Engaging geography

6. seminar participants and interests (so far …)

with 3 comments

Gerald Aiken

Postgraduate student


As a passionate Geographer, I am very keen to discuss and be involved with innovative and progressive takes on the discipline. Before becoming a postgraduate, I was a high school Geography teacher; I also am active in activist organisations. Both of these demonstrate a commitment to a ‘public’ Geography that is both challenging and engaging. I am especially interested in how my academic areas of interest can be made more accessible and widely available.




 Abigail Archer

Senior research assistant, Centre for Public Policy


Jonathan Atkinson

Freelance researcher based in Manchester


I am an artist/activist/researcher based in Manchester. I have been involved in a series of projects that have addressed the rise of the neo-liberal city and documented the response of artists and activists.




Susan Bermingham

PGCE Geography Co-ordinator, MA Urban Education Programme Leader (Joint), PhD student focus on Personal Geographies, MMU


The educational terms ‘Personal’, ‘Relevant’, and ‘Every Child Matters’, invoke a touchy feely kind of classroom discourse in which the actors can open up and share. This presentation questions whether this is ever feasible within the inspectors gaze. The concept Personal Geography at first acquaintance seems educationally sound and appropriate in 2010. So why is there resistance?

My PhD research takes this new area of knowledge, ‘personal geography’, and begins an exploration to problematise the unquestioned idea of the personal as ‘a good thing’, and to open up a space to consider whether the effective use of personal geographies in the classroom should be aimed for.

Own interest lies in boundaries, I am deconstructing, unsettling some of the boundaries: personal / public geographies; personal/non-personal geography; personal/local scale; personal geography/information; personal geographies to share/to silence.

There are questions to be posed about the implications of this new subject area for initial teacher education.  How is the concept ‘personal’ mobilised within Geography?  What are personal geographies? How are they constructed? Who has decided that the ‘personal’ is a good thing to include in Geography? What are the risks as well as possible gains for learners when they are required to share personal knowledge?

There is a need to consider the ethics concerning the private, personal information and thoughts of pupils within the public arena of the classroom.

I am interested in the ‘Engaging Geography’ seminar series professionally, as Chair of the Geography Education Research Collective (GEReCo) and as a geography educator working primarily with PGCE students.


Mary Biddulph


Lecturer in Geography Education


I am currently working with the Geographical Association on a project entitled Young People’s Geographies. The aim of the project is to engage young people and their geography teachers in a more active and participatory way in the construction of their school geography curriculum. The project is in its third year and now has its own website www.youngpeoplesgeographies.co.uk. The site is beginning to identify ways that young people can share their personal geographies and how these can then help to inform the school geography curriculum.

Chris Bodle
Artist and landscape architect
I am interested in place and territory and the potential for art interventions or changes modifications to place to alter perception and change the way an individual may relate to or use that space. I am particularly interested in the potential for audiences to become engaged and become participants, however subtly in developing and evolving places. In Feb 2009 I ran a site-specific art project which took up some of these themes. This project is summarised below:

Sea levels are rising due to climate change… but how much could they rise and how quickly? And how could this affect the world’s coastal cities.

Watermarks is an ongoing public art project that explores these questions. Between 6th and 12th February 2009 a series of large-scale projections were displayed at sites across the centre of Bristol (UK). In Bristol, flood level marks were projected on to the sides of buildings, showing how high water levels could potentially rise as the sea inundates the central, low lying areas of the city. By displaying these levels in real space, the project aimed to help the audience imagine the depth and extent of this potential future flooding – allowing us to measure the possible future water levels against ourselves in familiar environments. The Bristol projections were the first phase of Watermarks – further phases will extend the project to other cities in the UK and globally. The complexity and inherent uncertainty involved in predicting sea level rise means there is little consensus across the global scientific community as to how much sea levels could rise in the coming decades. The Watermarks project (Bristol) used current UK government predictions for the next century to set the key flood mark levels. The project, however, also acknowledged uncertainty by exploring other, more extreme scenarios. Future phases of the project will use the latest sea level prediction data as it emerges – displaying a wide range of potential scenarios from across the scientific community. This project contends that the future of our cities and landscapes and our responses to rising sea levels are not just left to scientists, politicians, engineers and the built environment professions but emerge from as wide a base as possible with participation and involvement from all sections of the wider community. Ultimately the mitigation and adaptation measures will be social and cultural as much as scientific and technical.



Michael Bradford

Professor, University of Manchester



Involved in geographical education for years.

Dr. Jaceb Brant

Head of Geography, Enterprise, Mathematics and Science (GEMS)


One of my research interests is in developing subject knowledge and creativity in teachers. As Head of GEMS at the Institute, I have a professional interest in Geography education and I am hoping to develop for future collaborative work between geography and other subject areas of my department.


Caroline Bressey

Lecturer, Geography, UCL


I am particularly interested in the role of geography in understandings of history and memory in museums and heritage landscapes (such as country houses etc.) and have undertaken a number of activities with museums and galleries exploring themes around identity, belonging and memory in London.



Gavin Brown

Lecturer in Human Geography


I am interested in this seminar series for several intertwined reasons – for the possibility it offers to support my research, my teaching, and my engagement (both professionally and personally) with local school geography departments, community-building initiatives and activist groups.  Having published widely on social and cultural aspects of sexual life, my research currently seems to be heading in new and unexpected directions, not least of all how diverse publics can be engaged in envisioning and creating sustainable urban futures.


Susan Buckingham


Professor, Director of Centre for Human Geography

Invited to talk about Women’s Environmental Network. I will reflect on the links between academic and campaigning work and the opportunity to make the former more public.

Kerry Burton
School of Geography, University of Exeter.
My PhD research looks to the relational spaces of solidarity. This includes the idea of research as an act of solidarity. I am particularly interested in the ethical, theoretical, and empirical implications of militant methodologies and the possibilities and tensions there-in. This seminar series has been of interest due to the foregrounding of creative, political, and practical elements of engaged and public geographies.


Richard Bustin

Geography teacher, soon to be MA/PhD student


My research is looking at the role, scope and purpose of geography in schools, and looking at it from a ‘capabilities’ perspective. I am hoping to provide an empirical basis to what has thus far been a conceptual discussion, using pupils in my own school as possible ‘evidence base’. Thus discussion around what geography is, and how it can contribute to wider debates and role in society is therefore central to my research. Engagement with these big ideas in geography education will enable me to gain access to a wealth of experienced speakers and opinions which I can use readily in my research. I also hope I may be able to offer insights myself to the ongoing discussions.

Graham Butt

Reader in Geography Education, Birmingham University


Given that geography teachers are, in some senses, ‘public geographers’ I am interested in what the seminar leads and participants feel should be their role and how they can develop this successfully.



Jane Carnaffan

Postgraduate student


I’m interested in ways in which I can engage with a wider audience and communicate my research outside academe. I have published articles with tourism NGOs and discussed my research with development practitioners, and am interested in learning more about ways to engage with less specialised audiences. Please see my research profile by following the link: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/research/project/2159






Steven Chubb

Senior Lecturer, University of Cumbria


I am course leader for Secondary Geography PGCE at the University of Cumbria and so have an inherent interest in how Geography is perceived by the public. I am also interested  in the wider field of Geography and education. I have worked with many beginning teachers on school based research considering how Geography is perceived by pupils and their parents and have a strong desire to help develop a relevant and current view of the subject.



