The Rural Geography Study Group is involved in four sessions at the 2017 IAG Conference in Brisbane. Abstracts are due by 5th April and the Conference website is open for submissions.

 

If you are planning to submit an abstract for any of the sessions below please submit it at: https://absoluteevents.eventsair.com/QuickEventWebsitePortal/iag2017/web.

The session topics include:

 

1) Collective action in rural Australia

Rural Geography

Many challenging environmental problems are transboundary in nature and require the cooperation of diverse actors. In rural and regional areas this includes the fair distribution of scarce water resources, the creation of wildlife corridors, the control of invasive plants and animals, among others. The aim of this session is to explore the social dynamics of such transboundary problems, with an emphasis on opportunities and challenges to collective action.

This session welcomes contributions that consider transboundary challenges in rural and regional Australia and New Zealand. While there is an emphasis on environmental challenges, the organisers welcome contributions that consider other types of transboundary challenges that speak to the nature of rural collective action.

 

2) Technology and the likely transformation of rural space

Rural Geography

Emerging and prospective technologies present significant impacts and opportunities for the rural economy, society, environment and polity. These include, but are not limited to: instrumentation for the measurement of farm performance in real time; big data and its analysis; robotics and artificial intelligence; new equipment and machinery (including 3-D and 4-D printers); the driverless trucks ; alternative energy supply and storage; genetic engineering (animals and crops); use of light and sound barriers to replace some on-farm fencing; automated construction techniques; and chemical cuisine.

This session welcomes contributions that analyse the potential impacts that such technologies may have in rural and regional Australia and New Zealand.

 

3) Risks of the rural-urban interface

Hazards, Risks and Disasters and Rural Georgraphy

Escalating risks such as bushfires and injustices such as industrial pollution demand that scholars direct increased attention to the rural-urban interface. But in relooking at this troubled zone, more than a visit to the city limit is required. For one thing, the location of the interface and its characteristics are rapidly shifting. Where exactly is the urban-rural interface to be found? Just as the urban is “moving into” the rural, elements of the rural are infusing into the urban, and what either means or how it is valued flips and changes. The difference is clearly more than a matter of counting buildings or bodies. Secondly, above and beyond horizontal movements, we need to understand the rural-urban interface less in terms of a defined spatial zone or topographical space and more in terms of the tight topological linkages that exist between seemingly disconnected urban and rural places, as exemplified by climate change and corporate power. Thirdly, the political use and abuse of the categories “rural” and “urban” also demands attention, especially as the rural is increasingly presented as a problematic site of or even shorthand for political conservatism relative to enlightened city folk. Situated between all of these developments, the rural-urban interface and its risks and disasters are far from straightforward or contained to the peri-urban zone.

This session calls for papers that help explore how conceptual and “real” risks of the rural-urban interface are intersecting. It welcomes both empirical and theoretical papers, particularly those that examine past or potential environmental or sociotechnical disasters. It also welcomes geographers from all areas of the discipline, notably urban as well as rural geography, in recognition of the way that a more expansive, sophisticated understanding of the rural-urban interface requires dialogue across our own boundaries.

 

4) Rural and legal geographies of energy and mining resources

Legal and Rural Geography

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained regulatory ground this century as corporate-responsible disasters have resulted in negative impacts on the natural and built environments, human quality of life and fatality. CSR has, however, been criticised for its 'soft law' approach, where the self-regulatory system itself is the major criticism. Importantly and perhaps less researched, is when large corporations withdraw their interests altogether, particularly in energy production and primary industry.

While there are legal standards for these companies, hard laws focus on pollution and environmental impacts. An interdisciplinary approach means that rural and legal geographers can contribute powerfully to these relevant issues.
This session calls for:

We look forward to hearing your papers in Brisbane!

 

Kind regards,

 

Sonia

sonia.graham@unsw.edu.au