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 ( and Michael Hardman ( 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.

Call for papers: ‘Critical reflections on the changing landscapes of food waste’

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

Sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group (FGWG)

Session convenors: Dr Jane Midgley (School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, Newcastle University) and Dr Joanne Swaffield (School of Geography, Politics & Sociology, Newcastle University)

There is an emerging consensus on the severity of food waste as a global problem and the necessity for change. The values that are espoused in preventing and reducing food waste (economic, environmental, social, moral) have become encapsulated by the creation of a global food loss and waste accounting standard; pledges by the food industry to reduce the amount of food going to waste; growing regulatory requirements, and wider industry and civil society initiatives supporting the redistribution of surplus food to those who are hungry.

This session seeks to critically explore these responses, their inherent tensions and make visible the diversity of practices that are collectively driving changes in local and global food waste landscapes. We welcome both empirical and theoretically informed papers that engage with one or more of the following:

  • The discursive constructions of food waste and how this informs the material’s governance – recognising both policy and political landscapes of action and activism
  • How the shifting categorisations of food as it transitions towards waste inform how actors align with or challenge these terms and values e.g. the articulation of food ‘rescue’, ‘interception’ or ‘surplus redistribution’
  • The importance of accounting and accountability in mobilising actions.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words, along with your paper title, author affiliation and contact details to both Jane Midgley ( and Jo Swaffield ( by Friday 9th February 2018. 

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


Call for papers on “Community self-organisation and landscapes of food justice and sustainability”

Call for papers, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, 28-31 August 2018 in Cardiff, UK.

We invite abstract submissions from established and as well as early stage and postgraduate researchers for the FGWG sponsored session “Community self-organisation and landscapes of food justice and sustainability” at the RGS with IBG Annual International Conference, which will take place from 28 to 31 August 2018 in Cardiff, UK.

Session convenors: Moya Kneafsey, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University & Mustafa Hasanov, University of Groningen

This session considers the role of community self-organisation in relation to new landscapes of food justice and sustainability. Recent years have seen a flourishing of community-led initiatives aiming to create food systems which deliver nourishing food whilst upholding principles such as care for planetary resources, fair livelihoods for producers, food rights for consumers and compassion for animals. Community self-organisation suggests various types of mobilisation, across multiple scales and time horizons, involving a diversity of actors and sometimes interplay with local authorities. Yet many critical questions remain. For example, what do self-organising communities look like, what conditions are needed for them to flourish in different contexts and what is self-organising after all? What is the outlook for community self-organisation in times of austerity and increased social tension? Are self-organising communities always socially inclusive, sustainable, and resilient? What is the role of new technologies in enabling community self-organisation? What is the role of food scholars in relation to community self-organisation? To what extent does – or can –  community self-organisation contribute to large-scale transitions towards sustainable and resilient foodscapes? We welcome papers addressing these and related questions in a range of landscapes, including urban, rural, post-industrial, post-colonial, colonial, historical and contemporary.

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 (together with a title, up to five keywords and author(s) affiliation and contact details) should be sent to Moya Kneafsey ( and Mustafa Hasanov ( by 9th of February 2018.

The final decision on whether or not papers have been accepted will follow on Friday 23rd February 2018.


Call for Papers: UnCultivated Landscapes of Consumption

RGS/IBG Annual International Conference 28th-31st August.

Sponsored by the RGS Food Geographies Working Group

Session organisers: Jack Pickering ( & Mara Miele (

Discussant: David Evans (

Whether it be through neoliberal justifications for retail development (Zukin et al., 2009) or through accounts of the social value of convivial marketplaces (Watson 2008), it is widely recognised that spaces for consumption play crucial roles in contemporary public spaces and the city beyond their economic functions. Despite significant work looking at the role of the senses and materiality in consumption practices, and another similarly significant body of work looking at the exclusionary and inclusionary effects of consumption cultures, it is not clear that the intersection between these has been fully explored. The position of agency within these attempts has been contested recently as seen in the recent practice turn (Warde, 2015), and this is the central theoretical motivation for this session. The consumer is involved in consumption, but beyond that, there is much debate on how far their agency can be said to extend. Empirically, we would welcome attention to consumption spaces that could be described as:

  • Marginalised/Marginal
  • Informal/Unregulated
  • Neglected/Overlooked
  • Emergent/Controversial

The aim of this paper session is to, therefore, bring together researchers from different fields, within and outside of geography who are working on the (mis)management and (dis)organisation of consumption spaces. Within urbanism and consumption studies there has been much attention to spectacular forms of consumption sites such as malls (Shields, 1989; Goss, 1993; Jewell, 2016; Staeheli and Mitchell, 2006), while other approaches to consumption and consumer culture have tended to coalesce around individual or collective experiences (Warde, 2015), neglecting more isolated sites (Findlay and Sparks, 2012). In response to growing attention to how mundane varieties of consumption and consumption spaces are organized, this session aims to bring together those aiming to investigate these spaces as co-produced geographical phenomena.

Contributions from disciplines outside geography are welcomed, particularly from critical marketing, sociology, design, and architecture, as are inter-disciplinary papers. Innovative or novel methodological approaches and modes of delivery are welcome from both new and established scholars.

Please send abstracts of between 250-300 words by 14th February 2018 to the organizers. Draft papers/presentations will be requested after confirmation.


Findlay, A. and Sparks, L. 2012. Far from the ‘Magic of the Mall’: Retail (Change) in ‘Other Places’. Scottish Geographical Journal 128(1), pp. 24–41.

Goss, J. 1993. The “Magic of the Mall”: An Analysis of Form, Function, and Meaning in the Contemporary Retail Built Environment. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 83(1), pp. 18–47.

Jewell, N. 2016. Bringing it Back Home: The Urbanization of the British Shopping Mall as the West Goes East. 1(1), pp. 1–36.

Shields, R. 1989. Social spatialization and the built environment: the West Edmonton Mall. Environment and Planning D  7(147–184), pp. 147–164.

Staeheli, L.A. and Mitchell, D. 2006. USA’s Destiny? Regulating Space and Creating Community in American Shopping Malls. Urban Studies 43(5/6), pp. 977–992.

Warde, A. 2015. The Sociology of Consumption: Its Recent Development INTRODUCTION: LOCATING CONSUMPTION. Annual Review of Sociology 41, pp. 117–134.

Watson, S. 2008. The Magic of the Marketplace: Sociality in a Neglected Public Space. Urban Studies 46(8), pp. 1577–1591.

Zukin, S. et al. 2009. New Retail Capital and Neighborhood Change: Boutiques and Gentrification in New York City.Community and City 8(1), pp. 47–64.


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