Rachel Clements

Postgraduate student


I’m new to the field of geography, and have been sitting in on MA human geography lectures and seminars at Newcastle to understand a bit more about the subject and where it’s going. I’ve some strong ideas about where I feel, as a student, that geography needs to go to attract people and improve its public image. I have an interdisciplinary background, (BA in politics at Sheffield, MA in Film Studies at Nottingham, MRes in Eastern European Studies and a Postgrad Diploma in Polish Language from Glasgow), and as a result I’m interested in how geography works with other disciplines. I hope to use filmmaking to present my research findings, and bring my work to a public audience. I’m also interested in how geographers might engage with participants through film and language learning (as is my own intention).




 Ian Cook
Associate Prof of Human Geography
I’m one of the co-organisers of the series and I think the idea for this meeting was mine. I hope it works. The ways in which many of us have become public geographers of one kind or another, often through reactions to a series of events, was an issue that seemed to come up a lot when I was working with the Birmingham Public Geographies Working Group. A lot of people seemed keen to tell us their (often hidden) stories, to ask if these made them Public Geographers. Regardless of their backgrounds, we seemed to have a lot in common when the question of how things happened was discussed. It became a basis for conversations across what might otherwise be divides.  I try to find ways in which commodity connections can be made ‘real‘ enough to make a difference to the ways in which consumers imagine, understand and act in relation to those ‘distant strangers‘ who help them to do so much with their money. This work has involved developing fleshy, multi-sensory tropical food pedagogies via ‘follow the thing‘ ethnographic research (on Jamaican hot pepper sauces and fresh papaya) and social sculpture (relating to Shelley Sacks’ Exchange Values: images of invisible lives); publishing student work on material cultural geographies for geography teachers and their students; developing student-centred mobile phone pedagogies with school geographers (‘Making the connection’); convening discussions and new work in gallery, school and university spaces; and participating in the Geographical Association‘s ‘Young People‘s Geographies’ project where school students help to create what they study. Drawing on work undertaken about and with Exchange values, I have recently been experimenting with the ‘culture jamming’ and ‘public pedagogy’ possibilities of web 2.0 as a means to showcase, critique and encourage new, more visceral, collaborative and widely available ‘follow the thing’ commodity ‘shopping’ work.


Dr. Kevin Cook

Senior Lecturer in Geography, Northampton Uni.


As Chair of the GA’s International Special Interest Group, I am interested in how geographers communicate global issues to young people in our schools and to their teachers. Having retired after 35 years working in a university and now working part-time at Northampton University delivering courses to undergraduates on development issues, I now have more time to spend in the global South and especially in Kenya. I continue to produce resources on development issues and am interested in ensuring that the messages I communicate through prose and image are realistic, truthful and understandable. I am hoping this seminar will update my knowledge on this important area.

Herbie Cooper

Youth Volunteer Development Manager, Changemakers


I studied Social Anthropology at University, and while I do not use this overtly in my everyday job, I am interested in the influence that geography and space have on our everyday lives.  I am new to Newcastle but think that the city has a large influence on the people who live here and think this would be an interesting event.


Louise Craig

Research and Information Coordinator, Peter Fletcher Associates Ltd


After studying Geography at the University of Northumbria, and then continuing my work in the field by completing a Masters Degree in Sustainable Regeneration, I have worked as a researcher for the entirety of my career. I have worked as a Research Associate for the University of Birmingham, carrying out both qualitative and quantitative social research, and am currently employed by a small independent consultancy specialising in research in health, social care and social inclusion. I am very interested in attending this seminar, and others in the series, due to their explicit focus on the role of geography and the interface between academia and the types of research that I am currently involved in. As a research consultant, I find it very difficult to make contact with academic researchers. Collaborative studies, I feel, would add a breadth and depth to the types of projects that could be carried out and the impact of research findings that cannot be achieved by working as a research consultant without academic backing. As a Geography graduate, I would also like to see how the subject has evolved and take from that a renewed understanding of what it is that I actually do.

Phil Crang
Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London.
I am interested in the multiple practices of Cultural Geography and the role of the creative and performing arts in so-called ‘practice-led’ research in the field. I am therefore interested in creative practice as modes of thought and communication. I am also interested in how practitioners in the arts have, in some cases, developed skills of public engagement, digital archiving and creative connection that the academy is much in need of. My own experiences in this regard include collaborative research work with visual artists, most recently as Director of an AHRC funded project on ‘Fashioning Diaspora Space’ that involved drawing research by Helen Scalway, and included the ‘Moving Patterns’ exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society in 2009. More generally, I work in an academic setting – the Geography Department at Royal Holloway, University of London – that has a track record of collaborations with artists, and an emergent portfolio of variously ‘practice-led’ research projects (e.g. within our PhD community). Beyond Geography, since 2007 I have served on the Creative and Performing Arts research panels for the AHRC; and I am also involved with LCACE (London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange), which is a university initiative promoting the exchange of knowledge and expertise with the capital’s arts and cultural sectors. I have worked with the visual artist Helen Scalway (on her Moving Patterns work) and (very briefly!) Richard Wentworth (on the foodscapes of the Caledonian Road in London). I am keen to develop collaborations with artists interested in various forms of ‘topography’, ‘displacement’ and ‘spatial practice’, in the performing as well as the visual arts. I am interested in creative practices as forms of research and thought. Having just finished one project based in drawing research, my future plans are emergent, but I am keen to think about options for creative and performing art practices in explorations of the ‘material texture’ of places and their transformations and displacements (for example, seaside towns, their aesthetics and their art scenes intrigue me).

David Crouch
University of Derby
My work in cultural geography has developed a strand of participatory activism over some years, and in the last decade and more, engaged this interest in what I call `gentle politics` in relation to artwork, art practice, and art theory. I am an exhibiting artist, am developing a collaborative art project with John *Newling [Nottingham Trent], and this will engage gentle politics as well as be influenced by my work on nature and community gardening and our working title is `mulch`, very metaphorically, and involve sequential ethnographic engagement. My paper Flirting with space: thinking Landscape relationally: is in Cultural Geographies 2010 issue 1, and my book, Flirting with Space: journeys and creativity will be published by Ashgate in November 2010. *Please have a look at John`s website before the event if you have a chance: http://www.john-newling.com/ .


Andy Davies

Postgraduate/University teacher


I am interested in developing a more engaged public research. My PhD research, which was a fairly critical study of the pro-Tibet Movement, was disappointing to me in its inability to communicate its outcomes back to the activist community I was working with. As such, I would like to think about how I can make my work more public and participatory. In particular I would like to discuss with others how others they go about this process and how they have found the process of ‘doing Public Geography’.





Gail Davies
Department of Geography, UCL.

An ongoing interest in the permeability, or otherwise, of the relationship between scientific and other forms of knowledge and materiality has led me to engage with art and artists working at the boundaries between science and art.  Most of my reflections on this element of my work have appeared in editorials in Geoforum or reviews in Progress in Human Geography, and has focused on biotechnology. I’ve recently hosted the artist Neal White, who works under the banner of the Office of Experiments, as an artist in residence at UCL, and this work has begun to focus more explicitly on the implications of locating engagements with science and technology as an aesthetic and experimental strategy. 


Jane Entwistle

Head of Geography



James Evans

Lecturer in Geography


I became interested in communicating to wider audiences through a project with Ian Cook and Helen Griffiths (both Exeter), which used theories of materiality and Political Ecology to get school kids thinking about their relations with the wider world.  The project was great fun and made me think about geography in a different way.

