Sponsored Sessions at RGS-IBG 2018 Annual International Conference

RGS-IBG has published the provisional programme for the 2018 Annual International Conference that will take place between 28-31 Aug 2018 at Cardiff University. Check here for all sessions sponsored by us! Continue reading “Sponsored Sessions at RGS-IBG 2018 Annual International Conference”

Call for papers on “The socio-technical culture of the food supply chain: trade-offs and ambiguity”

This session considers the complex interaction between humans, machines and the socio-cultural and socio-technical environmental aspects of our food systems. Enquiries and abstract submission (together with a title, up to five keywords and author(s) affiliation and contact details) should be sent to Louise Manning (lmanning@harper-adams.ac.uk) by 9th of February 2018. Continue reading “Call for papers on “The socio-technical culture of the food supply chain: trade-offs and ambiguity””

‘What might an ‘alternative’, agroecological post-Brexit foodscape look like? Exploring opportunities, challenges, evidence and ambition’

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, 28-31 August 2018, Cardiff, UK.

Sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group (FGWG)

Session convenors:
Luke Owen, Alex Franklin, Donna Udall (Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University)

Since the 2016 referendum outcome to leave the European Union, food and agri-food discussions more broadly have become an important lens for arguments about the future prosperity and sustainability of the UK’s socio-economic and ecological landscape. There have been numerous publications that attempt to spell out recommendations for post-Brexit agricultural policies, yet these are still somewhat ascent rather than comprehensive. As such, there is a need for further multistakeholder dialogue about what a post-Brexit foodscape will – or should – ‘look like’, how it might function, and for whom. Indeed, Brexit has created an opportunity for otherwise peripheral, ‘alternative’ agri-food praxis and policies connected to agroecology and food sovereignty to be more widely understood, and for possibilities of a more sustainable, multi-functional foodscape to be realised following Brexit.

We invite contributions that address the current ‘happenings’ between Brexit and agri-food systems, with a particular interest in ‘alternative’ visions and practices surrounding agroecology and food sovereignty. Submissions with a focus on food policy, transition theory, (community) self-organisation and governance are especially welcome. We seek empirical work to help ground often speculative scenarios and to identify the risks and opportunities of incorporating agroecological praxis into a more sustainable, resilient and successful post-Brexit foodscape.

Full details on the RGS-IBG AC 2018 conference can be found here and information about the RGS-IBG FGWG can be found here.

Enquiries and abstract submission of 250 words (together with a title, up to five keywords and author(s) affiliation and contact details) should be sent to the convenors: Luke Owen (Luke.owen@coventry.ac.uk), Alex Franklin (Alex.Franklin@coventry.ac.uk) and Donna Udall (Donna.udall@coventry.ac.uk) by 9th of February 2018.

Call for papers on “Sustainable Food in Public Catering”

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff, 2018   

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group

Session Convenor: Mark Stein (PhD candidate  University of Salford, Manchester)

Public catering is a significant part of the overall food scene in the UK and many other countries in Europe and further afield.  There have many attempts to make food in schools, nurseries, hospitals and elderly care healthier. And also to make it more “sustainable” – more environmentally friendly and more supportive of the local/regional economy  (Caputo et al, 2017; Goggins & Rau, 2016; Mikkelsen & Sylvest, 2012; Morgan & Sonnino, 2008; Pitt & Jones, 2016)

The Session will provide an opportunity for researchers to present their work relating to sustainability in public procurement for catering in schools, nurseries hospitals and elderly care.  It will examine policy and practice in such matters as:

  • Sourcing organic and/or local and regional food for public kitchens
  • Reducing food waste, meat usage and carbon footprint
  • Public procurement law – how people have worked within this up till now and how we might envisage it changing with BREXIT
  • Different ways of organising kitchens and mealtimes
  • Links between public catering and food education, promoting awareness of healthy and sustainable food

There is a wide variety of different practices in different regions and countries and it is hoped that the Session will give us an opportunity to consider different approaches.

Each speaker will give a presentation for fifteen minutes about their research, using powerpoint, to be followed by questions and discussion.

Please send abstracts of a maximum of 250 words plus your name institutional affiliation and email address to Mark Stein Email: markstein2010@live.co.uk   by 4pm on Tuesday  13th February 2018.   Where several authors have produced a piece of joint research, it would be helpful if you could mention which of them is likely to give the presentation.

The abstracts will form the basis of a Session Proposal Form which will be submitted for approval by the conference organising committee.  By the end of March 2018 we should know whether the conference committee has accepted our Session Proposal.


