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The Radical Rural: 'peripheral' geographies of migrant activism

Amanda Schmid-Scott, Emma Marshall, Dr Jen Bagelman & Professor Nick Gill, University of Exeter

Wednesday, 5 July 2017 from 10:00 to 16:00 (BST)

The Radical Rural: 'peripheral' geographies of migrant...

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General Admission 5 Jul 2017 Free  

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A workshop for community activists and academics working on migrant activism in 'peripheral' or unexpected spaces


In this one day workshop we will explore what it means to be politically active in areas considered to be peripheral or unexpected, and how and why they are significant as spaces where state practices and border control might be contested in novel ways. 




There is a tendency for activist groups and academics working across areas of migration, global justice and refugee activism to conduct their work in 'centralised' geographical zones such as major cities and towns, including areas of high ethnic diversity, prime dispersal areas for refugees, or places where activist networks are well established. Yet, thinking of our own position as scholar-activists based in Exeter, we hope to bring together a collective of academics and activists who see their work as taking place in the ‘peripheral’, or places that may be referred to as ‘rural’, ‘provincial’, ‘isolated’, or simply ‘unexpected’.

We welcome contributions in the form of 15 minute presentations that can help to identify what it means to work in marginal, peripheral or unexpected spaces; we invite individuals to present on what they do and the significance of their work in these spaces. We also welcome academic contributions that draw on postcolonial, decolonial or feminist thought to reimagine what we think of as political space.

You can use this as a chance to promote and raise awareness of your work or project, but we would also like to use this as an opportunity to form a creative space to develop ideas, share knowledge and establish potential areas for collaboration.


We are keen to include contributions that take various forms: written papers, art, poetry, performance or film. Out of the workshop, one of our aims is to display some of the presentations in the form of an exhibition (whether copies of text presented, or other creative outputs such as installations, posters, artwork and so on). We also aim to produce a handbook or website offering information and support which might enable local activism to flourish in different rural communities and contexts. 

Possible themes for contributions:


We don’t have any fixed idea of what these peripheral spaces of activism might look like, so we are open to participants interpreting this as they wish and making their own contribution to the topic. However here are some ideas:

  • experiences of research with activist groups in peripheral zones (and the sites of study this might include e.g. rural spaces, immigration detention, remote/provincial/isolated places)
  • activist movements in the South West of England or other peripheral zones, and their future(s)
  • what it means to be politically active in peripheral zones/on the margins
  • how the ‘unexpected’ or unexpected spaces can be significant in contesting state practices/border control
  • what research in peripheral zones can contribute to scholar-activism and activist philosophies
  • how or why do peripheral zones of activism offer distinctive opportunities for broader social change
  • what can academics do to recognise the significance of activist movements in rural/peripheral zones
  • what might geographies of ‘radical rurality’ contribute to activist movements 
  • what does it mean to mobilise the clandestine of the rural?

 We invite postgraduate students and academics as well as activists, community groups, artists and anyone else wishing to contribute or to attend. 


Organisers: Emma Marshall, Amanda Schmid-ScottDr. Jen Bagelman & Professor Nick GillUniversity of Exeter.




If you wish to present, please email a short proposal for your contribution (approx. 200 words) to Amanda and Emma: by 17th April 2017 (please note the deadline extension).


Attendance is free but please register your attendance. Exact location to be confirmed shortly.


Any questions please email Amanda and Emma:


Tweet: #radruralgeogs

Do you have questions about The Radical Rural: 'peripheral' geographies of migrant activism? Contact Amanda Schmid-Scott, Emma Marshall, Dr Jen Bagelman & Professor Nick Gill, University of Exeter

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When & Where

Exeter Phoenix
Bradninch Place
Gandy Street
EX4 3LS Exeter
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 5 July 2017 from 10:00 to 16:00 (BST)

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Amanda Schmid-Scott, Emma Marshall, Dr Jen Bagelman & Professor Nick Gill, University of Exeter

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The Radical Rural: 'peripheral' geographies of migrant activism
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