ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY SEMINARS (PHD)

Invited seminars and workshops on some of the key emerging research themes and methodologies in economic, social, urban and environmental geography, aimed to engage participants with more experienced scholars, and to introduce them to some of the most recent theoretical and methodological advancements in the field.
The program below will be updated periodically. It will include approximately two seminars per month.
Organized by: Barbara Brollo, Filippo Celata, Cesare Di Feliciantonio.

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Programme 2024

Invited speakers:

  • Agustin Cocola-Gant, University of Lisbon | Short-term rentals and touristification in Southern European cities (7 March 2024, 4 pm, Aula Fanfani*).
  • Lidia Manzo, University of Milan | Gentrification and diversity (11 April 2024, 4 pm, Aula Fanfani*).
  • Amy Horton, University College London | Feminist economic geographies of social infrastructure (9 May 2024, 4 pm, Aula Fanfani*). 
  • Alberto Vanolo, University of Turin | The nocturnal gaze and the geographies of the urban night (10 June 2024, 3 pm, Aula Fanfani*). Link Zoom:  https://uniroma1.zoom.us/j/81790345421
  • Filippo Menga, University of Bergamo | Thirst: The global quest to solve the water crisis (20 June 2024, 3 pm, Aula Fanfani*). Link Zoom: 
    https://uniroma1.zoom.us/j/86548697195

Workshops:

  • Economy & Space 2nd PhD Workshop | 31 January-1 February 2024 | Gran Sasso Science Institute | Coordinated by A. Ascani, A. Faggian, F. Zampollo | 2nd annual workshop dedicated to doctoral candidates researching in the broad fields of Regional Science and Economic Geography at Sapienza University of Rome and the GSSI | Invited speaker: David Bailey, University of Birmingham.
     
  • Doing Feminist Economic Geography | 3 June 2024 | University of Rome La Sapienza | Faculty of Economics | Sala Lauree* | Coordinated by C. Di Feliciantonio | This one-day event brings together feminist scholars working on different topics (housing, debt, austerity, political ecology) relevant for economic geographers in order to reflect on the methodological, ethical, and intellectual implications of doing feminist research in practice | Invited speakers: Katherine Brickell, King’s College London; Sarah Marie Hall, University of Manchester; Miriam Tola, John Cabot University; Marcella Corsi, Sapienza. Full program and registration: LINK

Internal seminars:

  • Filippo Celata | 20 March 2024 | Aula Fanfani* | Reclaming 'other' critical geographical traditions: Geografia Democratica (1976-1981)
  • Chiara Certomà | Date tbd | Exploring environmental controversies: Participatory Methods for engaged research.
     

PhD candidates participate also to the RGS-IBG Economic Geography Research Group EGRG Hybrid Seminars Series.
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Materials and assignments: PhD candidates are asked to read the suggested titles, propose specific questions and discuss with the invited speakers. 
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Seminars' descriptions and suggested readings (tbc):

Agustin Cocola-Gant | Short-term rentals and touristification in Southern European cities | 7 March 2024 | 4 pm | Aula Fanfani
Touristification can be described as the appropriation of space by tourism. In cities it has much to do with the expansion of short-term rentals mediated by digital platforms such as Airbnb. The presentation will provide a political economic explanation of touristification and will discuss why we need to tackle both the touristic use of housing and the conversion of places into tourist districts.
Reading: Cocola-Gant, A. (2023). Place-based displacement: Touristification and neighborhood change. Geoforum, 138, 103665. 

Filippo Celata | Reclaiming 'other' critical geographical traditions: Geografia Democratica (1976-1981) | 20 March 2024 | 4 pm | Aula Fanfani
Geografia Democratica is a collective of scholars that during the second half of the 1970s sought to promote a critical and radical turn in Italian academic geography. The seminar will provide a critical reading of the controversial history of the collective and of some of its components, in light of ongoing debates about the pluriversal roots of contemporary critical geographies and the role of ‘other geographical traditions’ - beyond the Anglo-American hegemony. The aim is, in particular, to discuss Geografia Democratica as a ‘rupture experience’ in the mainstream of Italian geography, how it intersected or not similar turns occurred in the Anglo-American geographies of the time, and what is its legacy for today’s critical geographers in Italy and beyond.
Reading: Celata F. & Governa G. (2023) Reclaiming other geographical traditions: The hidden roots of Italian radical geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12634.

