This chapter uses pilgrimage as a form of sacred mobility to explore mobile research methods and the associated challenges and opportunities of applying these methods in the field. It focuses on the use of material forms of data collection in a 2010–11 research project, namely, research-postcards and participant photo-diaries as part of a mixed-methods approach to studying international case studies by a multidisciplinary team, as well as follow-up public engagement work using digital platforms. It highlights a number of key issues for wider current and future mobilities research, including the potential for rich material gathered by these methods, their suitability for mobilities research, and opportunities for digitizing these methods.
Avril Maddrell and Edward Wigley
Geographies of death has become an increasingly visible within Emotional, Urban, Rural and Political Geography sub-disciplines, exploring the spatialities, practices, politics and policies around death and memorialisation, embracing issues of morbidity, mortality, extinction, gender, identity, culture, religion, ethnicity and the environment, to name but a few. Teaching geographies of death can be a challenging task, as alongside the academic value of the topic there must also be consideration of the associated personal reflections and experiences relating the subject matter for both students and teaching staff. This chapter draws on the reflections and experiences of staff and students in designing and delivering a new third year undergraduate module ‘Geographies of Death’, the first of its kind within the UK. The authors recommend a wide range of pedagogical approaches and modes of teaching including craft activities, café style discussions, cemetery fieldtrips and traditional lecture and seminar components. Additionally, this chapter contributes to debates around teaching challenging material, arguing that whilst the emotional aspects of the module should be approached with some care and consideration for emotional-affective sensitivities, educators should not try and remove emotion from the content altogether. Indeed, the emotional-affective dimension to such material can illustrate the significance of the topic and make for effective engagement and therefore effective teaching.