Mapping a Research Agenda for Planetary Rural Geographies


Michael Woods, Aberystwyth University,

Damian Maye, University of Gloucestershire,

Chi-Mao Wang, National Taiwan University,

In a recent paper in Dialogues in Human Geography, Wang et al (2023) propose a new framework for ‘planetary rural geographies’. The proposal contributes to a growing body of literature critiquing the idea of planetary urbanization and reasserting the significance of the rural as a category and of parallel processes of ruralization. Wang et al however move beyond other critiques by more fully embracing the potential of planetary thinking in rural studies, open to plural, decolonial epistemologies, and concerned not only with the horizontal interconnectivity of the global countryside, but also with vertical aerial and subsurface connections and with more-than-human relationalities. The rural is positioned as central to understanding and addressing planetary crises, functioning as a space of crisis, a space of conflict, and a space of hope. Presenters in a session at last year’s RGS-IBG Conference illustrated the possibilities of planetary rural geographies, with examples ranging from land abandonment to nuclear energy to non-human encroachment in Indian ‘ghost villages’. This panel aims to build on this foundation by mapping out a research agenda for planetary rural geographies. It will feature invited panelists who will approach the discussion from mobility/migration, more-than-human, decolonial, vertical geography, and political ecology perspectives, providing thoughts on research questions and topics, concepts, methods and research practices. Each panelist will speak for 10 minutes, followed by an open discussion.

Panelists are being approached and are to be confirmed.