Caputo, P., Clementi, M., Ducoli, C., Corsi, S., & Scudo, G. (2017). Food Chain Evaluator, a tool for analyzing the impacts and designing scenarios for the institutional catering in Lombardy (Italy). Journal of Cleaner Production,140, pp. 1014-1026.

Goggins, G., & Rau, H. (2016). Beyond calorie counting: Assessing the sustainability of food provided for public consumption. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, pp. 257-266.

Mikkelsen, B.E. and Sylvest, J., 2012. Organic foods on the public plate: technical challenge or organizational change?. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 15(1), pp.64-83.

Morgan, K. and  Sonnino, R. ( 2008).   The school food revolution: public food and the challenge of sustainable development, London: Earthscan.

Pitt, H., & Jones, M. (2016). Scaling up and out as a Pathway for Food System Transitions. Sustainability, 8(10), pp. 1025-1041

Call for papers on “Thinking through connections: telecoupled transformations of urban food and energy systems”

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Caerdydd- Cardiff 2018

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group and Energy Geographies Research Group

Different theoretical and epistemic traditions within geography have recently turned to conceptualising the connections between different places to avoid analytical and methodological localism and “cityism” (Angelo & Wachsmuth, 2014). Approaches span the concept of rural-urban teleconnections and telecouplings in land system science (Seto et al. 2012; Friis et al. 2016), global production networks in economic geography (Coe et al. 2008; Coe & Yeung 2014), and translocal assemblages of movements in social geography (McFarlane 2009), and the planetary urbanism framework transcending traditional understandings of urban and regional boundaries (Brenner and Schmid 2015).

Despite substantial advancements in the fields of food and energy geography, attempts to develop translocal and connective perspectives for studying the transformation of urban food and energy systems are sporadic (e.g. Eakin et al. 2017, Bridge 2017, Rutherford and Coutard 2014). The continued localist logic in many studies here risks re-producing accounts that fail to consider the different material and immaterial connections provided by underlying resource flows or food chains. This in turn potentially limits our understanding of how such connections are altered as a result of urban transformations.

We invite contributions that explore the connected spatiality of urban energy and food transformations, embedding these into global contexts and connecting them to local developments with distant places. We look forward to receiving contributions discussing the benefits, assumptions, and limitations of the following or other concept addressing this gap:

  • Teleconnections and telecoupling
  • Planetary urbanization and the imperial mode of living
  • Global Production Networks
  • Political and industrial ecology
  • Translocality and translocal assemblages

We aim for a double paper presentation session with 2×4 presentations of 15min with 5min Q&A per paper, and a plenary discussion of 20min per session. Abstracts of 200 words should be sent to cecilie.friis@hu-berlin.de and soeren.becker@hu-berlin.de

Call for papers on “Food & drink heritage, rural tradition or novelty? Challenges for responsible development.”

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Caerdydd- Cardiff 2018

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group and Rural Geography Research Group

Contributions from a diverse range of academic, practitioner developer, community organisations and new researchers are especially welcomed.

Rural space has been traditionally recognised as spaces of food production and rich repositories of food and drink, traditions, heritage and provenance. Upon this foundation, both well-known and newer forms of rural leisure and rural tourism offers have been developed. Experiences from gastronomy within food tourism to more technical ventures in micro-brewing, artisan and lifestyle markets exemplify this potential.

  • How can these new forms of rural food and drink developments and experiences contribute towards an equitable and wider rural resilience in contrasting geographical contexts?
  • Can such food and drink based development be mapped and trends understood? Should this be managed?
  • How will these developments offer responsible modes of innovation?
  • Is there academic potential in considering craft scale food or drink production and challenges to growth?
  • Can new food and drink innovation be made sustainable e.g. more localised supply chains or trading networks?
  • What consequences may be changing rural food and drink-scapes have on the accessibility of local foods for all?

This session will explore both traditional rural food and drink heritage, current issues and future possibilities for responsible rural development and building of rural resilience through the use of food and drink and will invite a diverse range of speakers to discuss cases studies and academic analysis. Interdisciplinary, holistic and empirical case study based presentations are invited from speakers exited by the questions above linked to food and drink geographies.

Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to Eifiona Thomas Lane (eifiona.thomaslane@bangor.ac.uk) and Rebecca Jones (rebecca.jones@bangor.ac.uk) by 12 February 2018. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss or if you require further information about the session focus or suitability for your paper. The plan is to have presentations of around 15 minutes with further Q&A allocated during the session.