Subsequently I’ve been experimenting with my partner in crime, Phil Jones (Birmingham), exploring different ways to be ‘public’.  This has involved publishing the first journal paper in geography in film format, and curating the Rescue Geography exhibition with artists at the MADE* headquarters.  We are currently working with planners, developers and community members on a follow-up project, Rescue Geography II.


Amy Farthing
Sustainable Development MSc student, University of Exeter.
My interests lie in the link between architecture and education/communication for sustainable development. I am particularly interested in the contributions that the interdisciplinary nature of architecture can make to the school curriculum.


Dave Featherstone

Lecturer in Human Geography


Longstanding interests in relation between academia and activism.



Bradley Garrett

Postgraduate student


I am a documentary filmmaker now using film to do geographic research. I am very interested to hear about the ways in which others are using film to do public geographies.




Daya Gunatillake

Geography Advisor, Islamia Girls’ High School &  Pimlico Academy


I have been a teacher of Geography and later a Head of Geography for many decades in this country. Also I have been a member of the GA for many years and one of my articles was published in the GA magazine, Geography. I am a committed geographer and I wish to see Geography thrive as an important subject in the National Curriculum.


 Muki Haklay


Senior Lecturer in GIScience


My interest in engaging geography stems from my work on participatory GIS and more recently in neogeography.
I’ve been working on issues of public access to environmental information for over 10 years, focusing especially on public participation in environmental decision making and the problems that they are facing in accessing and using geographical information. More recently, I’ve extended my interest to environmental justice issues. I’m currently completing an 18 months project on Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities where we’ve used various mapping methods to work with several communities with local issues which they have developed.

Secondly, the huge growth of neogeography since 2005 shows an interest in geographical aspects of life, even if in the deprived form of Cartesian coordinates… Finally, from a perspective of someone who engages with GIS within and beyond academe, I would like to see wider acceptance of ‘technological geography’ by many academic geographers and by geography departments. Many of the people who are working in GIS across the country and those who utilise neogeography tools identify themselves as geographers – they even apply for recognition as Chartered Geographers! This aspect of public geography, and the lack of use of maps which Dodge and Perkins in ‘Reclaiming the Map’ (E&P A 2008) is an issue that I think worth discussing.


Keith Halfacree

Senior Lecturer


General interest in the seminar series’ interactive and engaging work. Professional and personal interest in the intersections of ‘art’ and ‘geography’. Desire to challenge the sterile, passive stereotype of geography. Respect and admiration for the person and work of Duncan Fuller.


Harriet Hawkins

AHRC Research Fellow


My work explores the relationships between geography and creativity. This ranges from the geographies of the creative industries to a geographical analysis of contemporary art-work.  I am currently interested in exploring the ways in which geographers and artists critically inhabit each other’s disciplinary terrains and practices. The focus of my work is the geographical analysis of art works. I have also worked with and studied arts institutions and the geographies of arts governance (both historical and contemporary). Recently I have been developing collaborative practice led research working with artists and curators to make work and develop exhibitions.


Pat Hogan

Senior Lecturer in Primary Health and Community Care


Background in Health Policy and Community Development.

Involved over the years in many health Projects, including founder member of Health Cities Project. Interests include Community and public health/ Community Development/ Neighbourhood Profiling. Human Rights, Inequalities, social exclusion. Current Research. Social exclusion: Young men and access to neighbourhood life long learning opportunities.


Dr. Max Hope

Lecturer, University of Ulster


I have been teaching Geography in H.E for 18 years. I am interested in the value and distinctiveness, and public role of geographic teaching & learning. I am particularly interested in ideas and approaches that move geographic pedagogy beyond social constructivism without losing what is valuable in the latter. The Communicating Public Geographies seminar looks very relevant in this regard.

Peter Hopkins

Lecturer in Social Geography


Generally interested in critical social geography that has an engaged, participatory and political aspect, edge or motivation to it. I have published articles and chapters about youth geographies, race and ethnicity, geographies of religion and asylum and I am increasingly engaging with debates about ethics and participatory research in both teaching and research settings.


John Huckle

Visiting Fellow, University of York


I have a long running interest in the politics of school geography, the interests shaping the geography curriculum, and the need for a more relevant and empowering offering. I have written on the need for school geography to draw more honestly from academic geography; developed curriculum and teacher education materials with a critical focus; and have increasingly directed my efforts towards education for sustainable development. Relevant articles can be downloaded from my website at http://john.huckle.org.uk


Helen Jarvis

Senior Lecturer in Social Geography



Phil Jones

Lecturer in Human Geography


I kinda got into this partly through Ian Cook getting very excited about the possibilities of public geographies during his time as a colleague at Birmingham.  The idea of finding new ways to do research resonated with certain things I’d been playing with in terms of writing styles and working with different media.  With James Evans of the University of Manchester I subsequently developed the Rescue Geography (www.rescuegeography.org.uk) project exploring how people engage with urban spaces by walking around them.  We went on to produce a number of multi-media, non-academic outputs from the research and collaborated with a documentary photographer, Dan Burwood, to produce an arts installation based on the project and its participants.


Davina Kirkpatrick
MA, in Multi-disciplinary Print (UWE, Bristol),
Whilst on my AM, I have been involved with the postgraduate reading group run by Iain Biggs. We started last year with Wylie’s book on landscape and have subsequently explored Ingold, Pearson & Shanks, Till & Jonker, Bachelard  and Solnit. This has enriched my own creative explorations with grief, loss and landscape. I would like to further explore how geographers and artists could work together. The reading group gave me the confidence to start work on a collaborative paper on art, poetry and the Severn Estuary with Owain Jones, to be presented in September at RGS conference


Roger Knill

Visiting Lecturer in Geography PGCE


I deliver most of the Geography teaching on PGCE course with 14 students and will be able  to communicate learning from this seminar to beginning teachers and colleagues alike.

David Lambert

Professor of Geography Education and Chief Executive of the Geographical Association


I am part of the Seminar Series, hosting the sixth meeting in 2010.

Leading the GA – the subject association for school geography (www.geography.org.uk )

– and with the RGS, co-leading the DCSF funded Action Plan for Geography


Moved to re-position the journal Geography to be read more widely by teachers – with an editorial collective that crosses academic boundaries of school and HE.

Long standing interest in geography in schools – eg written school books.

Long standing interest in the education and preparation of secondary school teachers of geography. I have, for this meeting, assembled some comments from student teachers on Public Geographies.

Planning the high profile launch of A Different View: a Manifesto from the Geographical Association in April 2009.

I believe school teachers to be a key ‘public’, using geography with children and young people and having undoubted impact – in one way or another… discuss!



Diana Larsson

MA student, Geography Eduation, IoE

After 5 years of teaching Geography, mainly in FE, in 3 different European counties I finally decided to go back to the school bench and broaden my knowledge of geography and teaching. I luckily I found the best combination at the prestigious IOE. Another reason for me undertaking this MA is to find the specific field in which I would do the future PhD. As it feels now, this topic of how to communicate and interest the wider world in geography and teaching it in the most suitable way for the society and future generations seems to be something I am particularly interested in. In Sweden, where I graduated and where I also was head of the Geography department at an international college, geography is on the verge of becoming an extinct subject. This MA and this seminar might give me ideas on how to improve the situation there, how to communicate to the curriculum authorities that geography is vital in schools.

