A ‘Token of Love’: The role of emotions in student field trips teaching critical development geographies

Sam Staddon*, Clare Barnes, Jiayen Lai, Margherita Seazza, Ryan Wilkie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper explores the roles and relationships of emotions in the promotion of critical development geographies, as engendered through a student field trip from a university in the so-called Global North to a country in the so-called Global South. Through a case-study involving a field trip led by the authors taking Masters students from the UK to Nepal, we find that emotions are integral to the pedagogical process and critical political potential of the trip. We show how emotions are central to the connections students create with people and places during the trip, and to their learning within it, particularly around questions of positionality, privilege and power. We highlight crucial emotions of curiosity and care, demonstrating however that these do not emerge out of nowhere, but rather can be deliberately cultivated by reflective pedagogies and practices. We argue that when conducted sensitively; involving reflective pedagogies and close collaborations, field trips to the so-called Global South can promote critical learning on questions of global justice, that are in line with demands to decolonize academia, geography and development geographies specifically.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2021


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