Just had a meeting with the lovely Paul from the University’s Estates Department.  He seemed pretty relaxed about letting me stick a bunch of poster-sized portraits and maps to the walls of campus.  So all I have to do now is identify the specific sites I’m going to use and get him to sign off on them.  This means not using the Aston Webb, or the complex around the Ashley Building, nor the (thoroughly beautiful) Metallurgy and Materials Building because they’re all listed.  Otherwise I’ve got a (fairly) free hand so long as I use wallpaper paste that can be scrubbed off brick relatively easily.

My task when back from holiday in a week or so will be to wander around, photographing locations that I want to use and work out a walking route between them that’s navigable around the various bits of campus which are currently dug up while the service tunnels are fixed. (Yes, we have service tunnels, but sadly no command and control bunker that I know of).  Target is to run all of this for the last week in September, which coincides with Freshers’ week, meaning that there’ll be lots of people on campus.  Dan will be in Syria, but I’m hoping to persuade him to write something for the exhibition catalogue.

So that’s all fun and exciting.  While I’m here I should also mention the ‘Rhetoric vs. reality in research: mapping theory and practice’ workshop that I went to back on 15 July at Queen Mary’s.  Really nice bunch of people, good mix of postgrads and more experienced staff. Interesting to hang out a bit at QMUL – a real buzz about the place, kinda get a sense of why it’s one of *the* geography departments in the UK.  Anyway, there was a great presentation by Erene Kaptani from the University of East London looking at theatrical performance as a means of engaging with hard to reach groups – lots of exciting overlaps with the ‘body geography’ approaches that I’m increasingly taking.  Another stand out for me was Ant Ince, who was just dotting Is and crossing Ts on his PhD looking at activist research engaging with militant groups (squatters etc).  Great stuff.  I presented the cycling material, all in a bit of a rush sad to say.  Always really interesting to present to a group who don’t engage in mapping or GIS at all – a totally different kind of response to that which I’d get from a group of cartographers, say.  You’ve got to love mixing up graphs with ethnographic data – it just messes with people’s heads.

Can’t believe the summer is so far advanced.  Sent off two RG-related papers so far and will resubmit two other ones once they’re revised – hopefully I’ll be getting the revisions done next week while I’m away at a cottage in a remote part of Scotland with only my laptop for company.  Ah, the writing retreat, it’s the only way to get things done, particularly when you’ve got no wifi or phone reception.  Still waiting to get referees’ comments back on the cartoon paper – apparently the comments exist, but the editor hasn’t yet found time to send them to me.  Hey ho, this is why everything takes such a long time to turn around in academic circles.