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Previous events

Previous events

Cambridge Science Festival 2019

The Cambridge Science Festival provides the public with opportunities to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and concern and to raise aspirations by encouraging young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The Department of Geography will again be taking part this year with a range of events:

Cambridge Science Festival 2019

Cambridge Science Festival 2018

Cambridge Science Festival 2018

10th World Dendro Conference

2nd-22nd June 2018

Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure: 50th Anniversary Conference

Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure: 50th Anniversary Conference

A conference, Population Histories in Context: Past achievements and future directions, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, will be held on 16th-18th September 2014 at Downing College, Cambridge, UK.

The conference will consist of six themed sessions, with invited speakers covering topics related to the Group's past work and to emerging issues: population and economy; mortality and the urban penalty; household formation systems; marital fertility and celibacy; ageing; and 'the West and the Rest'.

Read more …

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.

Ecosystem services and human well-being: Interrogating the evidence

This NERC-ESRC Transdisciplinary Seminar Series will be held on Tuesday 15 January 2008, 10-6 pm. See full details.

Workshop: Experiencing the state: marginalised people and the politics of development in India

This workshop will be held on 23rd January 2008 in the Department.

LiDAR and its Applications

This workshop will be held on Wednesday 12th December 2007 at the Scott Polar Research Institute.

ESRC seminar: Vital Geographies

27-28 August 2007

Monday 27 August

10.30 Coffee

11.00 Paul Draus, University of Michigan-Dearborn, 'Digging Detroit: drugs, work and worth in the aftermath of abandonment'. Paul is the author of a marvelous ethnography of people in a zone of abandonment: Consumed in the city: observing tuberculosis at century's end (Temple University Press, 2004).

11.45 Susan Craddock, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis,, 'Vital Circulations: The Geopolitics of Tuberculosis'. Susan is the author of an excellent work in historical medical geography: City of Plagues: disease, poverty, and deviance in San Francisco (University of Minnesota Press, 2000). She has since been working on issues of globalization and AIDS: [with Ezekial Malipeni, Joseph Oppong, and Jayati Ghosh, AIDS in Africa: beyond epidemiology (Blackwell, 2004).

13.00 Lunch

14.30 Richard Smith, University of Cambridge, 'Aging, gender and entitlements under the English Old Poor Law; Charting and explaining regional contrasts'. Richard is a historical demographer looking at long-term shifts in the nature of welfare entitlements and the effects this has upon longevity and healthiness.

15.15 Jim Oeppen, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, 'How efficient from a social planner's perspective are current age-specific changes in mortality? A cross-country comparison.' Jim is a demographer who has been working recently on population projections for the elderly portion of the population. With James Vaupel, he published an article, 'Broken limits to life expectancy,' on this in Science in 2002.

16.00 Tea

16.30 Alan Ingram, University College London,, 'HIV/AIDS, security and the geopolitics of US-Nigerian relations'. Alan works on issues of global security and the geopolitics of health. He edited a collection of essays on this: Health, foreign policy and security: towards a conceptual framework for research and policy (Nuffield Trust, 2004)

19.30 Dinner

Tuesday 28 August

10.30 Coffee

11.00 Sridhar Venkatapuram, University of Cambridge,, 'Extending the Capabilities Approach of Nussbaum and Sen'. Sridhar is a graduate student at Cambridge examining the differences between rights and capabilities as ways of thinking about health entitlements.

11.45 Gerry Kearns, University of Cambridge, 'Thinking about health entitlements: utility, contract, capabilities, convention, or a mixed model?'

13.00 Lunch

14.30 Matthew Gandy, University College London,, 'Urban bulimia and the prosthetic city'. Matthew works on the political ecology of cities and his wonderful publications include: Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City (MIT Press, 2002); (edited with Alimuddin Zimla) The return of the White Plague: global poverty and the 'new tuberculosis' (Verso, 2003); Hydropolis (Campus, 2006).

15.15 Michael Brown, University of Washington-Seattle,, 'Everybody gets VD!: Sexualities and Urban Public Health Politics in PostWar Seattle'. Michael is a political geographer who was worked on issues of AIDS and on the spaces of gay political organization in the city. His exciting publications include: Replacing citizenship: AIDS activism and radical democracy (Guilford, 1997); Closet Space: Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the Globe (Routledge, 2000).

16.00 Tea

16.30 David Nally, University of Cambridge, 'Human Incumbrances: Political Violence and the Great Irish Famine, 1847-53'. David is preparing a book on the Great Irish Famine that extends the biopolitical theories of Foucault and Agamben in thinking about the politics of starvation.

