Gentle Geographies

Silence rather than speaking.  Vulnerability rather than power.  Weakness rather than strength.  Rest rather than action.  Connectedness rather than autonomy.

As someone tangled up in the tradition of democracy, I too often assume the latter terms are self evidently good.  And so I am not in the habit of thinking in the former terms.  But they are just as necessary to democracy.  In that spirit, I post the following call for submissions…


Deadline for submissions and booking – 14th June.

Submissions are invited from researchers (at any career stage) addressing gentle concepts and/or methodologies for the first of two one-day seminars.

Following the Gentle Geographies session at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2015, the seminar series, will explore and extend the themes considered there through two one-day seminars:

  • Seminar 1: A Gentle Alertness to Geographies of the (Non)human & (Ir)Responsibilities, 28th June 2016 at the University of Exeter
  • Seminar 2: A Gentle Alertness to the Geographies of Disabilities, (In)Justices & Activism(s), September 2016 at Newcastle University (Date and CFP to follow. Confirmed speakers include Kye Askins and John Horton)

The seminars are being funded by the Participatory Geographies Research Group, Geographies of Justice Research Group, the Spatial Responsibilities Group at the University of Exeter and the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape at Newcastle University.

Purpose of the seminars

The intention is provide a supportive environment for scholars at different stages of their career for engaged dialogue, creative exchanges and critical discussion/appraisal of the potential for ‘new’ conceptual and methodological directions in human geography. We hope to explore new themes and to return to those from the interactive session at the RGS-IBG AC2015, such as ‘gentleness’, ‘silences’, ‘quietness’, ‘gentle ways of knowing’, ‘doing’, ‘action’, ‘activism(s)’, ‘transformation’ and ‘progressive change’. We are also seeking to problematise the notion of ‘gentleness’ in all its shapes and sizes.

Seminar outline

Each seminar will take the following format:

  1. ‘Open Responses’ (10 minutes) from Nick Gill, Krithika Srinivasan, Laura Smith and Jonathan Cinnamon to the themes of the seminar in relation to their own research, teaching and practice;
  1. ‘Interactive Explorations’ (5-minutes) from up to ten researchers (at any stage) addressing gentle concepts and/or methodologies (two parallel sessions);
  1. ‘Where have we come? Where are we going?’ World Cafe Style session exploring the seminar theme and possible outcomes/publications plans.

Cost and Bursaries

Those who are able are asked to provide a voluntary contribution of £10 and cover their own travel costs. Five travel bursaries (for travel from within the UK) are available for each seminar allocated on the basis of relevance and need. Applicants will be asked to provide a summary of their research interests in the seminar topic (no more than 1 page) including what they feel they will gain from the event. Applications will be selected which most closely reflect the goals and orientation of the Working Groups, and these will be ranked as follows:

  1. Postgraduate or unwaged
  2. Holds junior academic temporary post with no source of funding
  • Holds junior permanent post with no source of funding
  1. Holds senior academic post with no source of funding

To take part

To register your interest please contact including a 250 word abstract if you would like to present one of the ‘Interactive Explorations’ (point 2 above). Deadline for submissions and booking – 14th June.


Dr Matt Finn

Lecturer in Human Geography

@mattmattfinn | Website – course related tweets @MFGeog
Geography, College of Life and Environmental Science | University of Exeter

@exetergeography | Website



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