Angela Last
PhD student, Department of Geography, Open University.
I experiment with ways of making accessible processes, spaces and issues that are deemed invisible or intangible, for instance, because of their scale. These experiments have included interactive art-practice-based projects on genetic engineering, nanotechnology, ocean acidification and on the link between environmental issues and the human desire for perfection. I am interested in learning about other people’s projects and experiences. So far, I have worked by myself – with lots of different volunteers/participants/people making helpful comments. I gradually moved from art & design into geography and took some of my previous methods with me, because they corresponded well with geographical theory. They also helped me think and engage others with the issues I was working on in different ways. In Studio 1 I would like to focus on the method I used in two of my projects, which could be described as ‘symbolic experimentation’.



Rona Lee
Artist in Residence (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
She is currently working with sonar geophysicist Dr Tim Le Bas. Her work there has sought to question modes of ‘dry thinking’ associated with observation as a way of encountering the world; foregrounding liquid intelligences centred upon the imagination, desire, the body and touch. Her practice encompasses a range of media; photography, video, sculpture, performance and digital media, alongside other forms of engagement and intervention and is thematically underpinned by an interest in the uncertain and indeterminate. In recent years her work has focused on a range of sites – epistemological, architectural, geographic or social, associated with water, each of which has functioned as a basis for enquiry into the capacity of the fluid, by virtue of being ‘neither one thing or the other’, to trouble binary structures. She currently lectures in Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art and Design and an honorary research fellow at London Metropolitan University. She is also a member of the international cross-disciplinary research group Land Use Poetics. Exhibitions include: Beaconsfield, The Ikon Gallery, Tate Modern, Firstsite, Newlyn Art Gallery and abroad: Henie Onstad Museum, Oslo, La Chambre Blanche, Quebec City, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

Simon Lee Dicker
Artist and co-director, Fire & Ice Collective.
My practice explores the relationship between the empirical experience of ‘place’ and the understanding of particular portions of space as a concept. Using a broad range of materials and methods of production I place as much importance on the processes involved in making the work as in what is produced or presented. With a particular interest in making art for public spaces I have developed a socially engaged practice that encourages an understanding of specific environments through creative participation. Previous work has involved the use of locative media and mapping software, earthworks websites, light based installations, action research, drawing and photography.

Helen Lowther

Postgraduate student


I am currently enrolled on an ESRC funded PhD in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University. Having recently completed a Masters in Regional Development focusing upon the way in which Polish migrants living in the North East engage with cultural activity in the region, I am now in the process of disseminating my work through a variety of seminars and conferences both locally and internationally.

In doing so, I have encountered ‘first-hand’ the alleged lack of interaction between academic, school and indeed public policy making geographers whilst attempting to diminish our perceived inability to engage with and influence the public by working with community organisations such as The North East Polish Community Organisation in order to establish a more prominent role during this time of growth for migrant communities in the public setting. I hope that by attending this seminar as well as other dates in the series that I will be able to share my experiences of being a Geographer in the North East with others whilst also learning from the variety of perspectives at the event.




Hannah Macpherson

Lecturer, Brighton University


I am interested how this seminar series might help advance my teaching and research. Since becoming a Lecturer I have become increasingly interested in how Geography does and does not ‘engage’ students and in the diversity of perceptions of Geography as a discipline that exist in student and public imaginations. I hope the seminar series will also help me think through the potential impact and significance of my current research on Spectacle, Disability Art and the Cultural Olympiad.


Benjamin Major

Website Assistant, Geographical Association


No concrete contributions as yet (though I’ve been involved in a number of activist / community art activities that looking back, were very geographical in nature).  I became interested in the area of public geographies only very recently. I have just completed an MA in Social and Cultural Geographies at The University of Sheffield and am due to graduate January 09. In addition to my day job at the GA I am currently at the (very) early stages of planning a project that, if accepted, would be funded by the AHRC Knowledge Catalyst Scheme and be a joint undertaking by the Geographical Association and the Institute of Education in London. Conceived as a ‘Living Geography’ project, based in Sheffield, it stems from an idea that has long been germinating in my mind that involves people exploring the city bus routes in new ways. It was stimulated by a life of much bus journeying in Sheffield… What always struck me about such journeys was the way that you passed through so many distinct parts of a city, most of which you knew hardly anything about. I have also often heard people say that they have got on a bus just in order to find out what the place at the end of the route is like, just because that name has a certain ring to it (the place reached is oft much different in reality to that conjured up in the imagination by the name!). Conventionally, of course, people use a bus regularly to get from A to B, but these two thoughts got me thinking about what happens if you were to think about those places beyond A and B, and think more carefully about those inter-places between A and B. Anyway, enough of that for now. I think that participating in this seminar would be a fantastic opportunity for me to strengthen and develop my ideas and increase my understanding of this field in general.



Dr. Fran Martin

Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter


Following my PhD research, I developed an idea for a new paradigm for primary geography – “Ethnogeography” – which is a geography education that is relevant to primary pupils and their (usually) non-specialist teachers in that it stems from their everyday experiences and culture. I advocate teacher training taking far more account of work done in the field of Children’s Geographies as this can provide insight into the everyday geographies and cultures of children that can be valued in the classroom. I am currently continuing to develop these ideas through writing with Simon Catling of Oxford Brooke’s University where we explore the dialectic relationship between everyday geographies, children’s geographies research, and what Michael Young has called ‘powerful knowledge’ that is provided by academic subjects. We problematise Young’s notion of powerful knowledge which seems to suggest that children’s everyday knowledge is naïve and cannot of itself be powerful.

I am also interested as current senior vice president of the Geographical Association.


Larch Maxey

Researcher acadavist


I am an acadivist. No longer an activist masquerading as an academic, this clumsy label confirms me to be what I have always been. From the 1990s anti-road direct action movement, through GENEaction Toronto, Swansea Airport No Expansion (SANE) and more recently Lammas (www.lammas.org.uk), the Ecological Land Coop (http://www.ecologicalland.coop/) and Human Awareness Institute (http://www.hai.org/uk.html), I have always known my activism, research and teaching are one interconnected whole. A commitment to supporting the transition to a sustainable society underlie all my engagements: as chair of the RGS with IBG’s Geographies of Children, Youth and Family Working Group, as founder of Swansea University’s Sustainability Forum and as Research Fellow on a Leverhulme funded project on the UK Back to the Land movement.


I look forward eagerly to engaging with this seminar series and exploring the opportunities it enables!



Jody Mellor

Research Assistant, School of Religious and Theological Studies, Cardiff University


In my experience, universities and academics are often closed to the idea of public dissemination and engagement, even when the research they are doing is of vital importance to those communities. The RAE does not seem to take public engagement seriously and employers only seem interested in peer-reviewed publications in journals. I have received funding to produce ‘easy to read’ booklets which will disseminate my PhD research to Muslim girls considering university. I would very much like to attend the event in order to participate in the discussions concerning public engagement and dissemination and to get ideas from others about how to engage with Muslim communities. I am also interested in discussing the particular role of geography in public dissemination, as opposed to other social science subjects. I have an interdisciplinary background: I completed a PhD in Women’s Studies and have worked in geography and religious studies departments, and it seems that geography has the tools best able to disseminate to the public (e.g. GIS; geographical research methods).


Jonathan Mendel

Research Associate, Data Wars Project (www.datawars.org)


I am interested in how geographical ideas can feed into the motivation and practice of political action.  Research on developments in virtual and networked conflict and on how data is collected, mined and actioned as part of the ‘war on terror’ has raised questions about what type of political action might now be possible – and I am interested in how public geographies might engage with and form part of such action.


