The RACE working group is currently sponsoring three sessions at the RGS-IBG annual conference 2017 ( These are:

* CFP Decolonising the Geographical Landscape: Postgraduate Project Perspectives

* Reappraising David Livingstone’s The Geographical Tradition after a quarter of a century

* CFP The ‘battle of the maps’ – (re)imagining geographies of knowledge production

“Decolonising the Geographical Landscape” and “The ‘battle of the maps’” have calls for papers. Contact details and deadlines can be found below the abstracts.


Daniel Casey (University of Sheffield, UK) and Tim Fewtrell (Loughborough University, UK)

This session aims to have postgraduates present research relevant to the conference theme of decolonising geographical knowledge: opening geography out to the world. We welcome contributions from PhD researchers who have projects that critically and creatively deal with the conference theme and focus on topics such as, but not limited to:

* racial inequality

* colonization

* decolonization and whiteness

This session is non-standard and encourages participants to present their research using PechaKucha ( This format encourages paper contributions to be presented concisely through showing 20 images or presentation slides, each for 20 seconds. Presenters then present their research around each of these images and speak for the allocated time. Therefore, each presentation will last for approximately 7 minutes. 5 minutes will then be allowed for questions and answers.

Please send paper abstracts (maximum of 250 words) and abstract titles (clearly stating name, institution, and contact details) by 6 FEBRUARY 2017 to both and


Mark Boyle (Department of Geography, National University of Ireland – Maynooth), Tim Hall (Applied Social Sciences, University of Winchester), Robina Mohammad (South Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore), James D Sidaway (Department of Geography National University of Singapore)

The Geographical Tradition, originally published in 1992, quickly became a scholarly landmark, shifting the ground in the history of geography and the enriching appreciation of the relationship of geographical knowledge to other fields. It placed geography more squarely in wider histories of science and enhanced appreciation of space and place in those histories. The relationship of geography to ideas of ‘race’ and the pursuit of empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were also at the heart of the book. Panelists, who will include David Livingstone, will review, re-read, critique, reappraise and engage this landmark text a quarter of a century on from its publication. They will consider its enduring legacy and its relevance today. Panelists will comprise a mix of veteran and senior scholars and others approaching The Geographical Tradition with fresh eyes. We will be mindful of prior debate, including a round of “open-ended discussion of the possibilities and limits of thinking about [and transforming] ‘traditions’ of geographical enquiry” (Driver at al’, 1995).


Parvati Raghuram, Bart Rienties, and Chux Daniels (Open University), Clare Madge (University of Leicester), Ashley Gunter and Paul Prinsloo (University of South Africa)

We can no longer ignore the various and increasing tensions in geographies of knowledge production as the tectonic layers of accepted cannons and practices are questioned by a range of discursive positions such as postcolonial, decoloniality, and critical theory/pedagogy studies. There are increasing demands that higher education should not only acknowledge the various and intersecting ontologies and epistemologies that informed and sustained epistemicides and injustices in the past, but also that higher education should actively participate in their disruption and decentring and enable faculty and students to formulate alternatives.

In ‘the battle of the maps’ there is a proliferation of demands from a range of stakeholders e.g. governments, markets, employers, students, technology vendors, accreditation and quality assurance authorities and ranking regimes. While many of the demands originate from and attempts to enshrine existing power relations and structural positions (e.g. neoliberalism), there is an increasing number of stakeholder groups that demand that higher education take the lead in enabling and formulating counter-narratives where neglected and erased traditions are resuscitated and alternative maps are created or given voice using different, counter ontologies, epistemologies and narratives. The act of (re)imaging geographies of knowledge production often starts as an archaeological project trying to remember, re-centre, resurrect that which was lost, demolished, deliberately erased and written out of histories and curricula. There is, however, a danger that (re)imagining geographies of knowledge production as subversive longing does not acknowledge the tectonic layers of vested power that has never been fully formed and that can be pushed aside. The ‘battle of the maps’ in higher education therefore does not entail or allow for neat and linear processes that are or will be completed, ever.

This call for papers invites interventions from scholars who are revisiting the contours of our current geographies of knowledge production and also offering discursive spaces for alternative identities, desire and resistance.  This may take many forms – indigenisation, Africanisation, movements like Rhodes must fall and Fees must fall, the university sanctuary movement, questions of colour and identity in the academy among others. This session offers opportunities to tentatively and temporally destabilize, open up and keep open, and slow down processes of consensus regarding some of the controversies and potential of (re)considering and (re)imagining around curricula, faculty and institutions. Of specific interest for participation in this session are:

* Decolonial/postcolonial/critical theories and methodologies in the context of (re)imagining geographies of knowledge production

* Decolonising faculty/student locations/identities

* (Re)imagining disciplines, faculty, curricula and pedagogy

* Decolonising student data: its definition, collection, analysis and use

* Africanisation/regionalisation and decolonisation – its relation to Fees must fall, for instance

* Indigenous knowledges and decolonisation

* Race and knowledge: Why isn’t my professor black? and other movements

* Black studies and its’ challenges to knowledge

Please send abstracts to Ashley Gunter ( or Parvati Raghuram ( by 8 FEBRUARY 2017 for consideration in this session.

Please also see