Category Archives: Geography

Remembering the Cultural Geographies of a Childhood Home

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Remembering the cultural geographies of a childhood homeRemembering the Cultural Geographies of a Childhood Home

‘A kaleidoscopic view of the 1970s in which the places, experiences, beliefs and reveries of a childhood in South Wales and the books, comics, television programmes, films and popular pursuits of the period constantly shift to create new and provocative perceptions of the cultural fabric and transformations of that difficult decade’   Mike Pearson, Aberystwyth University, UK

Peter Hughes Jachimiak,  author of  Remembering the Cultural Geographies of a Childhood Home talks about his own upbringing and early influences in a recent interview with the Daily Wales.

The book is, “about how all of us remember our childhood selves, and how we, as children, engage with the places and spaces of childhood. That is, our home, the immediate neighbourhood outside, the wider world beyond, and how both media and cultural texts of the time reflect all of that.” Peter’s childhood home was Ivy Cottage, Skewen, in the Neath of the 1970s and the book is fundamentally autobiographical: ‘‘Me, as an adult and a father, and my bringing up of our lovely little daughter, Mille, aged 4. For I wrote my book as I watched her grow from a baby to a toddler, to that of being a beautiful little girl. And, that’s a wonderful thing – to be able to write about one’s own childhood as you bring someone into this world.’’   The Daily Wales

To read the full interview including the author describing his political roots and passion for music follow the link here

The author, Peter Hughes Jachimiak, who is senior lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Creative Industries, University of South Wales has also produced a very entertaining podcast in which many of the themes and issues addressed in his book are explored. You can follow the link here

Environment and Sustainability Publishing from Ashgate and Gower

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

How do we secure a sustainable future?

Social science and humanities scholars have much to contribute to crucial debates around policy, as well as asking fundamental questions about how we understand the history of our environment and the impact of business, culture and society on sustainability.

The issue of how we secure a sustainable future for our society, the environment and natural resources does and should involve cross-disciplinary research.

With this in mind we have brought together over 150 of our key titles on environmental and sustainability research from across the Ashgate and Gower publishing programmes in our new Environment and Sustainability webpage to make it easier to navigate the broad range of titles and series we offer in this area.

Border Walls 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago this month raised hopes of a new borderless era however in recent years the border wall has been given renewed vigour, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel-Palestine. The success of these new walls in the development of friendly and orderly relations between nations (or indeed, within nations) remains unclear. What role does the wall play in the development of security and insecurity? Do walls contribute to a sense of insecurity as much as they assuage fears and create a sense of security for those ‘behind the line’? Exactly what kind of security is associated with border walls?

Borders fences and wallsTackling these questions, Borders, Fences and Walls edited by Élisabeth Vallet, explores the issue of how the return of border fences and walls as a political tool may be symptomatic of a new era in border studies and international relations. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, it examines problems that include security issues ; the recurrence and/or decline of the wall; wall discourses ; legal approaches to the wall; the ‘wall industry’ and border technology as well as their symbolism, role, objectives and efficiency.

Élisabeth Vallet has recently been interviewed by the Courrier International and her research has informed an article in the Washington Post.

Élisabeth Vallet is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and scientific director of Geopolitics at the Raoul Dandurand Chair at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada.

Why We Eat, How We Eat recognised by food think tank

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

Why we eat How we eatWe’re delighted that Why We Eat, How We Eat has been selected by the American-based nonprofit organisation Food Tank for their Fall Reading List: 20 Great Books About Food which highlights books that entertain, inform, and reaffirm the importance of food and agriculture. Why We Eat, How We Eat, edited by Dr Emma-Jayne Abbots and Dr Anna Lavis and part of Ashgate’s Critical Food Studies series, explores how foods and bodies both haphazardly encounter, and actively engage with, one another in ways that are simultaneously social, economic, political, biological and sensorial.

