Conferencing the International: a cultural and historical geography of the origins of internationalism (1919-1939)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Geography

Abstract

One of the largely forgotten legacies of the First World War was the belief that peace would result from connections between and across national borders, the fault lines of the war itself. After the centenaries of the War have concluded, we will argue that we should remember how hopes for peace were tied to hopes for connections across the earth; that is, for "the international".

Forging these connections and new worlds required new sites of interaction, meeting, learning and friendship making. These sites were the international "conferences" of the interwar period, the places in which internationalism was forged and politically debated, emerging through conversation, disagreement, dance, song, taste, and laughter. Through piecing together the records of these meetings, we will provide a rich history of the spaces through which the international was created and challenged, and in which it floundered.

Existing literature has shown that conferences had grown in popularity towards the end of the 19th century, connected to wider showcases such as world fairs and universal exhibitions (35 between 1900-1910) and to the explicitly internationalist claims of the socialist and communist left. But there is a dearth of research into modern international conferences that emerged specifically to take advantage of the opportunities the post-war world offered for peace. For some, peace was the stability of pre-existing colonial empires; for others, peace was "not-war"; while to others, peace required the destruction of the pre-war political landscape.

We will examine three sets of conferences that demonstrate these visions of peace and their forms of internationalism that were emerging through and in tension with specific nations (Britain, France and the USA): the Round Table conferences on the future of India in the British Empire (Legg), the International Studies conferences of the League of Nations's ICIC (Heffernan), and the Pan-African Congresses (Hodder). Each of these conferences provided a public commentary on the changes brought by the war and the prospects of a new international order which it was seen to make possible. It was the secret negotiations before and during World War I which exposed the urgent need for public political meetings, to which people would travel from around the globe; these meeting spaces are what international conferences provided.

We know very little about the internal spaces of these conferences. Internationalism wasn't centrally organised; it took place through specific, brief meetings of overlapping groups in particular locations. As a result, the archives of modern internationalism is fragmented and dispersed. This project will re-assemble and re-interpret these archives through an analysis of the infrastructures, materials and performances of the inter-war international conference: where people stayed; how their days were planned; how clothing and manners facilitated or hindered certain meetings; what they discussed, and how.

One hundred years after the First World War it is often claimed that modern digital technology and instantaneous communication will render the practice of conferencing obsolete. Yet our globalised world is still shaped by G20 meetings, Climate Change Summits and World Economic Forums, embedding locations like Davos and Kyoto in the international geographical imagination. This project will historically situate and explain how conferencing in our contemporary period remains as important as ever. We will communicate our research through a co-authored monograph and an edited volume resulting from a major international conference and exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society on international conferencing at the end of the award, as well as with smaller workshops that will bring together academics, conferencing professionals, and community groups with interests in the global cast that these meetings assembled.

Planned Impact

Our research findings will be publicly launched immediately after the centennial commemoration of the Armistice in 2018, tapping into the substantial informed and curious public opinion which will have been created by four years of war centenaries. We will shine a new light on the interwar years through emphasising the international, the non-European, and the microcosms of the conferencing world. The highly visual research material will provide ample opportunities for cultural enrichment that will benefit the creative and media industries via our multi-sensory histories of the fashions, foods, interior decors, comportments and performances of the interwar world. Beyond popular interest we will specifically target three groups of beneficiaries.

1. Professional practitioners: To enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of outside organisations with potential benefits to the UK's global economic performance, we will share historical lessons of how conferences succeed or fail with these practitioners, presenting examples of successful host venues, programmes, etiquette and infrastructures, and the range of spaces used to combine business negotiation with environmental enjoyment that will inspire and improve their economic performance. Our workshops and international conference will provide a valuable networking event with contemporaries from cognate professions. We will select the most suitable practitioners to collaborate with from the following: representatives of NGOs and other agencies involved in international conference organisation; representatives of commercial companies specialising in conference organisation such as Bond Dickinson LLP, Informa, Getenergy, and World Business Research; representatives from the hotel and hospitality management industries; and representatives from a selection of learned societies involved in conference organisation, including the Royal Geographical Society and the International Geographical Congress.

