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Decolonising Development Geographies workshop

Members in International Development at the University of Sussex are organising a two-day workshop at the Royal Geographic Society in London, 17 & 18 June 2024. Details on how to apply for a place are outlined below but be quick – applications close 30 April 2024.

The Development Geographies Research Group of the RGS-IBG (DevGRG) are pleased to invite postgraduate researchers and academics of all career stages to a two-day workshop on ‘Decolonising Development Geographies’. The workshop will take place on 17 and 18 June 2024 in London, at the Royal Geographic Society in South Kensington. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, covered by a small, income-staggered fee: £12 waged and £6 unwaged/low-income. 

The workshop will also be hosting the UK book launch of ‘The Geopolitics of Green Colonialism Global Justice and Ecosocial Transitions’, edited by Miriam LangMary Ann Manahan and Breno Bringel, and published by Pluto Press in March 2024. Miriam Lang will be joining in-person on the day, with discounted copies of the book available for purchase. The book launch will be open to an online audience.

The workshop itself will be an in person only event.

Decolonisation/decoloniality has emerged as a key agenda for critically researching and teaching geography (Craggs, 2019; Laing, 2021; Noxolo, 2017; Radcliffe, 2017) and development (Aloudat and Khan, 2022; Patel and Shehabi, 2022; Van Houweling, 2021), respectively. There is a sense, however, that more thorough engagement with what ‘decolonising’ means for the field of development geography would be useful to bridge the gap between the two fields of literature. The workshop objectives are to:

  1. Build a strategy for moving forward and create a vision for the discipline of development geography, centred on decolonising research and teaching within the UK Higher Education sector and beyond. This strategy can involve some practical guidance.
  1. Bring together development geographies students and researchers interested in putting decolonial values and principles into practice

The workshop will start with a keynote by Professor Nikita Sud, who will participate in the discussions of the day. The second day’s keynote will be delivered by Professor Miriam Lang. Additional sessions will include Professors Ilan Kapoor and Angelo Miramonti, and with members and postgraduate researchers affiliated with DevGRG and the Latin American Geographies RGS Research Group (LAG-UK). 

Programme of Events

The schedule with confirmed speakers looks as follows, though the organisers retain the option to make some minor changes ahead of the event:

Monday 17 June 2024

  • 9.30 – 10.00am Coffees and Registration
  • 10.00 – 11.00am Recolonising the South? Energy transition and the majority world
    Keynote and Q&A with Professor Nikita Sud, Professor of the Politics of Development, University of Oxford.
  • 11.15am – 12.30pm: Getting to know each other: what does decolonising development geographies mean to participants?
  • 12.30 – 1.30pm Lunch break (lunch provided)
    1.30 – 3.00pm: Latin American Approaches to Decolonising Development Geographies – in collaboration with Latin American Geographies – UK (LAG-UK)
  • 3.00 – 3.30pm Coffee break (refreshments provided)
  • 3.30 – 5.00pm: Use and Misuse of the Decolonisation Agenda – with Professor Ilan Kapoor, Professor at York University, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change

Tuesday 18 June 2024

  • 9.30 – 9.45am Coffees and Welcome
  • 9.45 – 10.45am Keynote and Q&A with Professor Miriam Lang, Associate Professor in Environment and Sustainability, Simon Bolivar Andean University, Quito Title TBC
  • 11.00am – 12.30pm: Using Theatre for Participatory Action Research in communities affected by socio-environmental conflict – with Professor Angelo Miramonti, Professor of Community Theatre at the Fine Arts University in Cali, Colombia and Lecturer of Testimonial Theatre at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany.
  • 12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch break (lunch provided) with Book Launch of The Geopolitics of Green Colonialism: Global Justice and Ecosocial Transitions with Miriam Lang (ed.) – hybrid (book launch open to public online)
  • 1.30 – 3.00pm: Reimagining methodologies – led by postgraduate researchers of DevGRG and LAG-UK
  • 3.00 – 3.30pm Coffee break (refreshments provided)
  • 3.30 – 5.00pm Reflection and Moving Forward

Outcomes of the Workshop 

DevGRG works in partnership with the International Development Planning Review (IDPR). We therefore have the opportunity to publish an article based on the outcomes and conversations of the workshop. For those who are interested in becoming co-authors, DevGRG will organise an online writing retreat in the two months following the workshop. Your contribution could include mini case studies of personal experiences and stories that are useful for our strategy moving forward. 

How to participate 

To apply, please send a short email to [email protected] by 30 April 2024.  Please include:

  • a short, 50-word biography and institutional affiliation if applicable;
  • a brief, 100-word statement of why you would like to participate, and how you envisage utilising the knowledge created in this workshop going forward. 


Anna Laing, Katharina Richter, Sarah Peck of the Development Geographies Research Group


Aloudat, T., Khan, T., 2022. Decolonising humanitarianism or humanitarian aid? PLOS Global Public Health 2, e0000179. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgph.0000179

Craggs, R., 2019. Decolonising The Geographical Tradition. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 44, 444–446. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12295

Laing, A.F., 2021. Decolonising pedagogies in undergraduate geography: student perspectives on a Decolonial Movements module. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 45, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2020.1815180

Noxolo, P., 2017. Introduction: Decolonising geographical knowledge in a colonised and re-colonising postcolonial world. Area 49, 317–319. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12370

Patel, K., Shehabi, A., 2022. The value of development researchers: structural racism, universities and UK Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). International Development Planning Review 44, 131–145. https://doi.org/10.3828/idpr.2022.4

Radcliffe, S.A., 2017. Decolonising geographical knowledges. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 42, 329–333. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12195

Van Houweling, E., 2021. Decolonising development practice pedagogy: ways forward and persistent challenges in the synchronous online classroom. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning 13, 136–149.