Creativity, social justice and inequality research at heart of new Centre

Posted by ap507 at Oct 10, 2016 10:47 AM |
University of Leicester free public launch event for Centre for Critical and Creative Geographies taking place on Wednesday 12 October

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 10 October 2016

A new research Centre focusing on issues of social injustice both locally and globally is being formed by University of Leicester academics.

A free public launch event for the Centre for Critical and Creative Geographies will be taking place on Wednesday 12 October, which will feature a talk by Professor Cindi Katz from City University of New York.

During the lecture Professor Katz will be discussing how to research and understand contemporary inequalities and crises in the USA and some of the political, social and cultural relations and conditions of contemporary Geography worldwide. 

Professor Katz will also discuss the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute as an example of minor theory and practice.

The Detroit Geographical Expedition was a famous experiment in conducting geographical research with poor and marginalised communities to understand their concerns and everyday experiences of racism and inequality.

Fundamental to Professor Katz’s arguments about 'minor theory' is the need to theorize from the experiences and interests of marginalised sections of society, in order to challenge more dominant ways of understanding the contemporary world.

Professor Loretta Lees, Co-Director of the Centre for Critical and Creative Geographies at the University of Leicester with Professor Martin Phillips, said: “This is the first Centre for Critical and Creative Geographies in the UK. As critical geographers we are committed to working on the theory and practice needed to combat social injustice and oppression locally and globally and as creative geographers using creative methods to do so.”

The Centre for Critical and Creative Geographies draws together social science, geohumanities and critical geographic information science research at the University of Leicester.

Professor Kevin Tansey, Head of the University of Leicester Department of Geography, said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Katz to speak at the launch event of our new Centre. Geography is a complex discipline and research undertaken in this Centre will lead the development of new ideas and methods that are much needed in a changing world.”

The research taking place in the Centre addresses substantive research questions in many different sub-disciplines of geography, but what unites it is this critical perspective and an application of innovative and creative methodologies.

Research within the Centre for Critical and Creative Geographies is divided into three unique clusters:

Dr Gavin Brown, lead of the 'Everyday Geopolitical Lives' research cluster within the Centre, said: “We are critical geographers because we ask difficult and challenging questions about contemporary inequalities between people and between places. We use creative research methods and make creative use of digital technologies to research, analyse, map and visualize these difficult societal challenges, and offer solutions to them which promote social justice.”

The event, ‘The Everyday Geopolitical:Revisiting Minor Theory with the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute’, which is free and open to the public, takes place in the University of Leicester Bennett Building Lecture Theatre 1 on Wednesday 12 October, 2016 at 6:00PM.



For more information contact Dr Gavin Brown on

About Professor Cindi Katz:

Cindi Katz is Professor of Geography in Environmental Psychology and Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her work concerns social reproduction and the production of space, place and nature; children and the environment, and the consequences of global economic restructuring for everyday life. She has published widely on these themes as well as on social theory and the politics of knowledge in edited collections and in journals such as Society and Space, Social Text, Signs, Feminist Studies, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Social Justice, and Antipode. She is the editor (with Janice Monk) of Full Circles: Geographies of Gender over the Life Course (Routledge 1993) and of Life’s Work: Geographies of Social Reproduction (with Sallie Marston and Katharyne Mitchell) (Blackwell 2004). She recently completed Growing up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives with University of Minnesota Press in 2004. Katz held a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and she continues to work on the project she began there concerning the shifting geographies of late twentieth century US childhood.

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