In terms of experience, I have helped to organise, and participated in, NGO and public seminars, helped to set-up and run ‘activist’ websites and related resources, and written articles for a ‘public’ audience.  I am interested in how this type of work might fit in with (working in) ‘academic’ geographies, and what these geographies can contribute to more activism-orientated work.


David Mitchell

Lecturer, IoE

Teaching and researching geog ed in ITE, including ‘Living Geography’

Debbie Moss

PGCE Geography course leader


I have a keen interest in how the geographical community engages with wider audiences who all have an interest in education, and should therefore have an interest in the importance of geographical education. I have been involved in work with training teachers, parents and other creative practitioners outside the field of geography supporting the GA’s manifesto ‘A Different View’, including presentations with my PGCE students last year to support David Lambert’s session at the GA conference in Derby, ‘A Different View: one year on’. In addition, in 2009 I became a Fellow in Holocaust Education with the Imperial War Museum and have a special interest in the potential contribution of geographical education to contemporary Holocaust education in schools.

Graham Mowl

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography


Future of geography as a discipline is dependent on public engagement and it’s probably a sad indictment on the current state of the academic discipline that we have the need for such a seminar series. That’s my interest.


Michael Naish

Emeritus Reader in Education, University of London


I am a retired specialist in Geography Education.  My main teaching was for initial teacher training and higher degrees in geographical education.  In research I specialised in curriculum development for both geography at school and sixth form level and for initial teacher education across all subjects.  After retirement from my university post I worked as a consultant in geography curriculum development and my work included involvement with QCA for some years.



Jo Norcup

Principal Geography Lecturer


I have been a geography educator for over a decade. I have variously worked within and beyond school and university geography departments, and have worked at all stages of formal institutional education.  Additionally, I have worked outwith geography education institutions, for home tutoring students excluded from mainstream schooling, conservation education, and in freelance geography education publishing.  My specific interest lies in the ‘hidden’ historiographies of geography education, and in recovering those written out of more formal accounts of history and philosophies that go into the making and performing of geographical education.  I am particularly interested how gender, class, ethnicity, race, ideologies, and language are entangled into the accounting process, and how biographies, personalities and positionalities play a part in the prosoprographic making of geographical education.

Currently I am completing my thesis on a ‘lost’ geography and education journal from the not-too-distant past.  In particular I am interested in considering how critical and radical leftist politics have existed in experimental samizdat/’geo-zine’ publications, and the long and often invisible history of such endeavours.  I am especially interested in ‘archival activisms’ and how the past and its attendant philosophies are animated in the present when creating the subject for school and university geographers. I am currently writing up my findings of piecing together the fragmentary archive of the journal series (Contemporary Issues In Geography and Education) and how research of  creative and critical experiments from geography’s ‘not-quite-past, nearly-present’ can have profound repercussions in contemporaneous border crossing endeavours.

Dr. Melanie Norman

Principal Lecturer/PGCE (Secondary) Course Leader/ PGCE Geography Subject Leader


Rachel Pain

Reader in Social Geography


I’ve always tried to conduct research that tries to make a difference through policy/participatory engagement. Recently have been have inspired to expand thinking about when/where/what makes a difference, e.g. teaching a module where students work with community organisations; involved in a couple of big university initiatives on public engagement with previously estranged communities across the range of our activities. Very wary about how public engagement is widely understood and practiced though.


Dick Palfrey

School Improvement Officer – History, Geography & Environmental Education, Kirklees Learning Service


As the only Local Authority adviser to attend EVENT, and having collaborated with Duncan on some ideas for the Seminar series, I am very supportive of the approach taken, both to update/extend Geography, and in the open, democratic pedagogy taken. I would welcome the opportunity to perform my song tribute to Duncan at the first seminar in Newcastle, which I think would be appropriate.


The Critical Seminar bid was just what was/is needed – creative, radical, participatory, blurring (of boundaries, not clarity!). Things I am interested in and involved with at the moment do seem to fit in to some parts of this programme…


…there is the HCAN (Huddersfield Climate Action Network, a federation of FoE, Greenpeace and SERA) which has led us to involvement in Transition Towns (which I note is mentioned in the Leeds section of the bid) where we have Marsden & Slaithwaite TT, see http://www.mastt.org.uk which showed the films ‘Carbon Weevils’ and ‘The End of Suburbia’ – American new geographies of the post-Peak oil world – the other night to a full room of ‘general public’ locally.


For the last year I have been in charge of History too, (trading a ‘double subject’ role for a colleague who actually wanted to do double SIP-ing (School Improvement Partner – like Ofsted), at a time when the new KS3 NC has removed content as the main (slave) driver of curricula, so this has led me to look at book sides of the Humanities simultaneously, greatly beneficial, and I have developed some materials on (family migration) time-space frames, using a Sikh family case study, which is going down well, and which fits in with the History NC’s new emphasis on personal, family and local history (Humanistic scope here), besides work on Polish migration, Welshness/Englishness, and a course I ran for Yorkshire & Humber Global Schools Association called ‘Taking the non-Western view’.


I’ve also developed and funded a local metal sculptor’s award for Sustainable Schools 9 Doorways progress in Kirklees schools, awarded last week, and helping to plan some low carbon events for school children involving creative arts responses to climate change, at the same time as being (still) inspired by the Byker non-event, and have enjoyed reading up on postmodernism, and thinking of a ‘My Walks’ equivalent in Huddersfield, when I get time!


I have facilitated 3 clusters of Kirklees schools to develop partnerships with schools in Pakistan with the British Council, although our hope to visit schools in the North West Frontier Province, as part of our community cohesion strategy for our largest BME group (11% of Kirklees pop.), is probably now scuppered by the security situation there.


I’m now a registered trainer with SAPERE for P4C (Philosophy for Children, and The Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education) and have started a termly PiPs group – Philosophy in Pubs…well, it all adds to the mix.


Alan Parkinson

Secondary Curriculum Development Leader, GA

My work at the GA has involved me in a number of projects which relate directly to the contents of the seminar. The GA’s ‘a different view’, which I was involved in producing has proved to be a key document in provoking a dialogue between teachers. An extension of this is to bring academic geographers into debate with teachers (and students) This seminar offers the chance to hear some key people in the current debate on knowledge and its place in the curriculum, and to update my deeper knowledge on the background to the decisions that will be made by the new government on curriculum which have major implications for school geography.

David Paton
School of Geography, University of Exeter.
I am carrying out a Creative Public Geographies PhD (The quarry as sculpture: sensing place in the embodied productions of carved granite); therefore this is an opportunity to engage with other practitioners, widen my knowledge of art-geography practices, and develop my relationship with the CPG programme.


Jenny Pickerill

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography


I am interested in how to link geography to activism, and take knowledge out of academia and make it do useful things in the real world!

I have long sought to ‘do’ geography in a way that engages with those outside of academia in the hope that my work will be of use to the groups and campaigns that I work with. This seminar series has, thus far, enabled me to hear from and talk with a huge range of experienced practitioners in public geographies and has been invaluable to expanding and challenging the ways in which I do geography. I am part of the initial group who submitted the series application and have attended several of the seminars.

Elinor Predota

Postgraduate student in Geography


I have experience in participatory work with communities, including participatory video; I am particularly interested in participatory research techniques, research practice as an interface between ‘geography’ and ‘the public’, and the relationship between theory, policy, practice and community.


