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Hello, I just wanted to draw attention to a session a couple of the team are organising as part of the RGS-IBG Conference in London. Please get in touch if you’re interested in taking part whether you’re a geographer or other…

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, 28-30 August 2013

Second Call for Papers

Title: New frontiers of connecting communities in the creative economy

Organizers:

Saskia Warren, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham Phil Jones, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham

This session explores the research theme of Connected Communities, a major AHRC-led cross-Research Council programme, with address to the creative economy. The vision of the programme is to mobilize the potential for increasingly “inter-connected, culturally diverse communities to enhance participation, prosperity, sustainability, health and well-being by better connecting research, stakeholders and communities” (AHRC 2012). There is little research, however, on how geographers would conceptualize the theme of connected communities in the creative economy. Of particular interest to the session is work on the creative economy that engages with policy-making, inequalities and/or ‘hard to reach’ communities.

Policy associated with the ‘Big Society’ (Cameron 2010), with emphasis on localized and distributed forms of governance alongside reductions on public spending, is transforming the role of the state and cultural organizations. Contradictions of increased expectation placed on community-driven initiatives and a climate of major cuts to public services need to be addressed to understand the future of participation in the creative economy. It is also clear organizations that are not usually associated with the creative industries are employing creative practices to connect with new individuals and groups. Research on forms of cultural intermediation (Bourdieu 1979) in the creative economy has shown recently that activities are usually multi-level and networked, involving individuals, communities, institutions, agencies and local/national government (Woo 2012; Baker 2012; Wright 2005). This broadening of scope on the work of the creative economy has stimulated the provocation ‘we are all cultural intermediaries now’ (Maguire and Matthews 2012: 552).

This session will investigate theories and processes of connecting communities in the creative economy considering: its meaning; its value; the ways in which it operates today; who is included and excluded; and whether it can operate more effectively, particularly in the context of public sector funding cuts.
We invite papers that focus on any aspect of the creative economy, including: cultural promotion and preservation; creative activities; creative communications; and creative interfaces. Contributions could explore (but are not limited to):

– Governance and localism in the creative economy
– The ‘Big Society’, communities and the creative economy
– Changing policy and the creative economy
– The meaning/s of community
– Evaluating the impact of the creative economy (e.g well-being; sickness; resilience; skills-building; networking; regeneration; gentrification)
– Inequalities in the creative economy
– Creative economy in city-regions or urban-rural networks
– Digital and connected/disconnected communities
– Theoretical and/or practical innovations on connected communities (e.g cultural intermediation; participatory methods; evaluation models)
– Other spaces of the creative economy
– Gender, sex and difference in the creative economy

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words to Saskia Warren S.Warren@bham.ac.uk and Phil Jones P.I.Jones@bham.ac.uk by January 31, 2013.

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