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Themed Sessions


Submissions for themed sessions are now closed. The following are the list of themed sessions for CIG 2016. If you are interested in submitting an abstract for any of these sessions, contact the session convenor in first instance.

Art and Geography

Geographers and artists alike have long used and created maps to represent different spaces, places and environments in their work. The map as metaphor, model, and material reality allows the geographer and artist to use the map as a powerful spatial imaginary for visualizing worlds, temporalities, and terrains of knowing. In recent years, geographers and artists have also drawn upon each others' works to explore 'mapping' as an ongoing and open-ended process of meaning making and discovery. 

Building upon the success of past CIG 'Art and Geography' special sessions, these special 'mappings' paper sessions would include artists, geographers, practitioners, and activists who make, analyse, use, and question (artistic) maps in their work; contribute to ongoing mapping projects that explore and challenge the 'real world geographies' depicted on contemporary political maps; and/or create alternative cartographies to depict a range of spatial imaginaries; and creating mappings as a space that make visible and felt hauntings, stories, memory, and trauma, as well as the possibilities of social change.

Capitalism in the Web of Life

Jason Moore’s "Capitalism in the Web of Life" (Verso 2015) is an important intervention in debates about the Anthropocene. Moore incorporates environmental change within a broader narrative about the evolution of capitalism. This is an audacious materialist reading of the politics of climate change and challenges the naturalizing of structural violence, class conflict, and colonialism that is so often produced under the sign of the Anthropocene. Jason Moore (Binghampton University) will attend the conference and will engage with the responses to his book from Anna Davies, Gerry Kearns, John Morrissey, and Conor Murphy. This session already has its full compliment of speakers.

Coastal and Marine Systems

The Coastal and Marine Systems session aims to address the inter-disciplinary issues that are integral to our understanding of these environments. Papers will be welcomed which address: physical coastal processes at different spatial and temporal scales; our understanding of the process-form feedbacks that shape coastal environments; how anthropogenic pressures influence the physical functioning of coastal and marine ecosystems; new insights into marine and coastal planning; long-term process related to climate change.

Carbon and greenhouse gas dynamics in the landscape

We wish to invite abstracts for a themed session on Landscape Carbon Dynamics at the Conference of Irish Geographers 2016.
Terrestrial ecosystems play a major role in the carbon cycle. Vegetation and soil carbon dynamics determine the amount of carbon uptake and sequestration in these ecosystems and across landscapes. The measurement, mapping, monitoring and modelling of terrestrial carbon over the last few decades has yielded insights into this complex system. A combination of recent climate scenarios and land-use/land-cover change and disturbance will impact on how these insights may be used. We welcome the submission of abstracts on these topics.

To be considered for this themed session please email an abstract of no more than 250 words to by March 4th. Please include your institutional affiliation and contact details.

Figuring Late Modernity: Geographical perspectives

Interest in the cultures of modernity, rather than ebbing with the rise of postmodern theories in the 1980s (Lee, 2006), has seemingly flourished. Specifically, theorists have been keen to explore the meaning and implications of thinking in terms of late modernity, variably approached as ‘liquid’ modernity (Bauman), ‘second’/’reflexive’ modernization (Beck/Giddens), time-space compression (Harvey) and ‘multiple’ modernities (Kaya). Yet others dispute the existence of such a phase and maintain that postmodernity has surpassed these older cultural formations entirely. The aim of this session is to place under scrutiny the notion of late modernity as it has been figured in geographical writings. Specifically, it will interrogate the claim that there exists no simple 'singular modernity' but only multiple modernities and will expose the different conceptual narratives through which each has been rendered.

Financialisation: critical perspectives and explorations

Recent years have seen a flurry of academic activity centering on the notion of financialisation. Geographers have been at the forefront of this engagement, in considering, variously, finance’s growing dominance of processes of capital accumulation, the increasing integration of financial logics into our daily lives, and (with a particular emphasis on cities) how land and urban redevelopment are increasingly treated as pure financial assets by investor- and state-actors alike (Aalbers, 2014).  The rapid increase in but eclectic nature of financialisation studies has also prompted some scholars (Christophers, 2015) to caution against the use of the term ‘financialisation’ as an all-encompassing phenomenon and to work towards greater conceptual clarity. The aim of this session is to analyse processes of and conceptual parameters to ‘financialisation’. Papers that consider one or more of the following themes are especially welcome: 

•    Theoretical frameworks of financialisation
•    Finance capital and the built environment /financialisation of real estate 
•    Financial actors and logics at work
•    Mortgage debt and housing finance
•    Urban Infrastructure as global financial assets
•    Governing through finance
•    The financialisation of everyday life
•    The social construction of financial markets/systems

Queries and abstracts (max. 250 words) to Sinéad Kelly ( by 18th March

Flood Risk Management: Institutional Learning and statutory Capacities

Recent trends reinforce the notion that critical episodes of flooding have compelled governing bodies to account for gaps in current strategies. Emerging debates often revolve around institutional and governing issues and powers to implement adequate policies. Other interesting discussions include  choice of instruments for policy development  such as risk and cost-benefit tools, the role of communities in addressing flood vulnerability and the convergence of flood and other policy arenas in both Urban and Rural contexts.
We hope to bring together researchers working in this field and we welcome interdisciplinary discussions which include insights from human and physical geographers.

