Participatory Action Research by Dr. Sam Halvorsen (Former Chairperson of PYGYRG), Queen Mary University of London

Participatory Action Research
Dr. Sam Halvorsen, Queen Mary University of London

This text is a near-final version that will be published in the Oxford Bibliographies in Geography (Ed. Barney Warf).

General Overviews
Foundational Works and Historical Lineages
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Participatory Development (PD) Participatory Geographies
Participatory Methods
Community-Based Participatory Research
Critiques of PAR
Ethics and PAR
Activist and Militant Research

PAR is an approach that strives to take seriously the ethics and politics of the processes and outcomes of doing research.…

Participatory Geographies Away Weekend 24th & 25th May 2019 BOOK NOW

A4 Colour poster for display available from

Second Call for participation

All Bursaries have now been allocated but some regular places are still available.

A call to all those interested in participatory geographies (both faculty and students). The PYGYRG annual away weekend will be held at the ‘Fortwilliam Backpakers’ hostel in Fort William – Scotland – a stunning location .…

Reflecting on Interrogating Form: Creative and Cultural Participatory Practice

I am an artist, currently doing a part time practice led PhD at Chelsea school of Art alongside my studio practice based in Edinburgh. My impression from the day was that the two speakers, Harriet Hawkins and Caitlin Cahill, and most of the invited panel, shared an interest in using arts practice in mixed method research with a particular interest in how arts practices in a formal sense might be used to increase the impact of their research.  Cahill shared some great case studies of what I perceived as research as activism – fully addressing and blasting through any sense of the passive observer academic and clear from the outset that this was no time (especially in Trump USA) to sit on the sidelines – that “the cultural terrain is a site of struggle”.…

Creating, Messing, Playing: Thinking Form in Newcastle

How do art and geography intersect?  Thinking through this question was the task of Interrogating Form: Creative and Cultural Participatory Practice, a workshop held by Newcastle University on Tuesday 11th June.

Indeed, there were lots of sub-questions within this broader focus.  What is the value of using an arts-based approach?  How might we incorporate discussion surrounding the politics of representation into our work?…

Blog: Doing Participatory Geographies: a workshop on practising engaged research.

At 6am on Thursday 7th June 2018, I found myself on the platform at Coventry railway station, awaiting the departure of the first train to London.  Thanks to the (very generous and unexpected!) award of a travel bursary, I was on my way to Queen Mary University of London to attend a workshop entitled “Doing Participatory Geographies: a workshop on practicing engaged research”.

Playing with participation (at the RGS-IGB Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference 2018)

The sun was set to shine for each of the three days of the 2018 RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference and it did not disappoint. Bearing in mind what David Gilbert argued in his excellent lecture advocating for a more nuanced and enriched sub-urban imaginary, our experience of Royal Holloway came into its own with fresh cherry blossoming, hanging basket blooming, door knocker sparkling weather…

Listen and experience the atmosphere

The tone of the conference was set up well the first evening with an uplifting welcome talk from Dr.…

Reflections on the RGS-IBG Mid-Term Conference

As I rest my weary traveller’s legs, it is with great pleasure that I can finally sit still and reflect on my experiences of what has been an interesting, fruitful and thoroughly enjoyable RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference in the stunning surroundings of Royal Holloway University.…

Reflecting on Qualitative Methods Workshop: Reflections from a PhD

I was in a bit of PhD pickle when I saw Heather’s Tweet about the “reflecting on qualitative methods” workshop having had a tumultuous six-year journey with my doctorate which has included relationship breakdown, fieldwork nightmares, two extended withdrawals and epic debt alongside part-time work as a lecturer, I was pretty frazzled and suffering from major writer’s block.…