2. Representatives of the modern incarnations of the historical conferences under study: these beneficiaries will learn about the history of their organisations, what made them succeed, and what made them fail. This will enhance their sense of institutional confidence and pride, provide new historical perspectives, and provoke them to reflect on their racial and international identities. These will include representatives of the UNESCO (see letter of support), Round Table organisation, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings and the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the on-going Pan-African conferences. The infrastructures which supported the conferences also have contemporary manifestations. These hotels, restaurants, bars, and institutions will also be actively involved in the network of academic and non-academic partners, increasing their awareness of their historic roles which will present various opportunities for business collaborations with similar institutions and marketing opportunities.

3. British South Asian and Black communities: the research will benefit society and encourage personal pride by providing inspirational role models and creating new public knowledge. The Round Table and Pan-African conferences represented early if temporary moments of cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism in Britain and abroad. The figures involved will be an inspiration to black, Asian and minority ethnicity communities, especially children, who will get to learn about inspiring figures such as Gandhi and WEB DuBois. We will build on extensive connections forged by Heffernan as Co-Director of the AHRC World War One Engagement Centre which addresses national and faith communities that were excluded from WWI commemorations nationwide. We will work to enhance community cohesion via gatekeeper organisations such as the New Art Exchange (see letter of support), Nottingham's Pakistan Centre, the Hindu Community Centre, and the Afro Caribbean National Artistic Centre.

Publications

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Legg S (2016) Dyarchy Democracy, Autocracy, and the Scalar Sovereignty of Interwar India in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East

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Hodder J (2016) Toward a Geography of Black Internationalism: Bayard Rustin, Nonviolence, and the Promise of Africa in Annals of the American Association of Geographers

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Legg S (2016) Subject to truth: Before and after governmentality in Foucault's 1970s in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

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Hodder J (2017) Waging peace: militarising pacifism in Central Africa and the problem of geography, 1962 in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

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Jons, H (2017) Mobilities of Knowledge

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Powell R (2017) Interventions in the political geographies of 'area' in Political Geography

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Legg S (2017) Decolonialism in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

 
Description We hosted three planned workshops with "professional practitioners". There were held at the University of Nottingham, in a Nottingham art gallery and at Central Hall in Westminster, London. We shared our research with conference organisers, gallery workers and international conference organisers.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Education,Other
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Nottingham Art Exchange 
Organisation Nottingham Art Exchange
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Nottingham Art Exchange were named in our application as a partner with whom we would develop a working relationship over the four year duration of the grant. We have met with the director of the gallery and discussed how we can work together as the grant progresses.
Collaborator Contribution Skinder Hundal, the Director, is keen to be a gatekeeper to local community groups with whom we plan to do impact and knowledge exchange work.
Impact Nothing to report as of yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description Royal Geographical Society - Institute of British Geographers 
Organisation Royal Geographical Society
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution We held a major international conference at the RGS in December 2018 and organised an exhibition which was hosted there from December 2018 to January 2019, bringing new audiences to the venue and contributing to the institution's self awareness as an historical conference site itself. We have been sending historical mentions of the RGS to Catherine Souch and will continue to do so.
Collaborator Contribution The RGS-IBG hosted our concluding conference, offering financial and infrastructural assistance as well as expert advice on putting together the exhibition and conference. The archive team contributed to a display cabinet incorporating items from the RGS collections.
Impact The main output will came in 2018 in the form of a major international conference and exhibition. We have turned the exhibition materials into a permanent "virtual exhibition" which presents research and teaching materials: https://spacesofinternationalism.omeka.net/
Start Year 2015
 
Description "Historical Geographies of International Conferences" panel at the International Conference of Historical Geographers, Warsaw, Poland, 17th July 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Stephen Legg, Jake Hodder and Mike Heffernan organised this panel on "Historical Geographies of International Conferences" for this major international conference of historical geographers. We expored the methodological challenges associated with researching conferences and presented empirical findings from our work. The conference was mostly aimed at academics but members of the public could participate. We had many conversations about our work and established new working relationships with international colleagues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://ichg2018.uw.edu.pl/
 
Description "Remaking Internationalism" article in Geographical Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The article "Remaking Internationalism" was lead authored by Jake Hodder and appeared in the magazing of the Royal Geographical Society, "Geographical". The article related our historical concerns to contemporary debates about globalisation Vs protectionism, in the context of populist politics worldwide. The magazine is an optional benefit of RGS membership and is sold at commercial venues. The object was to inform the public about our geographical approach to internationalism and to relate it to contemporary affairs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://geographical.co.uk/magazine/issues/item/3007-december-2018
 
