19 December 2010

Call for Papers: Geographies of Collections

Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2011
31 August to 2 September 2011 at 
The Royal Geographical Society and Imperial College in London

Session Convenors: Caroline Cornish (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Philip Hatfield (Royal Holloway, University of London; British Library)
Research Group Affiliation: HGRG 

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 18 February 2011. 

Collections of diverse types provide rich sources for geographical enquiry. The specific systems of organisation developed within them, along with their contexts of use, can variously form or inform the geographical imagination. The collection is also never static, whether it is aggregated as an archive, a library, a museum collection, a scientific dataset or a twenty-first century digital database. As a result, the knowledges and geographies developed within them are always ripe for re-imagination.

The theme of the 2011 RGS-IBG Conference - ‘The Geographical Imagination’, presents an opportunity to adopt what Rebecca Duclos has termed ‘a cultural geography perspective’ towards collections, and to reconsider their geographies at a time of intensified interest in this area. Popular events such as A History of the World in 100 Objects and the British Library Growing Knowledge exhibition show, from opposite sides of the spectrum, how interaction with myriad different collections is changing. This session therefore seeks to question how geographers working within this shifting landscape are engaging with the collection across a range of forms and materialities.

We would be pleased to receive submissions for papers from researchers engaged in a wide variety of ‘collections’ including fine art, natural history, cartographic, photographic, ethnographic, archaeological, and digital. We are particularly interested in papers which address the issues of place, space and imagination in the accumulation and deployment of collections, and in papers which have a historico-geographical focus. Topics might include:
  • Collections and imaginative geographies
  • The languages of collections
  • Materialities of collections
  • Spaces of collections
  • Colllections and networks
  • Collected objects and knowledge production
  • The fluidity of collections
  • Collections and agency
Instructions for Authors
Those interested in participating in the session should contact Caroline Cornish (Caroline.Cornish.2009@live.rhul.ac.uk) AND Philip Hatfield (Philip.Hatfield@bl.uk). The deadline for submission of abstracts is 18 February 2011.

When submitting your paper please include the following information: 1) name 2) institutional affiliation 3) contact email, 4) title of proposed paper, 5) abstract (no more than 250 words) and 6) technical requirements (i.e., video, data projector, sound).

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