There are so many aspects of a researcher's job that are not well reflected in most academic writing: exchange of ideas at conferences and workshops, methodological dilemmas, insights in the field, or resonance in the everyday, that are "too small" to "make it" as a full-size paper or chapter... This blog aims to make space for insights that happen within the scope of academic work, but do not always make it "out". It offers us, members of the Political Geography research group, the possibility to exercise the ability to be present differently in the field and other research settings. It allows us to cultivate an awareness to events and details that might fall through the cracks of more conventional academic writing.
With this blog, members of the Political Geography research group also explore other forms of writing than journal articles, book and theses chapters. We tackle issues that inspire us, namely around the themes of the politics of resource extraction, power and identity, violent terrirotialisation, and “north-south” power asymmetries.
Julian Kaiser defended in February 2019 his master thesis entitled “Good herder, bad herder – understanding the construction of Fulani herders’ identities by the local community in Agogo, Ghana”. It is embedded in the problematic of often violent conflicts between farmers and herders that can occur in West Africa around the damage of agricultural fields by cattle herds.
Dr. Tariq Jazeel, UCL, came to give a public lecture and a seminar on his new book "Postcolonialism" at our department on 26th February 2019. The seminar was very well received and we continued discussing about his work and how it is relevant to our own. Thamali Kithsiri, Benedikt Korf, Timothy Raeymaekers and Daniel Wolfe met to talk and think more about his inspiring work and ideas. From this initial impetus, a vivid discussion about the geographies of knowledge and the geographies of theory in a postcolonial world ensued.
At first glance, they seem identical - Two neighbouring communities, Murugu and Kaden, bordering Mole National Park in Ghana. Both are surrounded by savannah with scattered trees in farmed and fallow lands, where women collect shea nuts.