Description "Spaces of Internationalism" virtual exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The materials produecd for our 2018-19 exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society have been reformatted and turned into an online "virtual exhibition". The website is designed to be public faving and user friendly. It includes links to images, websites, free to access article and period pieces of film which advance the broader aim of our project to enhance public understand of interwar internationalism. The website launched in early February 2019 and we are using "google analytics" to track website traffic and the use of particular resources. Each image has a "comments" box to encourage future debate and engagement. We have shared the website on twitter and will be rolling it out to our teacher contacts and encouraging academics to use it in their teaching.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://spacesofinternationalism.omeka.net/
 
Description "Spotlight on: Stephen Legg" blog for the CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF INTERNATIONALISM website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Stephen Legg was invited to be the first participant in a new initiative of the "Centre for the Study of Internationalism", based at Birkbeck, University of London. The blog took the form of an interview during which the grant research was explaiined and the empirical and methodological challenges explained. The aim was to explain for a general audience how we had been doing our work/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://centreforthestudyofinternationalism.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/member-spotlight-stephen-legg/
 
Description 'On being at sea: historically experiencing movement across the waves': a panel at the RGS-IBG Conference, Cardiff, August 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact In this panel at the annual Royal Geographical Society-IBG conference Jake Hodder and Stephen Legg collated five papers that encouraged us to reflect on non-earth (but still Earth-bound) geographies. It had become apparent during our research into interwar international conferences that transit was an essential part of the conference experience, and conference labour. Although the interwar period was one of accelerating time-space compression it was still one in which most journeys to conferences were by sea and were (by today's standards) relatively ponderous. This set us to thinking about how we might consider these journeys at sea, what we can know about them, and how they affected the way people related both to their destination and their place of departure. The audience engaged in Q&As after each paper and conversations continued after the panel. Though mostly academic, the conference is open to all who register. Plans for future collaboration were made with one of the participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2018/10/01/on-being-at-sea/
 
Description A series of academic presentations made by the research team 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jake Hodder Academic presentations:
• 2018, February, Cultural and Histroical Geography Research Seminar Nottingham "In Search of Pan-Africa"
• 2018, April, Seminar Cultures of Translation at Birmingham City University "Translating the International Peace Movement"
• 2018, April, American Association of Geographers Conference Paper, New Orleans, "To Look and Feel like a State: The Pan-African Congress and Interwar Diplomacy"
• 2018, July the International Conference of Historical Geographers, Warsaw, Poland, "'A Journey to Pan-Africa': Retracing the Pan-African Congress, 1919-1927"
• 2018, August. Royal Geographical Society Conference Paper, Cardiff, "Political Geographies of Pan-Africa: New Hopes and Failed Promises in the Wilsonian Moment"
• 2018. April. European and British Association of American Studies Conference Paper, London "To Look and Feel like a State: The Pan-African Congress and Interwar Diplomacy"

Stephen Legg Academic presentations
• 2019, February, "The Imperial International: The Round Table Conference and the Making of India in London, 1930-32", Law School Research Seminar, University of Warwick
• 2018, August, "On being at sea: historically experiencing movement across the waves" session at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Cardiff, Wales.
• 2018, July, International Conference of Historical Geographers, Warsaw, Poland paper entitled "Imperial Internationalism: The Round Table Conference and the Making of India in London, 1930-32"
• 2018, April, AAG Annual Conference, New Orleans, USA paper "Conveying Atmosphere: Weather, Failure, and the Archive of the Round Table Conference"

Mike Heffernan Academic presentations
• 2018, December, Cultural and Histroical Geography Research Seminar Nottingham "Geography and Internationalism in Britain after 2018", Cultural and Historical Geography Seminar Series, University of Nottingham, UK.
• 2018, July, "Mapping Peaceful Change: An Historical Geography of the International Studies Conference, Paris 1937" the International Conference of Historical Geographers, Warsaw, Poland
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Advisory Board Meeting, July 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We held and Advisory Board meeting in July 2016 where the UK based members came to Nottingham for two days. We presented summaries of our research plans, heard about board members' work and sought advice on how best to procede.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/interwarconf/documents/advisory-board-first-meeting-repo...
 
Description Advisory Board Meeting, July 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We held an Advisory Board meeting in July 2017 where the UK based members came to Nottingham for two days. We presented summaries of our research plans, heard about board members' work and sought advice on how best to procede. We involved postgraduate students and then blogged a report about the workshop so that members of the public could follow the progress of our work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2017/08/01/2nd-annual-advisory-board-meeting-july...
 