Hilary Ramsden
School of Creative Arts, UWE.
I am in the process of creating a new participatory methodology to record responses to our environment through an aesthetic practice of everyday walking. The methodology potentially creates opportunities for extended dialogue and discussion by heightening participants’ awareness and listening abilities. For this PhD research I am drawing on disciplines of conceptual and visual art, architecture, geography and performance from a practice-led perspective in quite a subtle and nuanced way. This has made it tricky to articulate in terms of methodology but also very exciting in terms of the potential for application in academia and in the world outside. I have encountered similar exciting and innovative perspectives and projects amongst geographers and feel very at home in this particular (and possibly, peculiar) of convergence of creativity and geography. I recently attended an ‘Experimenting with Geography’ workshop week in Edinburgh and hope to work further with some of the participants from that. But I am up for doing something ad hoc with people willing to be flexible and open to different ways of working.


Dr. Charles Rawding

Geography PGCE course leader


Major interest in the development of topical, relevant, effective Geography in the school classroom.  I have published a number of texts/articles in this area including ‘Reading our landscapes’ (Chris Kington 2007) and a forthcoming 3 volume series on ‘Contemporary Approaches to Geography’ (Chris Kington 2010).

Dan Raven-Ellison

Geography Activist


I was involved at the start of the series supporting Duncan Fuller’s bid to ERSC. I have attended 2 of the other events.

I am a member of The Geography Collective, a team of geographers who came together to engage young people with geography in alternative ways. Through our project Mission:Explore we have published a children’s book, created a website and developed an iPhone app that we are using to encourage people to explore and see the world and geography in new ways. We are now working with Orange and play organisations to deepen this work on a local level. You can see Mission:Explore at www.missionexplore.co.uk

Eleanor Rawling
Department of Education, University of Oxford.
I am working on the relationship between poetry (and the poetic inspiration) and place. At present, I am writing a book which explores this relationship through the work of the Gloucestershire poet, Ivor Gurney and the landscapes of the Cotswolds and Severn Meadows. The book is for a general not a solely academic audience and will include suggested routes for walking and observing the Gloucestershire landscapes, linked with particular poems and or prose. Partly as a result of this research, I have also become interested in walking, running and the creative process. I am focusing on linking poetry, place and landscape and making these accessible for a non-academic audience. I am drawing on geography, geology, literature/poetry and am involving photographers and graphic artists in helping me with the work.

David Raynor

PGCE tutor, IoE


30 years as a classroom teacher of geography, three years as National Subject Lead for Geography and currently PGCE Geography tutor – what could be more relevant than ‘communicating public geographies’.

Jennifer Rich
I am currently co-ordinating two soundwalks on the sites of two former industries. The first takes a look at the former coal-fired Blackburn Meadows power station in Sheffield; whilst the second explores the former Avenue Coking Plant in Derbyshire.  Both soundwalks take place in situ, within the public spaces now at both sites.  The soundwalks promote an active and participatory approach to exploring local history.  Once complete, the soundwalks, will locate pedestrians as artists by providing access to different modes of learning, thinking, moving, remembering, re-remembering, discovering and forgetting. Both works will be a fundamental part of my research for a forthcoming PhD at Nottingham University’s Geography Department.  My research aims to answer the following kinds of questions: Can the soundwalk retain the epistemic regimes through which memories are formed? As geographers, how can we provide a non-didactic methodology for fellow and future creative practitioners in a range of disciplines, which will allow for individual creativity, experimentation and expression? How must we recognise the responsibility of the geographer as author/producer/facilitator of landscape and thus to consider notions of legacy; maintenance; life and landscape after the soundwalk is removed?

Kate Rich
I’m an artist dealing mainly in data, networks and other informational media. Since 2003 I’ve been running the Feral Trade project, trading goods (primarily grocery products) along social and cultural circuits, as a material investigation into the nature and conduct of the contemporary global commodity. The grocery business is based in Bristol and uses the surplus freight potential of existing movements (friends and acquaintances, artworld, diasporic) to source and distribute goods internationally. The project has accumulated a wealth of relationships and experience in its 7 years of operation, and I am currently interested in possible opportunities for academic collaborations to document, evaluate and expand on this work. I’m particularly interested to chart the confrontations and opportunities revealed in the passage of imported goods through different regulatory protocols, for example between private (personal) and public (commercial) status.

Lucy Rose
School of Geography, University of Exeter.
My PhD and associated fieldwork embraces creative methodologies and practices as a means to facilitate and explore community networks in Falmouth, Cornwall, and the ways in which they interact with and interpret environmental and sustainability knowledges and issues. I look to embrace the energy that drives the formation of community networks, embedding the creativity and originality of groups and individuals with whom I work into my own research practice. At this seminar I would be interested to explore and share the collaborative nature of public geographies and the iterative effect that this has on research design and practice. I want to work closely with the Falmouth oyster fishing community; the last fishery in Europe to work under sail.  This is a fascinating community interwoven with historical narratives, connections to place and masculine identities. I wish to develop a creative approach enabling us to jointly explore their interactions with concepts of sustainability and environment and the way that these ideas impact on their group identity and sense of place.

Morag Rose



I founded the LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement), a Manchester based collective of artists and activists interested in exploring ideas around psychogeography.  We like plants growing out of the side of buildings, urban exploration, drinking tea, making friends, causing mischief, defending public spaces, discovering hidden histories, listening to ghosts, collecting the flotsam and jetsam of cities, entering parallel universes, DIY mapping, the situationists, proper decent pubs and getting lost.

We worked with Manchester Metropolitan University on TRIP (Territories Reimagined: International Perspectives) and curated the de facto fringe event Get Lost.  This was our largest project to date; most of our work is small scale, community based and wants to engage people outside of academia.

On the first Sunday of every month we gather for some sort of wander, derive, exploration or game and all are welcome to join us. We also organise various other shenanigans including mini festivals, exhibitions, gigs, urban interventions and random silliness. I have published various zines and paraphernalia under the LRM guise.

My personal area of interest is in public spaces and surveillance – how can we playfully challenge the neo-liberal project that reduces everything to money? I have been involved in various social justice issues over the years and helped set up The Basement, Manchester’s Social Centre (now closed due to fire). I am keen to make links with as many organization and people as possible because I want to learn from them and be inspired, also to share my experiences. This seminar series sounds really fascinating and links in exactly with the aims of the LRM. I would really like to come to as many of them as possible and would like to help and contribute in any way I can.

I am a member of ‘the public’ not a professional geographer and I really want to break down barriers between academia and the real world and to encourage people to engage with their environment and influence its development. I wish someone told me years ago how sexy geography is; they didn’t and now I want to spread the word!

Colin Sackett
I find it difficult to give an adequate answer here other than to say that the concern and focus of my work for the past twenty-five years or so has been: landscape, printing, publishing, reading, writing. See Jim Mays’ commentary: http://www.colinsackett.co.uk/writing_readings_11.php

Becky Sandover
School of Geography, University of Exeter.
I’m interested in engaging with creative public geographies as part of my PhD research into cooking and eating. My present title is ‘Cooking for social justice’ and I intend to work with community groups using a cooking methodology.

