Poster Presentations

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The Last Resort? An Examination of Family Life and Social Relations in a context of Food Insecurity

Alison Briggs

The number of people experiencing food insecurity, (defined as an inability to acquire sufficient supplies of nutritionally adequate and culturally appropriate foods in socially acceptable ways), and in receipt of regular food aid in the UK has been steadily increasing since the implementation in 2010, of an extensive agenda of austerity by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Empirical research into foodinsecurityand food charity has highlightedthat accessing emergency food aid is a strategy of last resort for families and individuals, following the employment of many approaches for trying to eat with limited incomes, including amongst others, buying cheaper foodstuffs and eating less frequently, as well as turning to family members and friends for food ‘gifts’ or monetary loans. Whilst there is a considerable body of research documenting the rise and scale of food insecurity and food banks across the UK, there is scant knowledge about the consequences of food insecurity for family life and social relations, which this study seeks address. Through adopting a relational approach, this study aims to explore the ways in which families support each other while at the same time the shame of food insecurity is often a barrier for asking for support

Keywords: Food Insecurity; Family Life; Forms of Support; Social Relations

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Complexities of the development of the 5G network

Daisy Curtis

The position of 5G as nearing its point of commercial availability as the next generation of wireless network has meant that it is receiving greater attention from the media and policy -makers, whilst technology companies are becoming increasingly competitive in their innovation (Wray, ND). The current context of the evolution of 5G technology opens up opportunities t o interrogate its framing and development. Incorporating ideas from the expanding area of Digital Geographies, this poster focuses upon three key themes arising from current discussions about 5G technology: real-time, materiality, and geopolitics and security. The promises bound up with the development of this network have concentrated primarily upon 5G as an enabling technology which will introduce faster speeds and reduced latency, and thus provide real -time capabilities (IEEE, 2017). However, by turning to unpack the meaning of real-time, it indicates that the concept is far more complex than is usually acknowledged in current narratives. At the same time, running in parallel to the utopian narrative of 5G as an enabling technology are concerns regarding s ecurity and the influence of the geopolitical landscape, as well as infrastructural challenges which still need to be addressed. Considering the promises of real time, the materiality of the 5G network, and security and geopolitical issues in unison points towards areas of intersection, provide ways to think through these narratives and concerns.

Keywords: 5G, Digital, Real-time, Materiality

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Mapping definitively, the indefinite: The language maps of the Linguistic Survey of India

Philip Jagessar

The Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) was established in 1894 to record, survey and map over 700 languages of colonial India under the direction of philologist George Grierson. An essential part of the LSI was the production and publication of maps showing the geographical distribution of various languages. By the completion of the final volume over forty ‘linguistic’ maps were published across eleven volumes. However, there is a contradiction in the language mapping of the LSI. Their production depended on the cartographic expertise of the Survey of India. However, the Survey of India’s mapping principles were based on the ‘certainty of the topographic survey’ (Edney, 1997), whereas the geography of a language is uncertain and indefinite. As Griersonnoted,linguisticmaps‘mustalwaysbeunderstoodasconventionalmethodsofshowingdefinitelya state of things which is in its essence indefinite’ (LSI Vol. 1, 30-31). Yet the maps of the LSI present a certainty about the geographical distribution and boundaries of languages, contrary to Grierson’s own views. This poster will illustrate how the uncertain geographical ‘data’ collected by the Linguistic Survey of India resulted in maps with definite and fixed boundaries, by tracing the development of a language map along the archive. Language maps are not unif orm, differing in scale and style and some languages are not mapped. Underlying the LSI’s maps are questions of what scale can languages be usefully mapped and for what purpose were they mapped in colonial India?

Keywords: History of cartography; Linguistic geographies; colonial surveys; language mapping

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Young people’s learning in and use of urban woodlands

Polly Jarman

This poster shall present an overview and theoretical background for this new postgraduate research project, which over the next three years shall address young people’s learning in and use of urban woodlands.