17.15 Drinks reception

Open Days for prospective Undergraduates

The Department of Geography will hold its Open Days on July 5th and 6th 2007, at which it will be possible to meet some of the lecturers and take a tour of the library and facilities. More information about College and Department Open Days is available on the University's central website.

Symposium: What Can Conservation Learn from Social Science, and How?

Thursday 21st June 2007
SED Cluster

This informal one-day meeting is proposed to share experiences of cross-disciplinary communication (between the natural and social sciences) and between the research and practitioner communities among Geographers and others in Cambridge. The aim is to promote informal, robust and enjoyable debate.

10 am: Coffee

10.30-12.30: (1) Communicating Across Disciplines

10.30 Bill Adams (Geography, Cambridge)
'The two cultures problem: authority, competence and dialogues of the deaf'

10.50 Emma Mawdsley (Geography, Cambridge)
'"We'll explain that they should not hunt flagship species": Reflections on applications to a conservation awards programme'

11.10 Ivan Scales (Geography, Cambridge)
The challenge of interdisciplinarity: studying deforestation in Madagascar

11.30-12.30 Discussion

12.30-1.30: Lunch

1.30-3.00: (2) Measuring Outcomes

1.30 Bill Sutherland (Zoology, Cambridge)
Evidence-based approaches to projects that combine conservation and development

1.50 Bhaskar Vira and Arshiya Bose (Geography, Cambridge)
'How do development projects measure outcomes?'

2.10 - 3.00 Discussion

3.0-3.30 pm: Tea/Coffee

3.30-5pm: (3) Applying Social Science

3.30 Wynet Smith (Geography, Cambridge)
Understanding the implications of Forest Policy Reform for Conservation in Cameroon

3.50 Brendan Fisher (CSERGE, UEA)
The ecosystem services approach: can we integrate biophysical and social sciences for conservation and development?

4.10 Discussion

5pm: Various scholarly refreshments

Everyone is welcome - but please let us know if you are coming. The workshop will be held in the Small Lecture Theatre in the Department of Geography (see directions). Ample parking is available for bicycles. Coffee and a sandwich lunch will be provided - please book by emailing so we can arrange catering.

Leverhulme Lectures - Ungoverned Reason: The Politics of Public Rationality

University of Cambridge 15, 16, 17 May 2007

Professor Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, will deliver three lectures to mark her Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge:

1. Evidence
17.00, Tuesday 15th May, Lecture Room 1, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms

2. Science and Citizenship
17.00, Wednesday 16th May, Lecture Room 9, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms

3. Reason and Culture
17.00, Thursday 17th May, Lecture Room 1, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms

The final lecture will be followed by a discussion of the series, led by Professor Brian Wynne of the University of Lancaster and Professors Martin Kusch and Simon Schaffer of the University of Cambridge.

All members of the University are welcome to attend.

Professor Jasanoff is jointly hosted in Cambridge by the Department of Geography (Professor Susan Owens) and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (Professor John Forrester).

Outline of the Lectures
Ungoverned Reason: The Politics of Public Rationality

In democratic societies, rationality is seen as the best safeguard against abuses of power. Decisions that are founded on reason—rather than on passions, emotions, or subjective biases—require no further justification. To say that an action is reasoned is to grant its legitimacy, and effectively to put an end to public debate over it. Claiming reason thus becomes, in effect, a means of taking matters out of the domain of democratic politics. Authorities who bind themselves to the rule of reason need no added political constraints, or so it is thought.

In this series of lectures, I question these presumptions about the relationship of power, politics, and public reason in modern democracies. Looking at examples from fields such as the law, environmental policy, and the regulation of biotechnology, I argue that the processes by which we constitute public rationality—or, perhaps more accurately, the semblance of it—are deeply political, as well as culturally specific. Widely prevalent discourses of reason, such as rational choice, risk assessment or bioethics, often conceal underlying political assumptions that were never made explicit or exposed to full deliberation. Moreover, the institutions that should question authoritative claims of rationality are themselves limited in their power to expose rationality's inarticulate and undeliberated foundations. Accordingly, reason, while claiming the right to govern, remains itself ungoverned. These lectures are designed to open up the politics of reason to deeper analysis and democratic scrutiny.

