Conceptualising Spaces of Light and Dark

Myself and Dr. Rob Shaw from the Geography Department at Durham University are organising a very interesting event titled Conceptualising Spaces of Light and Dark on 14th Jan 2014. Here are a few details on that.

The theme of 'light and dark', while previously unstudied, has entered into urban studies and across geography more broadly in recent years (see Gallan and Gibson, 2011; Millington and Edensor, 2012, Forthcoming), emphasised by a four-session stream on light and dark at the 2013 RGS-IBG conference . As a topic, it intersects with a series of departmental research themes on atmospheres, energy use, well-being, infrastructure, electricity grids and sustainability. It also connects with the 2013-14 IAS theme of 'light'. The conference will be timed to follow Ankit Kumar's exhibition of photography and stories from his research titled 'Stories of Light' in Elvet Hill House (behind the Oriental Museum) from 6th to 10th January 2014, being developed out of his blog of the same name (

Aims and Details
The aim of this session is to reflect on how thinking-through light and dark can help us consider the spaces and places which we research. What does the tendency towards reduced light in cities tell us about the urban? How does this contrast with the continued spread of light and urbanization of the countryside of the Global South? How do light and dark get interpreted in different cultures, and what can this tell us about public and private space in these cultures?  This is a deliberately reflective and explorative session - its aim is to move beyond simply bringing questions of light and dark into geography, instead pushing towards exploring how these ideas can alter our understanding of the spaces that we research.

The event has been funded by the Durham University's Institute of Advanced Studies and the Department of Geography's Urban Worlds research Cluster.

A detailed plan of the event including speakers and topics can be found hereAttendance is free but spaces are limited. Please contact the convenors, Rob Shaw ( and Ankit Kumar (, if you wish to attend.


  1. The programme looks very interesting. Great initiative! I look forward to reading more about the event here.


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