Despite a manifest interest by geographers and others in the spatialities of knowledge in various contexts, relatively little work has focused on the discursive and material production of nodes and networks of higher education and research. Historically, educational centres have long been places of transnational exchange of knowledge and ideas, be it through correspondence networks (Lux and Cook 1998), career mobility (Taylor et al. 2007), academic travel (Jöns 2007) or the movement of students. More recently, the globalisation agenda has led many governments and institutions of higher education to develop explicit strategies of ‘internationalisation’ as means of strengthening their (national or institutional) position as globally competitive knowledge nodes (O’Connor 2005, Olds 2007).
This session aims to explore past and contemporary geographies of ‘knowledge nodes’ and their embeddedness in wider networks. We are interested in critical interrogations of the discursive and material production of such nodes, in analyses of different strategies of educational network formation, and in case studies of particular institutions, cities, or ‘educational hubs’, i.e. clusters of educational and research institutions at various spatial scales.
Potential topics for papers include:
* The changing geographies of scientific nodes and networks
* The historical and contemporary formation of transnational educational networks (e.g. through student exchange, branch campuses, research collaboration)
* Globalisation and the reconfiguration of transnational knowledge spaces
* Globalisation and the construction of ‘educational hubs’
* Discursive strategies to develop and promote ‘knowledge nodes’
* Academic travel and centres of knowledge production
If you are interested in participating in this session, please send title and abstract (of no more than 250 words) to Michael Hoyler (M.Hoyler@lboro.ac.uk) or Heike Jöns (H.Jons@lboro.ac.uk) by 19th October 2007. The AAG abstract specifications can be found at http://www.aag.org/annualmeetings/2008/abstract.htm
Jöns, H. (2007) Academic travel from Cambridge University and the formation of centres of knowledge, 1885-1954. GaWC Research Bulletin 234 http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/rb/rb234.html
Lux, D.S. and Cook, H.J. (1998) Closed circles or open networks? Communicating at a distance during the Scientific Revolution, History of Science 36(2), 179-211.
O’Connor, K. (2005) International students and global cities. GaWC Research Bulletin 161 http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/rb/rb161.html
Olds, K. (2007) Global assemblage: Singapore, foreign universities, and the construction of a ‘global education hub’, World Development 35(6), 959-975.
Taylor, P.J., Hoyler, M. and Evans, D.M. (2007) A geohistorical study of the rise of modern science: career paths of leading scientists in urban networks, 1500-1900. GaWC Research Bulletin 233 http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/rb/rb233.html