Lecture 1: Evidence

A basic principle of rational decision-making is that actions must be supported by evidence. From a 1946 US administrative law requiring "substantial evidence" for state action to recent global calls for evidence-based medicine, democratic societies have acknowledged that powerful actors should be constrained by factual demonstrations that warrant their proposed intrusions or exercises of force. But how does a political community know what counts as evidence? What accounts for public disagreements about whether facts constitute evidence, and why is evidence so often seen only after the harm that it could have prevented has occurred? In this lecture, I consider how publics are trained to recognize evidence, and what makes it acceptable in varied institutional contexts. I pay particular attention to ways in which assumptions about what is or is not evidence come to be taken for granted, and thus become, or remain, unquestioned.

Lecture 2: Science and Citizenship

Since the late 1970s, it has been an article of faith that governments should promote the "public understanding of science." That proposition rests, in turn, on a belief that there can be no meaningful form of citizenship in contemporary democracies unless the public possesses a minimum amount of scientific knowledge. Yet, despite all attempts at science education, ignorance of the most basic scientific facts persists, side by side with surprisingly high levels of public support for science and technology. In this lecture, I ask how the relationship between citizenship and science could be reconceptualized so as to further the purposes of democratic engagement. I argue, generally, that informed skepticism may be the most effective route to securing higher levels of public engagement with science and technology, and I ask whether current forums for expressing skepticism adequately serve the needs of citizenship.

Lecture 3: Reason and Culture

In a globalizing world, states and societies increasingly depend on the reasoning of spatially and culturally distant others over whose actions they have little or no political control. Science, by virtue of its supposed universalism, should provide a powerful basis for common understandings, on matters ranging from climate change and global health to security threats and the safety of foods. Yet, recent experience from fields as diverse as AIDS policy and meat importation suggests that the interpretation of policy-relevant scientific evidence is a deeply cultural exercise, shaped by and responding to culturally specific norms of public argument and persuasion. In this lecture, I use the concept of civic epistemology to highlight potential areas of cultural divergence, and I reflect on the implications of these differences for the harmonization of public rationality in a cosmopolitan world.

Professor Sheila Jasanoff

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She has held academic positions at Cornell, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, and Kyoto. At Cornell, she founded and chaired the Department of Science and Technology Studies. She is Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge, and has been Fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study, and Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio study center. Her research concerns the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and public policy of modern democracies, with a particular focus on the challenges of globalization. She has written and lectured widely on problems of environmental regulation, risk management, and biotechnology in the United States, Europe, and India. Her books include Controlling Chemicals; The Fifth Branch; Science at the Bar; and Designs on Nature. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. She holds AB, MA, JD, and PhD degrees.

Professor Bill Adams

Prof. Bill Adams - inaugural lecture

Professor Bill Adams will give his Inaugural Lecture as the first Moran Professor of Conservation and Development, entitled 'Environment versus Development? Towards a Political Ecology of Conservation' at 5pm on Tuesday 8th May 2007.

We regret that all places for this lecture have now been booked.

Research Workshop: The New Social and Economic Geography of Europe

Wednesday 4th April 2007, 10.30am to 5.30pm

Spaces of Economy and Society Research Cluster

If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact the organiser Franz Huber as soon as possible.


10.30-11.00 Registration and coffee
11.00-12.30 First session
Chair: Prof. Ron Martin (Cambridge)
  • Prof. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (LSE): Family Types and the Persistence of Regional Disparities in Europe
  • Michail Biniakos (Newcastle): Regional Development and Regional Governance in the Balkans
  • Kendra Strauss (Oxford): Gender Inequality Risk in European Pensions
12.30-1.30 Lunch
1.30-3.00 Second session
Chair: Dr. Molly Warrington (Cambridge)
  • Dr. Alison Stenning (Newcastle): Travelling Work: Migrations, Dislocations and Connections in Europe
  • Maciej Huculak (Jagiellonian University Krakow): The Theory and Practice of Special Economic Zones: The Polish Experience
  • Maja Grabkowska (Gdansk University): The Inner City Refurbished? Accommodating New Consumer Lifestyles in Old Residential Districts of Post-socialist Cities
3.00-3.30 Tea and coffee break
3.30-5.00 Third session
Chair: Prof. Susan Christopherson (Cornell)
  • Prof. Ray Hudson (Durham): Re-thinking Regional and Urban Development in Europe in the Context of Processes of Global Environmental Change
  • Dr. Stefan Buzar (Oxford): Energy Restructuring in Eastern and Central Europe: Threadworks of Scale, Institutions and Place
  • Danielle Firholz (Durham): Towards a Re-composition of Political Action in Europe's Regions: the Role of Deliberative Forums
5.00-5.30 Wine reception

Session Structure

Each session will begin with a 20 minute presentation by an invited academic and two 15 minute presentations by PhD students/researchers followed by at least 30 minutes of discussion.