It is often argued that youth in minority world contex ts live increasingly sedentary, indoor lifestyles that are ‘disconnected’ from nature (Louv, 2005). This qualitative study will examine the learning, meanings and ‘doing’ experienced by youth with/in urban woodlands in one of two ways: those who attend Forest Schools programmes, and those accessing urban woodlands independently (of led programmes). Through application of nonrepresentational and new materialist theory, this project will consider young people’s relationships to urban natures and more-than-human materialities, specifically thinking about the everyday, informal and embodied ways in which youth do engage with nature. Using innovative, youth-focused ethnographic
and creative methodologies, this research will contribute to acknowledging potentially
diverse youth-initiated interactions within these spaces. It will contribute to the contemporary academicdebateregardingchildreninurbannaturesandprovidenewinsightsforForestSchool practitioners, urban woodland managers and landowners, in ways that consider both adult- and youth-led experiences. Funded as part of the new interdisciplinary Forest Edge Leverhulme Trust programme, through the Birmingham Institute of Forestry Research, University of Birmingham, this project forms one of six doctoral scholarships funded this year. Each considers to what extent forest existence, form and function emerge from detailed interactions within and across scales, from molecules and organisms, to communities and societies.

Keywords: Urban woodlands; alternative education; children’s geographies; materialities

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Identifying neighbourhoods with mixed tenure compositions in Scotland

Johanna Jokio

This poster presents a quantitative method of classifying the housing tenure compositions of Scottish small areas with the aim to identify neighbourhoods with mixed tenure compositions.The method of cluster analysis is used to group areas with similar tenure compositions into a small number of clusters. The grouping is based on the shares of owners, social and private renters inScotland’s Census 2011. The analysis is undertaken at two small area levels to examine whether scale leads to differences in the clustering of tenures. The resulting cluster allocations are linked to survey data, which exemplifies their use as predictor variables in a regression model as part of the generalaimofthePhD. Themethodisfoundtohaveimportantadvantagesoverexistingmeasures of residential mix. Cluster analysis produces the mean proportions of groups represented in each cluster, providing a more descriptive measure of tenure mix. It further allows representing different types of tenure mix in regression models, therefore adding nuance to the interpretation of outcomes. The resulting area classification is visualised on a map.

Keywords: Tenure mix, cluster analysis, small areas, data linkage

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New spaces of belonging of refugees and asylum seekers in British Host cities

Seerat Kaur

Refugees and asylum seekers in Western European ‘receiving’ countries are often reduced to ‘abject’ beings by being placed outside the normative boundaries of citizenship and the nationstate. They are subject to increased securitisation, monitoring and other surveillance technologies of the European nation states. In this broader context of hostility engendered by the strict migration regimes and exclusionary bordering practices, this thesis contends that exploring how refugees and asylum seekers create new spaces of belonging in British Host cities offers a promising avenue of research. Given the theoretical positioning of refugees and asylum seekers as ‘abjects’ and the marginalisation of their voices in the mainstream discourses, I intend to use a methodological framework which gives my research subjects the opportunity to ‘speak’ and voice their lived experiences. I intend to use participatory ‘creative’ methods like cookbooks, photography, short video/film, which are increasingly becoming popular in Human Geography as potent tools to elicit new knowledges about marginalised populations like homeless people, young and aged people, refugees and asylum seekers. In keeping with the ethos of participatory methods approach, I intend to use participatory cookbooks as a method for ‘engaged research’ (Bagelman et al’ 2017). Although cookbooks have been analysed variously by academics as sites of ‘social, cultural and geopolitical production’, Bagelman (2017) et al argue that they can also be used as ‘visual-emotive’ texts for the dissemination of academic research (2017:372). This method will be useful to understand the place -making and belonging of refugees and asylum seekers in British Host cities using the creative process of cooking.

Keywords: History of cartography; Linguistic geographies; colonial surveys; language mapping

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Learning Outside in a City of Culture: Can Outdoor Learning Raise Attainment and Wellbeing?

