Decolonising Geographical Knowledges

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 09:00 to Friday, September 1, 2017 - 17:30
RGS-IBG, London

RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2017: ‘Decolonising Geographical Knowledges’.
RGS-IBG London, 29/08/17 to 01/09/17

Session Convenors: Mark Boyle and Andrew McClelland (Maynooth University)
Session Sponsor: SCGRG (and under consideration with the HGRG)
In this session, we wish to place under scrutiny the contested values which undergird heritage and landscape inventorising and conservation in the postcolonial city. Our specific focus is upon cities whose histories are inextricably wound up with imperial projects, past and present. This could include cities in colonial or metropolitan heartlands whose affluence, landscapes, and built heritage were shaped by colonialism and cities in colonial peripheries caught up in colonisation and bearing the stamp of colonial power, anti-colonial struggles, and decolonisation.  In part, we wish to examine how colonial heritages are valued in these city landscapes in the context of neoliberal mega-development projects and place branding.  Cultural and historical critiques of city marketing have questioned the ways in which local histories are often appropriated, silenced, and sanitised as part of an attempt to rebrand and repackage cities for new ‘consumers’. With specific respect to the marketing of the postcolonial city and to neoliberal mega-development projects therein, we are keen to explore which stories are told, which not, who gets to decide, and what this all means for landscape preservation and heritage management.
Papers are invited from across the Global North and in particular Global South (especially from early career researchers) which examine:
·         The ongoing impress of colonial pasts, anti-colonial struggles, and postcolonial trajectories in contemporary landscapes in cities embroiled in complex colonial and postcolonial histories.
·         How colonial landscapes are valued, inventorised and conserved in the postcolonial city.
·         Contestation and dissonant values in the heritage debates in the postcolonial city.
·         The role of neoliberal and entrepreneurial mega-projects and city marketing in shaping debates on heritage management, including the 'worlding' of landscapes in cities in the Global South.
·         Methodologies (geo-humanities and digital technologies) through which a wider range of social values might be included in heritage policy and practice.
·         The meaning and implications of the recent rise to prominence of a historic urban landscape paradigm for heritage management in the postcolonial city. 
Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words to Mark Boyle ( or Andrew McClelland ( by 6th February 2017.