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Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Co-chair and co-organiser of two sessions: Rethinking Darkness: Borders, Landscapes, Practices. The relationships between light and dark, and the borders between night and day, are fundamental to our regular social patterns and rhythms, and to how most of us make sense and engage with the world. Rather than consider darkness as negative, opposed to illumination and enlightenment, we wish to explore the rich potential of the dark on the values, meanings and influences that shape our landscapes and practices. Indeed, the absence of light and multi-sensory qualities of gloom can be used to produce an astonishing array of affects, atmospheres, and ambiances. The borders of dark and light can be fluid, fragile, and fleeting which creates challenges to the ways we might conceive, experience and practise darkness. Indeed, a range of diverse cultural and creative practices which engage with darkness have long existed while others are emerging. This is not to discount the significant impact that processes of urbanisation are having upon our right to the night sky. With more than eighty per cent of the world population now living under light-polluted skies, we face an extinction of experience of the nocturnal commons. It is clear we need new methods and interdisciplinary inquiries so that we might better understand and communicate the diversity of darkness. At present, studies on darkness primarily reside within disciplinary boundaries, for example, in urban history, geography, archaeology and painting. This panel session will bring together a variety of approaches to form a multi-disciplinary re-evaluation of darkness. This intersection of inquiries will also explore the borderlands between theory and practice to discuss new trajectories for investigation.

Event (Conference)

TitleRoyal Geographical Society Annual International Conference
LocationThe Royal Geographical Society
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom