Relational landscapes and rock star geographers on a solo flight

After a very smooth trip to Malmö, Sweden I stepped into an IKEA catalogue. This hotel room was going to be home for the next four days. I was in Malmö for the Relational Landscape Studies of Urbanisations Conference at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. I have blogged before about how I find conferences exciting and overwhelming experiences. It was great “flying in AUSCCER formation” at the two first conferences I attended. In those instances there were colleagues who introduced me and who guided me and other starting PhD students around. None of that on this occasion, it was time for my first solo flight.

A stranger in Bangalore: reflections from the field

As I prepared to present my Indian work at the Relational Landscapes of Urbanisation Conference at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, I reflected on interactions with research participants. I visited Bangalore in January to scope out community gardens for future fieldwork.  With a research assistant I visited several communities of gardeners who were very eager to share their thoughts and show us around. Their enthusiasm made me think about what it means to be an outsider as a researcher and about how to be considerate in an unfamiliar environment.
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The AAG jostle: last thoughts from the bar

By Ellen van Holstein

Having presented my own work at the AAG early in proceedings, I spent the rest of the conference walking around the rooms like a little girl in a candy shop. So much to see, so little time. Oh! Tim Cresswell tweets about a lecture on epigenetics that is about to start. That does not sound like my field of interest, but Tim Cresswell has probably been to the AAG a couple of times; he knows what he is talking about. Right? So I decide to go.

The next hour and a half the speaker, Becky Mansfield, plunges into a critical discussion of the fascinating science of epigenetics, leaving me in a deep state of excitement and confusion. A state I don’t get myself out of until the end of the conference.

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AAG 2014 Tampa Conference, Day 1: Thoughts From The Bar

By Nick Skilton and Ellen van Holstein

Nick Skilton and Ellen van Holstein are both PhD Candidates with the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research. They are currently at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida.

Nick presenting at the AAG conference in Tampa, Florida.

Nick presenting at the AAG conference in Tampa, Florida.

Nick: We’ve finally all found each in the downstairs bar of the Floridan Hotel. The chandeliers scream old school bling, and the waitress is surly because we don’t get tipping etiquette. They don’t have kettles in hotel rooms, but they have great bourbon, and burgers that get served ‘bloody’ enough to send me – the vegan AUSCCERite – upstairs to my room for dinner. Continue reading

Community gardens in Bangalore

Ellen van Holstein is completing her PhD with The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research. She recently visited Bangalore, India, to explore shared garden spaces that could serve as future fieldwork sites for her PhD research. Ellen plans to write more posts about her experiences in Bangalore, but in the meantime has shared a selection of photographs she took while asking locals about vacant plots, chillies and worms on the city’s rooftops.

Community gardens in Bangalore