No-Man’s Lands at the Royal Geographical Society

The subject of No Man’s Lands will be explored, discussed and debated in two themed sessions during The Royal Geographical Society’s annual conference, being held in South Kensington from 27-29 September.

The two sessions, convened by Noam Leshem and Alasdair Pinkerton, feature eight papers, each of which promises to develop theoretical and empirical scholarship on No-Man’s Lands, and will examine in particular their “spaces and frontiers” and their ‘materialities and governance.’ The session abstract, below, provokes questions on the contorted histories and geographies of No-Man’s Lands – their genealogies and agencies; their architectures; their practices of inclusion, exclusion and abandonment – as well as the timeliness of this particular opportunity for critical engagement with a term/concept/space/place/process that has drifted in and out of public and scholarly discourse over the past century (and much longer besides).

Geographies of No-Man’s Lands

As we approach the centenary of the First World War, this session opens up new critical engagements with the no-man’s lands of the 20th and 21st century. Papers critically explore the genealogies, spatialities and agencies, which emerge from empirical and conceptual no-man’s lands. We are interested in challenging the ambiguity that has come to cloud ‘No Man’s Land’ and to insert new intellectual rigour into its scholarly application.

Inspired by the academic interest that was invested in the term in the two decades that followed the First World War (by thinkers like Walter Benjamin and Ernst Jünger) this session will explore the significance of no-man’s lands as a productive analytical concept for contemporary social, cultural and geo-political scholarship.

Over coming weeks, we will be sharing the abstracts of the papers to be presented during the sessions and encourage reader to comment and share their thoughts.

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