Welcome to the website home of the Rural Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Click on the menu items above or the links to the right to explore both the history and current efforts of the group.

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For the Fall 2014 Rural Geography Specialty Group newsletter, please send…

field research pictures
division updates
CFP’s for the 2015 AAG meeting in Chicago
information about other cognate conferences
grants, publications, new hire information
rural geographers in the news
and other items that you might want to share

to m.a.lelea@ditsl.org or malelea@ucdavis.edu by September 26th, 2014.

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Get involved with the 8th Quadrennial Conference of British, Canadian, and America Rural Geographers

Call for Interest


Global Challenges and Rural Responses

The Eighth Quadrennial Conference of British,

Canadian, and American Rural Geographers
2015 Swansea – Aberystwyth

(Provisional dates: July 6-12, 2015)



In the tradition of international collaborative rural geographical endeavors, the RGSG is looking for strong representatives for the U.S. delegation to the 8th Quadrennial British-Canadian-American Conference on Rural Geography in July 2015, to be held in Swansea and Aberystwyth, Wales. We expect to send a delegation of 12 to 15 members.  Student presenters are welcome and encouraged. One funded student delegate position will go to the winner of the 2015 student research award, which is described after this call (http://rgsg.wordpress.com/awards/). For more information on the Student Award, please contact Chris Laingen at crlaingen@eiu.edu.


The conference is intensive and allows for high-quality interaction between participants. Attendees will experience sessions in multiple sites in Wales. Relevant rural excursions and free time are part of the conference experience. One of the outputs of the Quadrennial meetings is an edited book, or, as in the case of the 7th Quadrennial meeting, a special edition of the Journal of Rural and Community Development (volume 8, issue 3).


For planning purposes, if you are interested in being considered part of the delegation, please email Jill Clark (clark.1099@osu.edu) by October 1st, 2014. Please include whether you would be requesting funding. Funding has not been secured. But if funding would make the meeting more accessible, we need a sense of the total amount needed when trying to raise funds.  In addition, please include any ideas you have for possible funding sources.


The costs of the conference will be determined by October, but are expected to be about $1000 USD, plus transportation costs to and from Wales. We will share details as they are finalized.


We expect to issue a Call for Applications in October, with an anticipated deadline of December 1st, 2014 and selection of delegates by January 1st, 2015.



Jill K. Clark

Assistant Professor

John Glenn School of Public Affairs

Ohio State University






Proposal Guidelines for the 2014 RGSG Student Research Award

Recipient will be the RGSG’s student representative at the Eighth Quadrennial Conference of British, Canadian, and American Rural Geographers, 2015 Swansea – Aberystwyth (Provisional dates: July 6-12, 2015)

Proposal is due no later than Friday, November 21, 2014 (in MS Word format) and should be emailed to Dr. Chris Laingen (crlaingen@eiu.edu), RGSG Awards Director.  The recipient of the award will be notified no later than Friday, December 19, 2014.

The proposal should be no longer than 18 pages in length and include the following parts:

  1. Cover Page (1 page)
  • Project Title
  • Student’s Name
  • Affiliation
  • Contact Information


  1. Project Summary (single-spaced, 1 page)
  • Intellectual Merit
    • What about your project encompasses the potential to advance knowledge?
  • Broader Impact
    • What about your project encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes?


  1. Project Description (double-spaced, not to exceed 15 pages)
  • Introduction
  • Background / Literature Review
  • Objectives of the Study
  • Methods
  • Results (if available)
  • References Cited
  • Tentative Timeline / Work-Plan


  1. Biographical Sketch (1 page)

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Chris Laingen (crlaingen@eiu.edu), RGSG Awards Director.



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RGSG Election Results – Board of Directors and ByLaws

After the first-ever online elections for RGSG, we would like to welcome Ryan Bergstrom as Chair, and Jill Clark and Julia Haggerty to the Board of Directors. Thank you to all candidates who volunteered to be a part of this process.

The by-laws passed with 72% yes, 24% abstain, and 2% No.

Special thanks to RGSG Secretary and Treasurer, Dawn Drake for organizing the elections from start to finish.

Gratitude to Kirsten Valentine Cadieux, for her past few years as RGSG chair, for leading the group with strategic vision, kindness, and dedication and to Jesse Abrams and Nick Gill for their service to the Board of Directors.

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Emotional Political Ecologies

Please distribute. (Spanish below/ En castellano más abajo). Apologies for cross-posting. 