Helen Scalway
Freelance Artist & Writer.
I am interested in the ways in which art becomes part of geographical knowledge making, in the ‘knowledges’ or ‘understandings’ – it helps to generate. I attended and enjoyed very much the day organised by Harriet Hawkins at the RGS/IBG conference at Manchester in 2009. It’s great to see how this is being developed in this event. I’m particularly interested in the role of drawing and collage as research methods in this context, basing it on the specificities of my experiences in the AHRC funded research project ‘‘Fashioning Diaspora Space’, (Royal Holloway University of London and V&A) 2007-2009, for which I was an Artist Research Associate at Royal Holloway, investigating drawing and collage as ways ‘transrupting’¹ (Parker 2000) orthodox geographies of place and identity; specifically, exploring the textile geographies within two sites, the postcolonial diasporic urbanscape of Green St., Newham, with its South Asian textile and fashion shops, and the V&A galleries and stores in colonial South Kensington. Outcomes include an exhibition, ‘Moving Patterns’ at the Royal Geographical Society in May 2009; another was a blog on the V&A website: (http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1750_scalway/blog/; another will be a contribution to a book, ‘British Asian Style’, to be published by V&A Publishing later in 2010. I worked with Profs Felix Driver and Phil Crang at Royal Holloway University of London and Prof Christopher Breward, Head of research at the V&A. I’m looking for contacts interested in urban studies and affective cartographies. Among a lot of other work, I developed a ‘map’ of a London South Asian textile shop (see my V&A blog) which seemed to offer an interesting methodology for some further work in other urban contexts. I’m currently developing some thinking towards a book proposal in this area and I would very much like this opportunity to present this ‘map’.

Emily Scott
Artist and scholar.
Her work investigates intersections between contemporary art, geography, and environmental sciences and politics. She is currently completing a PhD in Art History at UCLA with her dissertation, “Wasteland: American Landscapes in/and 1960s Art,” which examines early critical land-based art and the landscapes it engaged. In 2004, after nearly a decade as a real-life park ranger, she co-founded the Los Angeles Urban Rangers, a collective that develops guided hikes, campfire talks, field kits, and other interpretive tools to spark creative explorations of everyday habitats, in their home megalopolis and beyond. An avid believer in the potential of interdisciplinary exchange, she has taught contemporary art and theory to environmental scientists (UCLA Institute of the Environment, 2005-7); co-organized multiple interdisciplinary events, including Re-working the world: contemporary art & geographical activism (AAG annual meeting, 2007) and Field Works: Art/Geography (UCLA Hammer Museum, 2005); and lectures and writes about her own and others’ creative-critical geographical practices. She is based in Zürich, Switzerland.


Anna Seward

Freelance researcher based in Manchester


I completed a geography degree at Newcastle University and a landscape architecture degree in Manchester and have since carried out research relating to the social economy. I am interested in the potential for radical approaches to geography to empower individuals and communities. I have a keen interest in pyschogeography.


Philippa Sewell
MSc Critical Human Geographies, University of Exeter.
I’m interested in the fusion of geography and creative arts, particularly fiction writing and poetry. The boundaries of what counts as a discipline are being stretched, and I believe communication is the key to uniting the best features about two or more subjects. My work involves analyses of the human body, and the processes and feelings etc it undergoes in specific situations. I am interested in writing these investigations in a way that continues the analysis and complements the subject matter; for instance writing in a style that evokes the feelings I am discussing. I am unpublished and a complete novice at participating in seminars such as these, but I am genuinely interested and enthusiastic to talk to interesting and open-minded individuals.



John Smith
Freelance geographer and writer

I was a geography teacher in comprehensive schools for 25 years.
Now I am Chief Examiner for A Level Geography and for Leisure Studies.
I have written text book series for major UK publishers for Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level Geography. I am a Visiting Teacher in Development Education for ActionAid.
I recently worked for QCA as a researcher evaluating the new ‘Hybrid GCSE Geography dual award specification’.

Maggie Smith

Lecturer in Education, Open University


My work at the Open University focuses on the initial education and continuing professional development of teachers – especially geography teachers.   

The notion of engaging with and being engaged by geography is a vital aspect of that work. It also relates strongly to the ways in which the meaning of the subject is communicated to others.  However geographers need first to discuss what, at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, ‘geography’ actually is now (and what it might be in the future).

My own research interest is a consideration of the place of education for sustainable development in geography.

Penny Somerville
Postgraduate Student, Faculty of Creative Arts, UWE, Bristol.
I been focussed on ’deep mapping’ on the small island of Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel resulting in a series of etchings, enamels and a book.

Jonathan Stacey

Volunteer Advisor, Changemakers


My academic background is in cultural geographies and I am now working in the Voluntary sector in Newcastle – encouraging people to volunteer.


Sam Staddon

Postgraduate student


I have only been in the field of Geography for two years (as a PhD student), but compared to my previous fields of ecology and conservation I love its engagement with critical theory and its questioning of issues which ecologists and conservationists rarely think about or discuss. What I have struggled with over the last 2 years however is how to ‘put to good use’ geography’s theoretical arguments in a world which I believe could really benefit from them. To this end I am very interested in what this seminar on engaging geography aims to achieve.


Alison Stenning

Reader in Economic and Social Geography


Various interests in engagement, particularly with community organisations, in UK and Poland, focused on mapping community economies, and more recently, on migrants and migrant community organisation.



Diane Swift

Senior Lecturer Primary ITE, University of Wolverhampton


My EdD is to explore ‘What makes for powerful knowledge in primary geography education.’ I previously worked for the Geographical Association as their CPD co-ordinator and led the GA’s work for the first Action Plan for Geography

Jon Swords

Lecturer in Geography, University of Northumbria



To find out more about engaging with research beneficiaries outside of academia.


Liz Taylor

Lecturer in Geography Education


I research and teach in the field of geography education and have a particular interest in the type of knowledges which geography affords, linking with my own work on geographical concepts. In addition, I have a particular interest in the opening of the textbook collection, as a considerable part of the Cambridge Department of Education geography textbook archive was incorporated within it when we moved to smaller premises.

Celia Tidmarsh

Senior Teaching Fellow, PGCE geography (subject co-ordinator), University of Bristol


Teacher Educator in Geography – essential that I keep up with key developments, initiatives and ideas/thinking so I can raise awareness of these with my trainees/student teachers


Rachel Tiley

Postgraduate student


Whilst completing a four year MA (University of St Andrews – Social Anthropology and Theological Studies 2003) I undertook a (library based) research dissertation entitled ‘Identity and Meaning: the Making of Development Discourse and Practice in Western Mexico’.  In the course of this work I became increasingly conscious that I lacked sufficient knowledge and tools to effectively theorise the impact of global and national economic/trade policy and practice on the lives of the men and women who formed the focus of ethnographic study in key texts.
Following graduation this concern – coupled with a belief in the value of participant experience – led to a 3 year stint researching and creating strategic conferences for senior government and industry participants in the global energy and infrastructure sectors [Marketing/Production/Research and Development – London] – a challenging but immensely valuable experience.  I am currently completing a postgraduate diploma in economic principles (CeFims – SOAS: distance learning) and exploring the social enterprise sector – particularly innovative developments in building sustainable local food networks. I aim to apply for a MSc/PhD in Human Geography to commence in 2010; as such I’m living with an evolving (!) draft research proposal… in it’s current form it focuses on the development of x-disciplinary tools for researching and analysing the complex economic/ecological/social/ configurations that shape, sustain and abandon energy and food geographies.  The workshop has particular appeal since in the long term I seek to work at this juncture between policy, academia and wider engagement; however to do so with independence and in a way informed by a rigourous theoretical engagement along the lines advocated by Thrift (1996 -Spatial FOrmations -preface xii) and Pyke, Rose and Whatmore (2003 – Using Social Theory).

