Desire Lines, Dawdles and Drifts: Walking Together As Research Tool

There is a growing body of geographical research that uses walking together as a research, teaching and learning tool. For example, Bates and Rhys-Taylor (2017), Warren (2016) and Evans and Jones (2011) all demonstrate various ways walking can help break down hierarchies and encourage rich conversations about the environment. Wider bodies of work on walking art and psychogeography indicate methods that are playful, subversive, multi-sensory, interdisciplinary, fluid and performative (Smith, 2015, Richardson, 2015 and The Walking Artists Network online).  This call is for anyone who uses – or who would like to use – walking as a way to explore, critically engage with, and understand space and place.
PyGyRg are sponsoring two sessions on pedestrian methods at The RGS-IGB conference 2018. The first is a conventional paper session which offers a chance to share research and be inspired by the potential of pedestrian methods. Contributions are invited from anyone using walking as a research tool in their work. This could include (but is not limited to)
• How walking methods critically engage with and interrogate the environment
• Innovations, issues and debates around walking methodologies
• Contemporary psychogeographies and their relationship to the academy
• Activist, community and creative walking and mapping practice
• Walking pedagogy, its benefits, risks and ethics
The second session aims to put theory into practice with an exploration of the landscape around the conference centre. Walking artists, activists and academics are invited to provide prompts for creative walking to be used by small groups. They will to go for an autonomous wander at their own pace and after an hour or so will reconvene to share field-notes and experiences. This is actively participatory geography and our walking includes sticks, wheels, orthotics and other mobility aids. We want these sessions to be accessible and welcoming to anyone who wishes to join in and will strive to facilitate an inclusive and diverse conference experience.
Please send an abstract of around 250 words to Morag Rose, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, The University of Sheffield mltrose1@sheffield.ac.uk by 12 noon, Wednesday 14th February 2018.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments or need more information. I would appreciate if you could forward this call for participation to anyone who you feel may be interested. Details about the conference can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/2018walkonresearch
References
Bates, C., & Rhys-Taylor, A. (eds) (2017). Walking through social research. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Evans, J., & Jones, P. (2011). The walking interview: methodology, mobility and place. Applied Geography, 31(2), 849–858.  doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.09.005
Participatory Geographies Research Group (PyGyRG) http://www.pygyrg.co.uk/
Richardson, T. (Ed.). (2015). Walking inside out: contemporary British psychogeography. London, UK: Rowman and Littlefield International
Smith, P. (2015). Walking’s new movement. Charmouth, UK: Triarchy Press
Warren, S. (2016). Pluralising the walking interview: researching (im)mobilities with Muslim women. Social & Cultural Geography, 1–22. doi: 10.1080/14649365.2016.1228113
Walking Artist’s Network http://www.walkingartistsnetwork.org
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