2024 RGS-IBG Annual Conference


The 2023 RGS-IBG Conference will be hosted at the Royal Geographical Society in London from Tuesday 27th to Friday 30th August 2024. The conference will be chaired by Prof. Stephen Legg (University of Nottingham), with the theme being ‘Geography and Mapping’.

The conference theme encourages conveners and presenters to reflect on the role of mapping in the discipline, academia, and the wider world. The case could be made around four propositions:

  1. interest in maps and those who made them
  2. interest in the power of maps and how they are re-made every time they are used
  3. engagement in map-making to analyse and engage others in our research
  4. mapping as a spatial disposition that unifies us, going beyond the making of maps to a deeper urge to locate and emplace human and physical geographical processes.

See the Chair’s Theme for further details.

The GLTRG is currently sponsoring 3 sessions:


The Dark Matters: Mapping Human and Non-Human Interactions of leisure and tourism Dark Sky Conservation (conveners: Dr Jenny Hall and Dr Brendan Paddison – York St John University, United Kingdom)

This session aims to understand how dark-sky spaces and places can be sustained through leisure and tourism-based conservation initiatives and public engagement programmes.
We seek papers that explore:

  • The impact of voluntary citizen science and public conservation initiatives in dark-sky places
  • Mobilising volunteers and active stewardship in dark-sky places
  • Stakeholder perceptions of dark-sky reserves and the perceived barriers to access
  • Approaches to raising public raising public awareness about light pollution, the loss of our dark-sky through tourism and leisure
  • The impact of festivals and dark-sky leisure and tourism events
  • Engaging communities in dark-sky activities
  • Social, cultural and economic understandings of dark sky conservation
  • Social justice and accessing the dark-sky
  • Methodological approaches to researching dark-sky communities and protected zones
  • Politics and economic barriers
  • Policy, governance and planning in dark-sky protected zones
  • Embodying dark-sky conservation
  • Human and non-human interactions in dark-sky places
  • Changing cultural perceptions of leisure and tourism during the nighttime

This is not an exhaustive list and welcome creative and novel papers. Please send abstracts (250 words) to j.hall@yorksj.ac.uk & b.paddison@yorksj.ac.uk – deadline for submissions Friday 23rd February.   The session is in person but a hybrid option is available – please indicate if you wish to present in person or virtually.

Decolonising Methodologies in Tourism Research (conveners: Christina-Alexandra Trifan and Dr Stroma Cole – University of Westminster, United Kingdom)

Shifting away from the prioritisation of tourism studies for ‘WEIRD’ (white, educated, industrialised, rich, and democratic) scholar circles, the session aims to create a platform for knowledge-sharing between scholars from diverse backgrounds and academic settings. In this session, the session welcomes Indigenous researchers engaged in tourism research across the Global South. The goal is to facilitate a discussion between Global South and Global North researchers to develop a more far-reaching and collaborative approach that includes various standpoints and acknowledges culturally appropriate epistemologies and methodologies as valid forms of inquiry in tourism research.

Mapping Diverse Meanings of Pilgrimages (conveners Prof. John Eade – University of Roehampton, United Kingdom; Dr Jaeyeon Choe – Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom)

The session seeks to expand conceptualisations and mappings well beyond dominant paradigms. We welcome interdisciplinary perspectives to elucidate diffusions surrounding pilgrimage’s sites, rituals, meanings, and its impact on host communities – aiming to build more inclusive understandings of this profound, multifaceted and ever-changing human phenomenon.

We invite interested participants to send an abstract (under 250 words) to Prof. John Eade (J.Eade@roehampton.ac.uk) and Dr. Jaeyeon Choe (jaeyeon.choe@gcu.ac.uk) for consideration in our before Feb 26th.

The role of technology in mapping and tourism imagery formation: from holiday mobilities to tourism expeditions (conveners Dr Giovanni Modaffari and Dr Alberto Amore – University of Oulu, Finland)

Mapping is the production of images corresponding to territories but also of visual and mental representations of the space we inhabit. Over the last 60 years, Earth mapping saw the rise and establishment of several new image technologies that culminated with the introduction of AI-generated images that are already changing our way of looking at the planet as well as our mobility. The contemporary images of the Earth (e.g., pictures from out of space, satellite images of far remote islands) play a crucial role in shaping global contemporary geographies, and mobilities. On the one hand they reinforce environmental crisis awareness and ecological anxiety around the impacts of tourism and mobilities in the Anthropocene. On the other hand, they encourage and legitimize forms of travel experiences designed as expeditions or explorations in remote locations (e.g., desert tourism; Arctic tourism; Antarctic tourism).

The session welcomes papers on how mapping technologies contribute to the framing and renegotiation of contemporary landscapes, spaces and mobilities of tourism. In particular, we welcome conceptual, data-driven, and thought-provoking contributions in the following topics:

  • The role of technologies in mapping and representation of remote spaces
  • The nexus between technology, digital mapping and representation
  • The impact of AI in Earth mapping and the understanding of the Anthropocene
  • The correlation between AI, image formation and tourism geographies
  • Narratives and imageries of travel as expedition experience
  • Digital and AI-generated images and implications for global mobilities
  • Digital and AI-generated images and their influence against travel (e.g., flight shaming)

Expressions of abstracts (max. 250 words) with author contact details and affiliation should be sent to Dr Giovanni Modaffari (giovanni.modaffari@oulu.fi) by February 24th 2024.


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