RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum 2017 Mid-Term Conference CFP

Royal Geographic Society-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference

School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, 19th-21st April 2017

Abstract submission deadline: 10th March 2017

Two bursaries available for transport students for further details see: http://www.pgf.rgs.org/mid-term-conference-2017/bursaries/

We invite postgraduate researchers from all areas of geography, however broadly defined or conceived, and at any stage of their research, to submit an abstract to present a paper or poster.

The mid-term conference is a fantastic opportunity for all postgraduate students to present their current work and research to their peers in a friendly and supportive environment. Whether you’re a first time presenter, looking for friendly feedback on early results or a draft paper, or want an opportunity to practice and enhance your presenting skills, this event aims to foster a relaxed and informal space to discuss your research amongst your postgraduate peers.

The conference fee is £55* and will take place at Cardiff University on the 20th and 21st April 2017, preceded by an evening wine reception and keynote lecture on the 19th April. This cost also includes refreshments, lunches and a conference pack.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to rgsmidterm2017@cardiff.ac.uk using the subject heading “2017 RGS Postgraduate Mid-Term Conference”. Please include your full name and university along with four keywords, and your intention to present a poster or paper by no later than Friday 10th March 2017. For further instructions and advice please see our website.

Further Information

The conference is designed to specifically cater to the professional development needs of the postgraduate community. There will be:

  • A range of workshops covering qualitative and quantitative methods, mobile methods, publishing in academic journals, conducting citizen science via an app, using story maps on poster presentations, and generating both academic and non-academic impact;
  • An evening keynote will be provided by Daniel Raven-Ellison a guerrilla geographer, radical educator and National Geographic explorer (on the evening of 19th April);
  • A further keynote will be provided by Professor Mark-Jayne an urban, social and cultural geographer and established academic at Cardiff University; and
  • A three-course conference dinner will serve the finest Welsh sourced ingredients, taking place on the evening of the 20th April at Barley and Rye (this is included in the registration fee).
  • RGS Research Group opening events, bursaries, networking opportunities, and sponsored sessions.

Together these events will constitute a perfect opportunity for postgraduate researchers to develop both personal and professional working relationships with their peers from across the country.

If you have any queries please get in touch @RGSmidterm2017 or rgsmidterm2017@cardiff.ac.uk, we look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Lucy Baker, Melissa Dickinson, Charlotte Ford, Kieran O’Mahony, and Jen Owen

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference 2017 Organising Committee at Cardiff University

*Bursaries are available – please see the website for further information.



RGS-IBG 2017 CFP: Mobile lives in the digital age: implications, challenges and opportunities.

RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2017, London, 30th August – 1st Sept 2017

Call for Papers

Joint session Transport Geography Research Group and Digital Geographies Working Group

Session co-convenors: Juliet Jain & Billy Clayton (UWE), Adele Ladkin (Bournemouth), and David Kirk (Northumbria).

Mobile lives in the digital age: implications, challenges and opportunities. 

Technology has reshaped the experiences of corporeal mobility for those people who are digitally connected on the move.  Academics have been grappling with understanding the intersection of corporeal and virtual mobility across disciplines since the 1990s and the broader social impacts of being continuously connected.  With smaller mobile devices, and an exponential growth in different communication platforms, the boundaries between domains such as home, work, and leisure have blurred for good and bad.  This growth in mobile device ownership and desire for continuous connection has implications for digital service providers, travel providers and the broader tourism and hospitality industry (e.g. hotels, cafes and destination locations).  At the same time others are considering ways of digitally disconnecting, raising the question whether travel should be such an opportunity.  Issues of gender and age are also implicit in these debates, especially who travels and who uses digital media, and how travel is validated in the digital world.

This session will aim to bring together three areas of corporeal mobility to discuss the implications, challenges, and opportunities of being simultaneously physically and digitally mobile for individuals, society, and/or infrastructure/service providers.  These three are:

  • mundane and routine travel (e.g. commuting and shopping)
  • travel in the context of work whether travel for work (e.g. business trips) or travel as work (e.g. drivers, sailors, and pilots)
  • leisure travel.