Call for Abstracts: Special Session on Emotional Political Ecology

1st Latin American Conference in Political Ecology

Santiago de Chile, 22-24 October 2014


Session Organizers: Marien González-Hidalgo, Beatriz Bustos and Christos Zografos (ENTITLE-European Network of Political Ecology- www.politicalecology.eu )

Although emotions are probably an element present in environmental conflicts, the relation between emotions, power and environmental change has only recently started to get systematically studied in the field of political ecology. Notably, feminist political ecologists such as Farhana Sultana (2011), have engaged emerging fields like emotional geographies, demonstrating that resource struggles and conflicts are not just material challenges but also emotional ones, which are mediated through bodies, spaces and emotions. Andrea Nightingale (2011) has also highlighted the role of emotions in the constitution of the commons, as a new understanding of cooperation that incorporates feminist research on emotion and subjectivity with institutional studies. More recently, the work of Neera Singh (2013) opens the discussion to the consideration of affective labor in processes of construction of subjectivities. This session aims at advancing the study of emotions within political ecology by fostering a debate about theoretical frameworks and action research agendas that can contribute to understanding everyday corporal and emotional experiences taking place in environmental conflicts. Researchers studying psychosocial processes occurring in the context of specific environmental changes and conflicts in Latin America and beyond are particularly encouraged to participate.

We invite empirical and conceptual contributions to our session. Possible topics include – but are not limited to:

• Emotions, environmental change and conflicts

• The role of affect and emotions in research methodologies exploring environmental conflicts

• Embodied and emotional aspects of the production of nature

• The role of affect and emotions in facilitating governmentality and/ or resistance

• Reflections on the practice of research as an emotional experience

• Conceptualizing affect and care within political ecology

Please send a title and an abstract of up to 300 words to Marien González (mariengonzalez@uchilefau.cl) by June 10th, 2014.

For more information about the conference and to register, see http://congresoecologiapolitica.uchilefau.cl/

Llamado a resúmenes : Sesión especial sobre Ecología Política y Emociones

1 ª Conferencia Latinoamericana de Ecología Política

Santiago de Chile , 22-24 de octubre 2014


Organizadores de la sesión : Marien González-Hidalgo, Beatriz Bustos y Christos Zografos (ENTITLE-European Network of Political Ecology- www.politicalecology.eu )

Aunque las emociones son probablemente un elemento presente en todos los conflictos ambientales, el estudio sistemático acerca de la relación entre las emociones, el poder y las transformaciones ambientales en la ecología política, es reciente. Algunas ecólogas políticas feministas como Farhana Sultana (2011), mediante su vinculación con el campo emergente de las geografías emocionales, ha podido demostrar que los conflictos por los recursos naturales no son únicamente problemas materiales , sino también emocionales, y que éstos son mediados a través de los cuerpos, los espacios y las emociones. Andrea Nightingale (2011) también ha llamado la atención sobre el papel de las emociones en la constitución de los bienes comunes, desde un aporte que suma a la perspectiva institucional, la perspectiva de la investigación feminista en emoción y subjetividad a la hora de analizar las formas de cooperación. Más recientemente , el trabajo de Neera Singh ( 2013 ) abre la discusión a la consideración del trabajo afectivo en los procesos de construcción de subjetividades. El objetivo de esta sesión tiene es avanzar en el estudio de las emociones dentro de la ecología política, fomentando un debate sobre los marcos teóricos y las agendas de investigación-acción que pueden contribuir a la comprensión cotidiana de las experiencias emocionales y corporales que tienen lugar en los conflictos ambientales . Animamos especialmente a participar a investigadores/as que estudien procesos psicosociales en conflictos ambientales en América Latina.

Invitamos a enviar contribuciones empíricas y conceptuales para nuestra sesión. Los siguientes son algunos temas posibles (pero no limitantes):

Emociones, transformaciones ambientales y conflictos

El papel de los afectos y las emociones en las metodologías de investigación que exploran los conflictos ambientales

Aspectos emocionales y corporales de la producción de la naturaleza

El papel de los afectos y las emociones en la facilitación de la gubernamentalidad y / o resistencia

Reflexiones sobre la práctica de la investigación como una experiencia emocional

Conceptualización del afecto y cuidado en la ecología política

Por favor envíe un título y un resumen de hasta 300 palabras a Marien González ( mariengonzalez@uchilefau.cl ) antes del 10 de junio de 2014.

Para obtener más información sobre la conferencia y para registrarse, ver http://congresoecologiapolitica.uchilefau.cl/

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Candidate Biographies for the 2014 Elections to the RGSG Board of Directors

For RGSG candidate biographies, please go to: http://rgsg.wordpress.com/about/2014-elections-to-the-board-of-directors/

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Quick Guide to RGSG Sessions at the AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa

Quick Guide AAG Annual Meeting 2014 Thank you Jesse Abrams for putting this together.

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Spring 2014 Newsletter now available

Spring 2014 Newsletter available now including revised bylaws for review, upcoming elections and nominations of new board members, research highlights, publications, notable news, a guide of RGSG sessions at the Tampa AAG and more…

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