Digitizing the Archives: Contemporary Issues in Geography and Education

Contemporary Issues in Geography and Education (CIGE) was a journal series produced by the Association for Curriculum Development in Geography (ACDG) between November 1983 and February 1991.  Eight theme issues were produced in as many years, contributed to by a range of teachers, academics, social, environmental and development activists and educators, artists and students.

Jo Norcup, founder of Geography Workshop Productions, spent a decade of slow part-time doctoral research excavating the correspondence archives of the journal series and seeking our editorial group and contributors to this left-leaning, anti-racist, anti-sexist, pro-peace education initiative. If you have much time on your hands, you can read the thesis here.

The nine aims of the journal set out to offer ‘an emancipatory geography’ by recasting the purpose of geographical knowledge and critically and creatively questioning the contents of curricula design and power structures that served to shape the political values dominant under 1980s Thatcherism.  The journal series itself offered up alternative approaches to dominant neoliberal ideologies of the free-market and promoted humanistic values.  Moreover, it signaled the potential for collaborative and creative initiatives which intersected a range of educational spaces; formal institutions and more public spheres, arguably anticipating current trends in nexus and (intra)interdisciplinary collaborative work.

To read an article about the journal series written by Jo Norcup and published in Journal of Historical Geography Geography education, grey literature and the geographical canon (Volume 49, July 2015, Pages 61-74).  Jo Norcup was chuffed to bits that her first academic paper was awarded a Highly Commended’ in the shortlist for 2015 Journal of Historical Geography Best Paper Prize see here

Geography Workshop Productions believes these documents underscore a number of universal issues that remain of urgent and prescient concern in the contemporary 21st century.  Articles in some of CIGE’s themes issues have already begun to be re-engaged with, as in the case of Anne Simpson’s article ‘The Rich as a Minority Group’ by The Alternative School of Economics at the Rabbits Road Institute (March 2016)

The project of digitizing the complete journal series and archival excerpts will be undertaken by Geography Workshop Productions. The digitisation of these publications can be found on the Archives Afterlives post on this website.

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