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Department of Geography




Science Festival 2012 events

Greenland Ice Sheet

We have various events from 12th - 25th March 2012 for this year's Science Festival. Read more, or follow these links to each event:

Volcano exhibitions

PandIS exhibition

Volcanoes: beauty and menace, an exhibition of photographs of volcanoes and major volcanic eruptions, their hazards and consequences, is running weekdays until 5th April 2012. Venue: PandIS, New Museums Site.

Another exhibition, Frozen Volcano, ran from January 1st - February 4th 2012.

Dr Clive Oppenheimer also gave a talk on 3rd February, 'Monitoring volcanic gas emissions: from innovation to operational application'.

Book launch: Human Encumbrances: Political Violence and the Great Irish Famine

3rd October 2011, 4.30pm, Cormack Room, The University Centre

A new book by Dr David Nally, Human Encumbrances: Political Violence and the Great Irish Famine, will be launched on 3rd October 2011 by Dr Phil Howell.

The venue is the Cormack Room, The University Centre, Granta Place, Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RU [Directions].

Please let Marilena Gonella know if you wish to attend so that catering arrangements can be made.

John Pilkington - "A Stroll through the 'Axis of Evil'"

Hosted by the Department of Geography and the Cambridge branch of the Geographical Association

Wednesday February 2nd, 5pm. Venue: Large Lecture Theatre

The Department of Geography and the Cambridge branch of the Geographical Association are hosting a lecture on Wednesday February 2nd to which you are warmly invited - admission is free. The venue is the Large Lecture Theatre at 5pm.

John Pilkington

John is an explorer, author, broadcaster and geography alumnus who went on a six-month Middle East journey, taking some stunning photos. Starting in Beirut, he unravelled a picture quite different from the news stories of the region, as he followed a winding route via the Euphrates and the Valleys of the Assassins to finish on the Persian Gulf. He met a spectacular variety of people - Druze, Maronites, Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Azeris and both Shi'ite and Sunni Iranians - and to his surprise found families and whole communities working together to survive the harsh climate and political strife.

John has been called 'one of Britain's greatest tellers of travellers' tales'. His Radio 4 adventure travel programmes have won him wide acclaim, but it's probably for his thought-provoking talks and spellbinding photos that people know him best.

He has lectured to more than 1,000 audiences in five countries, and in 2006 received the Royal Geographical Society's Ness Award for popularising geography and the wider understanding of the world.

Centre for Gender Studies - Public Forum in association with The Guardian Newspaper and kindly supported by Cambridge University Press

The Centre for Gender Studies in association with The Guardian Newspaper, kindly supported by Cambridge University Press, hosts 3 major international events in London. World class experts engage directly with the public on topics of gender and radical bio-medical advances of the 21st Century. What can the latest scientific advances tell us about gender, what will be possible in the future and why does it matter? More details ...

What's in a name? Names and historical population studies

A BSPS Day Meeting, What's in a name? Names and historical population studies, will be held in the Department on 13th December 2010.

Election Question Time: What kind of Britain? Visions of a sustainable economy

The Department of Geography and Transition Cambridge invite you to an Election Question Time - a debate with Cambridge's general election candidates:

  • Nick Hillman (Conservative)
  • Tony Juniper (Green)
  • Daniel Zeichner (Labour)
  • Julian Huppert (Liberal Democrat)

Engage the candidates in a discussion on a range of pressing issues: from peak oil, economic growth and energy policy to food security, climate change, global justice and biodiversity.

Where: Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RR

When: Wednesday 28th April 2010, 8pm

All are welcome and admission is free (donations much appreciated). Bring your friends and your most pressing questions for Cambridge's candidates.

For more information and directions, go to

All poor, but no paupers: a Japanese perspective on the Great Divergence

5pm on the 1st, 3rd, 8th and 10th February 2010,
LG19, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Ken Pomeranz's The Great Divergence (2000), based mainly on Chinese evidence, argued that in early modern times, the Asian standard of living was on a par with that of Europe and market growth in East Asia comparable to that in western Europe. The book has stimulated a major debate amongst economic historians and much progress has recently been made in cross-cultural comparison of real wages. However, real differences between East and West cannot be properly understood unless household income, not just real wages, and income inequality, not just per-capita income, are compared; and due attention should be given, not only to product markets, but to factor markets as well.

This lecture series examines those issues of the Great Divergence on the empirical basis of what Japan's economic history can offer. The findings are not consistent with either Pomeranz's account of East-West differences in living standards or with those presented in Bob Allen's recent book.

