Climate change is the most urgent political issue of our time. It poses challenges both in terms of how we think about the present, and how we imagine the future. Education  – including higher education – and research have a key role to play in this. In addition to scientific research focusing on determinants and consequences of climate change, and activism that aims to change what we can do about them, we also need to consider how our own practices of knowledge production reflect, compound, and can work to transform the processes that led to the climate crisis – from extraction of natural resources to colonization and reproduction of inequalities on the global level.

Culture, politics and global justice research cluster is pleased to invite you to the first lecture in our series of events exploring different facets – political, economic, sociological, and geographical, to name just a few – of transformation of universities and other institutions of knowledge production in order to support transition to a low-carbon world:

Dr Richard Budd

Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University

Imagining Universities as Landscapes

20 November, 5.30-7PM
Faculty of Education, Donald MacIntyre Building, Room GS1

The term ‘landscape’ is often invoked in higher education scholarship, almost always as a broad but indeterminate framing metaphor around universities’ social or political dimensions, rather than in the vernacular – i.e. topographical – sense. Geographers have, however, developed a conceptual framework around the notion of landscapes as historically, culturally, and politically embedded material spaces which shape, and are shaped by, human and non-human activity alike. While there is a great deal of research on the lived experience of universities, as well as an established literature on university architectures and layout, there is little which considers them in combination. Expanding on this framework and drawing on a number of examples, I suggest that imagining universities as landscapes offers a richer way of understanding life in higher education than scholarship has presented to date.

‘Transforming universities for a post-carbon world’ will run throughout the academic year 2019-20. The lecture will be followed by an open discussion. All are welcome and no pre-registration is required. The venue is fully accessible. For questions or queries, contact Dr Jana Bacevic at jb906@cam.ac.uk.