Description Article printed in Geography, the magazine of the Geographical Association 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An article was published in the Geographical Association's magazine "Geography". This is primarily targetted at geography teachers. The article explained the grant research and made the case for its subject matter being of value for school teaching. The full reference is:

Legg, S. (2019) Global Governance and Place Making: India, Internationalism and Empire in 1930s London Geography Spring, 4-11.

The GA has a broad membership and all members will receive a copy of the magazine, while member institutions will be able to access it on line.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.geography.org.uk/Journals/GA-Magazine
 
Description Black History Month school visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Dr Jake Hodder visited a local school during Black History Month to test a teaching pack he had devised, which included materials for a half-hour assembly, and two separate hour-long workshops, one aimed at younger students, and one older. He trialled both of these workshops twice. The focus of the assembly and lessons was on Marcus Garvey, one of the leading Pan-African figures of the 1920s. The aims of both of these workshops was to create an engaging activity that would encourage students to think critically about the past. They sought to draw on the latest academic scholarship, including some of the insights from this research, which has shown the importance of understanding Pan-Africanism not simply as a political project, but one in which social, cultural, artistic and intellectual elements combined. These 'enrichment' lessons blended together history, geography and literacy skills with a number of broader questions relating to citizenship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2017/11/01/black-history-month-2017/
 
Description Blogging 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have continued to maintain our blog, also using twitter to further advertise blog posts. We post on the first of the month, with blogs containing summaries of archival visits, recaps of discussions at reading groups, and adverts for forthcoming events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/
 
Description Blogging 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have continued to maintain our blog, also using twitter to further advertise blog posts. We post on the first of the month, with blogs containing summaries of archival visits, recaps of discussions at reading groups, and adverts for forthcoming events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/
 
Description Blogging 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact We launched our blog which has featured regular updates from the research team on archival trips, reading groups, and conference activity.

We have made connections with other blogs and plan to cooperate in the future to share each other's work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/
 
Description Blogs on out "interwar conferencing" page 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have continued to post monthly updates on our blog, including updates from the research team on archival trips, reading groups, and conference activity. We have made connections with other blogs and plan to cooperate in the future to share each other's work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/
 
Description Conference sessions at the RGS-IBG Conference 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Hodder and Prof Legg organised two panels at the annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, held in London in August 2017. The panels were entitled "Anti-Colonialism and the Spaces of Political Negotiation" and included presenters from academic institutions in the UK, Ireland, Sri Lanka, South Korea. We were able to use our sponsorship of the Sri Lankan candidate to secure a fee waiver from the RGS-IBG. The session was well attended and in discussions afterwards with audience members and presenters there was an agreement that the panel had changed peoples views about the spaces and mechanisms through which anti-colonialism had operated.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://conference.rgs.org/AC2017/8d52279d-f98b-4eaa-877e-a2b55ce70fed
 
Description Conference/Seminar presentations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Papers were presented at conferences, symposia and seminar series by the team members to communicate our work to students, staff and the general public. These included presentaations by team members at the following:

Hodder

1. RGS-IBG International Conference, London, UK. August, 2017
2. London Group of Historical Geographers Seminar Series, London, UK. October, 2017
3. Cultural and Historical Geography Seminar Series, University of Nottingham, UK, February 28, 2018

Legg:

1. Contemporary South Asia Seminar, Department of International Development, University of Oxford. February 2017
2. Department of Sociology, University of Delhi. March 2017.
3. O.P. Jindal Global University, Harayana, India. March 2017.
4. 20s30sNetwork: Workshop on "Display": University of Nottingham, May 2017
5. RGS-IBG International Conference, London, UK. August 2017
6. Geographical Association lecture, University of Nottingham. March 2017
7. Warwick Law School, University of Warwick. March 2017

Heffernan:
1. International Conference on the History of Science and Technology in Rio de Janeiro.July 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Conference/Seminar presentations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Papers were presented at various conferences and seminar series to trial the research and gain feedback. Stephen Legg presented work at the following events

States and their Making:International and Comparative Perspectives Conference, Lund University Sweden, May 19-20 2016

Technologies of Stateness: International Organizations and the Making of States Conference, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 15 - 16 September 2016

