# Sam Matthew wins 2015 Political Geography Research Group Undergraduate Dissertation Prize
5th October, 2015
Sam Matthew, Emmanuel College, has been selected as joint winner of the 2015 Political Geography Research Group Undergraduate Dissertation Prize for his dissertation, 'The Ghosts of Gulu: Affect, Emotion and Mysticism in Northern Uganda'.
# On Ecuador's Buen vivir
4th October, 2015
The conference on Ecuador's Buen Vivir provided a timely multidisciplinary conversation about a state-led process of change that has tended to sharply divide opinion. In contrast to the polarized perspectives on this South American country's experiment with a post-neoliberal political economy, a post-multicultural politics of recognition, and a post-sustainability politics of nature, the workshop - held in Cambridge University's Geography Department - offered an opportunity to look back over nearly a decade of implementation to query these, often hasty, interpretations. Specifically, the conference presented and debated emergent substantial research across a number of spheres (food production, education, international relations, social policy, infrastructure, the military, and more) to provide new lines of interpretation of this unique form of governance and its social, economic and political costs.
# Victoria Bellamy, St Catharine’s College, awarded HGRG Undergraduate Dissertation Prize 2015
28th September, 2015
Victoria Bellamy, who graduated from the Geography Department with a First Class degree in July 2015, has been awarded the Historical Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society Dissertation Prize 2015 for her project entitled: Cultivating virtuous citizens: conflicting spatial practices in London's Victoria Park. Victoria's dissertation was described by the judges as 'the most thorough piece of historical research, not just in the empirical work undertaken but in engaging seriously with historical perspective to examine the complexities and processes that produce and reproduce places, identities and ideas. This was an interesting and well-written dissertation with a good sense of the intellectual contribution it was seeking to make.'
# Dr. Bhaskar Vira chairs H.H. the Dalai Lama and Lord Rowan Williams in Dialogue session on Environment
25th September, 2015
On the 16-17th September His Holiness the Dalai Lama participated in a unique event on the theme of Universal Responsibility, 'Growing Wisdom, Changing People' held at Magdalene College and hosted by Lord Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Inspire Dialogue Foundation. The two days were structured around four plenary sessions on key thematic topics and smaller breakout group sessions.
On the first day, the Department's Dr. Bhaskar Vira chaired the afternoon plenary on 'Our Environmental Future'. The session was extremely successful in stimulating the audience, who enthusiastically engaged with the H.H. the Dalai Lama and Lord Williams, sharing questions and observations in open dialogue. Geography students and researchers also numbered among the many and diverse participants and volunteers.
# Jog-raphers triumphant at Chariots of Fire race
23rd September, 2015
The Jog-raphers, a team of runners from the geography department, participated in the Chariots of Fire race in Cambridge city centre on Sunday 20th September 2015.
Comprising Bill Adams, Nick Cutler, Alex Jeffrey, Charlotte Lemanski, Lizzie Richardson and Tatiana Thieme - the Jog-raphers cruised around the 1.5 mile x 6 relay course in an impressive time of 1:09:35.
The Chariots of Fire 2015 race is raising money for the East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) - if you would like to donate, please see the Jog-raphers justgiving page.
# Ecuador's Buen Vivir: Implementation, challenges and ways forward
21st September, 2015
24th and 25th September 2015
Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Nine years have passed since Ecuador adopted Buen Vivir ('Living harmoniously') as a key guiding principle in its political culture and planning process. Since then, Buen Vivir has captured significant international attention due to the notion's progressive, innovative and unprecedented proposals. The conference 'Ecuador's Buen Vivir: Implementation, Challenges and Ways Forward' brings together a multidisciplinary and international group of scholars to discuss what has happened since 2006, and the key dynamics at play in the implementation of Buen Vivir as an objective of state public policy. In light of its significance within Ecuadorian governmental goals and citizen-state politics, the conference focuses on the contemporary moment of Buen Vivir in Ecuador. The meanings of Buen Vivir as a constitutional right and policy goal have travelled and changed over the short period of time since it was formally established in the 2008 Constitution. Buen Vivir has become embroiled in contests over its meanings, consequences and priorities, contests that engage social movements and diverse social actors. Meanwhile however poverty has declined and inequality, education and health indicators have improved, indicating broad state and societal transformations. In this context, the conference seeks to examine the current dynamics around Buen Vivir and discern future directions for policy, society and government over the next few years.
# Climate Change, Salt Marshes, and Coastal Protection
7th September, 2015
One of the most in intriguing-looking projects currently hosted on the Research Plots of the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens involves a line of six ply and polythene domes! These are part of a Marie Curie funded research collaboration between Dr Ruth Reef, Dr Iris Moller and Dr Tom Spencer from the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit (CCRU) at the Department of Geography.
In these domes they are growing salt marsh plants in order to investigate how global change is affecting the energy dissipation properties of salt marsh vegetation so to better understand the role salt marshes play in coastal defence and how this role might change under future climate scenarios. Coastal salt marshes protect our coastlines by dissipating wave energy and reducing erosion.
# Sam Matthew, Emmanuel College, awarded PolGRG Undergraduate Dissertation Prize 2015
25th August, 2015
Sam Matthew (Emmanuel College) was selected as a joint winner of the 2015 Political Geography Research Group Undergraduate Dissertation Prize for his disseration 'The Ghosts of Gulu: Affect, Emotion and Mysticism in Northern Uganda'.
Sam's dissertation was described by the judges as 'a well-developed and theoretically informed engagement with questions of politics and the political in everyday life' which presented 'a number of interesting and insightful ideas' and did 'a good job of weaving empirical examples with theoretical ideas'.
This was an ambitious and exciting project that combined elements from across the geography degree.
# Lectureship vacancy
23rd June, 2015
The Department is currently advertising a fixed-term Lectureship in Human Geography, to start on 1st October 2015. The successful candidate will have broad interests in the area of development studies, with particular emphasis in urban, environmental, social and/or post-colonial geographies. See more information and how to apply online.
# Journeys that show John was our king of the road
10th June, 2015
The Times features a full-page article ('Journeys that show John was our king of the road', 10th June 2015) about research undertaken by members of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.
Max Satchell and Ellen Potter used GIS to map the locations of John, Henry III, and Edward I from place and date clauses of thousands of royal letters and charters from 1199 to 1305. This created extremely detailed itineraries, enabling the day to day movements of each king to be reconstructed. By tracking the movements of King John and his successors through England and Wales it is possible to learn a great deal about medieval transport and travel.