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EGS Participates at the Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference

Post by Zarina Patel

The theme of this year's Royal Geographical Society Conference was Geographies of co-production. Given the direct resonance of the theme with much of the engaged scholarship and social responsiveness work conducted at EGS, numerous abstracts from EGS staff were accepted for presentation at RGS.

EGS Participates at the Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, London, 26th - 29th August 2014.

The conference attracted close to 1800 international participants who contributed to over 380 individual panels and sessions. Six members of EGS and associates from across UCT actively participated at the conference.

In the opening plenary, 'Co-Producing Public Geographies', the Conference Chair, from the University of Bristol, urged participants to 'reflect on the challenges and new opportunities that arise when geographers reflect what we think we know against the 'other', those who start from a different entry point and bring different perspectives to our field of knowledge'. This objective lies at the very core of much of the research that is conducted at EGS.

EGS staff engaged in a knowledge co-production programme with the African Centre for Cities presented two papers on research funded by Mistra Urban Futures. Saskia Greyling (a former EGS postgraduate) presented a paper with Zarina Patel in a session 'Towards a critical geography of sustainability, or what does sustainability do?' Zarina Patel presented in a session on 'Co-production of environmental knowledges' based on a forthcoming journal article co-authored with Saskia Greyling, Gordon Pirie and Susan Parnell.

Sophie Oldfield's research on activism in South African cities was well received in a session on Social movements and engaged research. Sophie also presented on her ongoing collaborative research with neighbourhood organising and social movements in Cape Town in a session focused on making space for reciprocal research encounters.

The RGS provided a convivial opportunity to showcase research being conducted at EGS, as well as to network with other scholars working on similar issues. The contributions from EGS members and associates made a significant impact on debates and discussions that are increasingly shaping funding agendas, institutional practices and academic and practitioner identities.

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