CFP AAG 2016: Student Engagement in Community Service

Call for Papers: AAG 2016 San Francisco, CA 

Session Title: Student Engagement in Community Service

Organizers: Sallie Marston (University of Arizona) and Vincent Del Casino (University of Arizona)

Student engagement – meaningful, hands-on experiences for undergraduates through research, foreign travel or community service – has long been a hallmark of higher education in the US. Existing programs that enabled self-selected students to gain practical skills and professional competencies from activities offered outside the classroom have included study abroad, structured internships, and volunteer or part-time paid work on faculty research projects. With the new movement in the US to provide engagement across the entirety of the undergraduate population, even in large public institutions, there are enormous challenges to administrators and faculty to expand existing programs and develop new ones. Alongside the basic logistical challenges of providing these new engagement opportunities are the political questions about what sorts of experiences should be offered, how to collaborate effectively with communities, how to best prepare students to exercise respect and openness in their engagements, and what the outcomes of a successful experience should and can be.

In this CFP we invite submissions that address the student engagement phenomenon from the perspective of community service and that can make a range of contributions to the ongoing discussions about it.

Papers might consider topics including, but not limited to:

+   fostering progressive leadership through student engagement in community

+   assessments of successful/unsuccessful programs

+   cultivating an ethic of community service among undergraduates

+   mobile technologies for engagements in the community

+   the politics of student engagements in the community

+   the challenges of managing faculty and staff workload in developing and undertaking community service projects

+   defining student and programmatic learning outcomes related to community service
Submissions:  Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Sallie Marston ( by Monday, October 12, 2015. Successful submitters will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online on the AAG website by Thursday, October 29, 2015 with a session proposal deadline of November 18, 2015.

CFP AAG 2016: Paper Sessions(s) on The Agency of Place in a More-than-human World

Call for Papers

2015 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA

March 29-April 2, 2016

Paper Sessions(s) on The Agency of Place in a More-than-human World

We are organizing session(s) at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting in San Francisco around research and creative activities that explore place as an active agent in the lives of humans and nonhumans. Instead of thinking about place as a locale or background experience, we would like to engage in a discussion about the agency of place to motivate and guide dialogue, struggle, activism, and projects in defense of the pluriverse. Examples of contributions may include scholarly and creative work that seeks to understand place as an agent of ontological pluralism or its role in political agonism and partnership. We also welcome ethnographic and collaborative research with communities whose ontologies recognize the capacity of place to teach, create, and speak across ontological boundaries. In short, we envision this session as an opportunity to think through the agency of place in defending and nourishing the more-than-human communities and ontologies of the pluriverse, which, following Marisol de la Cadena, we define as “partially connected heterogeneous socionatural worlds negotiating their ontological disagreements politically.”

Our session is motivated first and foremost by Indigenous ontologies that recognize the agency of place as a creator, teacher, and guide in kinship relationships. These and other place-based ontologies are currently working through a variety of social movements around the world in what Isabelle Stengers has conceptualized as an agonistic “cosmopolitics” in which the “cosmos refers to the unknown constituted by . . . multiple, divergent worlds and to the articulation of which they would eventually be capable.” Arturo Escobar has argued that these place-based social activisms and struggles are creating the transition discourses that “posit radical cultural and institutional transformations – indeed, a transition to an altogether different world.” Importantly for this session, transition discourses are grounded in the agency of place and in “the fact that the re/constitution of place-based (though not place-bound) societies are not only possible but perhaps inevitable.”

Although our inspiration for this session comes from Indigenous thinkers and contemporary scholarship on the place-based politics of the pluriverse (e.g., Arturo Escobar, Walter Mignolo, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Leroy Little Bear, the Bawaka collective), we are open to any work that explores the agency of place in contemporary ontological pluralism and agonism. We cast our net widely but foresee contributions engaging such topics as:

  • Indigenous activism
  • Insurgent ecologies, biopolitics, and natural contracts
  • Place-based environmental activism and social movements
  • Land-based affinity movements/geoanarchism
  • Theoretical developments and debates engaging place in posthumanism/more-than-humanism, ontological pluralism, multinaturalism, cosmopolitics, and the Anthropocene.

If you are interested in participating in this session, please contact either one of the session organizers by September 30, 2015:

Soren Larsen                                                                Jay T. Johnson
Department of Geography                                           Department of Geography
University of Missouri                                                 University of Kansas                                          

CFP AAG 2016: Contemporary Migration by Boat and Border Enforcement: The governance, representation, spatialities and humanitarian realities of people migrating by boat at sea.


Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, March 29 – April 2, 2016


Contemporary Migration by Boat and Border Enforcement:

The governance, representation, spatialities and humanitarian realities of people migrating by boat at sea.



Elaine Burroughs, Maynooth University, Ireland

Keegan Williams, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada


Outline of topic/Background:

The migration of people by precarious and unauthorized boat methods at sea has increased substantially in recent years. This practice has gained significant attention from a range of actors, including governing authorities, political elites, the media, and NGOs. Although the sea has become a space of hope/desperation for migrants, it has also become a space of conflict over territory and sovereignty (Mountz, 2013). The critical literature on borders and exclusion shows that wealthier states have enacted a “policy of containment” designed to keep most migrants out (Castles, 2003). Border enforcement at sea is premised on this idea of containment. To this end, state authorities, like border guards and immigration agencies, have built systems to force migrants back before, during, or after arrival at the physical border (Hyndman & Mountz, 2008; Samers, 2004). Previous literature notes that this increased enforcement will be associated with increased loss of life as migrants take more dangerous journeys to evade authorities (Betts, 2006; Collyer, 2007). Indeed, not only are the number of people travelling by boat increasing, but the number of deaths are also increasing, especially in areas such as the Mediterranean (IOM, 2014; UNHCR, 2015).

The issue of containment of migrant boats emerged as early as the late 1970s (Mountz, forthcoming). Great concern about movement at sea was generated in Australia, the EU and the USA in the 1990s (Lutterbeck, 2006). Increasing publicity of migrant boat incidents worldwide reinforces these concerns and the security threats they reportedly pose (Pugh, 2001). State authorities attempt to combat migration by boat through various enforcement measures (e.g. the EU’s Operation Triton and NAVFOR Med). The causes of this humanitarian issue, however, are complex, and authorities inadequately and improperly use search and rescue services to address the situation. A number of scholars and non-governmental organisations have discussed the humanitarian and legal realities of migration by boat and border enforcement at sea (Gammeltoft-Hansen, 2008; Carling & Hernandez-Carretero, 2011); however, few studies have analysed their empirical relationship. We also have little information on what happens to migrants after their journeys at sea end. These gaps exist despite the importance of the continual “crisis” which migration by boat represents to these states.


Aim of session:

The key aim of this session is to specifically examine the current migration of people by boat at sea and the multiple instances of this practice from around the world. We wish to bring together scholars interested in this area and to advance knowledge on this topic within the field of geography. We aim to explore the full spectrum of processes involved in the migration of people by boat, from the reasons why people do so, to the attempt to control and “manage” this type of migration, through to what happens to these migrants once their “journey” at sea ends. Of particular interest to this session are papers that: (1) identify the empirical realities and outcomes of migration by boat; (2) describe the relationship between migration by boat and modern border enforcement in wealthier states; and (3) explore how migration at sea is represented by authorities and the media.

Regional examples include (but are not exclusive to): Australia/Indonesia, Canada, the European Union (e.g., Canary Islands; Spain; Italy/Malta; Greece), Malaysia and the United States of America.


Potential session participants should contact Elaine Burroughs ( and Keegan Williams ( by 28 September 2015 to indicate their interest in participating in the session. Please include a proposed title and a 200-word abstract.


CFP AAG 2016: The Geography of Infrastructure: States, Nature, and Capital

CFP: The Geography of Infrastructure: States, Nature, and Capital

AAG 2016 San Francisco

The aim of this session is to explore how state theory can inform ongoing conversations within political ecology. Interest has been expressed for a higher-order explanation for environment-state relations that answers how and why resistance to accumulation by dispossession fails. Antonio Ioris has challenged political ecologists to ‘craft a political ecological framework for the state’ by focusing less on nebulous, dispersed models of power and more on the ‘organization, motivations and rationality, and limitations of the state’ (2015). The survival of many humans, and other non-human species, is increasingly precarious, and yet states respond with little else than the marketization of “everything under the sun” (Whitehead et al., 2007). We contend that to know the range of options and determining factors for what is possible under a neoliberal environmental state, scholars need to situate the state-capital relation within the broader capitalist system.

To ground this discussion empirically, we seek submissions for papers (in any stage of development) on the topic of the geography of infrastructure, i.e., the hardware, software, and organizational capacities that facilitate nature-society metabolism and social reproduction. The one-two punch of austerity-led neoliberalism and the Anthropocene are aggravating natural and socionatural pressures on energy, water, transportation, EMS, and waste-management infrastructures. We seek a greater understanding of the relations between political economies, ecologies and the function of the state in provisioning access to services in moments of systemic crisis, resolution, and relative stability. We are particularly interested in approaches to these topics that follow the dialectical tacking back-and-forth in the movement of the capitalist mode of production between class struggles and the compulsion of the state to reproduce capitalism. Also, we find the capitalist environmental state to be an exciting and promising frontier of research for early-career scholars and we especially welcome grad student submissions. Please consider submitting an abstract on any of the following areas within geography:

  • State theory, regulation theory, crisis theory
  • Infrastructures: Water, Waste, EMS, Transportation, Energy, Ideological State Apparatuses

Please email your abstracts before the deadline to the organizer:

Antonio Ioris will be joining the session and will serve as discussant for the papers.



Ioris, Antonio 2015 “Theorizing state-environment relationships: Antinomies of flexibility and legitimacy.” Progress in Human Geography 39 (2) 167-84

Whitehead, Mark, Rhys Jones, and Martin Jones 2007 The nature of the state: excavating the political ecologies of the modern state Oxford: Oxford UP

Congratulations to PGSG’s 2015 Award winners

Congratulations to all the 2015 PGSG award winners. We are pleased to announce the following recipients:

Grad student paper awards:
1. PhD Student Paper: Emma Mullaney, Penn State University for ”Geopolitical Maize: Peasant Seeds, Everyday Practices, and Food Security in Mexico” (honorable mention is Katherine Sammler)
2. MA: Kelsey Carlson, Syracuse University for “Drawing Borders to Dispossess and Placing Dakota People in the Present: Alternative Territoriality”

Alexander B. Murphy Dissertation Enhancement Award:
Keegan Williams, Wilfrid Laurier University for “Arriving Somewhere but not Here: Exploring and Mapping the Relationship between Border Enforcement and Migration by Boat in the Central Mediterranean Sea, 2006-2014”

Student Travel awards:
1. Ali Nehme Hamdan, UCLA
2. Genevieve Parente, UBC
3. Wes Attewell, UBC
4. Joshua Watkins, UC Davis

Non-student awards:
1. Stanley D. Brunn Young Scholar Award: Simon Springer, U of Victoria
2. Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award: Martin Müller, U of Zurich
3. Julian Minghi Outstanding Book Award: Emma Norman, Northwest Indian College for Governing Transboundary Waters: Canada, the United States and Indigenous Communities (Routledge 2014)
4. Virginie Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award: Sarah Mills, Loughborough University for ‘An instruction in good citizenship’: scouting and the historical geographies of citizenship education (Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 2013)

PGSG Current Events Roundtable at AAG

Mark your calendars : PGSG will be sponsoring a current events roundtable about the recent protests in Hong Kong!

The Occupy Central/Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong (Panel 3675, Session 23813)

TIME/PLACE: Thursday, April 23, 5:20 PM – 7:00 PM, Lucerne 3, Swissôtel, Lucerne Level

ORGANIZERS: George C. S. Lin (University of Hong Kong) and Alexander B. Murphy (University of Oregon)

CHAIR: Alexander B. Murphy

Yue-Man Yeung (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Cindy Fan (University of California, Los Angeles)
Roger Chan (University of Hong Kong)
Wing Shing Tang (Hong Kong Baptist University)
George C. S. Lin (University of Hong Kong)

This session focuses on Hong Kong’s uneasy current status in the face of the much publicized Occupy Central/Umbrella Movement protests that rocked the city in recent months.  Why did the protests emerge and what do they portend for Hong Kong’s future?  What can they tell us about the issues and challenges facing a rising and increasingly assertive China?  How can geographers and other social scientists contribute to understanding Hong Kong’s changing socio-political environment?   These and related questions will be explored by a group of geographers who have lived in and studied one of Asia’s most dynamic, important cities.

AAG CFP: Geographies of Citizenship and Dissent

AAG CFP: Geographies of Citizenship and Dissent

This is an interactive paper session designed to encourage discussion and dialogue around how citizenship and dissent plays out in and between a diverse array of material and mediated spaces: from traditional public squares, to social media platforms, to commercial centers or workplaces.

Potential issues may include:

  • Occupy/ Culture Jamming
  • Ferguson/ Policing/ Riots
  • Squatting
  • Surveillance
  • E-Graffiti/Hacktivism
  • Social Movements
  • Border Militia

Session will be sponsored by the Cultural Geography and Communications Geography specialty groups.

If interested, please contact Bruce D’Arcus (