Katie Parsons

Following a supposedly transformational year of hosting the City of Culture (CoC) 2017, Hull is undergoing a period of renaissance. Perhaps one of the most important outcomes promises to be a legacy of improved health, wellbeing and social aspirations for the children living within Hull and East Riding. The longer-term impact this may have could be significant. Children spend a significant portion of their time at school and within the education system, which is why it is a key vehicle of change surrounding children’s development, health and wellbeing. There is increasing concern over the access children have to outdoor spaces, with a significant reduction in time spent outdoors from previous generations. Although there has been research demonstrating the holistic benefits of learning outdoors there remains significant knowledge gaps concerning the impact on educational attainment. This research explores how regular access to Outdoor Learning opportunities can improve wellbeing in children and teachers, and how this can also raise academic attainment levels. A detailed trial of Learning Outside of the Classroom over a number of weeks will be co-produced with teachers and children, as research suggests that engaging with these “voices” provides a greater opportunity to sustain changes in normal routine. The impact of these regular planned sessions will be tracked, and the academic attainment assessed. This will allow an analysis of the academic as well as the holistic impact of outdoor learning sessions.

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Nature lifestyles in green and blue spaces: A study of people and place in the Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere Reserve.

Adora Udechukwu

Biosphere Reserves (BRs) introduced under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program (MAB) are increasingly been recognized as designated sites which enable people make contact with nature. One of the primary goals of the BR concept is to foster a deep connectio n with places as a prerequisiteforsustainabilityofregions. However,sincethedesignationofthefirstBRsinthe 1970s, scholars are yet to explore the lifestyles, experiences and place perceptions of people living in BRs. A pilot study of residents of the Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere Reserve (BLDBR), Sussex, United Kingdom (UK) was conducted from May to July 2018 to develop an understanding of how people perceived and used the BR daily. Findings were categorized under five descriptive themes: the influence of citizen’s settlement choices, the role of the South Downs National Park (SDNPA) as a place symbol, people’s nature-based lifestyles and experiences, environmental awareness, and perceptions of place. This study found that people’s value for nature played a significant role in their decision to live in the BR albeit there was a general lack of awareness of the areas designation as a BR. The study also found that non-nature characteristics of the BR were significant in how residents perceived the BR. Final conclusions suggest the need to explore the social, environmental and economic factors that influence resident’s experiences of the place as well as their motivations to engage in environmental actions that are beneficial to the achievement of the BR’s sustainability goals.

Keywords: Biosphere Reserves, People, Nature, Place

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Conference Schedule


Location: Manchester School of Art, Benzie Building, 4thfloor

5pm – 6pm Registration and wine reception
6pm – 6.15pm



6.15pm – 7.15pm

Welcome addresses

Jane Boygle

Keynote lecture

Kim Peters, University of Liverpool

“Eclectic Geographies: Career courses and concerns about consistency”

Twitter: @DrKimPeters

7.15pm onwards Optional get together, The Gasworks?



Location: Birley Campus, Brooks Building

8.30am – 9am Registration (for those not already registered)

Brooks Atrium

9am – 9.30am Opening address, Sarah Evans from the RGS
Room G44 (Lecture Theatre 4)
9.30am – 10.30am Keynote lecture

Becky Alexis-Martin, Manchester Metropolitan University (and friends!)

“Dr Bex and friends: How we learned to stop worrying and love geography” [tbc]

Twitter: @MysteriousDrBex

Room G44 (Lecture Theatre 4)

10.30am – 11am Refreshments

Brooks Atrium

11am – 12.30pm Paper session 1
Paper session 1A: Class and gender mobilities

Chair: Nina Willment



“Understanding the travel needs of single mothers’ incorporation the intersection of class: A thematic review of the literature”

Jacquie Bridgman


“Paving the path for gender-inclusive transport planning: A review of gender-related mobility issues and their impact on women in Karachi, Pakistan.”

