This week has involved moving house. Hurrah! I now have a room full of boxes and bookcases waiting to be unpacked. Everything from my undergrad days to PhD to many volumes of geography journals. But this is to fast forward to Tuesday.
Monday began with the essay hand-in for my course. Students began heading to the department office at about 9am. I was there to greet them – prior to our lecture session at 10am. The theme this week was gender and geography, covering aspects of gender of geography and geography of gender. A great moment was sharing this quote:
scientific knowledge “is a form of knowledge which assumes a knower who believes he can separate himself from his body, emotions, values, past and so on, so that he and his thought are autonomous, context-free and objective” (Rose 1993, p. 7).
I then asked students who agreed there were other ways of knowing and thinking geographically to stand on the small stage in the lecture room. I’d say 70 of 74 in attendance agreed that knowledge couldn’t be context-free: “I have a passion for studying geography, my emotions are part of what I do”. The 4 who disagreed, argued that whilst they acknowledged their emotions, memories, experiences – they would set all of that to one side in order to be unbiased. The debate continues…
Wednesday was all about Athena SWAN and our Gender and Fieldwork project. We were exploring student data today. It looks like we have a good balance between female/male UG students although it will be interesting to compare this with HESA data for the sector. We also talked about a mini-conference we are hosting in April to share our stories from the field.
Thursday was a real treat. I returned to my alma mater, the University of Exeter, to give the geography department seminar. I couldn’t resist a quick walk around campus and the changes since I was undergrad were incredible, in particular the Forum – combining library, teaching, shopping, exhibition spaces. I followed my seminar with discussions with colleagues – Saffron O’Neill, Gail Davies, David Harvey, Sam Kinsley, Ian Cook and John Wylie. Here is the container ship developed as part of Ian’s work on Lego and follow the thing.
Today – Friday – is all about student meetings, marking and a chat with my conservingc20 buddies Hannah Neate and Ruth Craggs. This morning I am hosting my first group dissertation meeting – we’ll be talking about how to structure the dissertation. Let’s see how creative we can be!
Right now? I’m going to grab a coffee and explore the new garden before work.