Professor Deborah Dixon
- Professor of Geography (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
Prof. Dixon is an internationally recognised scholar in feminist geopolitics, and has been key to the emergence of ‘geohumanities’ as an inter-disciplinary field of research and practice. She is the co-founder and editor of the new inter-disciplinary (American Association of Geography) journal GeoHumanities, which publishes analytic and practice-based research, as well as accounts of arts performances and outputs, and hosts online art exhibitions. As PI on the 3-year, NSF/AHRC grant ‘Art/Science Collaboration on Bodies and Environments’ she researched aesthetic, technological, political, and cultural responses to environmental problematics (including toxic landscapes, loss of biodiversity, and climate change) in Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. This research was advanced through her project on “Engaging in Art/Science Collaboration: Communities, Visual Economies and the Spaces and Practices of Exhibition and Display”, which specifically addresses the role of a creative geo-visualisation in narrating and reimagining the relationships between people and land. In addition, and working with Earth scientists and performance artists, she has researched the future of toxic landscapes in Japan in terms of their geomorphology, governance and place in the cultural imagination.
Current projects include:
1. A follow-on monograph to 'Feminist Geopolitics: Material States' (2016, Routledge) that interrogates 'Earth Futures' comprised of viral and droned worlds, geoengineering and toxic exposures.
2. A series of GCRF-funded, collaborative experiments and dialogues that recompose citizen science, humanitarian technologies and ethics, amidst networks in Malawi and Mexico.
3. A continued working alongside Earth Scientists and Artists on the conceptual as well as practical work of Geology in an Anthropocene, specifically with reference to extractive landscapes. For more go here: https://sustainableextractivelandscapefutures.law.blog/blog/
Dixon, D. , Pendleton, M. and Fearnley, C. (2016) Engaging Hashima: memory work, site-based affects, and the possibilities of interruption. GeoHumanities, 2(1), pp. 167-187. (doi: 10.1080/2373566X.2016.1168208)
Dixon, D. P. and Jones, J. P. (2015) The tactile topologies of Contagion. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 40(2), pp. 223-234. (doi: 10.1111/tran.12071)
Woodward, K., Jones, J. P., Vigdor, L., Marston, S. A., Hawkins, H. and Dixon, D. P. (2015) One sinister hurricane: Simondon and collaborative visualization. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105(3), pp. 496-511. (doi: 10.1080/00045608.2015.1018788)
Dixon, D. P. (2014) The way of the flesh: life, geopolitics and the weight of the future. Gender, Place and Culture, 21(2), pp. 136-151. (doi: 10.1080/0966369X.2013.879110)
Current and Recent Projects
2019 Co-I (with Emma Cardwell, UoGlasgow), “Community-Led Science for Climate Adaptation: Supporting Indigenous Water Management in Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico,” Scottish Funding Council, £75,000. Approved.
Co-I (with Lazaros Karaliotis. UoGlasgow), “Gardens Can Grow Here: Humanitarian Place Making, Citizen Science, and Farming Expertises in Refugee Camps,” Scottish Funding Council, £75,000. Approved.
2018 Co-I (with Brian Barrett, UoGlasgow), “Lost limbs, lives and livelihoods: understanding community behavioural change and the role of remote data collection approaches for Mine Risk Education (MRE) in Myanmar,” Scottish Funding Council: Global Challenges Research Fund. £51,000. Approved.
Co-I (with Boyson Moyo), “Drone Governance and Ethic: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities,” Academy of Medical Sciences GCRF Networking Grant, £25,000. Approved.
2017 PI, “Environmental Crises, Displacement and the Remaking of Geopolitics: Communities at the Edge,” SFC Small Grants fund, £47,000. Approved. PI, “Building Sustainable Futures in Africa: Using Capacity Strengthening Activities to Design and Pilot Methods for Cross-Disciplinary Research,” Scottish Funding Council, £36,000. Approved.
2016 PI, “Building Connections: Community based Phytostabilisation/Remediation in southern Africa,” ESRC-GCRF-IAA, £12,420. Approved.
Academics across the physical and social sciences, and the arts and humanities, are increasingly urged to ‘face the future.’ While the debate on whether or not the Anthropocene constitutes a new Geological epoch is ongoing, in practical planning terms mitigation, adaptation and resilience have all been offered as key to how future generations live with the Anthropocene, a planet-wide condition wherein carbon capitalism has reshaped the ‘building blocks’ of Nature, from mined geologic strata to warming skies and acidified oceans; where the finitude of resources and species, including humanity itself, looms large; where environmental management has become allied with a ‘securing’ of ecosystems alongside trade and territories; where planning the future has become a matter of anticipating crisis after crisis; and where new futures built around care and responsibility are imagined. The Anthropocene is a vast reconfiguration not only of the climate, oceans and strata of the Earth, but of bodies, genomes and human ways of living also.
If you are interested in pursuing a PhD or MSc by Research about, as well as in the midst of, some of these challenges, please get in touch!
Current PhD opportunities
I am keen to hear from prospective students who wish to study for a PhD or MSc by Research. Enquiries are welcome, although please investigate potential funding and/or scholarships (if required) before getting in touch. Please see go here for further details: https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/
- Edwards, David
Towards a Postcolonial Ecology: A Transfigurative Analysis of the ‘Critical Zone’ in China
- Lowder, James
Cosmographies for an Anthropocene: Of Stars, Dust and Ruination
- Moretto, Maurits
L726 - Tasteful Trade? Coffee Cultures and More-Than-Human Geographies
- Moyo, Dumisani Zondiwe
Materialising Knowledges: Interrogating Individuality and Big Data through the ‘Decolonial Turn’
I have been, and am, fortunate to work with brilliant PhD students who are researching various combinations of the geohumanities, geovisualisation, political and geopolitical geographies, decolonial practices, and creative experimentation.
If you are interested in these areas please get in touch!
Currently I teach an undergraduate option on 'Earth Futures: Imagining and Planning for an Anthropocene', and contribute to core modules on the 'History and Philosophy of Geography,' and 'Environmental Geographies'.
I will be introducing a new module, based on my long term interest in epidemic disease as well as more recent research on colonial medical science, that foregrounds Medical Geographies.
From September 2020 onwards I will be involved in the new MSc Earth Futures, which is an inter-disciplinary degree that brings together expertise from across the School of Geogprahical and Earth Sciences. For more information, go here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/earthfutures/