Lisa Butler Harrington* - Kansas State University
Guy M. Robinson - University of South Australia
At a meeting in Guelph in 1985, rural geographers from the respective specialty groups in Canada, the UK, and the US decided to create a conference series with meetings to be held every four years, rotating among the three countries and specifically involving a limited number of participants from these three groups. The first of these was held in England in 1991, with following meetings in the US in 1995, Canada in 1999, England in 2003, the US in 2007, and Canada in 2011. During this period, meetings have remained intentionally small-limited to the capacity of a tourbus–and have continued to involve rural geographers from mainly Anglophone countries, though some participants have come from Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland (as well as Francophone Canada). Each conference has resulted in one to two book volumes, but even more importantly each conference has provided the opportunity for the creation of a community of scholars with similar interests, including graduate students to very senior academicians. This paper describes the format and history of the conferences, including the sharing of current thematic foci in rural geography.