Call for papers on “Critical perspectives on Edible Urban Landscapes”

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff, 2018

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group

Session Convenors: Rebecca St. Clair (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Michael Hardman (University of Salford)

In recent years, Urban Agriculture (UA) literature has moved beyond an advocacy perspective with numerous critical and food justice scholars highlighting potentially problematic aspects of the practice (e.g. Heynen, Kurtz, & Trauger, 2012; McClintock, 2017; Tornaghi, 2014). Authors have drawn attention to the potential for UA initiatives to contribute towards the stimulation of gentrification and to further entrench neoliberal structures through the provision of services traditionally offered by the state (DeLind, 2014; Ghose & Pettygrove, 2014), while a characteristically heavy reliance upon volunteer labour has raised questions regarding the practice’s role in the development of a more socially just food system (Rosol, 2012). Furthermore, while UA is recognised for its associated therapeutic, health, community and social benefits, the significance of its impact on urban food systems has been questioned (Bell & Cerulli, 2012) and it is unclear whether cities – particularly those in the Global North – can effectively feed their citizens through the practice of UA.

This session seeks to explore critical perspectives of UA research and would particularly (but not exclusively) welcome presentations on the following areas:

  • The success of funded institution-led UA projects (as compared with grassroots activities)
  • The nature and use of dynamic city spaces – the potential for temporary or ‘meanwhile’ urban growing sites
  • Productive urban landscapes – the ability of UA to feed cities
  • UA and food poverty – the potential for productive urban landscapes to contribute towards a more just food system and to alleviate urban food insecurity
  • UA and volunteering – the role of UA in empowering communities (or otherwise)

Please send abstracts of a maximum of 250 words to Rebecca St. Clair (r.st.clair@mmu.ac.uk) and Michael Hardman (m.hardman@salford.ac.uk) by 4pm on Friday 9th February.


Bell, S., & Cerulli, C. (2012). Emerging community food production and pathways for urban landscape transitions. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 14(1), 31.

DeLind, L. B. (2014). Where have all the houses (among other things) gone? Some critical reflections on urban agriculture. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 30(1), 3-7. doi:10.1017/S1742170513000525

Ghose, R., & Pettygrove, M. (2014). Urban Community Gardens as Spaces of Citizenship. Antipode, 46(4), 1092-1112. doi:10.1111/anti.12077

Heynen, N., Kurtz, H. E., & Trauger, A. (2012). Food Justice, Hunger and the City. Geography Compass, 6(5), 304-311. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2012.00486.x

McClintock, N. (2017). Cultivating (a) Sustainability Capital: Urban Agriculture, Ecogentrification, and the Uneven Valorization of Social Reproduction. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 1-12. doi:10.1080/24694452.2017.1365582

Rosol, M. (2012). Community Volunteering as Neoliberal Strategy? Green Space Production in Berlin. Antipode, 44(1), 239-257. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00861.x

Tornaghi, C. (2014). Critical geography of urban agriculture. Progress in Human Geography, 38(4), 551-567.

Call for papers “Entrepreneurial Urban Agriculture: Sustaining Growing Activities”

RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Cardiff 2018

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group

Session convenors:

Ross Young (University of Aberdeen) and Michael Hardman (University of Salford)

Urban Agriculture (UA) is a multifaceted activity, but in its most basic form involves the growing of produce and/rearing of livestock in cities. It has received increased academic interest in the Global North with regards to its potential to address social justice (Milbourne, 2012; Wekerle, 2004; Wolch, Byrne, & Newell, 2014), health (Armar-Klemesu, 2000; Guitart, Pickering, & Byrne, 2013; Hale et al., 2011) and political issues (Certomà & Tornaghi, 2015; Cretella & Buenger, 2015; Kato, Passidomo, & Harvey, 2014). UA has been positioned as a response to neoliberal and austerity movements, providing social services previously provided by the state. However, in the case of UA as an entrepreneurial endeavour, preliminary research in the Global North suggests that due to running costs, the sale of fruit and vegetables is not enough to sustain these sites and instead they are evolving and becoming sites of agri-tourism and education (Howard Schutzbank & Riseman, 2013; Kaufman & Bailkey, 2000; Weissman, 2015). However, in the Global South, these sites appear more viable as viable sites for fruit and vegetable sale (Ezedinma & Chukuezi, 1999; Hovorka, 2004; Thom & Conradie, 2013). This session would invite contributions exploring this entrepreneurial aspect of UA from the Global North and South. Research has shown that policy can have a significant effect on the success of these sites in urban areas (Cretella & Buenger, 2015; Hovorka, 2004). Therefore we welcome contributions from a policy and case study perspective.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to both Ross Young (r01rfy14@abdn.ac.uk) and Michael Hardman (m.hardman@salford.ac.uk) by Friday 9th February.

Full details on the RGS-IBG AC 2018 conference can be found here and information about the RGS-IBG FGWG can be found here.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