School of Geography Seminar Series, King's College, London, 2nd November 2016

History Research Seminar, University of Manchester,10th November 2016

Institute of Asia Pacific Studies, University of Nottingham, 15th December 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Geographies of Sensory Politics: Re-thinking Atmospheres Session at the New Orleans Association of American Geographers Conference, April 10th 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Geographies of Sensory Politics: Re-thinking Atmospheres Session at the New Orleans Association of American Geographers Conference, April 10th 2018

One of our broader objectives in "Conferencing the International" is to conceive of conferences as multi-sensory spaces and to question the extent to which we can explore sensory geographies of the past and their impact on international politics. This session afforded an opportunity to discuss the challenges in this and similar tasks, assembling five speakers from within and beyond the geographical discipline. The audience was mostly academic but the conference was open to anyone who registered. The session was very well attended, with Q&As after each presentation and continued debate after the presentations and into a conference dinner that evening.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2018/05/01/geographies-sensory-politics-re-thinki...
 
Description Lecture given to the Nottingham branch of the Geographical Association 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 21st March 2019 Stephen Legg presented a lecture to the Nottingham Branch of the Geographical Association. The branch brings local school children to the university once a year to hear members of the School of Geography present their work. The lecture was entitled: "Globalisation and Empire: Global Governance, Colonial India and 1930s London". It made the case for school students thinking of globalisation historically and of thinking of "place making" as always linked to global processes. The attempt was to link project research to (unconnected) parts of the Geography GCSE and A'Level syllabi. A large number of schools attended. and several tweeted commentaries on the presentations. One school later tweeted an image of a brainstorming board students had completed over the following week, reflecting on the themes rasied. There was a lengthy Q&A session after the lecture and member of the public emailed the following week with a follow up query. I will be visitng one of the schools to deliver a similar presentation in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2018/07/01/international-conferences-geographical...
 
Description Lecture to the Members of the Royal Geographical Society on 10th December 2018: "Geography and Internationalism in Britain after 2018" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Mike Heffernan delivered a lecture to members of the Royal Geographical Society entittled "Geography and Internationalims in Britain after 1918". It introduced our project and used examples from the history of international geographical conferences to further relate the core concerns of our project. The lectures are popular with the majority of the audience being non academic members. The paper was followed by a lengthy Q&A session and a dinner at which further engagement with members of the Society took place.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at the Geographical Association's 125 anniversary conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Stephen Legg presented a summary of his work at the 125th anniversay conference of the Geographical Association. The audience was mostly teachers, and the presentation made the case for considering the places and history of globalisation in teaching geography today. The presentation was entitled "Globalisation and Empire: Global Governance, Colonial India and 1930s London". The paper was followed by a Q&A and several follow up conversations with teachers who were interested in this work. I also used the conference as an opportunity to talk to representatives of publishers who put together teaching packs for GCSE and A'Level syllabi, explaining our work and seeing out further contacts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2018/07/01/international-conferences-geographical...
 
Description RGS Conference: "Conferencing the International: Spaces of Modern Internationalism", 18th & 19th December 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Built in to the grant application was a commitment to hold an "international conference on international conferencing" as close as possible to the final anniversary of the First World War (11/11/2018). On Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th December, we met for this primary public event of the 'Conferencing the International' project. The venue was our partner organisation, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in South Kensington, London. Speakers had been flown in from Europe and the USA, including two keynote speakers. The conference was free to attend and the audience included non-academics and members of the public. There was a conference dinner and exhibition launch on the first evening, which allowed for interaction between delegates and audience members. Many new connections were made and dialogies established.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2019/02/01/conferencing-the-international/
 
Description Spaces of Internationalism Exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of our collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society we held an exhibition in their specially constructed exhibition space at the institutions home on Exhibiiton Road in South Kensington. The exhibition drew on research gathered throughout the project, whilst also drawing together new materials to complement our empirical foci. The exhibition presented 12 scales of internationalism, 12 forgotton behind the scenes figures, a map of international London, and a cabinet of historical artefacts and documents relating the history of the discipline of Geography from an international perspective. The exhibition was free to the public and ran from 17th December 2018 to 22nd January 2019.