Lidia Manzo | Gentrification and Diversity | 11 April 2024 | 4 pm | Aula Fanfani 
This seminar introduces the limits, ambiguities, and power of resistance to gentrification and anti-displacement practices in the multi-ethnic community of Milan Chinatown in Paolo Sarpi street. I elaborate on this debate by examining the specific role of urban diversity in redefining inclusion and exclusion in contemporary cities experiencing urban revitalization. We will discuss two concepts: the changes brought to the neighborhood by an influx of more affluent residents and businesses, and the sociocultural diversity lens. In doing so, we will problematize the debate around spaces of encounter by pushing for a more nuanced understanding of the link between the dynamics of negotiation, co-production, and resistance to the rebranding of multiethnic areas of the city. This seminar will also focus on the ambiguous relationship between diversity and inclusion/exclusion to show that immigration and gentrification can work in concert.
Readings: Manzo, L.K.C. (2023) Gentrification and Diversity: Re-branding Milan’s Chinatown, Cham: Springer.

Amy Horton | Feminist economic geographies of social infrastructures | 9 May 2024 | 4 pm | Aula Fanfani
Care work underpins all economic activity and certain forms of care have attracted major investment, yet care also remains deeply undervalued. This talk will develop insights from feminist economic geography to explore these contradictions. I will outline the care economy from a geographical perspective. Here the concept of social infrastructure is useful for recognising the role of place and the built environment, as well as the interactive labour of care. While there are many commonalities and connections globally, we also find that different approaches to financing care generate distinctive regimes of risk, welfare and employment. In light of the unprecedented strain on economies of care during the coronavirus pandemic, conclusions will reflect on the possibilities for transforming care and an agenda for economic geography.
Reading: Horton A. (2021) Liquid home? Financialisation of the built environment in the UK’s “hotel-style” care homes. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers; 46: 179–192. 

Sarah Marie Hall | Seeking solidarity, finding friendship: co-creation as method and praxis for feminist economic geographers | 3 June 2024 (within the workshop Doing Feminist Economic Geography)
Co-production and co-creation are activities that span feminist activism and practice, including and beyond academic spaces. This can include in writing, events and outputs, and is often framed by the mantra ‘the personal is political’. This talk focuses on co-creation as a method and praxis for feminist economic geographers, and draws on my experience of working in collaboration over a long period with Inspire, a women’s wellbeing organisation based in Oldham, UK. With our work together we have explored women’s economic empowerment, austerity and altered lives, and creative methodological innovation. With this contribution I will share personal reflections about working alongside, investing in and staying with community groups. I will present examples of how this relationship evolved, and share our ongoing plans of co-investment between Inspire and my team.

Katherine Brickell | ‘The Debt Trap’ report - Women’s stories of navigating family homelessness and TA in Greater Manchester | 3 June 2024 (within the workshop Doing Feminist Economic Geography)
Women and children are stuck in a ‘debt trap’. This research report evidences how rental, council tax, and other personal debts are shaping families’ housing journeys into and on from homelessness and temporary accommodation. Debt not only causes, lengthens, but also outlives family homelessness.

Miriam Tola | Doing Feminist Political Ecologies | 3 June 2024 (within the workshop Doing Feminist Economic Geography)
Feminist political ecologies bring feminist concepts and practices to the critical analysis of power-laden socioecological relations. This contribution draws on examples from my research on urban commons to reflect on some key concepts and practices in this diverse research field.

Marcella Corsi | Data feminism | | 3 June 2024 (within the workshop Doing Feminist Economic Geography)
In order to describe precisely gender gaps (and not only differences between sexes), gender statistics must be based on concepts and definitions that adequately reflect the diversity of people in all aspects of their lives, and must ensure that data collection methods avoid gender stereotypes that could create statistical distortions, undermining the correct representation of reality.

Alberto Vanolo | The nocturnal gaze and the geographies of the urban night | 10 June 2024 | 3 pm | Aula Fanfani | Link Zoom:  https://uniroma1.zoom.us/j/81790345421
The seminar aims at challenging and provincialising common understandings of the urban night by unpacking the constitutive tensions between the diurnal and the nocturnal, inspecting the blind spots in contemporary urban and night theories. By critically reviewing literature in night studies and by taking advantage of insights from urban nights in Turin (Italy), it is questioned how to think about the specificities of the urban night in a world where urbanisation is arguably everywhere and where the nocturnal has been largely subsumed by the diurnal. Specifically, by challenging the metaphor of the colonisation of the night, it is suggested the idea of a “nocturnal gaze” for urban studies, in a scenario of progressive diffusion of the ideal of the 24-hour city.
Reading: Shaw R. (2015) Night as Fragmenting Frontier: Understanding the Night that Remains in an era of 24/7. Geography Compass9(12), 637-647.

