Embodied Geographies

Lapworth Museum - Earth Sciences Building (R4 on campus map)
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Life and Environmental Sciences
Monday 9th October 2017 (10:00-15:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Anna Chrystal, Learning and Community Development Officer at the Lapworth Museum of Geology

Email: a.b.chrystal@bham.ac.uk 

Embodying Geographies: research intensive diversity work.

What is feminist glaciology? How does public policy work from the nano to body scale, from the local to the global? Who might be socially or physically excluded from fieldwork? How might cities be homophobic? Why are storms often female? Can you ‘touch’ science? Are forests racist? 

At first glance these are some very strange questions. But by considering the thinking behind them – how people, places and knowledge are embodied – we can better understand why diversity in science matters, and how fairness and equality can be promoted through the academic workplace.

In celebration of the Lapworth Museum of Geology’s hosting of the Trowelblazers ‘Raising Horizons’ exhibition of women in archaeology and geoscience, this one day symposium explores embodied academic work and its relationship with the collective academic body. 

As academics, we are socially positioned, gendered, raced and classed in different ways, and we unavoidably bring these embodied positions to our work, workplaces, fieldwork, teaching and research activities. 

So too, the histories of our disciplines have been distinctly embodied, and our accepted canons of influential figures have often obscured the contributions of diverse scientists and those people, places and power relations who made that science possible. 

The event will examine the embodied and emotional labour involved in academic work, which we often conduct in circumstances not of our own choosing. It will provide a forum for discussions of the body within geography, earth and environmental subjects, considered alongside the activities that the School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES) has been undertaking in the course of its Equality and Diversity and Athena SWAN initiatives. 

Panels on research, teaching and early career experiences will advance a research informed perspective on School and University efforts to improve equality and diversity in the context of wider trends in HE. The symposium will deepen awareness within GEES of our E&D activities and will develop new thinking on the existing barriers and routes to inclusiveness in producing academic knowledge, for an external audience.

Keynote Speakers: 

Dr Avril Maddrell, University of Reading, author of Complex Locations: women's geographical work in the UK 1850-1970 (2009), and co-author of “Mind the gap: gender disparities still to be addressed in UK Higher Education geography” (Area, 2016), as well as several books and articles on geography, religion, mourning and landscape. She is co-editor of Gender, Place and Culture, and Social and Cultural Geography.

Dr Jennifer Lea, University of Exeter, who researches embodied skills and practices such as yoga, massage and meditation within urban and therapeutic landscapes, emotions and (dis)ability in school settings and peri-natal mental health (for Bristol City Council). Her work has appeared in Environment and Planning A, Body and Society and the Journal of Medical Humanities, amongst others

Attendees to the event will also be able to view Raising Horizons, a touring exhibition, taking place at Lapworth Museum of Geology, September – December 2017. This photographic display portrays historic portraits of key women in the trowelblazing sciences from the 19th to mid-20th century and includes contemporary images of women, their oral testimonials and video interviews, giving insight into their research and experience in the field.

Booking is essential: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/embodied-geographies-symposium-tickets-36400166879