‘Eating is a bundle of activities and experiences, and involves both destruction and creation. While an everyday practice for everyone, it is both complicated and complex. This book is a masterful examination of the multidimensional nature of eating in symbolic, economic, political, material and nutritional terms, and it is a must-read for anyone interested in food and eating.’    Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford, UK

‘This fascinating book is such a timely and welcome addition to the field of food studies. It sets out to destabilise and challenge what we think we know about food and eating by bringing once separate categories into intimate proximity, to touch each other and produce a sensous map of the contours of eating. Spaces between meaning and materiality, commensality and viscerality, and knowledge and bodily practices are oiled and moved into provocative “conceptual hinges”, revealing complex and layered relations of eating. This work will undoubtedly shift theoretical and applied debates about food and eating to a new level, and will have significance to those many disciplines that have a vested interest in why we eat, and how we eat.’    Megan Warin, University of Adelaide, Australia

‘This fascinating book would be of interest not only to scholars in the social sciences and humanities interested in critical food studies, but to any reader interested in the social, cultural and political dimensions of food and eating practices.’    LSE Review of Books

Argyro Loukaki’s The Geographical Unconscious – ‘absolutely fabulous’

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

The Geographical Unconscious

ARGYRO LOUKAKI’s new book, The GEOGRAPHICAL UNCONSCIOUS seems absolutely fabulous. The book is not for the meek, a tour-de-force of 400-Ashage-pages, nor for the disciplinary square. It’s a collection of SNAPSHOTS that cuts through geography, art history, philosophy, and cultural studies

says Kostis Kourelis in his enthusiastic review of this recently published book, which is also commended for its innovative style.

The author uses a great visual strategy of “free sketches.” Compared to the ambitions of the whole book, this will seem rather minor, but I think it’s important. Loukaki’s free sketches are scattered through the book to make visual arguments

Dr Argyro Loukaki, author of The Geographical Unconscious is Associate Professor at the Hellenic Open University. Her book has attracted some very positive comments from other reviewers too- you can read these and access extracts from the book here

Ireland’s 1916 Rising shortlisted for the Geographical Society of Ireland’s Book of the Year award 2014

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Irelands 1916 RisingCongratulations to Mark McCarthy, whose book Ireland’s 1916 Rising, was short-listed for the 2014 book of the year award from the Geographical Society of Ireland.

The Judges’ comments:

‘immaculately researched and a lively engagement with the key critical debates surrounding issues of memory, commemoration and historical legacies surrounding the revolutionary period in modern Irish history ‘  Nessa Cronin, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway

‘In this definitive work on the topic, Mark McCarthy traces the political, ideational, identity and iconographic impacts of the Easter 1916 Rising in Ireland… This is required reading for scholars in the field and beyond’   Pádraig Carmody, Dept of Geography, Trinity College Dublin

Mark McCarthy’s book explores why, how and in what ways the memory of Ireland’s 1916 Rising has persisted over the decades? It breaks new ground by offering a wide-ranging exploration of the making and remembrance of the story of 1916 in modern times, which is not only of historical concern, but of contemporary political and cultural importance.

More about Ireland’s 1916 Rising

SOAS Food Studies Centre books launch

The SOAS Food Studies Centre is hosting a launch event today to mark the publication of eight books authored or edited by centre members including Why We Eat, How We Eat edited by Emma-Jayne Abbots and Anna Lavis published by Ashgate. The event, which is open to the public, is being held in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS in London from 5.30pm-8.00pm on Monday 19th May. Commentary is being provided by Peter Jackson, Professor of Geography at The University of Sheffield and Francesca Bray, Professor of Social Anthropology at The University of Edinburgh. Commissioning Editor Katy Crossan is attending the event.

Why we eat How we eatPraise for Why We Eat, How We Eat:

‘This book is a masterful examination of the multidimensional nature of eating in symbolic, economic, political, material and nutritional terms, and it is a must-read for anyone interested in food and eating.’   Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford, UK

‘This work will undoubtedly shift theoretical and applied debates about food and eating to a new level, and will have significance to those many disciplines that have a vested interest in why we eat, and how we eat.’   Megan Warin, University of Adelaide, Australia

‘This fascinating book would be of interest not only to scholars in the social sciences and humanities interested in critical food studies, but to any reader interested in the social, cultural and political dimensions of food and eating practices.’   LSE Review of Books

Why We Eat, How We Eat is part of the Ashgate Critical Food Studies series. We are actively looking for innovative and original new books which further critical food research and writing . If you have an idea or proposal for a book which might be suitable for the series please contact Commissioning Editor Katy Crossan or Series Editor Professor Michael K. Goodman.