Filippo Menga | Thirst: The Global Quest to Solve the Water Crisis | 20 June 2024 | 3 pm | Aula Fafani | Link Zoom: https://uniroma1.zoom.us/j/86548697195
A sense of urgency about the global water crisis has entered the political and corporate discourse, but solutions are hard to come by where causes are not clearly defined. In fact, the acute reasons for lack of water vary from place to place. The one unifying factor is the global power of the market over the provision, allocation and maintenance of water supplies. Building on a critique of recent responses to the water crisis and their contradictions, the presentation interrogates how savior-like, 'high priests' of a fetishized global developmentalism – embodied by celebrities, CEOs, and sustainability directors – are shaping global water governance, and argues that if humanity is to escape the current deadlock that bedevils access to clean water around the world, it has to reconsider both its faith in the market and its relationship with nature.
Reading: Menga F. & Goodman M.K. (2022) The high priests of global development: capitalism, religion and the political economy of sacrifice in a celebrity‐led water charity. Development and Change, 53(4), 705-735.

*Location: Faculty of Economics, Sapienza University, Via del Castro Laurenziano 9, 00161 Roma.
Aula Fanfani: Main entrance, Fifth floor, corridor of 'Storia Economica', last room on the left.
Sala Lauree: Secondary entrance (right), Second floor, above the Dean's offices (Presidenza)

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Programme 2023
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1. Geographies of regional disparities and sociospatial inequalities (Filippo Celata | 16 May 2023): The module will provide an overview of contemporary regional economic divergence dynamics, and an intellectual history of how scholars have dealt with the issue through classical, radical, institutional, relational and neoliberal perspectives. . 
Readings: 
- Storper M (2018) Separate worlds? Explaining the current wave of regional economic polarization. Journal of Economic Geography.
- Rodríguez‐Pose A (2020) Institutions and the fortunes of territories. Regional Science Policy & Practice.
- Kemeny-Storper (2020) Superstar cities and left-behind places: disruptive innovation, labor demand, and interregional inequality. LSE III Working paper 41.

2. Global production networks (Carlo Inverardi-Ferri | 17 May 2023): In recent decades, the ‘Global Production Networks’ (GPN) framework has gained considerable traction as a heuristic device to analyse the geographically dispersed and organizationally fragmented nature of the world economy. This module explores the emergence of the GPN framework in economic geography, its evolution, and recent critiques.
Readings: 
- Coe-Yeung (2019) Global production networks: Mapping recent conceptual developments. Journal of Economic Geography.
- Henderson J, et al. (2002) Global production networks and the analysis of economic development. Review of International Political Economy.
- Werner, M. (2019). Geographies of production I: Global production and uneven development. Progress in Human Geography.

3. The value of the urban in technology-based capitalism (Ugo Rossi | 18 May 2023): This module will offer a critical diagnosis of contemporary debates about the urbanisation of technology-based economic development. The module will focus on labour, human capital and forms of life as sources of economic-value extraction from urban spaces and the role of the state.
Readings: 
- Rossi U. (with S. Moisio) (2023) The value of the urban field in technology-driven knowledge economies: The role of the state. Environment and Planning F: Philosophy, Theory, Models, Methods and Practice.
- Rossi U. (with A. Pollio) (2023) “Urban political economy”, in R. Vogel (ed.) Handbook of Urban Politics and Policy. Edward Elgar.
- Rossi U. (2019) The common-seekers: Capturing and reclaiming value in the platform metropolis. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space.

4. Evolutionary perspectives in economic geography (Filippo Randelli | 18 May 2023): the module will introduce to the evolutionary approaches in Economic Geography. An evolutionary perspective allows to deeply understand processes and dynamics driving regional development.
Readings: 
- Boschma R and Martin R (2010) The aims and scope of evolutionary economic geography. Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography.
- Geels FW (2002) Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study. Research Policy.
- Randelli F., Romei P., Tortora M., 2014, An evolutionary approach to the study of rural tourism: The case of Tuscany. Land Use Policy.

5. Public policies and regional development (Raffaella Coletti | 30 May 2023): the aim is to provide an overview and introduce participants to the analysis of regional development policies, with a focus on the evolution and future perspectives of the European Cohesion Policy, and particularly Territorial Cooperation.
Readings: 
- Farole T, Rodrìguez-Pose A & Storper M. (2011) Cohesion Policy in the European Union: Growth, Geography, Institutions. Journal of Common Market Studies.
- Medeiros E (2018) The Role of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) in EU Cohesion Policy, in Medeiros E, European Territorial Cooperation. Theoretical and Empirical Approaches. Springer. 
- Celata-Coletti (2014) Place-based strategies or territorial cooperation? Regional development in transnational perspective. Local Economy.

