Progress in Human Geography, 33(6) pp 849-858

A number of commentaries and articles have been published in recent years reflecting on the nature, history and practice of rural geography. The introspective mood follows a period in which rural geography has been widely considered to have been resurgent, but indicates concerns about the unevenness of progress in rural geography, and about the readiness of the subdiscipline to address new challenges. This article, the first of three progress reports on rural geography, focuses on attempts within these interventions to rethink the boundaries of rural geography and its connections with other fields of study. First, it examines renewed debates on the definition and delimitation of the rural, including efforts to rematerialize the rural. Second, it considers the rejuvenation of work on rural—urban linkages, including concepts of city regions, exurbanization and rurbanity. Third, it discusses the interdisciplinary engagement of rural geographers, including collaboration with physical and natural scientists.