Data ethics in geography teaching (Teacher CPD) @ Online
Jan 26 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Ethics is becoming an increasingly important area of consideration when working with geographic data.

In industry, concerns over privacy, ownership of data and how data is used form part of project planning. For students, geography research ethics has often focused on notions of consent related to traditional research methods such as surveys or interviews.

However, new sources of geographic data, such as that collected through social media or open-source satellite imagery, present new ethical issues. So do the applications of these data, with old issues of data presentation still present, but joined by questions such as who is liable if the data cause a death, such as with self-driving cars.

In this workshop we will:

  • Explore questions of ethics in geography and in using geographic data
  • Share key resources and texts that help to integrate these questions into the curriculum and NEA
  • Look at examples of problem-based learning that encourage critical thinking in relation to geographic ethics

About the speaker

Doug Specht is a Chartered Geographer, Chartered Teacher, and the Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Westminster. His research examines how knowledge is constructed and codified through digital and cartographic artefacts, focusing on development issues in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has written extensively on geographic data ethics and among other publications is co-editor of the forthcoming The Routledge Handbook of Geospatial Technology and Society.


Information for delegates

This event will be run online via Microsoft Teams. Details of how to access the event will be sent out via email approximately a week before the event date. If this email does not reach you, please contact us (preferably before the day of the event) at events@rgs.org

We anticipate that this event will be very popular. Please only reserve yourself a space if you are sure you are attending, otherwise you may prevent another teacher from accessing the event.

Power Without Responsibility: Comparative national overviews @ Online
Jan 27 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Power Without Responsibility: Comparative national overviews @ Online
The first in a series of workshops centred on the legacy of James Curran and Jean Seaton’s Power without Responsibility

The Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre is organising a monthly series of workshops celebrating 40 years since the publication of the seminar book on the UK media, James Curran and Jean Seaton’s Power Without Responsibility. Now in its eighth edition, the book has been translated into five languages and has influenced generations of media academics, students and wider readers. With a scope ranging from the 1830s to the present day, the book focuses on how market distortion and state sponsored public service, among other influences, have shaped the UK media and influenced the conduct of politics, entertainment and society more generally. The workshops will examine central themes of the book – including discussions about market corruption, media reform, public service and radical journalism – with presentations by international scholars and journalists. The workshops will take place online from January to May 2022 and will be open to academics, teachers, students, historians, media activists and anyone interested in the history and the future of the UK media.

This first workshop in the series will reflect on themes developed in the book from the perspective of different national contexts. It will explore the contribution of Power without Responsibility in our understanding of media in a variety of political and cultural settings.

Workshop one: Comparative national overviews

CHAIR: Toby Miller (Prof, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Cuajimalpa, Mexico)


Natalie Foster (Routledge)

John Durham Peters (Prof; Yale)

Vibodh Parthasarathi (Associate Prof, Jamia Millia Islamia)

Kaori Hayashi (Prof, Tokyo)

Tom O’Malley (Emeritus Prof, Aberystwyth, ICA support letter)

This event will take place on Zoom

Platform Socialism @ Online
Feb 10 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Platform Socialism @ Online
James Muldoon (University of Exeter) – Platform Socialism

Tech companies have been criticised for their surveillance practices, privacy breaches and monopolistic ambitions. Instead of inquiring as to how we could ‘fix’ Facebook, this seminar explores alternatives that could replace them. It presents the idea of platform socialism – the organisation of the digital economy through the social ownership of digital assets and democratic control over the infrastructure and systems that govern our digital lives. This framework facilitates holistic thinking about the systemic nature of the problems we face and the need for genuine alternatives.

To develop the principles and institutional sketch of platform socialism, James Muldoon draws inspiration from the writings of two early twentieth century writers: the libertarian socialist, G. D. H. Cole and the Austrian philosopher and economist Otto Neurath. James proposes new forms of participatory and decentralised governance through an ecosystem of alternative ownership models of digital platforms. How would socially-owned and controlled apps operate in transport, food delivery and short-term accommodation? Drawing from historical examples and contemporary prototypes, platform socialism seeks to reclaim a long-term counter-hegemonic project for challenging capitalist control over technology.


