Geographical knowledge and theories of practice

Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, UK, Friday 5th November 2010

In Geography, as in other fields of social science, there is growing momentum behind what Schatzki et al. (2001) term ‘the practice turn in contemporary theory’. This one day workshop explores the potential and challenges of theories of practice for the making of geographical knowledge. It draws together an international group of scholars, from pre-eminent theorists to postgraduate researchers at the sharp end of pioneering ways to articulate theories of practice with empirical geographical research.

Over the day we will consider philosophical foundations of theories of practice, and their implications for geographical knowledge. But Geography is empirical as well as theoretical. For the practice turn to make a difference, it therefore has to be doable empirically as well as theoretically. Researching practices poses major challenges for the social sciences. It raises major questions of method, validity and representation, as well as of ethics, asking that social science itself reassess some of its most tried and tested research methods, understandings of evidence and ways of writing its research.
The workshop is free to attend, but no financial help can be offered with travel or accommodation.

Places are very limited, so please get in touch soon to register your interest. Please contact Matt Watson –

0900   Arrival and coffee
0930   Introduction, Matt Watson (Sheffield, UK), and introductions
0950   Ted Schatzki (Kentucky, US), provisional title Practice ontology and social space

1045   Coffee and tea

1105   Panel session, Geography and Practice
Megan Blake (Sheffield, UK)
Jonathan Everts (Bayreuth, Germany)
Peter Jackson (Sheffield, UK)
Kirsten Simonsen (Roskilde, Denmark)

1240   Lunch

1330   Elizabeth Shove (Lancaster), Theories of practice and questions of circulation, diffusion and reproduction.  A discussion of global cooling and indoor climate change.

1415   Empirical engagements – researching practices 1
Accounts of current empirical research engaging with theories of practice – challenges, innovations and insights from the sharp end.
Rosie Emeny (Sheffield, UK)
Anna Krzywoszynska (Sheffield, UK)
Niklas Woermann (St Gallen, Switzerland)

1515   Tea and coffee

1535   Empirical engagements – researching practices 2
Angela Meah (Sheffield, UK)
Jakob Wenzer (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Richard Milne (Sheffield, UK)

1630   Structured discussion, from iterative small groups to a final plenary

1730   Close

Later:  Fireworks?

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Dr Matt Watson

Lecturer in Human Geography
t     +44 (0) 114 2227911
f     +44 (0) 114 2797907
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN



One response

  1. Pingback: Geographical knowledge and theories of practice campus university

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