There are no charges for attendance at this workshop, with lunch and refreshments provided and a wine reception after the proceedings have concluded. For those guests presenting, we will endeavour to reimburse all travelling costs.

We expect that guests will not require accommodation in Cambridge.


The workshop will be held at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI).

Useful interactive maps and travel information

Symposium on Geopolitics - Friday January 12 2007

A one-day meeting to be held in the Department. All welcome. There is no registration fee. You are welcome to notify the organiser, Gerry Kearns in advance of attendance, if you wish.

10.45 Coffee

Geopolitics of the Post(-First-World-)War World

11.00 Jeremy Crampton, Department of Geosciences, Georgia State University, 'Maps, race and Foucault: Eugenics and territorialization following World War I'

Jeremy Crampton is Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. He is the author of The political mapping of cyberspace (Edinburgh University Press, 2003). He is also the editor of Space, knowledge and power: Foucault and Geography (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007) and the author of dozens of articles on the philosophy of mapping and GIS, and on the history of the political uses of cartography.

11.30 Discussion

11.45 Gerry Kearns, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 'Mackinder in South Russia 1920: Liberal and colonial imperialisms'

Gerry Kearns is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge and has published articles on medical geography and political geography. He is currently completing a book on Geopolitics and empire: The legacy of Halford Mackinder.

12.15 Discussion

12.30 Lunch

Geopolitics after 9-11

13.30 Sarah Radcliffe, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 'The geopolitics of post-9/11 security and Andean indigenous people'

Sarah Radcliffe is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, Cambridge. She is the editor of several collections on the development geography of Latin America including Culture and development in a globalizing world: Geographies, actors and paradigms (Routledge, 2006), Remaking the nation: Place, politics and identity in Latin America (Routledge, 1996) and Viva: Women and popular protest in Latin America (Routledge, 1993). She has published dozens of articles on aspects of development in Latin America including on postcolonialism, neoliberalism, transnational identities, gender and indigenous peoples' politics. She is currently co-editor of the flagship journal, Progress in Human Geography.

14.00 Discussion

14.15 Tea

Geopolitics of state-making after the Cold War

14.30 Denisa Kostovicova, Department of Government, London School of Economics, 'State-making and the problem of weak states'

Denisa Kostovicova is Lecturer in Global Politics in the Department of Government at the LSE. She is the author of Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (Routledge, 2005) as well as of articles on the geopolitics of the Kosovo and Republika Srpska. She is part of the research group on Global Civil Society at LSE is studying the dynamics of attempts at state-making in so-called weak states.

15.00 Discussion

15.15 Gerard Toal, Department of Government and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, 'Localized geopolitics: State breaking and state making in Bosnia-Herzegovina'

Gerard Toal/Gearóid Ó Tuathail is Professor of Government and International Affairs at Virginia Tech, City Campus. He is the author of Critical geopolitics: The politics of writing global space (London: Routledge, 1996). He has edited several important collections on Geopolitics including A geopolitics reader (Routledge, 1998 and 2006), Rethinking geopolitics (Routledge, 1998) and A companion to Political Geography (Blackwell, 2004). He has published dozens of articles mainly on the discursive analysis of particular geopolitical disputes-most recently about Bosnia-Herzogovina.

15.45 Discussion

16.00 Tea

16.15 General Discussion

16.45 Disperse

EGRG Annual Symposium 2006: Exploring the Geographies of Inequality

The Economic Geography Research Group, a research group of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), will be holding its Annual Symposium in the Department on 20th/21st April 2006.

The EGRG website has full details and a flyer and registration form.

GEOMED 2005 conference

Members of the Department were involved in Geomed 2005, a conference on public health that brought together geographers, statisticians, epidemiologists, computer scientists and public health professionals.

Citizenship: a symposium

Jointly organised by the human geography clusters

Tuesday 27th September 2005 at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Main sessions: Small Lecture Room; Refreshments: Seminar Room

10.00 Arrival and coffee
10.20 Introduction to the symposium
10.30 Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University)
Experts and Citizens in Knowledge Societies
11.15 Nick Blomley (Simon Fraser University)
Anti-citizenship, begging, rights, and urban space
12.00 Joe Painter (Durham University)
Urban Citizenship in Contemporary Britain
12.45 Reflections on morning session
13.15 LUNCH
14.30 Andrew Dobson (Open University)
Environmental Citizenship
15.15 Richard Smith (University of Cambridge)
The Settlement Laws, parochial residence and welfare citizenship under the English Old Poor Law
16.00 Tea
16.15 Reflections from emergent researchers
16.45 General discussion
17.30 Wine in the Library

Attendance is free and is open to all members of the University and others who are interested. The symposium will be followed by an informal dinner at a Cambridge restaurant for those who would like to attend.

