Call for Participation/Attendance: Teaching Justice Pre-Conference 1st September, Pre-RGS-IBG Conference 2015, Exeter

I’m co-organising a Pre-Conference before this year’s RGS-IBG conference in Exeter – the details are below, and the deadline for people wishing to present and/or organise workshops for the Pre-Conference is on the 26th of June.


Call for Participation/Attendance: Teaching Justice Pre-Conference 1st September, Pre-RGS-IBG Conference 2015, Exeter


Organised by the Geographies of Justice Research Group of the RGS-IBG

One of our key roles as academics is as teachers and educators, yet, this is often neglected or rendered less-visible in comparison to our research activities. This is despite a number of interventions by geographers into ‘critical pedagogy’ – the ability to use teaching as a tool for creating, promoting and advancing social justice (see Askins, 2008, Rouhani, 2012). This pre-conference aims to bring to the fore the various approaches geographers have adopted to teaching about – and with the goal of achieving – justice (broadly conceived). We are interested in how ‘justice’ is taught by geographers (and other academics/teachers) and how teaching is one of the key ways of engaging people in projects that seek to develop a more just world. However, we are also aware that teaching in this way involves negotiating a number of practical and ethical challenges, and as such we are interested in the practises adopted when teaching and how these associated challenges raised have or have not been addressed.

This pre-conference brings together academics and educators actively involved in teaching issues of justice, particularly by encouraging the development and exchange of ideas about how to teach (and to teach about) ‘justice’. It would provide a space of co-learning amongst teachers, but would also act as one of the first attempts by geographers to map out the range and scope of teaching about justice as it is pedagogically practised across the discipline. The pre-conference will provide a space for mutual exchange of ideas, innovations and good practice in teaching various aspects of justice. Additionally, the pre-conference will allow a focus on the intersections between teaching and research on justice, exploring how the practice of teaching is often informative of our own research practices and behaviours, which will also allow a combined teaching/research agenda to be established.

We seek to ground the day in practical discussions based on problem solving rather than discussions of pedagogic theory. Questions which could be addressed during the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • Are there potential overlaps between different aspects of justice that could be usefully explored (e.g. what teaching techniques may be useful for both environmental justice and food justice (to name only two)?)
  • What are the challenges and opportunities offered by teaching using approaches to justice which are emanicipatory in nature (e.g. feminist/postcolonial/radical)?
  • How do we advance  – and work with – justice – when employing anti-oppressive pedagogies?
  • What strategies and techniques have been successful in teaching justice, and which have been more problematic? (and how do we judge this level of success?)
  • How do we seek to engage students in projects/studies that seek justice in ethically sound ways? What is the feasibility of getting students to ‘practice’ justice through fieldwork, practical classes etc. and what are the potential implications of this?
  • Does teaching practise differ across undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts? And relatedly, how do postgraduate teachers deal with these issues given their often limited time and financial renumeration?
  • What are the links between teaching and research on justice?


We are interested in receiving either: abstracts for short, c. 10-15 minute papers/interventions, or; ideas for c. 90 minute workshops which deal with practical issues/challenges involved in teaching.

Papers: We are not necessarily interested in formal academic papers, rather, short pieces exploring practical, ethical and pedagogical concerns/issues which affect how justice is taught, including how these issues were, or were not, resolved.

Workshops: We aim to run a series of small workshop sessions during the pre-conference which will focus on specific areas/issues related to the teaching of justice (e.g. one session already arranged will focus on issues of ‘trade justice’). These sessions will be guided by individuals or small teams who will be responsible for designing the session (e.g. choosing an appropriate approach and circulating any reading material in advance to the Pre-Conference team) as well as running the session on the day.

We seek short abstracts (200-300 words) for both of these forms of participation outlining which aspects of teaching justice the paper/workshop would engage with, and/or details of the challenges faced as a part this approach.

Please send paper abstracts/workshop proposals to Andy Davies ( by 5pm on June the 26th 2015.

Registration: There will be a charge for registration of £10 to cover the costs of lunch/refreshments. This will be waived for unfunded/unwaged participants.


Askins, K. (2008), In and beyond the classroom: research ethics and participatory pedagogies. Area, 40: 500–509. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2008.00827.x

Rouhani, F. (2012), Practice What You Teach: Facilitating Anarchism In and Out of the Classroom. Antipode, 44: 1726–1741. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2012.01030.x

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Prelude to Bandung: The Interwar Origins of Anti-Colonialism

Interesting piece on anti-colonialism and transnationalism between the two World Wars.