Sana Iqbal


“Hemmed in by the New Developments”

Mary Broe


“The contribution of alternative food initiatives to community empowerment in conditions of austerity”

Oliver McDowell


Paper session 1B: Development geographies

Chair: Becky Alexis-Martin



“Questioning the Role of the Return Migrant as a ‘Development Agent’ Via the Geographies of Nigerian Commonwealth Scholars”

Chidinma Okorie

“‘Curating the future of Palestine’: spatial practices of movement and performance in the context of Qalandiya International”

Silvia Hassouna


“Deep-Mapping Movements of Memory and Meaning in Post-Genocide Rwanda”

Gisele O’Connell


“The theory is always beautiful’: the realities of labouring to offset extractivism in Colombia”

Guy Crawford


Paper session 1C: Innovative research methods

Chair: James Robinson



“Exploring the materialities of yellow-sticker food in consumer shopping, cooking and storage practices”

Sarah Kelsey


“Creating digital narrative artworks: an expanding geographical field”

Jack Lowe


“The Geographies of Sleep: Corporatisation, Codification and Dreams of Subversion”

Megan Harvey


12.30pm – 1.30pm LUNCH, Brooks Atrium
12.45pm – 1.30pm Postgraduate Forum Annual General Meeting

Room G44 (Lecture Theatre 4)

1.30pm – 2.30pm Workshops A
A Bag of Lego for your Viva

Chrissi Nerantzi


“She is something of a publication machine”: Advice on publishing from an accidental academic

Catherine Wilkinson


Improvement of city infrastructure with sustainable urban management: a complexity workshop on city water systems

Liz Varga

Room G16 Room G44 (Lecture Theatre 4) Room 2.16
2.30pm – 3.30pm Workshops B
Virtual Reality and Geography

Phil Jones

Walking as research method

Morag Rose

Six Times Higher… Mental health and postgraduates

Maddy Thompson

Teaching [title tbc]

James Robinson

Room 2.15 Meet in Brooks Atrium Room 2.16 Room 2.18
3.30pm – 3.45pm Refreshments

Brooks Atrium

3.45pm – 4.45pm Paper session 2
Paper session 2A: Health and Wellbeing

Chair: Maddy Thompson



“Wellbeing of British Asian Women and austerity politics”

Gabrielle Sale


“Care Farming and Community Gardening: Improving the health of older people through green infrastructure”

Louise Mitchell

“Feeling vulnerable: therapeutic encounters with mindfulness”

Chloe Asker


Paper session 2B: Geographies of Education

Chair: Catherine Wilkinson



“Exploring the Experiences of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and/or English as an Additional Language within a Mainstream Secondary School”

Ellen Bishop

“’The most significant thing about my dad’s was the lack of things’: Exploring the Materialities of Children and Young People’s Homemaking in Post-Separation Families”

Amy Walker


The Zemiology of Student Housing in Dublin

Alice Reynolds

Paper session 2C: Migration and labour dynamics

Chair: Rong Huang



“Geographical variations in ethnic group residents’ labour market”

Sarah Garlick


“The impact of labour mobility on inter-regional earnings inequality”

Carolin Ioramashvili


“The global city/The refugee City: True practices of urbanism”

Monisha Peter


6pm RGS Research group drinks receptions at GRUB
7pm onwards Conference meal – GRUB



Location: Birley Campus, Brooks Building

9.30am – 10am Refreshments

Brooks Atrium

10am – 11.30am Paper session 3
Paper session 3A: Environmental governance and management

Chair: Fraser Baker



“An Ocean of Assets – Impact Investing in Fisheries Finance”

Jens Christiansen

“Water Risks and Security in Global Production Networks: Examining the Influence of the Commercial Fruit Industry on Water Governance in South Africa’s Western Cape”

Nora Lanari


“Governing the ‘backyard’: Indonesia’s Coastal Afforestation”

Syarifah Dalimunthe


“Engaging the public with landscapes and greenspaces: A mixed-methods mapping approach”

Caitlin Hafferty


Paper session 3B: Engagement in the city

Chair: Louise Platt



“Digital portals for community engagement in urban planning”

Ian Babelon


“Cultural, Urban, Digital Geographies”

Adam Packer


“Community light festivals”

Gail Skelly


“A cultural industries approach to nightlife: what kind of urban night does electronic dance music produce?”