Open Days for prospective Undergraduates

The Department of Geography will hold an Open Day on 7 July, at which it will be possible to meet some of the lecturers and take a tour of the library and facilities. More information about College and Department Open Days is available on the University's central website.

Programme (no booking required):

  1. Information Stand 11.00am - 4.00pm Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site
  2. Drop-in Session 11.00 am - 4.00 pm Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site
  3. Tours of the Department of Geography 11.00 am - 4.00pm Meet at Undergraduate School Office, Department of Geography, Downing Site
  4. Subject Talk 1.30pm - 2.15pm Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Environmental Policy: Change and Continuity, North and South

Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
13th May 2005

The Society, Environment and Development Cluster in the Department of Geography will host a one-day symposium in the Department on 13th May, entitled 'Environmental Policy: Change and Continuity, North and South'. This symposium will bring together researchers engaged in the analysis (and advocacy) of policy in 'Northern' and 'Southern' contexts, to explore common ground and contrasts in the ways we understand environmental policy and policy processes.

Keynote speakers are drawn from Cluster staff, other UK Universities and overseas institutions.

10.00 Coffee (Seminar Room)
10.30 - 10.35 Introduction and Welcome: Professor Bill Adams (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge)

Session 1:

10.35 - 11.15 Professor Susan Owens (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge):
'Policy, Politics and the Environment'
11.15 - 12.00 Dr Inger-Lise Saglie (Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research):
'Local/Central Conflict in Natural Resource Management: The Role of Legitimate Knowledge'
12.05 - 12.50 Dr Shiv Visvanathan (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi; Visiting Scholar, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, London):
'Science, Risk and Democracy'
12.50 - 2.00 Lunch

Session 2:

2.00 - 2.45 Dr Raymond Bryant (Department of Geography, Kings College, London):
'The Philippine State and the Devolved Pursuit of Environmental Justice'
2.45 - 3.30 Dr Ben Page (Department of Geography, University College, London):
'Cyborg Apartheid - Water Policy, Talk and Power in Lagos, Nigeria'
3.30 - 3.45 Tea (Common Room)

Session 3:

3.45 - 5.00 Round table discussion
(Chair: Professor Bill Adams, Discussant: Dr Bhaskar Vira, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge)
5.00 Drinks (Common Room)

All welcome - Attendance free.

Anyone wishing to attend should please e-mail Dr Caroline Upton (, to enable us to make appropriate arrangements for catering.

The Symposium will be held in the Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Main Building, Downing Site, Downing Place, Cambridge. (Directions.)

Producing Rigorous and Relevant Graduate Research in Social and Economic Geography

Monday 18 April 2005; Regional Economy and Society Research Cluster - one-day workshop

Over the last decade, much research within social and economic geography has been criticised for an alleged lack of rigour and relevance. However, while there exist many excellent user guides on individual (as if stand-alone) methods in turn coupled with good examples of best practice, scholars have offered relatively less guidance on how we might achieve rigorous and relevant methodologies. In this one day workshop we seek to examine these issues from the point of view of graduate researchers with limited resources of money and status - what problems do they face in achieving those same goals of rigour and relevance? Following an introductory presentation by Dr Al James, the workshop will be split across three sessions which focus on the main stages of the graduate research process (deriving relevant research questions, choosing and justifying case studies, data collection, data analysis and theory-building, and write-up):

  • Session 1 - Deriving Research Questions & Choosing Case studies: Relevance, Urgency, & Justification
  • Session 2 - Rigours of Data Collection: Overcoming Problems of Thin Empirics in the Field
  • Session 3 - Rigours of Data Analysis, Theory Building, and Writing Up

Each session will begin with two / three ten-minute presentations by invited guest speakers, followed by an hour of lively discussion and debate. We are not looking for formal polished presentations of research from our guest speakers; but rather, their personal experiences of doing social and economic research; the main difficulties they have faced as graduates in achieving relevance and rigour at each stage of the research process; and specific concrete strategies that they have found to be particularly useful in overcoming those difficulties.

There are no charges for attendance at this workshop. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and a wine reception after the proceedings have concluded. For those guests presenting or chairing a session, we will seek to reimburse travel costs, and for presenters coming from further afield we are able to make a fixed number of guest rooms available for the Sunday night at no charge.

Please contact Will Harvey ( for more information.