Here we'd like to profile the breadth of collaborators participating in this site - and what has brought them to law and geography. So, if you'd like to tell us a little about your background, please do:
I'm course leader for the BSc (Hons) Real Estate course at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. I trained as a solicitor and spent 17 years in commercial practice as an environmental lawyer working on industrial site closures, decontamination, waste disposal, mining and industrial pollution control. I moved to academia in 2007 and now have a Masters of Research (MRes) degree in sociology (based around risk perception, liability and land access). I enjoy the challenge of trying to reconcile my experiences in practice, with working amongst land management faculty and students and researching recreational trespass. My work has been published in legal journals and geography journals and has ranged across metal theft, tree safety, judicial attitudes to child trespass and the methods, meanings and motives of urban explorers (specifically, military bunker hunters). My current projects are studies of how climbers, owners and artists perceive and each seek to 'manage' wasteland sites and make them their own. Conceptually I'm interested in law's translation into local, lay spatial practice - how habits, materialities and 'the law' intersect and make sense of each other. I blog about my work at http://lukebennett13.wordpress.com. I can be contacted at: ku.ca.uhs|ttenneb.e.l#ku.ca.uhs|ttenneb.e.l.
My interests in legal geography have come from studying place-making, using both legal resources and geographical understandings to understand and sometimes critique how places are constructed. I'm particularly interested in housebuilding and the legal context in which that happens - particularly the arguments made by the major UK housebuilders, the legal regimes and the growing lack of affordable housing. Any day now I'll also finish my book on Law, Place and Maps where I'm exploring how 'regulatory maps', everyday title plans, highway maps or neighbourhood plans, contribute to place-making.
My interests in environmental governance, state-society relations, and political ecology of water required that I come to grips with the complexity of law and how it intersects with the production of the waterscape. Luck and detective work led me to the special collection at Stanford University (California) where I had to confront boxes of unprocessed legal documents, court transcripts, hand-written notes, letters, and other miscellany related to historical water conflicts in south Texas, a region that is the site of my current research. My challenge was to understand these documents, make sense of them, and interpret their significance in relation to the broader research question. Faced with this challenge, I engaged head on the decades-old work on legal geography (or law and space) - from the early work of Blomley and Bakan and Delaney to the most recent material in law and society (Valverde). The subfield allowed me look through a new and fascinating prism, a perspective that allowed me to map more precisely the operation of power - state power or even social power. My work in legal geography has been published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and in a book chapter (Negotiating Scale in Water Governance, forthcoming 2014), and I expand on those ideas as I write my monograph on the politics ofdrinking water provision. But, my interest in legal geography has moved beyond the the empirical demands of my present study. My hope is that collaboration and work with fellow "legal geographers" will expand my writing and scholarly engagement beyond the specific issue of water and into a larger set of disciplinary and interdisciplinary debates. I am fascinated by the questions raised in the RGS-IBG session on legal geography (thanks Antonia and Luke!) related to methodology, interlegality, legal plurality, and even scale in law. Perhaps the question of co-production, the theme of next year's RGS-IBG, will yield further insights. I have a research page (http://geography.tamu.edu/profile/WJepson) with all my research and contact details. I look forward to reading and contributing to the newly minted "law and geography" wiki.
AND anyone else too….