Thursday, 20 October 2011

Articles, Conferences, Lectures

It's been a month now, since I started working again after the long summer holidyas and paternity leave. At the moment, it feels like I'm there again, in the middle of the PhD jungle! In 6 weeks time, my real period of paternity leave will start, so I am about half way this autumn period, that was supposed to be a very productive time.

First of all, it took about two weeks to start it all up again. I transcribed an interview, which was a lot of work, but valuable. During this work, reflections came up about how to organise the autumn months. It all centres around three manuscripts;

- one about rural Swedish municipalities engaging in rural place marketing efforts, as descirbed earlier by Niedomysl and Heldt Cassell. However, a nordic dimension, an international approach and rural destinations make this study timely. This is supposed to result in an article, number 2 so far.

- one about ambivalence and identity shift after migration. How things that we moved away from in the country of origin can develop into triggers of return migration. This is supposed to become a chapter in an anthology with the working title "Place and Identity".

- one about the decision making process prior to moving from urban Netherlands to rural Sweden. This is the least develoepd one so far, but still it is supposed to result in article number 3.

In order to test some ideas, I will be attending the second edition of the Nordic Urban Workshop in Stockholm next week. This is a valuable platform as it consists mainly of PhD students, some of whom we met during the first edition in Örebro one year ago. A month or two later - yes I'll take a day off from my leave - I hope to attend an international conference on Place Branding in Utrecht. Many presentations are scheduled for this event, and at least two may prove interrelated with the article I'm currently working on (Art.2). One about marketing rural areas in general and another about branding coal mining identities of South Wales. Looking forward to those presentations!

In the mean time, of course, I prepare lectures for the course on Population Geography. After all, that seems to be my field!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Spring & Summer 2011

In the midst of Summer 2011, it's finally time for only the second item of the year. Now that I've been on paternity leave and waiting for the second little one to come since the 4th of July, I've some spare time for an attempt to summarise the past months of 2011:

- lecturing; the course on Population, Urbanisation and Mobility in a slightly altered format, as well as a complete new format for the course on writing a minor academic thesis (B-uppsats). This second course was joined with the former course on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to result in an integrated map-and-report assignment.

- conferences; the final week of the GIS-report course coincided with the 4th biannual Nordic Geographers Meeting (NGM) in Roskilde, Denmark. Thus, this week at the end of May was quite a challenge, where Anders and me found ourselves replying to students' e-mails before breakfast at 7 am in our B&B at the Danish countryside. The other conference was the 6th International Conference on Population Geographies (ICPG) in Umeå with many interesting contributions and a conference diner at the archipelago of Norrbyskär. Next ICPG will be held in Groningen in 2013!

- manuscripts; Mostly during June, I've been writing and editing a number of manuscripts for my Dissertation. The first article, on international counterurbanisation, was in need of minor revisions which were to be done in due time. The second and third articles, on rural place marketing and the decision to migrate from the Netherlands to rural Sweden respectively, are in the course of creation. Last but not least, a chapter on mobility, place and ambivalence is in the making. This manuscript is supposed to be a contribution to an anthology on place and identity, to be published by CUReS. We will have a meeting in Bredsjö in August in order to discuss progression considering the Anthology.

- fieldwork; at the basis for the manuscripts lies fieldwork covering some months and a number of observations and interviews at emigration fairs and with Dutch households in Bergslagen. This fieldwork will be continued after my paternity leave ends in September.

By the way, needless to say that this blog is simply an online diary of a PhD Student in Sweden. For more contents and debates, one may take a look at Bo Malmberg's or Lena Sommestad's weblogs.

Monday, 3 January 2011

New year, new plans

So, and 2011 it is :)
Christmas Holidays went by too fast, as always.
The days before the holidays were hectic, as always.

On 16 December, Mats, Dieter and me had a meeting about our plans and basically we discussed the two articles to come. It was about time to start writing, so this is what I'll do the coming weeks. I'll write about place marketing and public private partnerships (PPP's) in order to have an introduction for the second article. For the third article, the introduction will have to concentrate on the life course perspective and decision making processes. For the planning of the months ahead, this means the following:

First and foremost, I need to finalise the paper for the course on Geographical perspectives on Heritage industries (Swedish abreviation: GPKU) in Central Sweden. This is in fact a warm-up for the two articles to come.

Soon, on 19 January I'll head for the Netherlands in order to visit Placement's Scandinavia Day in Hoevelaken. Here, I'll will mostly observe and study in practice what I've learned about palce marketing techniques so far. In February, the big Emigration Fair is organised in Houten, Utrecht. I'll also visit this fair and observer the stands hold by the Swedish actors and see how they attract hundreds of Dutch families to come and live with them.

Meanwhile, plans are made for fieldwork in March, where I'll finally make my data "talk". I'll conduct semi-structured interviews with a number of Dutch actors in Central Sweden. They should be entrepreneurs, lifestyle migrnats and families. This way, an investigation can be amde of what expectations and aspirations the Swedish municipalities had when starting their Holland-projects. It can also be examined in what way and to what degree these aims are fulfilled. The same goes for the Dutch familes: what goals, and wishes did they have and what are their (post-)migration experiences? This could be supported theoretically by the work of Baumann, Giddens, Urry, Harvey, Lefebvre and the like.

So many other plans exist simultaneously; lecturing in the course on population, urbanisation and mobility, as well as in a course on a project resulting in a socalled B-paper, one level before the Bachelor thesis. In May, there will be a Nordic Geographers meeting in Roskilde, in June tehre will be a meeting for Population Geographers in Umeå. I hope to be able to present some results in connection to the above named articles at both of these confrerences. But first, in February, us geographers in Örebro will host a small workshop for a Swedish network of population geographers.

Also before the holidays, we were a small delegation from Örebro to witness a colleague in Borlänge at the defence of his Dissertation on 17 December. This was very interesting, thinking about my own work ahead. But for now, a slow start is what I want - not many have returned to office after these two weeks. This may facilitate the work on the paper for GPKU.