RGS-IBG 2014 CFP: Geogs of sound, radio and participation

Based on work I’ve been doing with Bethan Evans and Matt Benwell over the past few years, we’ve put together a Call for Papers for the RGS-IBG on Sound and participation in Geographical research. Please get in touch if you are interested.

Call for Papers, Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual Conference, ‘Geographies of co-production’, London, 26-29 August 2014


Organised by Andy Davies, Bethan Evans (University of Liverpool) and Matt Benwell (Keele University)

The growth of interest in participation and associated participatory methodologies within geography has occurred alongside a resurgence in interest in visual methodologies (Pain, 2004; Rose, 2003). Analysis of landscape, photography, and films sit alongside the use of participatory methods such as photovoice, participatory photography, video, mapping and diagramming as a means to engage with participants and disseminate research to non-academic audiences (Kindon, 2003; McIntyre, 2003). At the same time, there has been a growth in geographical work which considers the importance of audio practices and cultures surrounding music, radio and soundscapes (Boland, 2010; Nash & Carney, 2006; Peters, 2012; Pinkerton & Dodds, 2008; Revill, 2000; Simpson, 2009; see also the special edition edited by Anderson et al., 2005). In this session, we are interested in the possibilities that sound, music, radio and audio methods might offer as methods of engagement, co-production and dissemination in participatory (and other) geographies.

This session encourages contributions that explore sound, audio and radio in relation to geographical research. In particular, we encourage the submission of papers which report on research which engages with sound, audio and radio cultures, and/or which reflect on the potential of these as participatory methods. Questions considered might include:

• How might geography better engage with sound, audio and radio cultures through participatory (or other) approaches?

• How might sound/audio/radio research relate to and intersect with visual methodologies and/or more-than-representational approaches in geography?

• What implications might sound and audio methods have for relations with participants and the co-production of research outputs?

• What might an emphasis on sound/audio/radio add to understandings of place?

• How might sound be used as a participatory method?

• What potential does radio hold as a means to engage research communities and disseminate research beyond academic audiences?

• How participatory is sound/audio/radio given the, arguably, individual experience of listening?

• What are the ethical challenges of using sound in participatory research?

The session was conceived on the back of a British Academy-funded research project which worked with young people at a community radio station in Liverpool to co-produce a radio documentary focusing on the city’s history of riots and urban unrest. The young people in this project worked as partners alongside academic researchers, using their expertise to produce the final documentary which will be available to listen to during the conference (subject to arrangement with the conference organisers).


Please email a 250 word abstract and/or expressions of interest to Andy Davies addavies@liverpool.ac.uk or Matt Benwell mcben@liv.ac.uk by 1st February 2014.



Anderson, B, Morton F, Revill, G (2005) Practices of Music and Sound: Editorial Social and Cultural Geography 6:5, 639-644

Boland, P. (2010) Sonic Geography, Place and Race in the Formation of Local Identity: Liverpool and Scousers. Geografiska Annaler B; Human Geography 92:1 1-22

Kindon, S. (2003) Participatory Video in Geographic Research: A Feminist Practice of Looking? Area 35:2, 142-153

McIntyre, A. (2003) Through the Eyes of Women: Photovoice and Participatory Research as Tools for Reimagining Place Gender, Place and Culture, 10:1, 47-66

Nash, P.H. and Carney, G.O. (1996) The Seven Themes of Music Geography The Canadian Geographer 40:1 69-74

Pain, R. (2004) Social Geography: Participatory Research Progress in Human Geography 28:5 652-663

Peters K, 2012, “Manipulating material hydro-worlds: rethinking human and more-than-human relationality through offshore radio piracy” Environment and Planning A 44(5) 1241 – 1254

Pinkerton, A. and Dodds, K. (2008) Radio Geopolitics: Broadcasting, Listening and the Struggle for Acoustic Spaces Progress in Human Geography 33:1, 10-27

Revill, G. (2000) Music and the Politics of Sound: Nationalism, Citizenship and Auditory Space. Environment and Planning D 18:5 597-613

Rose, G. (2003) On the Need to As How, Exactly, Is Geography “Visual” Antipode 35:2 212-221

Simpson, P (2009) ‘Falling on Deaf Ears’: A Postphenomenology of Sonorous Presence

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One Response to RGS-IBG 2014 CFP: Geogs of sound, radio and participation

  1. Pingback: Update | Andy Davies's Blog

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