places;
* connections between fieldwork, learning and knowing in exploratory landscapes.

Papers on other related topics are also welcome. Please also circulate this CFP to other interested parties.

Please send titles, abstracts of no more than 200 words, names and email addresses of any co-authors, as well as any special a/v requests to Hilary at h.geoghegan@exeter.ac.uk by Friday, 20th January 2012.

Please note: 1) A walking tour will accompany this session – putting discussions of exploration and fieldwork into practice. If you’re interested in hearing more about the walking tour please send an expression of interest to the email above. This sessions forms an important part of the organisers’ British Academy research project ‘cultures of architectural enthusiasm’ – please visit this site for more information: https://conservingc20.wordpress.com/ 2) We would like to draw your attention to the following presenter guidelines outlined by the RGS: An individual may not normally make more than two substantive contributions to the conference programme. A substantive contribution includes: paper or poster presentation (of any length); panel member; discussant or any session contribution of another kind.


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