The aim was to inform public opinion on interwar internationalism, and to make geographers aware of their discipline's history. Participants in the RGS's weekly lectures engaged with the exhibition, as did members of the public drawn in from Exhibiiton Road. A guestbook contained over 100 signatures and comments by the end of the exhibition, reflecting on it's timeliness, and making links to globalisation and Brexit. A public launch was held on 17th December with a drinks reception and introduction to the exhibitions by the team, this was attended by members of the public and many conversations about our project were had.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Workshop I: Campus Conferences 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact On December 20th 2017 we hosted a workshop at the University of Nottingham which brought together contemporary conference practitioners with academics who have researched conference/events on campus and/or hosted them. We had two afternoon sessions. In the first session we heard from three teams who organise conference events on local campuses, representing: the University of Nottingham (UoN); Nottingham Trent University (NTU); the events team of the University of Nottingham Students' Union. We were also joined by members of the University of Nottingham's Centre for Advanced Study who advise on bidding for conference funds within grant-writing. In the second session we tried to provide materials that could help the UoN team reflect on the history of events on campus. We gained a tremendous amount in terms of insights into the current conferencing industry, some of the foundations of which were lain in the interwar period, which is the focus of our research.The attendees reported various benefits, from gaining insights into their professional practice by comparing their work to peers (NTU and UoN staff) and through gaining insights into the history of conferencing at Nottingham to use in marketting the campus as a conference venue.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2018/02/01/conferencing-and-universities/
 
Description Workshop II: Spaces of Display, 27 March 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our second practitioner workshop, 'Spaces of Display', met in March at Primary, an artist-led studio and exhibition space situated in a former Victorian primary school in Nottingham.

The setting was generative of the overall aim and ambition of the workshop: to explore some of the wider themes of the project in relation to conferences as curated spaces of display and affect in dialogue with a number of representatives from Nottingham's museum and gallery community, for whom such questions are common features of their daily work.

Participants came with a wide range of organising experience from a number of leading exhibition spaces in the city and beyond including Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Museums (including Nottingham Castle and Newstead Abbey), Nottingham Lakeside Art, Sheringham Park (National Trust), as well as Primary itself.

In the workshop we asked participants to reflect on how museum and art gallery spaces are curated; how are visitor experiences scripted and managed (and when does and doesn't this work); and what kinds of behind-the-scenes labour are required? We sought to frame these questions in relation to both 'technical' dimensions (lighting, sound, display methods, preservation, etc.), as well as more 'intangible' aspects such as the cultivation of atmospheric or emotional registers (in line with our broader interests in conferences as sensory spaces).

Participants brought invaluable insights to answering these questions and many more. What became clear throughout was the scale of work which is required to curate exhibitions and the differing interests of stakeholders in them. Not least, between the ambitions of the curator, funder and visitor. We heard how curators' efforts to integrate new perspectives or challenge preconceptions often requires a subtle negotiation with visitors' expectations of particular spaces and sites.

We also heard of the sensory aspects of display and the ways in which sight, sound, smell and touch are curated, the increasing move toward more innovative forms of audio-visual engagement, and the sensory challenges of exhibiting outdoors.

We discussed contemporary archiving practices, thinking specifically about how the importance and experience of ephemeral exhibition events is documented, reported and preserved - and crucially, the ways in which it's not.

The workshop led to new connections between members of different local galleries and several follow up queries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2018/06/01/workshop-ii-spaces-display-27-march-20...
 
Description Workshop III: London and the International City, 5th July 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The final workshop of the AHRC Conferencing the International Project took place on the (very warm) afternoon of 5th July 2018 in Methodist Central Hall in the heart of Westminster. The workshop brought together sixteen academics, civil servants and representatives from charities and political organisations to discuss what makes a city, and specifically the city of London, function effectively as a venue for international events, from conferences and congresses to exhibitions and concerts. The objective was to explore how the spaces of London's internationalism, including those of Central Hall itself, have reflected the range of imperial, liberal and radical currents of thought we have discussed in other aspects of the project, as well as the familiar tension between national and international ideals. The wider idea was to explore how urban built environments enable and constrain the development of internationalism, drawing on the expertise of governmental and non-governmental practitioners involved in organising international meetings in London and elsewhere. Three themes (and associated questions) were circulated in advance of the workshop on the making and unmaking of international spaces in urban environments; the infrastructural geographies within and between international urban venues; and the sensory experiences, behaviour and comportment of international visitors.

The workshop included debates between archivists, conference site organisers, and members of charitable organisations relating to the Commonwealth. These conversations were continued during a post-workshop dinner and follow on communications.,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/interwarconferencing/2018/08/01/workshop-iii-london-and-the-internatio...