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Programme 2022
 
1. Geographies of regional disparities and sociospatial inequalities (Filippo Celata | 8 April 2022): the aim is to provide an overview of contemporary dynamics of regional economic divergence, of their geographies and implications, and an intellectual history of how scholars have dealt with the issue through classical, radical, institutional, relational and neoliberal perspectives. 
Readings: 
- Storper M (2018) Separate worlds? Explaining the current wave of regional economic polarization. Journal of Economic Geography.
- Rodríguez‐Pose A (2020) Institutions and the fortunes of territories. Regional Science Policy & Practice 12(3): 371-386.
- Kemeny-Storper (2020) Superstar cities and left-behind places: disruptive innovation, labor demand, and interregional inequality. LSE III Working paper 41.

2. Challenges in data collection methods and analysis (Cesare Di Feliciantonio | 13 April 2022) 
The module invites students to engage critically with some of the key-questions related to data collection methods and analysis in geography (and the social sciences): i) the benefits and limits of ‘mixing methods’; ii) the positionality of the researcher and research ethics. 
Note: in preparation for the module, students are asked to prepare a 2 minute presentation (no need for ppt) of their main idea for their PhD research, including research question and methodology.
Readings: 
- Elwood S (2010) Mixed Methods: Thinking, Doing, and Asking in Multiple Ways. In: D. DeLyser et al., The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Geography, pp. 94-114. Sage. 
- Ferreri M (2021) Politicising vacancy and commoning housing in municipalist Barcelona. In: O’Callaghan-Di Feliciantonio, The New Urban Ruins: Vacancy, Urban Politics and International Experiments in the post-Crisis City, pp. 181-196. Policy Press.
- Dyer-Demeritt D (2009) Un-ethical review? Why it is wrong to apply the medical model of research governance to human geography. Progress in Human Geography.
- England K (1994) Getting Personal: Reflexivity, Positionality, and Feminist Research. The Professional Geographer 46(1): 80-89.

3. Public policies and regional development (Raffaella Coletti | 15 April 2022): the aim is to provide an overview and introduce participants to the analysis of regional development policies, with a focus on the evolution and future perspectives of the European Cohesion Policy, and particularly Territorial Cooperation.
Readings: 
- Farole T, Rodrìguez-Pose A & Storper M. (2011) Cohesion Policy in the European Union: Growth, Geography, Institutions. Journal of Common Market Studies.
- Medeiros E (2018) The Role of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) in EU Cohesion Policy, in Medeiros E, European Territorial Cooperation. Theoretical and Empirical Approaches, pp. 69-93. Springer. 
- Celata-Coletti (2014) Place-based strategies or territorial cooperation? Regional development in transnational perspective. Local Economy.

4. Global production networks, multinational enterprises and regional development (Andrea Ascani | 22 April 2022 | 11-18): this module aims at developing conceptual and empirical understanding of the interplay between globalization and territorial development, with an emphasis on multinational enterprises within global production networks and on global-local linkages.
Readings: 
- Yeung H W (2020) Regional worlds: From related variety in regional diversification to strategic coupling in global production networks. Regional Studies.
- Ascani A, Bettarelli L, Resmini L and Balland P-A (2020) Global networks, local specialisation and regional patterns of innovation. Research Policy.
- Iammarino S, Padilla-Perez R and von Tunzelmann N (2008) Technological capabilities and global–local interactions: the electronics industry in two Mexican regions. World Development.

5. Geographies of sustainability transitions (Martellozzo-Randelli | 26 April 2022): this module aims at highlighting the funding assumptions onto which the dynamic theoretical rationale disentangling the concept of sustainability and its intrinsic linkages with human development are based.
Readings:
- Geels F W (2002) Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study. Research Policy.
- Häyhä T et al (2016) From Planetary Boundaries to national fair shares of the global safe operating space.  Global Environmental Change.
- Landholm D M et al. (2019) Climate change mitigation potential of community-based initiatives in Europe. Regional Environmental Change.

6. Environmental policy and the circular economy (venere Sanna | 28 April 2022) This module aims at providing an overview of EU environmental policy debating the integration of the circular economy paradigm within the environmental sustainability framework, and discussing the growing role of its external and international dimensions.
Readings:
-    Hobson K. (2015) Closing the loop or squaring the circle? Locating generative spaces for the circular economy. Progress in Human Geography.
-    Geissdoerfer M et al. (2017) The Circular Economy. A new sustainability paradigm? Journal of cleaner production.
-    Hartleya K, van Santenb R, Kirchherrb J, (2020) Policies for transitioning towards a circular economy: Expectations from the European Union. Resources, Conservation & Recycling.

7. Research and publication strategies (Celata | 29 April 2022): the aim is to provide a map of publishers, scientific journals, peer-review and evaluation systems, and of contemporary publication practices in economic geography, in order to assist participants in defining their research strategies.

 

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