Our postgraduate representatives (Jonathon Harris, Olivia Mason, and Ian Slesinger) have done a fantastic job this year. We now have a new blog on this website dedicated to reflections from postgraduates and an exciting session at the forthcoming RGS-IBG conference on ‘Emerging Voices in Political Geography‘. The session, chaired by Jo Sharp, will follow an innovative format with participants invited to use a single ‘thing’ (be it an image, video, audio, archival material, physical object or some other fragment) as a focal point for evaluation. Collectively, the papers in this session will demonstrate how the ‘fragments’ that we collect have the capacity to give voice to something different, and can stimulate new avenues of creativity and innovation within political geography.
Jonathon, Olivia, and Ian will continue in their roles until September and are currently working alongside our newly elected postgraduate representatives to hand over their responsibilities. A huge thank you to Jonathon, Olivia, and Ian for their hard work and welcome to Angharad Butler-Rees, Nick Robinson, and Leila Wilmers.
Angharad Butler-Rees, University of Southampton
Angharad is a geography PhD candidate at the University of Southampton (2016-2019). Her current research explores the lives of those involved in disability activism at times of austerity, and the various spaces in which these acts take place. Through her research, she hopes to make visible the lives of those involved in disability activism and to question whether the development of more personal, or private forms of resistance, might begin to challenge what critical human geographers traditionally perceive as activism.
Nick Robinson, Royal Holloway
Nick’s research is primarily grounded in Estonia, focussing on the multitude of digital technologies its government have started to employ since the regaining of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Exploring initiatives such as Estonian e-Residency, the government’s use of blockchain technology, and now the utilisation of ‘data embassies’, Nick’s work aims to develop a greater understanding of the impact these technologies have on our traditional conceptualisations of the nation-state, border and embassy.
Leila Wilmers, Loughborough University
Leila is interested in questions of nationhood, nationalism and identity, particularly in pluri-national states and contexts of migration. Her PhD research focuses on perceptions of continuity in citizens’ understanding of the nation in post-Soviet Russia. The aim is to shed light on how citizens reconcile conflicting institutional narratives of the Russian nation and personal experiences of diversity and citizenship in their ideas of the nation.