Governing Disasters

As Governments and policy-makers attempt to regulate and organise for a society at-risk of both natural and anthropogenic disasters, a sense of disorder has developed resulting in an abundance of research and interest in how we should prepare and adapt for these events.  This session is particularly interested in the governance processes that occur both before, during and after such events. The nexus between governance, preparedness, and response is critical to understanding how disasters are dealt with as the preparation and response to a disaster depends upon institutional knowledge and the organisation of communities, emergency services, government departments, NGOs, volunteers, and individuals. However, the system that governs potential risks, threats or hazards, changes from place to place and within different spaces, due to differing rules, beliefs and norms (Rogers, 2011).  This can have dramatic affects on how disasters are viewed by the public, how response is financed, and how vulnerability is acknowledged and understood.  
Thus, this session attempts to explore the tensions and challenges that occur when government, policymakers, institutions, organisations and individuals are faced with disaster.  How do they govern these disasters? 
The session is not prescriptive and welcomes academics and postgraduate students from both Ireland and abroad interested in natural and anthropogenic disasters and the governance processes surrounding decision-making in this field. We particularly welcome case studies that add to the limited empirical work in the fields of environmental governance and emergency response systems. Areas of potential interest for research papers may include, but are not limited to:
•    Urban security;
•    Flood risk management;
•    Governance processes related to climate change;
•    Vulnerability to disaster due to institutional organisation;
•    Rural governance of disasters; and
•    How spatial governance and governmentality, identified by the   entrepreneurial turn, relate to disaster management.

Ireland's Energy Landscape

Energy and society are inextricably linked and “geography  provides  the  tie  that  binds,  places  it  in context,  highlights  scale,  and  identifies  location  in  reference  to  all  other  factors  of supply, demand, transportation, consumption and impact” (Pasqualetti & Brown, 2014, 131). This session will bring together a range of Irish research on energy geographies with themes such as energy governance, production, consumption, transitions or energy deprivation. The papers presented, which put scale or space at the core of their investigation of energy issues, will stimulate discussion of the Irish energy landscape and will identify future opportunities for energy geography.

Past and Present Records of Geomorphic Change

The diversity of present-day landforms is a result of geomorphological and environmental processes operating and interacting across a range of spatial and temporal scales. A variety of approaches are used to detect and monitor the rates and direction of past and present geomorphic change. These vary from sediment and isotope analysis to geophysical surveying and photogrammetry. We welcome submissions from those who derive records of geomorphic change as a component of their research, as well as research applying new technologies. We particularly encourage participation from postgraduate students.

Putting voters and parties in their place: Electoral Geographies of Ireland

Elections and their outcomes raise a number of important questions for geographers. This session will disseminate research that is ongoing/emerging on the electoral geographies of Ireland and will consider new directions for scholarship. 

Re-Thinking the City and the Suburb

The field of urban studies is grappling with ‘the city’ as a problematic category of analysis which has led to the recent proclamation of an era of ‘planetary urbanisation’, in which traditional boundaries between urban/non-urban have collapsed (Brenner and Schmid, 2014; 2015). The consequence of this ‘collapse’ has been the emergence of ever more complex and extended urban forms. Within this context suburbs play an increasingly significant role in that they are key sites of urban transformation, often experiencing levels of development far in excess of city-centre spaces. While post-metropolis and post-suburban (Soja, 1996; 2000; Phelps, 2006) debates problematise traditional ‘city-suburb’ conceptualisations and provide useful insights, the empirical work predominantly centres on North American experiences. The aim of this session is to ‘re-think’ how we understand the city-suburb or city-hinterland nexus (Boyle et al., 2016) and to explore how the reach and mechanisms of globalisation and capitalist agglomeration appear to be reconfiguring these relationships. The session is exploratory in nature and we invite theoretical discussion papers and empirical research papers that consider any of (but not limited to) the following topics:
•    Planetary urbanisation as a framework for analysis
•    City-hinterland nexus theorisations and applications
•    Post-metropolis, post-suburban and exurbs debates
•    Neoliberal processes and/in the suburbs
•    Suburban planning and development frameworks
•    Life and work practices in suburbia
•    Financialisation and the suburbs

Social Geographies

In examining the relationships between society and space, topical issues in the social geographies of everyday life are explored in this session from the perspective of social inclusion and exclusion in both urban and rural environments.  A broad range of papers are welcome and may come under the following themes: gender relations; identity formations; social construction of youth cultures; work; class and gender; geographies of leisure, drinking, homelessness, disability, gender and sexuality, children’s geographies and geographies of crime and policing policies.

Uneven Urban Space in Ireland and Beyond

As Ireland once again becomes a locus of international and highly mobile and speculative forms of capital, urban questions are brought into increasingly sharp focus. We are in the midst of a deep crisis in housing and its provision, which sits amidst the relics of the previous economic boom and bust cycle, including half-built estates, offices and vacant land. With such a stark reality in mind, what does the urban in an Irish context now mean? New places and spaces of the urban are opening up with large numbers of people in temporary accommodation while others are planning for the return of high house prices. Meanwhile the predominant media discourse is focused on the provision of housing via market-based mechanisms of ‘supply and demand’. As such, we are witnessing the recuperation of Irish urban space according to the entrenched and normalized notion of neoliberalization. 

We are seeking conference paper abstracts from a range of perspectives about the politics of urban contexts and, more broadly, urban analysis with relevance to the island of Ireland in a global context. We are interested in particular in new approaches to urban geography within an Irish context, but do not seek to preclude offerings from multiple perspectives and differing scales of analysis. We encourage abstracts from the work of researchers and others involving exploratory data. We hope to solicit abstracts and work on urgent contemporary issues, which will inform and provide the basis for new geographic knowledge of relevance to from policy makers and grassroots activists. 

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