Dr James Muldoon is a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Exeter and researcher at the Autonomy think tank. He is the author of Platform Socialism: Reclaiming our Digital Future from Big Tech (Pluto Press, 2022) and Building Power to Change the World: The Political Thought of the German Council Movements (OUP, 2020). His writings can be found at jamesmuldoon.org.

Decolonising Approaches to Users and Audiences in the Global South: Context, Theory and Method @ Online
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Cultural translation, a perpetual movement from one constituted historical context and language to another, has proved to be a complex affair, necessitating a shuttling between different languages, ‘thresholds’ (Bhabha 2021), ‘fronteras’ or borderlands (Anzaldúa 2016), and temporalities. Audience research in the West came as a response to pathologies of modernity, which made it dependent on a specific temporal-language about culture, history, and society. However, as the field of audience research began to internationalise, so did its hermeneutics and ways of seeing the world.  To disentangle audience research in the global South, and in the diaspora, from the anachronistic language and hermeneutics that are anchored in West-centric audience research, this event emphasises the importance of the everyday as the terrain of study, and the need to build bridges between the philosophical discourses of modernity/postmodernity/digitality that are emerging from the global South, and the different ways in which people in the South experience being-digital.

In our experiences as scholars in the diaspora, to ‘do’ audience research is to ‘do’ cultural translation from a position of ‘double absence’ (Sayad 1999). Area studies scholars, who are researching audiences, work at the margins of an exnominated field of media and cultural studies, and find their work visible, but only in relation to their marginality to the silent and intentionally salient and unnamed: British, US and European audience research. Global South audience research, like other area studies in Western academia, is systematically subalterned by the normalised, yet ex-nominated, silent centre. Ex-nomination, we argue, legitimises the centre as the absent presence and, with it, its language(s), signs, paradigms, semiotics, and ways of understanding the world.

This Webinar is an invitation to think about media users in the global South beyond the facile and essentialist discourses of media imperialism and technological determinism. It is an invitation to rehearse alternative and translational forms of theorising that seriously engage with the complex interstitial temporalities and lived experiences of audiences in the South.

We ask the following questions:  What can a phenomenological study of digital media users in the global South teach us about everyday cultural life in the South? How are media audiences/ users in the global South using digital media to resist different forms of fundamentalisms: neo-liberal, neo-colonial, sectarian, populist, as well as misogynistic discourses of heteronormativity. Drawing on Hall’s notion that diasporas ‘are at the leading edge of what is destined to become the truly representative “late-modern” experience’, what can diasporic audience research teach us about digital communicative practices and diasporic connections with countries in the South? And, finally, how can we rethink the master categories of audience analysis: race, class, gender, and ethnicity, within the context of the contemporary global South?

16:00 Webinar Opens

Opening: Prof. Christian Fuchs, CAMRI Director 

Introduction: Andrea Medrado, Tarik Sabry and Winston Mano 

16:10-17:30 – Keynotes

Prof. Tanja E. Bosch, Cape Town University, South Africa
Decolonising digital media research methods

Prof. Guobin Yang, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, US
How Not to Theorize a Pandemic from Afar: Alterity, Sensibility, and Vulnerability in Narrating the Wuhan Lockdown

Prof. Claudia Magallanes Blanco, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, Mexico
Colonized audiences decolonizing through self-representation. A look at indigenous community radios in Oaxaca, Mexico

Prof. Marwan Kraidy, Northwestern University, Qatar
Entangled Modernities: Dilemmas in Deconstructing and Decolonizing ‘Media’ and ‘Audience’ in the Global South

Prof. Payal Arora, University of Rotterdam, Netherlands
Decolonizing Design for the Next Billion

17.30 – 18.30: Roundtable and Q&A