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977Fwd: call for papers RGS/IBG 2011 - art, science, geography -

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  • Alan A. Lew
    Jan 5, 2011
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      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Mrill Ingram <mrilli@...>
      Date: Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 8:28 AM
      Subject: call for papers RGS/IBG 2011 - art, science, geography -

      RGS/IBG Annual Conference, 31 Aug - 2 Sept 2011, London UK

      Session Proposal: Art, Science and Geographical Imaginaries

      Sponsored by Historical Geography Research Group

      Convenors: Mrill Ingram, University of Arizona; Libby Straughan, Harriet Hawkins, Aberystwyth University.


      The tragedy of modern institutional compartmentalization has been its dissolution of the epistemological linkages between the arts (and broader humanities) and the natural sciences. Yet, however disparate their imaginaries, science and art have shared histories that inaugurate many key geographical modes of enquiry. Geographical knowledges and practices today retain a lively sense of the connectedness of the arts and sciences, characterized by negotiation, mutual learning and symbiosis, and explorations of relational difference. In the context of thinking about the geographical imagination, this session poses broad questions about the discipline’s historic and ongoing relationships with art and science, their consequences for our ways of knowing and imagining the world, and for our understandings of the discipline and practice of geography.


      We invite contributions that address the place of artistic and scientific endeavors in the historical production of geographical knowledge and that explore their place in contemporary imaginaries of geography as a discipline. Topics might include but are not confined to:

      1)     Art/Science and the Making of a Modern-Day Geography

      The co-mingling of art and science -- in the form of, for example, collaborations onboard ships in the Age of Exploration; the empirical and imaginary filling in of the blank spaces of ‘terra incognita’, celestial and subterranean worlds; and the 19th century rendering of nature and landscape in Von Humboldt’s cosmographies -- has been key to the emergence of a modern day geography. Indeed, the geographical project is often figured as one of synthesis. This may be worked through an imaginary of a disciplinary site where artistic and scientific endeavors engage around questions of bodies and environments, nature and society; or, it may be realized as part of a disciplinary genealogy that revolves, both pre and post Enlightenment, around the continuous working over of aesthetic and rational concerns.

      How did this co-mingling of art/science emerge within particular political, economic and cultural contexts?

      What imaginaries and practices animated and sustained such a geography?

      How were relations between the empirical, the speculative and the imaginary articulated?

      And, how, where and with what import did such a geography become institutionalized?

      2) Today, in the spaces of the lab, the studio, and in the field we find collaborations between artists and sciences that articulate new ways of geographical knowing, but which also interrogate the history of geographical ways of knowing. For instance, geographers bring science and art together in the production of a range of outputs that have contributed to our world views, from visualizations, maps, GIS, data modeling and the graphics of field sketching and spatial science, to paintings and other art works.

      How, where, and with what desires and anxieties have such collaborations emerged?

      How has a history of geography been posited and re-negotiated?

      What particular elements of the geographical imagination, and which concepts/techniques/figurations, are the focus of attention and why?

      What modes of articulation are being used, and with what import?

      3) ImaginingGeographies/Disciplinary Imaginaries

      Despite a history that combines art/science in a myriad of conceptual, methodological and presentational ways, there is nevertheless a marked compartmentalization of the discipline of geography. In consequence, a contemporary ‘drawing together’ of disparate areas of humanities, social and physical sciences combines elements that have considerable baggage accompanying them, such that they are identified variously as ‘factual,’ ‘measureable’ and ‘practical’, as well as  ‘creative,’ ‘innovative,’ and ‘speculative’.

      How is this baggage negotiated as both a challenge and an opportunity in contemporary geographical accounts?

      How does such work open up questions around the meaning and status of ‘data,’ the methods and practices of research and the status and value of outputs, both within and beyond the academy. 

      What expressive resources can be put to use in such efforts?

      What are the implications of this contemporary co-mingling of art/science in the context of the rise of STEM and the threat to Arts and Humanities?

      We invite papers, and other forms of contribution for this session, from geographers and artists, but also from a spectrum of interested parties including, but not limited to, historians of science and theorists of art and visual culture.

      Please send abstracts/ expressions of interest to Mrill Ingram on mrilli@..., by Friday 11th February.

      When submitting proposals please include the following information: 1) name; 2) institutional affiliation; 3) contact e-mail; 4) title of proposed paper; 5) abstract (no more than 250 words); and 6) any technical requirements (e.g. video, data projector, sound).

      *sorry for cross-postings*

      Mrill Ingram
      Postdoctoral Researcher
      University of Arizona
      Visiting Scholar
      Department of Geography
      University of Wisconsin-Madison
      Madison, WI 53706