Divya Tolia Kelly
Cultural geographer at Durham University.
Her work investigates three themes: landscape, race and memory; articulations of national cultural memory in museums and art galleries; and geographies of material cultures. In collaborations with artists Melanie Carvalho and Graham Lowe and through ethnographic investigation she has mapped and recovered postcolonial relationships with landscape, nature and citizenship. Her most recent AHRC-funded research exhibition An archaeology of ‘race’ involved collaboration with archaeologists, archivists, curators, historians, cartographers and anthropologists to explore the race-history of Hadrian’s Wall (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Divya has written papers on the exhibition for Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2010, in press), Journal of Material Culture (2010), and the Journal of Social Anthropology (2009). Her book Landscape, race and memory (2010 in press) is based on a visual research collaboration with artist Melanie Carvalho and South Asian women living in London. Divya is currently writing the second of her cultural geography review papers for Progress in human geography on ‘Art and Geography’.


Louise Waite

Lecturer in Human Geography


I am passionate about our discipline and would like to be involved with ‘geographies that matter’. I want to excite students and the public alike about what we do, and especially the potential of participatory geographies to further social justice agendas through research and teaching in ways that seek to counter inequalities facing vulnerable groups in society.


Dr. Rex Walford

Former President of the GA


Was involved in the creation of with Worldwise Quiz, Geography Action Week, Land Use UK national survey, etc. Author of GEOGRAPHY IN BRITISH SCHOOLS  1850-2000 (Woburn Press 2002). Currently a Member of the RGS-IBG Education Committee and former Vice-President of RGS and a member of its Council. One of the FinalAassessosr for the Chartered Geographer scheme. Trustee of the Frederick Soddy Trust and the L Dudley Stamp Trust


Paul Weedon

PhD Student, University of Birmingham


My PhD research is into why the numbers of students taking GCSE geography has declined over time. I am also working with the GA on the Making Geography Happen project looking at what we mean by progression in geography. Within both these activities I am interested in what geography is and how it is communicated to students in schools.



Cath White

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography


Interested in engaging with schools in view of my work with the Geographical Association.

Matt Wilkins
School of Geography, University of Exeter.
My own experiences and contributions are practically non-existent, but a recent introduction to Public/Engaging Geographies has inspired a new appreciation of how best to add a more nuanced ‘political’ perspective to my PhD work. Although my understandings are currently limited, I am drawn (with great enthusiasm) to the prospect/s of how such engagements might allow me to raise public awareness about my own research interests – thus creating opportunities to discuss (and learn) more about blindness and disability, the spatial dynamics of shopping practices, and how multi-sensory marketing might be able to influence our consumptive behaviours. I would be grateful to speak to whoever is interested, but I would ideally like to make contact and possibly collaborate with anyone who has experience in raising awareness of similar issues – especially with children and the visually impaired – while working with relevant brands or products (i.e. The Body Shop, Nokia, McDonalds or Subway etc etc).

Angus Willson



My background is in secondary school geography teaching and local authority advisory services before working in voluntary-sector education organisations with a focus on global learning. For further details see www.pannage.com

Since embarking on consultancy, I have been a leader of a Geographical Association project on sustainable communities and a regional subject adviser for the new secondary curriculum.

I am interested in the development of personal learning networks and the use of social media in maintaining professional dialogue about the nature of our geographies – and the extension of this debate in a wider public domain. See www.pannage.blogspot.com which is headed “Community geography, expressive life and learning in a digital, connected world.”

A current example of relating my professional interests with personal action is taking a lead, with others, in the preparation of the local community-led plan which brings together consultation, engagement and place-making. In connection with this activity I am a trained facilitator for the CABE SpaceShaper14-19 scheme.


Steve Wilson

GA consultant


In my current position and as a previous member of the G.A. Education Committee, I am trying to ensure that I stay in touch with the latest thinking about geographical education.  I hope that my 32 years of experience teaching in schools and higher education will be of value to other participants in the seminar series. My particular interests centre on Hazard Studies and Environmental Change. I have always been keen to use field studies and first hand experiences as ways of engaging students in geographical studies.

Peter Wood

Emeritus Professor, UCL


I have for long been involved with university-schools links and, as an economic geographer, with regional policy issues. I am now Secretary of the Council for British Geography (COBRIG), and also a Final Assessor for the RGS/IBG Chartered Geography scheme. This aims to achieve wider professional acceptance of the value of geographical training by awarding Chartered Geographer status, under Privy Council regulation, to those successfully applying geographical expertise in any professional context. This may include business, environmental and social research or consultancy, the applications of GIS/remote sensing., the public services, NGOs and teaching, in the UK or internationally.


Tara Woodyer
Associate Teaching Fellow, Geography, University of Exeter

John Wylie
Senior lecturer in Human Geography, University of Exeter

Lynne Wyness
School of Geography, University of Exeter.
I am currently in my second year of PhD study, conducting an ethnography of several primary schools, in the UK and Tanzania, linked by DFID’s Global School Partnership programme.  I am rapidly approaching the time when I need to be thinking about how I will write up this work, conveying the multiple stories I have encountered in both a respectful and creative manner.  With a background in teaching, both mainstream and ‘special needs’, I am a firm advocate of creative pedagogies which reach out to wider audiences.  I am thinking through ways I can make my own work accessible and useful for my participants, and hope that this conference will offer some inspiration.

Kathryn Yusoff
Lecturer in Human (and nonhuman) Geography, University of Exeter







Written by kyeaskins

December 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Whilst completing a four year MA (University of St Andrews – Social Anthropology and Theological Studies 2003) I undertook a (library based) research dissertation entitled ‘Identity and Meaning: the Making of Development Discourse and Practice in Western Mexico’. In the course of this work I became increasingly conscious that I lacked sufficient knowledge and tools to effectively theorise the impact of global and national economic/trade policy and practice on the lives of the men and women who formed the focus of ethnographic study in key texts.
    Following graduation this concern – coupled with a belief in the value of participant experience – led to a 3 year stint researching and creating strategic conferences for senior government and industry participants in the global energy and infrastructure sectors [Marketing/Production/Research and Development – London] – a challenging but immensely valuable experience.
    I am currently completing a postgraduate diploma in economic principles (CeFims – SOAS: distance learning) and exploring the social enterprise sector – particularly innovative developments in building sustainable local food networks.
    I aim to apply for a MSc/PhD in Human Geography to commence in 2010; as such I’m living with an evolving (!) draft research proposal… in it’s current form it focuses on the development of x-disciplinary tools for researching and analysing the complex economic/ecological/social/ configurations that shape, sustain and abandon energy and food geographies.
    The workshop has particular appeal since in the long term I seek to work at this juncture between policy, academia and wider engagement; however to do so with independence and in a way informed by a rigourous theoretical engagement along the lines advocated by Thrift (1996 -Spatial FOrmations -preface xii) and Pyke, Rose and Whatmore (2003 – Using Social Theory).

    Rachael Tily

    September 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm

  2. I’m currently co-ordinating the Sheffield-based oral history and public arts project, Echoes of Blackburn Meadows (EBM). This is my first foray into the realm of Creative Public Geography, following an MA in Landscape and Culture at Nottingham University.

    EBM uses the acts of walking and listening to enliven the architectures and machines of the former Blackburn Meadows power station. We (myself and two sound artists) champion an active and participatory approach to exploring local history; placing our participants as agents, artists and architects of memory.

    Jennifer Rich

    September 22, 2009 at 8:00 am

  3. I attended the seminar last week, which was fascinating; just wondered, has there been a final write up on the groups verdict on “Geography a powerful knowledge”?


    Sarah Norton

    October 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

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