Timo Koren

Paper session 3C: Culture of home and personal space

Chair: Hannah Neate



“Homemaking – between subjectivity and spatiality”

Sigal Almogi

“People & Place in Contentious Space: Housing as socio-spatial praxis in the West Bank”

Annie Evans

“The fleshiness of belonging: an exploration of the body as a site of analysis”

Si Teow


“From Japan to Afghanistan: International influences on the British counterculture movement in Wales, and their implications”

Flossie Kingsbury

11.30am – 12.10pm Poster session

Brooks Atrium

12.10pm – 1.10pm LUNCH

Brooks Atrium

1.10pm – 2.40pm Paper session 4
Paper session 4A: Environmental processes and impacts

Chair: Matt Carney



“Exploring the role of human and non-human assemblages at nature-based interventions on long-term wellbeing”

Andy Harrod


“Energised Welsh Communities: Exploring the development and social impacts of community energy in Wales”

Sioned Williams


“Carbon release during 21st century glacier recession: A positive feedback in the global carbon cycle?”

Saule Akhmetkaliyeva


“Scales of soil moisture variability on an active landslide”

Clare Bliss


Paper session 4B: Digital cultural identities

Chair: Rachel Katz



“Transnational Identities and Support Networks: Exploring the Digital Practices of Ghanaians in Leicester”

Dominic Obeng

“The feminist digital geographies of menstruapps”

Laura Shipp


“Student ‘Lad Culture’ in Online and Offline UK Higher Education Spaces”

Alex Kendrick


“Art, embodiment and new technologies in the Irish abortion referendum”

Lorna O’Hara


Paper session 4C: Performing place identities

Chair: Gail Skelly



“Staging a ‘Brexit City’: Investigating Hull theatre audience’s responses to Us Against Whatever (2019)”

Michael Howcroft

“Rethinking Seaside Amusement Arcades through Sensation and Affect”

Martha Lineham


“In the Shadows of the City: The Role of Culture in the Production and Consumption of Suburbia”

George Chatzinakos

“Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk: Building ‘Safe’ Communities through ‘Professional’ Performativity Online and Offline”

Claire Forster

2.40pm – 3.10pm Refreshments

Brooks Atrium

3.10pm – 4.10pm Paper session 5
Paper session 5A: Rural resilience and change

Chair: Harry Marshall



“Socio-Economic Dimention of wasteland and degraded land in Indian context”

Surajit Kar

“A flowing conversation? Methodological issues in interviewing farmers about rivers and riparian environments”

Emma Thomas

“The hybrid (rural) geography of metropolitan regions: farming systems and the diversified countryside in Greater Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”

Felipe de Silva Machado

Paper session 5B: Urban Planning

Chair: Steve Millington



“Youth-led non- and cross-sectarian urban planning in contested Lebanese cities: Why young people matter in researching contested spaces”

Hannah Sender

“Retail planning practices in China”

Rong Huang


“New road wanted (but not in my backyard)!”

Maruša Goluža


Paper session 5C: Activism and protest

Chair: Morag Rose



“Narrating the Wendland Movement: Conceptual Openings”

Viktoria Noka

“Building a theoretical framework to address migrant solidarities in the city”

Ana Guerrero

“Youth activism in an age of austerity’

Elizabeth Ackerley


4.10pm – 4.30pm Poster Award and farewell




Wednesday 24th April

 Dr Kim Peters

Twitter: @DrKimPeters

“Over the past decade geographers have been moving their studies beyond the shoreline, taking the social, cultural and political questions they ask about landed life, to sea. My research is situated within this disciplinary shift, which seeks to take water worlds seriously. I have published widely in this area including the books ‘Water worlds: Human Geographies of the Ocean (2014, reprinted in paperback 2016, with Jon Anderson) and ‘The Mobilities of Ships’ (2015, with Anyaa Anim-Addo and William Hasty).”

