The Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities is a major interdisciplinary initiative cultivating links between geographers, arts and humanities practitioners, and the creative, cultural and heritage sectors. The recognition of the GeoHumanities has been driven by recent developments in theory (e.g. the ‘spatial’ and ‘mobilities’ turns; the idea of the Anthropocene), politics (e.g. the increasing urgency of environmental issues, or questions of territory, borders and displacement), data (e.g. the embrace of geo-coded data and Geographic Information Systems [GIS]) and practice (e.g. in site specific performance art or the creative use of locative media). However, the GeoHumanities also stem from a much longer intellectual history, being rooted in the pre-disciplinary origins of Geography and its ‘earth writing’. Geography has never been the exclusive preserve of Geographers and has always challenged modern disciplinary divisions. It is therefore unsurprising that the GeoHumanities has emerged as a key field in our interdisciplinary intellectual culture.
Based in the RHUL Geography Department, which has been the leading institution for research in geography and the humanities for over three decades, the Centre for the GeoHumanities gathers world-leading scholars working across creative methodologies and geographical topics and themes. Professor Harriet Hawkins, founder and co-director of the Centre for the GeoHumanities, collaborates with numerous artists and art institutions, to make work and curate exhibitions around the world, and has supervised numerous (nine) practice-based geography PhD students whose work includes creative practice elements within their research. Professor Veronica Della Dora, also co-director of the Centre, has published extensively on byzantine, early modern and modern visual cultures. Dr. Sasha Engelmann, Lecturer in GeoHumanities, actively collaborates with contemporary art and activist groups, employing creative methods of making and performing to engage questions of environmental sensing and politics and has pioneered the teaching of experimental creative methods to undergraduate students. The Centre is also home to several PhD students and Post-Docs doing creative practice based research on urban and environmental futures.