Imperial & Global Forum

The Gathering of Visionary Anti-Imperialism. Plenary Meeting, Brussels Congress 1927. Source: Louis Gibarti (Hrsg.), Das Flammenzeichen vom Palais Egmont, Neuer Deutscher Verlag, Berlin (1927) The Gathering of Visionary Anti-Imperialism. Plenary Meeting, Brussels Congress 1927. Source: Louis Gibarti (Hrsg.), Das Flammenzeichen vom Palais Egmont, Neuer Deutscher Verlag, Berlin (1927)

Fredrik Petersson
Åbo Akademi University
Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU), Moscow

In 1927, the “First International Congress against Imperialism and Colonialism” convened in Brussels at Palais d’Egmont. The event celebrated the establishment of the League against Imperialism, and as the congress reached its crescendo, Willi Münzenberg, the German communist and General Secretary of International Arbeiterhilfe (IAH), declared that this was “neither the end, nor the beginning of a new powerful movement”.[1] Nearly 28 years later, amid the aftermath of the brutality of the Second World War, Münzenberg’s anti-colonial vision was revitalized at the Afro-Asian conference in Bandung, Indonesia.

In the 1955 Bandung Conference’s opening address, Achmed Sukarno, the Indonesian president, declared to the leaders of the twenty-nine countries in attendance: “I recognise that…

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Virtual issue – “People Without Property in Jobs: Stuart Hall and the Conundrums of Contemporary Urbanization in India”

News of the 2015 Antipode Lecture at the AAG, this year by Vinay Gidwani – together with a virtual issue of the journal

virtual issues_website bannerVinay GidwaniOn Wednesday April 22nd, Vinay Gidwani will be presenting the 2015 Antipode AAG Lecture from 17:20 to 19:00 in Grand C/D North, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level. His lecture will be followed by a drinks reception–and the Antipode Groovefest!–sponsored by our publisher, Wiley. Vinay is a Professor of Geography, Environment, and Society at the University of Minnesota. From 2009 to 2014 he was an editor of Antipode, and he continues to serve as one of the Antipode Foundation’s trustees. He is a quintessential geographer. In his last editorial, Vinay described geography perfectly as an “undisciplined discipline”. It’s a field that, in David Harvey’s words, “rub[s] different conceptual blocks together to make an intellectual fire” (2001: 9). Arguably a risky enterprise–Harvey warns that those blocks are too easily lost in the heat; and too few collisions, too little friction, is of course as problematic–but when ideas catch, when they’re…

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Book review on Antipode Online

My review of Anna Feigenbaum, Fabian Frenzel & Patrick McCurdy’s book Protest Camps (published last year by Zed Books) is now up on the Antipode Foundation’s website. It’s a great book, which everyone interested in protest should read!


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New Edition of South Asianist

The University of Edinburgh’s Open Access Journal ‘The South Asianist’ has a new edition out – themed on crossing boundaries, with lots of interesting looking stuff in it. Link is below.

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Selected readings on the Indian election results

Following Narendra Modi’s election as Prime Minister of India, and the landslide win of the BJP in general, there are some interesting and thought provoking articles doing the rounds, so I’ve tried to collate a few of them here. I’ll add to these as I become aware of them.

A relatively balanced piece by William Dalrymple in the New Statesman which is good as an introduction to the key issues

Saroj Giri on OpenDemocracy

Economic and Political Weekly‘s Editorial following the election – this and previous weeks’ editions also understandably have a lot of coverage of the results. Anyone interested in Modi’s political economy may find last week’s editorial here an interesting read.

Pankaj Mishra in the Guardian last week, just before the election results were announced. The Guardian’s coverage of the elections has been a bit better than most UK sources (i.e. it has actually tried to cover them). There is a profile of Modi here and there has been continuing coverage on the site.

An Open Letter by Gopalkrishna Gandhi in today’s Hindu.

A piece by Siddarth Varadarajan on his blog about Modi’s past and its implications for his Government, and a response to it on Kafila by Pradip Kumar Datta


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George Garrett Archive

Today I went to a talk about George Garrett at Liverpool Central Library. Garrett was a radical sailor who spent most of his life in either Liverpool or New York, organising for labour issues, speaking out against racism and imperialism, and writing plays and short stories after being inspired by his membership of the Wobblies in New York in the 1920s. Shamefully, I’d never heard of Garrett before this week, but over the past year or so there’s been a Heritage Lottery funded project to create an archive of his life and it’s currently on display in the Library, and there are a few talks going on about him, and a reading of one of his plays as a part of the Writing On The Wall Festival which is currently taking place in the city. There’s also a fascinating looking event on at Toxteth Library where Levi Tafari will be using poetry to understand the struggles of black soldiers/sailors/workers in the aftermath of WW1, which sadly I don’t think I’m going to be able to make as I’m busy that evening. It’s fascinating stuff – the archive website explains things better than I can – but Garrett is someone who I’d like to find out more about.

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