 Kim is currently the Education Officer for the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society

 Kim’s most recent publications include:

Brown, M., & Peters, K. (2018). Living with the sea: Knowledge, awareness and action. Peters, K., & Turner, J. (2018). Unlock the Volume: Towards a Politics of Capacity. ANTIPODE, 50(4), 1037-1056.

You can find out more about Kim’s work at this link:


Thursday 25th April

 Dr Bex Alexis-Martin

Twitter: @MysteriousDrBex

 Dr Becky Alexis-Martin is a Lecturer in Cultural and Political Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to joining academia, she worked on emergency preparedness for the 2012 Olympics. She completed her PhD in 2017, which was entitled “RADPOP: A new modelling framework for radiation protection”. This piqued her interest in nuclear geographies, and led her to undertake an intensive research project on the lives of nuclear test veterans called “Nuclear Families”, while also writing more generally on the social and cultural impacts of nuclear accidents and warfare.

Her current ethnographic research explores the hidden communities, places and spaces that are associated with the nuclear military industrial complex internationally. It aims to understand and divulge the lived experiences of seemingly disparate nuclear communities; from the Hiroshima Maidens, to the indigenous Australian survivors of the British atomic bomb tests during the Cold War. It also aims to understand the processes of dereliction that can surround defunct nuclear spaces; from the stunning re-wilded prairies of Colorado’s Rocky Flats plutonium pit manufacturing plant, to the re-habitation of tattered barracks that were abandoned after nuclear testing in the South Pacific.

Dr Becky Alexis-Martin has been featured in newspapers, podcasts and conversations with The Guardian, The Independent, Sputnik, BBC Radio 4, Cold War Conversations, Resilience, and The Conversation. She is the author of “Disarming Doomsday”, her first book on international nuclear geographies. This will be published on May 1st by Pluto Press (UK) and University of Chicago Press (USA).

The RGS Postgraduate Mid-term Conference 2019 is an annual Postgraduate focused conference that is co-organised by the RGS, it’s Postgraduate Forum research group and a UK host university. This year, the conference will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester, UK) from Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th of April 2019. We hope to see you then!

Why should I attend?

This conference is a great opportunity for all postgraduate students in any discipline of geography, human, physical or environmental, to present their work in a friendly and supportive environment. We also welcome postgraduates outside the discipline who work with geography in some way. This interdisciplinary event is an excellent place to get feedback on your work, network, and practice your presentation skills whether you are a first-time presenter, or you are preparing for other conferences or PhD Viva.

How much?

The cost of the conference is: £65

The registration fee will include;

  • Access to a great programme of paper and poster presentations
  • Workshops to develop skills that are key for an early career researcher,
  • Keynote speeches from established academics in geography
  • Refreshments throughout the conference,
  • A drinks reception on the evening of Wednesday 24th April,
  • Lunches on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th April
  • Conference meal on the evening of Thursday 25th April at GRUB, a street-food venue, with a selection of food vendors and craft beer.

Get in touch if you have any questions here:

We look forward to welcoming you to Manchester in 2019!

The Manchester Metropolitan University Mid-Term Organising Committee

Jamie Halliwell, Gail Skelly, Matthew Carney, Fraser Baker, Rong Huang and Maria Loroño-Leturiondo.

Hotel Information for Conference Guests:

Local Hotel Information (these are the hotels that conference guests usually stay in)

Pendulum Hotel, Sackville Street

IBIS, Princess Street –

Holiday Inn, Oxford Road

Premier Inn Manchester Deansgate Locks

Jury’s Inn

Air BnB is popular in Manchester, offering homes and private rooms