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6th Doreen Massey Annual Event

Provocations of the Present: What Culture for What Geography?

This event took place on 6th June 2014 at 10:30am (09:30 GMT)
Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall Campus, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

This year's theme is the role of cultural geography in the contemporary moment.

In his book Maps of Meaning(1989) Peter Jackson set out an agenda for the ‘new cultural geography’ that was firmly committed to bringing together issues of culture and politics through an engagement between geography and cultural theory. In the 25 years since its publication cultural geography has, arguably, come to dominate human geography. Theorisations of production of culture as production of space have formed the basis for addressing a variety of ‘issues’ including race, gender, nation, nature and culture.

Today those provocations for culturally attuned spatial thinking have been significantly reframed. Issues such as the environment, mobility, globalisation, liberalisation, security, sexuality and cultural intolerance have become more prominent political issues while other concerns have faded away. Cultural geography has also transformed, as too have the media and modalities of politics and political debate. How do we understand culture within this context and what is the role of cultural geography in the politics of the present? How will geography as a discipline be shaped by cultural geography? This event brings together some of the key thinkers in cultural geography in order to address these questions. As Peter Jackson said back in 1989:

If cultural geography is to be revitalised, ... ,‘it cannot be by the defensive reiteration of well tried and by now well worn formulae. It can only be by an engagement with the contemporary intellectual terrain – not to counter a threat, but to discover an opportunity’(Jackson 1989: 180; Stedman Jones 1983: 24).


10.00 Coffee and registration

10.30 Panel presentations (Societies/Economies/Cultures)

11.30 Coffee

11.45 Panel presentations (Histories/Technologies/Environments)

12.45 Lunch

13.45 Small group discussions

15.00 Tea

15.30 Plenary

17:00 Wine reception

This is an opportunity for students to meet and exchange with key figures in cultural geography today.

Confirmed panellists include: Peter Adey, Phil Crang, Anindita Datta (via webcast), Mona Domosh (via webcast), Claire Dwyer, Isla Forsyth, Peter Jackson, Sam Kinsley, Pat Noxolo, George Revill, Gillian Rose, Anna Secor (via webcast), Divya Tolia-Kelly.

Parts of this event will be streamed live (the morning panel sessions and the plenary) and accessible through the Open University's Webcast page. Those who are unable to attend in person will be able to join the live streaming and have an opportunity to submit questions that may be selected for discussion.

Select from replays below:

10:30 am Panel presentations (Societies/Economies/Cultures)
11:45 am Panel presentations (Histories/Technologies/Environments)
3:30 pm Plenary

The webcast was open to 400 users