We welcome submissions of abstracts of no more than 200 words to be sent to Dr Juliet Jain Juliet.Jain@uwe.ac.uk by Friday 3rd February

We particularly welcome presentations using participant’s narratives, co-created knowledge, visual and other media that has engaged research participants, and/or effective public engagement.  Presentations can be in the form of a video.  However, standard presentations are also very welcome!

 The TGRG has a small prize for the best postgraduate presentation in any TGRG session at the RGS-IBG 2017 Conference. If you wish to enter for the Postgraduate Prize a full paper should be submitted to the Chair and Secretary of TGRG prior to the conference date for judging. For more information and to find out about entry criteria please contact TGRG postgraduate rep Clare Woroniuk (clare.woroniuk@newcastle.ac.uk).

University of Oxford Transport Studies Unit Hilary Term Seminar Series 2017: ‘Transport & Mobilities across the life course’

The TSU Hilary Term Seminar Series 2017, entitled ‘Transport & Mobilities Across the Life Course’, will be held from January to March at the School of Geography and the Environment as follows:  ALL SEMINARS:   4 – 6 pm |  Alternate Tuesdays from 24th January  | Hilary Term 2017  | School of Geography & the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY  |  ALL WELCOME!


24 January 2017 (Week 2) Beckit Room, SoGE

A life course perspective: new mobilities and demography

  • Prof Dr Joachim Scheiner, Technische Universitat, Dortmund
  • Clare Sheffield, Transport for London

Chair: Dr Tim Schwanen, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford


7 February 2017 (Week 4) Beckit Room, SoGE

The mobilities of young adults in the 21st Century

  • Prof Ann Berrington, University of Southampton
  • Jean Taylor, Lambeth Council

Chair: Dr Debbie Hopkins, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford


21 February 2017 (Week 6) Gottman Room, SoGE

Mobilities of an ageing population

  • Associate Prof Charles Musselwhite, Swansea University
  • Jane Vass OBE, AGE UK

Chair: Prof David Banister, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford


7 March 2017 (Week 8) Beckit Room, SoGE

Life events and mobilities across the life course

  • Dr Sara Tilley, University of Edinburgh
  • Emma Aldrich, Marie Stopes International

Chair: Dr Tim Schwanen, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford




RGS-IBG 2017 CfP: Systems of (auto)mobility: Continuities, disruptions and futures

Paper session at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017, London,
29 August – 1 September, 2017

Systems of (auto)mobility: Continuities, disruptions and futures

Convenors: Brendan Doody (University of Cambridge) and Debbie Hopkins (University of Oxford)

It has been over a decade since John Urry’s (2004) influential paper ‘The ‘system’ of automobility’ was published. In it he sought to account for the expansion and continuing ascendancy of the car and the ‘specific character of domination’ it entails (p. 27). Having explored the ‘awesome’ social, cultural and environmental consequences of the car he concludes by considering a number of ‘technical-economic, social and policy transformations that in their dynamic interdependence might tip mobility into a new [post-car] system’ (Urry, 2004, p. 33). For Urry, new fuel systems (e.g., batteries; hybrid; hydrogen fuel cells), new materials, smart vehicles, digitization, de-privatizing of vehicles (e.g., car clubs; car-hire schemes), new transport policies and new living, work and leisure practices would potentially become central elements of this new ‘vehicle system’.

In the intervening years since its publication, a number of the emergent elements identified by Urry have become evident. This has prompted a number of scholars to claim that the post-car system is on the horizon in the global North due to processes such as ‘peak car, rail renaissance, cycling boom, the rise of mobile information and communication technologies, and broader lifestyle and cultural changes’ (Cohen, 2012; Metz, 2015; Newman and Kenworthy, 2011; Schwanen, 2016, p. 155).

As Schwanen (2016, p. 155) and others (Wells and Niewenhuis, 2012) have observed such analyses are far by no means unproblematic and tend to fail to sufficiently account for the ‘capacity of automobility to endure’. The alarming growth rate of car ownership in the global South (especially China and India); the ability of car manufactures to delay more radical forms of change (i.e., electric propulsion; fuel cells); incumbent automobile manufacturers and car hiring companies such BMW, Dailmer-Benz, Hertz and Enterprise acquiring, merging and/or developing car-sharing schemes/car clubs; and the growing interest and momentum around autonomous vehicles are just a few examples.

Building on the late John Urry’s legacy, we are interested in critical approaches that explore dominant and emerging systems of (auto)mobility:

  1. How might we understand the continued centrality of the car in the Global North and the substantial growth in car ownership and use in the Global South?
  2. To what extent might new vehicles (electric, hybrid, self-driving, autonomous), materials (light-weight; super-strength) and technologies (automatic cruise-control; lane departure warning; radar; lidar) reproduce or disrupt existing car-dependent cultures?
  3. To what extent are emerging technical-economic, political and social transformations (smart technologies; automation; car-sharing and clubs; on-demand services; (re)-emergence of cycling) challenging, reaffirming or reconstituting (auto)mobile materialities, politics, cultures and identities?

We welcome papers dealing with issues related (but not limited) to:

–        New ways of conceptualising systems of automobility in the global North and global South;

–        Empirical studies of (auto)mobile materialities, politics, cultures and identities in the global North and global South;

–        Empirical studies of virtual, public and non-motorized (e.g., cycling and walking) mobility practices and their associated materialities, politics, cultures and identities in the Global North and Global South;

–        Changing mode(l)s of (auto)mobile access and ownership, together with their (cultural/economic/political/environmental) implications;

–        How these mode(l)s are being operationalised and negotiated in everyday life (e.g., time; space (domestic/commercial); digitally; energy, clothes);

–        Their potential to reproduce, blur, challenge and disrupt existing imaginaries, practices and cultures of (auto)mobility;

Applicants should submit an abstract (~200 words), including a preliminary title, to Brendan Doody (bjd47@cam.ac.uk) and Debbie Hopkins (debbie.hopkins@ouce.ox.ac.uk) no later than Friday 10th February 2017. The convenors will notify all authors of whether their paper can be accommodated in the session by Tuesday 14th February. Final confirmation of the session will be provided by the RGS-IBG conference organisers following the deadline for session proposals on 17th February 2017.

RGS-IBG 2017 CfP: Decolonising urban transport studies

Session title: Decolonising urban transport studies

Convenors: Wojciech Kębłowski (Université libre de Bruxelles, Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Tauri Tuvikene (Tallinn University) and Astrid Wood (Newcastle University)

Session outline

In line with the underlining call of the conference to decolonise geographical knowledge, this TGRG sponsored session ventures into studies of urban passenger transport and mobility aiming to ‘open them up’ to the critical perspectives developed and developing in the world of urban studies writ large. We aim to delve into this challenge in three parts. 

First, following the ‘usual’ understanding of decolonisation, the session welcomes research that begins with an explicit focus on the more unusual suspects of urban policies and practices. We therefore welcome papers that work on the questions of movement in ‘ordinary cities’ of both North, South, and post-socialism as well as different dimensions of ‘ordinariness’. This also raises questions of policy mobility, in particular when emerging between cities seldom celebrated as outposts of ‘cutting-edge’ policy models, along paths less travelled by transport ‘fixes’ and ‘fads,’ and ‘recipes.’

Second, the session seeks to decolonise urban transport studies from dominant technical framings that, on the one hand, perceive movement as a question of of utility, efficiency or economic growth that are supposedly achieved through ‘rational’ planning and decision-making, and, on the other, a matter of sustainable development to be advanced through primarily technological and behavioural innovations. We thus aim not only to discuss strategies towards re-politicisation of urban transport by anchoring them more explicitly within a series of political-economic considerations emerged in urban studies. 

Third, we propose to take on the challenge of ‘decolonising’ urban space and mobility by attending more closely to the alternative practices and knowledges of moving, which often challenge formal rules and planning. While such practices might designate informal ways of negotiating urban space, they are not necessarily different from or inferior to the formal and established forms of mobility, and provide a fertile ground to negotiate dominant narratives of urban transport geographies.

To respond to the challenges outlined, we look forward to receiving papers offering theoretical discussions and empirical studies alike, dealing with one or more research sites in the global South, North or post-socialist environment and answering to one or multiple topics raised in this call.

Submission procedure

Potential session participants should send an abstract of maximum 250 words to Wojciech Kębłowski (wojciech.keblowski@vub.ac.be), Tauri Tuvikene (tauri.tuvikene@tlu.ee) and Astrid Wood (astrid.wood@ncl.ac.uk) by 29th January. We will get back to you before 5th February.

Presenters are strongly encouraged to submit a paper for the Postgraduate Prize awarded by TGRG. The TGRG has a small prize for the best postgraduate presentation in any TGRG session at the RGS-IBG 2017 Conference. If you wish to enter for the Postgraduate Prize a full paper should be submitted to the Chair and Secretary of TGRG prior to the conference date for judging. For more information and to find out about entry criteria please contact TGRG postgraduate rep Clare Woroniuk (clare.woroniuk@newcastle.ac.uk).

‘New Technologies and Changing Behaviours’ short course at the University of Oxford (14 – 17 March 2017), part of the Global Challenges in Transport Leadership programme

We are currently accepting applications for the short course ‘New Technologies and Changing Behaviours,’ taking place 14-17 March 2017, at Kellogg College, University of Oxford.

 Globally, transport is undergoing important changes in technology and user behaviour. This course offers the latest thinking on how such changes can be understood, and what their interactions mean for the future of transport demand. It explores emerging contemporary mobility cultures in different global regions, the diffusion of new technologies and new perspectives on their role, changing behaviours and energy reduction, and the sociocultural dynamics of behaviour change. The course additionally offers an overview of new and emerging smart technologies and behavioural intervention programmes and provides insights into current projects and initiatives across the globe.

Key speakers include: Professor Emeritus David Banister, Professor Denise Morrey (Oxford Brookes University), Dr Debbie Hopkins (TSU), Dr Tim Schwanen (TSU), Toby Park (Behavioural Insights Team), Professor Graham Parkhurst (UWE Bristol), Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh (Cardiff University). The expertise of the speakers spans both developed and developing countries, and research as well as practice.

You can also apply for one of the other four-day courses on the programme. They cover different aspects of the sustainable transport challenge: transport governance and urban transitions (in June 2017), infrastructures, development and finance (in September 2017), and health and well-being (in December 2017). You can find out more at www.tsu.ox.ac.uk/course. Please note that each course can be taken separately, or in combination with others, allowing participants to tailor a flexible programme based on their interests.

The fees per course cover all materials, 21 contact hours, 3 nights’ en-suite accommodation, and all meals and refreshments during the course (including a formal networking dinner at Kellogg College, University of Oxford). In 2016/17, fees are as follows:

  • Private sector: £3,500
  • Public sector / NGO / Academic: £1,500
  • PhD student: £500

We are able to offer reduced rates for group applications, as well as alumni rates to those attending several of the Global Challenges in Transport courses.

The TSU’s Global Challenges in Transport courses are part of the Oxford Leadership Programme and are delivered in collaboration with Saïd Business School. The programme provides decision-makers from a range of sectors with the necessary skills and expertise, supported by the latest research evidence, to address the complex challenges of delivering sustainable transport solutions.

Please get in touch if you have any questions, or would like to request an application form.