Full details of this event ...

Talk by Damian Miller: 'Solar in Emerging Markets: Lessons from the field'

Small Lecture Theatre in the Geography Department, Thursday 3rd December 2009, 12-1pm. All welcome

Damian will talk about his experience in setting up solar businesses in various emerging markets. He will analyse the segments where solar is competitive, and what it takes to bring solar to market, and kick-start a process of technology diffusion. He is the recent author of Selling Solar, and his presentation will combine some of the themes from his book, with his experience on the ground. He will end by trying to summarise the lessons for business as well as policy, and look at the broader international processes and potential for solar to play a larger role in the energy mix of emerging markets in the years to come.

The Politics of Presence in Latin America

The Politics of Presence in Latin America

The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities is hosting an interdisciplinary conference, The Politics of Presence in Latin America on 23-24rd October 2009.

Sarah Radcliffe of the Department of Geography will be the convenor of the conference.

Open Days for prospective Undergraduates -
Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd July 2009

The Department is running Open Days on Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd July 2009.

Workshop: Community-based Action and NRM in an era of Neoliberalism, June 19, 2009

This workshop will address community-based action and natural resource management (NRM) in the contemporary context, in a period characterised by the spread of 'neoliberal' ideas and policies, especially the inter-related processes of liberalisation, privatisation, and globalisation. Read more ...

Trading Across Scales: Current Perspectives on Managing Wildlife Use

A joint workshop between UNEP-WCMC and the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. Read more ...

Comparative Colonialisms: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

Friday, 9th January 2009

10:20-10:30 Introduction/Welcome

10:30-11:00 Jim Duncan
Colonial Calculations: 'Making Survive' in Colonial South Asian Prisons

11:00-11:30 Zoe Laidlaw
Understanding Britain's Empire: historical and contemporary comparative frameworks

Tea/Coffee 11:30-12:00

12:00-12:30 Stephen Legg
Intra-Comparative Colonialism: trafficking and regulating prostitutes in interwar India

12:30-1:00 David Lambert
Mr MacQueen's map; or, geographical comparison and the politics of Atlantic slavery

Lunch 1:00- 2:00

2:00-2:30 Philip Howell
Prostitution regulation in the British Mediterranean: imperial inheritances and colonial innovations

2:30-3:00 Tomas Larsson
A "colonial" producer of race and space? The Siamese state in comparative perspective

Tea/Coffee 3:00-3:30

3:30-4:00 Dan Clayton
Impure and worldly geography": Pierre Gourou and the colonial genealogy of tropicality

4:00-4:30 David Nally
Colonial welfare: famine relief and improvement in India and Ireland

Roundtable 4:30-5:30

Wine reception 5:45-6:45

Teaching Careers Afternoon

Thursday November 13th, Large Lecture Theatre

3pm: Ruth Hollinger, Head of Humanities at Humphrey Perkins High School, Barrow Upon Soar, Loughborough: "Can't you just go to Tesco's, buy a load of ice cubes and tip them in the sea?" A Y8 pupil's solution to dealing with global warming - an interactive session on teaching geography in Secondary schools

Ruth was a geography student at Sidney Sussex 1996-1999. Prior to teaching she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and completed an MPhil in Leadership for Sustainable Development. In December 2007-January 2008 she had the opportunity to participate in the Fuchs Foundation Teachers Expedition to Antarctica.

4.30pm: Liz Taylor from the Faculty of Education on Applying for PGCEs (Post-Graduate Certificates in Education)

5pm: Colin Whitefield from Hills Road Sixth Form College - The Experiences of a Newly Qualified Teacher. Colin was an undergraduate at Durham University and then did a PGCE student at the Faculty of Education Cambridge in 2007-08.

Jubilee Conference: '25 years of Family Forms and beyond: revising geographies, methodologies, explanations'

20-21st May 2008

Details of this conference are on the HPSS website.

Open Days for prospective Undergraduates - Thursday 3rd July & Friday 4th July 2008

The Department is running Open Days on Thursday 3rd July & Friday 4th July 2008.

Alumni talks

The first in a series of our Alumni talks - careers talks by former students of the department - will be on Monday 10th March, at 5pm in the Large Lecture Theatre.

Networks in Society and the Economy

This workshop, Networks in Society and the Economy, will take place on 30th April 2008.

Events at the Scott Polar Research Institute

A variety of events are ongoing at SPRI, including exhibitions, public lectures, research seminars, and a film series.