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Department of Geography

 

Research seminars

Research seminars

Jump to: Main Departmental seminars | Cultural and Historical Geography | Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure | Conservation | Environmental Systems and Processes | Political ecology | Polar physical science | Circumpolar History and Public Policy (CHiPP) | Gender | Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG) | Reading groups

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Main Departmental seminar series

Main Departmental seminar series at the Department of Geography.

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Thursday 11th December 2014, 4.15pm - Professor Timothy Ingold, Anthropology, University of Aberdeen
Of Knots and Blocks: Dwelling in Smooth Space
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Modern thinking about architecture, landscape, language and mind has been dominated by the related metaphors of the building block, the chain and the container. These metaphors lead us to think of a world which is not so much woven from ever ravelling and unravelling strands as assembled from pre-cut pieces. Here I argue for the power of an alternative metaphor, the knot. In a world where things are continually coming into being through processes of growth and movement – that is, in a world of life – knotting, I contend, is the fundamental principle of coherence. It is the way forms are held together and kept in place within what would otherwise be a formless and inchoate flux. Is there a connection between thinking-though-knotting and an understanding of the inhabited world as the interpenetration of earth below and sky above, rather than as a homogeneous ground upon which the architectures of the environment are erected?

# Thursday 29th January 2015, 4.15pm - Professor Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies
Carbon Conflicts: New Imaginaries and Political Economies in African Forest Landscapes
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Global climate change concerns have stimulated a wave of forest carbon projects and offsetting schemes across the world, many in Africa. These are exemplars of the contemporary neo-liberalisation of nature, but also shaped by the peculiar, globalised discourses and practices that construct carbon as a tradeable commodity. Drawing on a collective project involving case studies across the continent, this talk explores what happens when these emergent imaginaries and political economies hit the ground – and how they come to make sense, or otherwise, to people living with and understanding ‘nature’ in very different ways. Approaching landscapes as discursive, material and radically contested, it explores the political ecology-economy of forest carbon projects in historical context, as part of longer-term histories of layered intervention, and changing market and valuation processes. It asks: how is carbon commoditisation and marketisation interlocking with long-term pathways of landscape change, and so reshaping livelihoods and ecologies? Who are the winners and the losers? What new political and ecological dynamics are emerging as forests are re-valued for carbon? Or put more simply – amidst ongoing pathways of change – what difference does ‘carbon’ make?

# Thursday 26th February 2015, 4.15pm - Professor Richard Dawson, Earth Systems Engineering, Newcastle University
Adapting Cities and Their Infrastructure to Global Change: An Integrated Modelling Approach to Understand Risks and Tradeoffs
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The urgent need to reconfigure urban areas to emit less pollution (including greenhouse gases), be more resilient to climate risks and more sustainable in general can be assisted by rigorous analysis of these complex systems. In this talk I shall present the Urban Integrated Assessment Framework (UIAF) that was developed initially as part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Cities Programme and subsequently advanced via several other projects. The UIAF provides a consistent framework for analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks in the context of multiple drivers of long term change. A case study in London (U.K.) shows that risks from heatwaves, droughts and floods could more than double and CO2 emissions could rise 28% without adaptation and mitigation over the 21st century. Notably, socio-economic drivers are responsible for a greater proportion, compared to climate change, of increased weather risks. There are also trade-offs in climate risks, land use choices and energy demand from adaptation policies. The work highlights the need for portfolios of adaptation and mitigation options, providing the evidence to motivate climate-sensitive development in London. Finally, I shall consider the role of tools like the UIAF and their utility for informing spatial development strategies such as the London Plan after a placement at the Greater London Authority.

# Thursday 19th March 2015, 4.15pm - Dr Andy Merrifield, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge
Urban Participation and Possibility: The Shadow Citizenry and the Right to the City
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In 1989, Henri Lefebvre voiced the hypothesis that the right to the city was nothing more than a “new revolutionary concept of citizenship.” He implied revolutionary citizenship is not a right: it has to be taken, recreated anew, struggled for—not rubber-stamped. Today’s revolutionary citizens are citizens without rights, disenfranchised urban citizens the world over. Revolutionary citizens carry SHADOW PASSPORTS. Our shadow passports express a citizenship waiting in the wings, a solidarity haunting the mainstream, floating through frontiers, across designated checkpoints, sometimes even straying between academic disciplines. For holders of shadow passports, homeland securities and border control agencies know nothing about our true identities; and official maps rarely tell us where to go: they’re useless in helping us re-orientate ourselves, in helping us find ourselves, in helping us discover one another. This paper investigates, and tries to put a fresh spin on Lefebvre right to the city thesis and on the possibilities for participatory democracy.

Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography

All seminars begin at 1pm and take place in the Hardy Building, Room 101 (unless otherwise stated), Department of Geography. All welcome!

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Thursday 27th November 2014, 1.00pm - Caroline Bressey, University College London
Conversations with Caroline: archival spaces of the Victorian asylum
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure - seminar series

Research seminar series run by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.
The support of the Trevelyan Fund (Faculty of History) is gratefully acknowledged.

**The Group seminar series will not run in Michaelmas 2014, but will meet again in Lent and Easter 2015**

Convenors: Leigh Shaw-Taylor (lmws2@cam.ac.uk), Romola Davenport (rjd23@cam.ac.uk) and Alice Reid (alice.reid@geog.cam.ac.uk).

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Cambridge Conservation Seminars

The series is intended to provide a research and social focus for university lecturers, research staff and postgraduate students interested in conservation research. The primary aim is to inform university colleagues of what research is going on in different departments and to bring in high quality outside speakers. Equally, members of conservation organisations are welcome to attend. A key element is the opportunity after each talk to socialise with colleagues from different departments and organisations.

Generously funded by the CCI Strategic Initiative Fund
http://www.conservation.cam.ac.uk/

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Wednesday 26th November 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Brendan Godley, University of Exeter
Tracking marine turtles for conservation
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Andrew Tanentzap, Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
Extending freshwater conservation beyond shorelines by linking aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

Environmental Systems and Processes - Department of Geography

Seminars within the Environmental Systems and Processes research group of the Department of Geography.

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Polar Physical Sciences

Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG)