CFP AAG 2016: ‘The emerging geographies of infrastructure: regulation, distributed decisions and innovation in governance’

 ‘The emerging geographies of infrastructure: regulation, distributed decisions and innovation in governance’

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting,

San Francisco March 29-April 2, 2016

The aim of this session is to explore the emergence of new approaches and innovation in regulation, business models, and the diverse locations of decision-making in the governance of infrastructure delivery and maintenance at multiple scales (micro-scales like buildings, neighbourhoods; local, national, regional, EU and/or global scales).

Technology advancements enabled by the rapid growth of ICT in infrastructure delivery and maintenance, and the pinch on public resources brought on by austerity measures and the economic crisis, are opening spaces for the introduction of innovative and non-traditional models for creating and capturing value, within companies, society and the market. Innovations are occurring in terms of product, actors and process. Business model innovations can accompany other innovations or occur independently, and are strictly related to the way value is created and captured internally. Changes in business models can alter the development paths of even the most ancient and high-momentum infrastructure systems, potentially leading to new uses and utility. Companies typically only capture a small amount of the value they create, while the value that is created is not always economic (such as learning) but particularly important in infrastructure settings, which are often regulated to ensure these non-economic values are provided to society. Social innovations can create more value and capture public benefits which would otherwise be marginalised or lost through complex governance arrangements. These can take place through local initiatives, e.g. by volunteers as in the case of energy community projects; or in the form of public-private collaborations for funding and operating infrastructures (as in the case of shared information infrastructure).

The fragmented, complex, and disconnected nature of arrangements within and between infrastructure sectors, along with increasing interdependence between sectors, is reshaping business models of infrastructure based services, prompting the emergence of new approaches to regulation and governance. The increasingly interconnected nature of infrastructure sectors is also profoundly reshaping the decision-making process, opening up new sites of political intervention and influence, that pose questions related to the democratic potential (or not) of these new spaces of engagement that go beyond existing institutional arrangements. As such the evolving nature of infrastructure draws attention to a wider range of actors, sites, and technologies through which the direction of governance is influenced.

While regulatory changes are gradually pushing the boundaries of existing arrangements and playing catch up with normative concepts and policy, infrastructure governance has seen more extensive changes through the introduction of more and non-traditional actors, and platforms and means for coordination between (public and private) actors. Across sectors, there are opportunities and requirements for closer, more open and responsive relationships between infrastructure providers and regulators, which challenge existing regulatory practices and the way value is created and captured within infrastructure systems.

We seek submissions for papers on the following topics:

  • Network infrastructures (especially transport, railways, ICT, electricity and water)
  • Smart cities, smart grids, intelligent infrastructure and infrastructure interdependencies
  • Social innovation in infrastructure, innovation in business models, non-traditional business models for infrastructure delivery and maintenance
  • New sights of political and democratic engagement with the delivery and maintenance of cross-sectoral infrastructure developments.
  • Changes in infrastructure delivery associated with a shift from asset-focused to service-focused delivery; increased cross-sector interaction and changing relationships with(in) supply chains


Deadline for submitting abstracts: Wednesday 21st October 2015

Please email abstracts of 300 words max to the organisers by Wednesday 21st of October 2015. Successful applicants will be contacted by the 23rd of October 2015 and will be expected to pay the registration fee and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by October 29th 2015.



Ralitsa Hiteva, SPRU, University of Sussex
Katherine Lovell, SPRU, University of Sussex
Phil Johnstone, SPRU, University of Sussex,

CFP AAG 2016: Geographies of conflict, contestation, and coalescence

Session Title: Geographies of conflict, contestation, and coalescence



Sarah Heck, PhD student, Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University

Peter Wood, PhD candidate, Department of Geography, Florida State University


Sponsoring specialty groups:

Political Geography, Latin America, Development Geographies, Geographic Perspectives on Women



This session aims to draw attention to the geographic circumstances under which conflict and cooperation occur at various scales. The reasons for conflict, both contemporarily and historically, can vary greatly. With this session we aim to bring together a diverse collection of scholarship analyzing contexts in which social conflict shapes and is shaped by geographic factors. We are interested in work that examines spatial dimensions of conflict, contestation, and coalescence, including the roles of place, space, (im)mobility, networks, scale, borders, and territory as well as the roles of social categories such as race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and religion. The proposed session intends to address the roles of both state actors and grassroots mobilizations in the genesis and continuity of regimes of conflict. We are also interested in how unexpected coalitions and forms of cooperation happen in the context of conflict and contestation along lines of difference.


Within geography the topics of conflict and cooperation take many forms and are inspired by many theoretical backgrounds. Past examples have focused on socioeconomic equality–within a territory (Merrifield and Swyngedouw 1997) or between countries/regions (Landes 1998)–war (Flint 2005), social movements (Bosco 2004), and other related topics. A goal of this session is to bring together a multitude of perspectives in order to explore the many ways in which conflict arises, is sustained, is contested, or is resolved. Examples appropriate for submission include, but are not limited to:


Geographies of difference

Geographies of displacement


The production of space and the right to the city

Feminist approaches to understanding violence and conflict

Immigration policy and practice

Geographies of microaggressions

Dispossession of living and working spaces

Unlikely geopolitical partnerships

Histories of ethnoreligious turmoil

Urban grassroots mobilizations and protest spaces

Urban versus rural labor economies

Street gang rivalries and alliances

Perceptions and misperceptions of regional identity


Both empirical and theoretical contributions are welcome. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a paper idea, please feel free to contact the session organizers.


Instructions for submissions:

Interested participants should send a 250 word abstract and conference PIN to Sarah Heck ( and Peter Wood ( by October 16th, 2015.

Assistant/Associate Professor of Energy Policy Department of Social Sciences Michigan Technological University

Assistant/Associate Professor of Energy Policy

Department of Social Sciences

Michigan Technological University


JOB DESCRIPTION: The Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor of Energy Policy position. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.


ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS: We seek a colleague whose research interests center on US energy policy to collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of social scientists.  Specific areas of expertise should include one or more of the following: policy analysis; policy evaluation; climate change policy; or international energy policy. Applicants shall demonstrate how their research and teaching interests articulate with and strengthen our graduate program (MS and PhD) in Environmental and Energy Policy.

The candidate must have: a Ph.D. in a relevant social science field at the time of appointment; the ability to teach a graduate/undergraduate class surveying United States energy policies; and a strong research record, including high potential for securing external funding.  Preferred qualifications include: experience teaching undergraduate and graduate courses; successful development of competitive externally funded grants; and experience or background in working in interdisciplinary scientific research teams.


RESPONSIBILITIES:  1) Develop a strong research program at Michigan Tech that includes external funding; 2) supervise and foster graduate student development; 3) collaborate with Michigan Tech’s social, natural, and engineering scientists conducting cutting edge environmental sustainability research; 4) teach two courses each in fall and spring semesters, including energy policy, environmental policy, and one general education undergraduate social science class; 5) participate in university and department committees as well as external professional service.


DEPARTMENT AND UNIVERSITY: The Department of Social Sciences is comprised of faculty with diverse social science disciplinary backgrounds, including a large group of environmental social scientists. It offers undergraduate degree programs in anthropology, history, and social science and M.S. and Ph.D. programs in in Environmental and Energy Policy and Industrial Heritage and Archaeology.

Established in 1885, Michigan Tech is a research university, enrolls 7200 students, and is a leader in science and engineering education. Faculty members engage in extensive interdisciplinary, international environmental sustainability research. The university has a number of key centers and institutes through which Social Sciences faculty members collaborate with faculty from across campus, including: Sustainable Futures Institute; Great Lakes Research Center; Center for Water and Society; and Ecosystem Science Center. Michigan Tech also hosts the largest Peace Corps Master’s International Program (combining Peace Corps service abroad with an MS degree) in the country.


COMMUNITY: Michigan Tech is located in Houghton, MI in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Houghton was rated as the “15th Greatest Place to Live in America” by Outside Magazine in 2014. Situated on the hills bordering the beautiful Portage Waterway and only minutes from several Lake Superior beaches, the area offers a bounty of cultural and recreational opportunities. It is a major summer travel destination, one of the Top 10 outdoor adventure spots in the country for mountain biking, and is well known for its Olympic-caliber cross country ski trails, Lake Superior shoreline, and numerous inland lakes and rivers.

The historic downtown waterfront provides unique shopping, dining, and cultural opportunities in addition to serving as the mainland headquarters for Isle Royale National Park. Local schools are known for their high quality and commitment to being one of the top five districts for student performance in the state of Michigan. The cost of living is low and United Airlines flies directly from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Hancock Airport ten minutes from campus.  This environment, combined with a competitive compensation package, results in an excellent quality of life.


APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Applicants will apply on line at here. Upload a cover letter, curriculum vita, a brief statement of research interests and experience in securing research support, a brief statement of teaching philosophy, and one or more published or under review publications.  Applicants will be asked for the contact information for three reference providers.  Questions can be addressed to Search Committee Chair Kathy Halvorsen at


Review of applications will begin November 1st, 2015 and will continue until an appropriate candidate is chosen.


Michigan Tech acknowledges the importance of supporting dual career partners in attracting and retaining a quality workforce. See the university’s Dual Career Program’s website for additional information.


Michigan Tech is an ADVANCE institution, one of a limited number of universities in receipt of NSF funds in support of our commitment to increase diversity and the participation and advancement of women in STEM.  Michigan Tech is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disability. Applications from women and minorities are highly encouraged by both the department and the institution.



CFP AAG 2016: New Discourses of the Old Nation-State: Territories, Identities, Practices

*Call for Papers: AAG Annual Meeting 2016, 29 March – 2 April, San Francisco*

New Discourses of the Old Nation-State: Territories, Identities, Practices

Session convenor: Ingrid A. Medby (Durham University, UK), Berit Kristoffersen (UiT – The Arctic University of Norway)

Sponsored by the Political Geography Specialty Group.

In a time of ever accelerating global interconnectedness, mobility, migration, and climate change, the state has frequently been relegated to political anachronisms in academic analysis. Despite decades of heralding the state as obsolete, however, it tenaciously persists as the primary unit of territorial, political, and bio-political organisation. Moreover, while congruence of borders, authority, and community may never have been more than an illusion, the Westphalian idea(l) of the culturally legitimate “nation-state” likewise persists, reifying state authority as this undergoes profound transformation. Thus, rather than seeing the state as a static, separate, monolithic and de-humanised entity in its own right, critical political geographers are increasingly attuned to its “peopled” (Jones, 2007) and prosaic (Painter, 2006) nature. As an idea and construct (Abrams, 1988), the state materialises as an effect of a range of practices (Mitchell 1993) and is actively transformed through socio-political struggles at various geographical scales (Brenner 2004).

This session aims to interrogate how the state, the nation, or indeed the “nation-state” is re-negotiated, re-imagined, and re-interpreted in today’s world. Papers are invited that foster discussion of how territories and identities are formed and transformed in practice and through political imaginaries. The session thus aims to provide fresh perspectives on the meaning of statehood as performance and narrative.

The session’s theme is designed to be broad in order to attract a wide range of perspectives with the aim of fostering dialogue on the state that goes beyond traditional state theory. Researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts that relate to topics broadly engaging with the above, and may include (but are not limited to):

The state/statehood as:

  • Practices, performances, or ceremonies.
  • Identity, nationalism, or citizenship.
  • Borders, territories, or territoriality.
  • Multiscaled, nested, or fragmented.
  • Everyday, mundane, or banal.
  • Discourses, ideas, or narratives.


Please email your abstract of no more than 250 words (or any questions you may have) to Ingrid A. Medby ( by Monday 19th October 2015. Please include affiliation, contact details, etc.

Successful applicants will be notified by 23rd October, and will have to pay the registration fee and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website before 29th October 2015.

Unfortunately no financial support towards travel/accommodation/registration can be provided by the session convenor.


Abrams, P., 1988. Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State [1977]. Journal of Historical Sociology 1, 58–89.

Brenner, N., 2004. New state spaces: Urban governance and rescaling of statehood. Oxford University Press, New York.

Jones, R., 2007. People/States/Territories: The Political Geographies of British State Transformation, RGS-IBG book series. Blackwell, Oxford.

Mitchell, T., 1991. The Limits of the State: Beyond Statist Approaches and Their Critics. The American Political Science Review 85(1), 77-96.

Painter, J., 2006. Prosaic geographies of stateness. Political Geography 25, 752–774.

CFP AAG 2016: Fulfilling The Promise of Anarchist Geographies

Call for Papers – Association of American Geographers Conference 2016, San Francisco, 29 March2 April 2016
Fulfilling The Promise of Anarchist Geographies 
Ant Ince (Cardiff University)
Simon Springer (University of Victoria)
Nathan Clough (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Richard J White (Sheffield Hallam University)
Patricia Wood (York University)
Vanessa Sloan Morgan (Queen’s University)
Marcelo Lopes de Souza (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
The re-emergence of anarchist perspectives has been one of the most significant new developments in critical geography over the last few years. Two journal special issues in 2012 (Clough and Blumberg 2012; Springer et al. 2012) galvanised a diverse set of anarchist- inspired geographers and set the scene for a range of scholarship to emerge, including studies of non-capitalist economies (Ince 2015; White 2013), historical geographies (Ferretti 2013; 2014), political praxis (Curran and Gibson 2013), neoliberalism (Springer 2013), the state (Ince and Barrera forthcoming), governance (Gorostiza et al. 2013; Wilkin and Boudeau 2015), postcoloniality/decoloniality (Barker 2013), urbanism (Lopes de Sousa 2014), and a reassessment of our discipline’s radical potential (Springer 2016), among others.
New ideas and concepts have emerged through this renewed interest in anarchism, which promises to transform the intellectual landscape of geography as we know it. This growing maturity and diversity of anarchist thought, however, has been characterized by a heavy focus on theory. As scholars identifying with anarchist traditions, we feel it is both timely and vitally important to explore critically and in greater depth what these theoretical and conceptual innovations mean for academic praxis – in the empirical, as well as pedagogical and methodological, dimensions of geographical scholarship.
We therefore invite empirically grounded research presentations that utilize anarchist and left-libertarian frameworks, addressing themes including but not limited to:
• Colonialism, postcolonialism, and decolonization
• Economic geographies and sharing economies
• Post-humanist, more-than-human, and critical animal geographies
• Gender and feminisms
• Queer geographies and sexuality
• Authority, power, and the state
• Pedagogy, learning, and teaching
• Social movements, publics, and collective agency
• Mobilities, migration, and multicultural societies
• Critical geopolitics, anti-geopolitics, and alter-geopolitics
• The politics of everyday life and prefiguration
• Cooperation and the practice of mutual aid
• The commons and communing
• Intersectionality and identity
We also welcome presentations in non-traditional and participatory formats. Also, if you would like to participate in other ways (e.g. discussant) then please feel free to contact us as well.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to, and by 23 October 2015.
Please note: Once you have submitted an abstract to us and it is accepted, you will also need to register AND submit an abstract on the AAG website. The AAG abstract deadline is 29 October 2015:


CFP AAG 2016: The Mont Pelerin Plague? Revisiting and Rethinking Neoliberalism

Call for Papers – Association of American Geographers Conference 2016 – San Francisco, 29 March2 April 2016
The Mont Pelerin Plague? Revisiting and Rethinking Neoliberalism
Kean Birch (York University, Canada)
Simon Springer (University of Victoria, Canada)
From its initial conceptualization in Mont Pelerin in 1947, neoliberalism has now become a ubiquitous term. In geography, and elsewhere, it is used to theorize everything from the development of ecosystem services through urban regeneration to financialization (Springer, Birch & MacLeavy 2016). Across a range of disciplines it is conceptualized in various ways as, for example, a geographical process; a form of governmentality; the restoration of elite class power; a discourse; a political project of institutional change; a set of transformative ideas; a development policy paradigm; a radical political slogan; an epistemic community or thought collective; an economic ideology or doctrine; a particular form of violence; and so on. Such variety and diversity in intellectual analysis (i.e. an explanatory framework) and substantive topic (i.e. a thing to explain) have produced a glut of concepts, theories, and analyses. While this medley might be seen as a necessary – and fruitful – outcome of such a hybrid and heterogeneous process, it also has the potential side-effect of leaving us more confused than enlightened. It is increasingly difficult, on the one hand, to parse or synthesize this intellectual (yet often contradictory) abundance and, on the other hand, to apply it to policy or practical issues facing diverse communities, societies, organizations and individuals around the world. It also risk becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, where despite our hesitancies, we come to believe that there really is no alternative. A body of literature is emerging that is critical of current conceptions and understandings of neoliberalism, highlighting these issues (e.g. Boas & Gans-Morse 2009; Barnett 2009; Weller and O’Neill 2014; Flew 2014; Birch 2015; Venugopal 2015).
It is time to take stock of what we are left with by adopting neoliberalism as a key spanner in our analytical toolkit. Consequently, the aim of this session is to revisit and rethink neoliberalism as an abstract concept and as an empirical object. We invite contributors to critically revisit dominant conceptions of neoliberalism, to rethink how we use neoliberalism as an analytical and methodological framework, and to offer new ideas about how to productively
(re)conceptualize neoliberalism. Below we outline some broad questions that contributors might like to consider engaging, although others are welcome:
1. How conceptually useful has neoliberalism been in geography?
2. How has the concept of neoliberalism evolved over the last two decades?
3. How are we plagued by neoliberalism, or are we plagued by its ongoing prioritization?
4. Does neoliberalism represent the most useful or critical way of understanding the
current state of the world?
5. Does neoliberalism need updating as a critical concept in ways that take us beyond
hybridity and variegation?
6. What is missing from debates on neoliberalism in contemporary geographical
7. What makes neoliberalism such a popular analytical framework in geography?
8. Are there alternative ways to conceptualize neoliberalism?
9. Are we in need of finding alternative conceptions that break with the language of
‘neoliberalism’ altogether?
10. What might new visions beyond neoliberalism yield in terms of our collective political
Abstract Submission
If you would like to participate in the session, please submit an abstract (250 words max) by 19 October 2015 to and If you would like to participate in other ways (e.g. discussant) then please feel free to contact us as well.
Please note: once you have submitted an abstract to us, you will also need to register AND submit an abstract on the AAG website. The AAG abstract deadline is 29 October 2015:

CFP AAG 2016: “The ‘Other’ Side of the Bay: Contested Geographies of Oakland”

Call for Papers: “The ‘Other’ Side of the Bay: Contested Geographies of Oakland”

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA | March 29th – April 2nd, 2016

This session is sponsored by The “Oakland School” of Urban Studies, a graduate-student working group supported by the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI).[1]

Oakland, CA has long appeared at the margins of authoritative maps of U.S. and world cities. It has been seen as what geographer Jennifer Robinson (2002, 2006) calls an “ordinary city,” too “insignificant” to be considered a site of general knowledge about “the urban.” This is not to say that the city has been simply “off the map.” To the contrary, it has been incorporated into the representational geography and power geometry of the urban system in very particular ways—as subaltern, subcultural, and “pathological”—that have reinforced, however paradoxically, its marginality in mainstream urban discourses.

Recently, however, this has begun to change. Since the recession in 2008, Oakland has seen an influx of new residents and businesses, an extreme spike in the cost of housing, and an upsurge of positive media coverage that have had far-reaching, if uneven, effects on the city and its residents. Once (dis)regarded in terms of a highly racialized “image problem” (Rhomberg, 2004; Douzet, 2012), it has come to occupy an increasingly privileged position in the geographical imaginary and political economy of the Bay Area. At the same time, it has seen new rounds of racialized dispossession. Since 2011, over 10,000 homes—most of them concentrated in low-income communities of color—have been foreclosed (King, 2012), intensifying patterns of displacement that have resulted in the loss of over 34,000 African-American and Black-identified residents since 2000 (Rose & Lin, 2015). These contentious dynamics have put a spotlight on the city as a paradigmatic site in ongoing struggles over questions of housing affordability, economic and environmental justice, immigrant rights, Native land rights and recognition, and racialized state violence. There is thus a sense that something significant is happening in Oakland. But what that “something” is, or how to think about it, presents an increasing challenge for academics, activists, residents, and policymakers alike.

This session emerges out of the collaboration of The “Oakland School” of Urban Studies, a graduate-student working group supported by UCHRI. Meeting throughout the 2015-16 academic year, we aim to identify and tease apart the many lines of force that converge in and emanate from this contested city. We invite academics, artists, activists, and others working to think about and act upon this city in flux to join us as we attempt to define and debate the conjunctural moment in Oakland. What are the many processes working together to (re)shape the city? How do they relate to one another? How has the city been manufactured and mapped in the past? How is its status as a site and sign being transformed today? And to what extent do the much-discussed tropes of “gentrification,” “displacement,” “diversity,” and “state violence” express, obscure, and/or performatively enact this transformation in its many determinations?

While prioritizing work that specifically engages this city as its site of inquiry, we welcome papers not geographically centered on Oakland. These could be analyses that contribute to our understanding of how Oakland—as a place, process, and icon—is constructed and circulates in broader cultural discourses, policy spheres, and spatial and political imaginaries. They could also be analyses of other places that nevertheless demonstrate how a critical reading of “Oakland” allows us to think about contemporary urbanism more broadly in new ways.

Some potential themes include:

  • militarization, surveillance, policing, and incarceration
  • gentrification, displacement, and dispossession
  • indigenous sovereignty, settler colonialism, and decolonization
  • regional economic restructuring and changing geographies of the “tech” industry
  • relationship between Oakland, San Francisco, and other regional centers
  • affordable housing
  • environmental justice
  • comparative racialization
  • transnationalism and immigrant justice
  • multiculturalism and consumption
  • queer politics
  • cultural productive and expressive cultures
  • public space
  • cultural politics of belonging
  • urban citizenship and rights to the city
  • political organizing and social movements

Please email abstracts of up to 250 words to by October 15, 2015. We will send out notifications about acceptance by October 22.

For more information about the AAG annual meeting, including registration fees, dates, etc., please

For more information and ongoing updates about our group, The “Oakland School” of Urban Studies, please (coming in early October).



Douzet, Frédérick. (2012). The Color of Power: Racial Coalitions and Political Power in Oakland. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

King, Steve. (2012). Who Owns Your Neighborhood? The Role of Investors in Post-Foreclosure Oakland. Oakland: Urban Strategies Council.

Rose, Kalima & Lin, Margaretta. (2015). A Roadmap Towards Equity: Housing Solutions for Oakland, California. Oakland: PolicyLink.

Rhomberg, Chris. (2004). No There There: Race, Class, and Political Community in Oakland.Berkeley: University of California Press.

Robinson, Jennifer. (2002). Global and world cities: A view from off the map. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(3), 531-54.

______. (2006). Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development. New York: Routledge.


[1] Angela Aguilar, Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley; Trisha Barua, Cultural Studies, UC Davis; Savannah Kilner, Gender Studies, UCLA; Allison Logan, Sociology, UC Berkeley; Eli Marienthal, Geography, UC Berkeley; Erin McElroy, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz; Andrea Miller, Cultural Studies, UC Davis; Dorie Perez, Interdisciplinary Humanities, UC Merced; Magie Ramírez, Geography, University of Washington; Divya Sundar, City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley; Alex Werth, Geography, UC Berkeley


CFP AAG 2016: Legal geographies

Call for Papers: Legal geographies
Association of American Geographers
2016 Annual Meeting in San Francisco March 29-April 2
Melinda Harm Benson and John Carr
University of New Mexico, Geography and Environmental Studies
In their edited volume Expanding the Spaces of Law (2014), Irus Braverman, Nicholas Blomley, David Delaney and Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar identify three main streams or modes of scholarship in legal geography to date: (1) disciplinary work in law or in geography that is modeled on the conventional image of import and export (2) interdisciplinary pursuit in which scholars in the eponymous fields draw on the work of each other and seek to contribute to the development of a common project and (3) investigations that move beyond legal geography to trans-disciplinary, or perhaps even post-disciplinary, modes of scholarship. Within the third category, investigative approaches increasingly emphasize performativity as a basis of inquiry.  Braverman and her colleagues describe performance theory as form of open-ended social constructionism that places an emphasis on the iterative and citational nature of performances that, in their complex assemblages, stabilize particular social arrangements.  An emphasis on how law is performed highlights its ontological role (Blomley 2013).  These performances take place in the “everyday”—situations ranging from the daycare center and the supermarket to the football stadium and the national park.
We invite papers and across the various modes of scholarship.  Past sessions have been organized around themes including: law/colonialism/capitalism, property, methods, political economy/law and human/environment/law.
Interested contributors should contact by October 21, 2015.
Please send this on to other individuals or specialty groups that may be interested in this call.  Hope to see you in San Francisco!

CFP AAG 2016: Tracing Heroes and Villains in the negotiation of spatial relationships

CFP: Tracing Heroes and Villains in the negotiation of spatial relationships

Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers

San Francisco March 29-April 2, 2016

Organizers: Arielle Hesse and Jennifer Titanski-Hooper; Penn State University

Discussant: Ingrid Nelson; University of Vermont

Heroes and villains operate within societies as figures of mythical largess, made, reborn, and reimagined through story telling, symbolism, and relevance to particular historical moments (Marples, 2007; Todorova, 2004). Marked by their performance of gender, class, race, sexuality, and ethnicity, they may figure as individuals of exceptional stature (i.e. heads of state, religious leaders) but also emerge from the everyday (as soldiers, mothers, police officers, workers, farmers, etc.) (Bickell, 2000; Dowler 2002; Nelson, 2015). In either case, heroes are known for their extraordinary actions, commitments, and beliefs in the face of adversity or injustice, challenges that are often embodied by an opposing force, in many instances, a villain.

The meanings of good and evil and the motivations for making and naming heroes and villains involve complex spatial processes that are rooted in, and reproduce, violences. Heroes and villains are invoked to both justify and challenge economic, social, and political ideas (Wright, 2001; Rodriguez, 2002). They are often deployed in the process of nation-building (Hobsbawm and Ranger, 1983; Johnson, 1995; Sharp, 2007), and as a consequence, in the construction of gendered, racialized, and sexualized ‘others’ (Dawson 1994; Gibson, et. al., 2001; Puar, 2002). As symbols that are used to defend or justify particular societal ideals, heroes produce difference across time and space. As such, one person’s hero can be another’s villain, and a hero today can be recast as a villain tomorrow as boundaries and objectives of inclusions and exclusions change. Heroes and villains present opportunities to trace shifting idealized norms, and analyze emergent reconfigurations of economic, political, and power relations.

The construction of heroes and villains is particularly germane to recent social and political happenings. The refugee crisis in Europe, recent media coverage of professional sports scandals, debates over the policing and militarization of urban space, the #Blacklivesmatter movement, and the ongoing struggles over energy resources, have all deployed images of heroes, villains, and victims to reinforce and challenge existing norms and power relations. Geography is well positioned to both analyze these constructions and complicate the binaries of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. Thus, this session seeks papers that draw on diverse empirical examples to show the complicated ways that heroes and villains act as tools of statecraft and political economy, but also shape the negotiation of everyday spatial practices.

We welcome research examining the construction or deployment of heroes and villains in:

  • The construction of national identities, gendered identities
  • Shifting configurations of Public and Private
  • The militarized state
  • The making of spectacle
  • Shifting political economies
  • ‘Counter’ Terrorism
  • Public Health
  • Social and Environmental movements

Please send proposed titles and abstracts of up to 250 words by October 10th to: Arielle Hesse ( or Jennifer Titanski-Hooper (

CFP AAG 2016: Everyday Politics, In, Against and Beyond Crises

Posted on behalf of Vicky Habermehl


CFP for a session for the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, March 29-April 2, 2016 in San Francisco


Everyday Politics, In, Against and Beyond Crises:

Neighbourhood Struggles Resisting Austerity and Producing Alternatives


Recent studies of neighbourhood struggles taking place in contexts of crisis have demonstrated their relevance for looking into transformations in how contestation to neoliberal austerity is articulated and manifested. In these, the ongoing crisis is often interpreted through a macro-economic perspective. However, this session aims to take the discussion a step further. In particular, we want to focus on interpretations of crises ‘from below’, through emergent forms of contestation (see Featherstone et al 2015), i.e. how crises are understood, narrated, embodied and contested by local communities and groups. Through engaging with examples of ethnographic research from Europe (such as Greece and Spain etc.) and Latin America (such as Argentina), we argue that counter-austerity politics and alternatives to the crisis of neoliberal capitalism are grounded on everyday life contexts (see Petropoulou 2014, Sitrin and Azzelini, 2014, Stavrides 2014, Zibechi, 2012). Moreover, we aim to demonstrate how everyday practices grounded in local contexts of activism (e.g. urban, neighbourhood, community) provide for crucial insights into how austerity is countered through a ‘politics of necessity’ (Chatterton 2005); and how spaces of resistance to austerity serve as laboratories for alternatives to emerge, e.g. solidarity economy, cooperativism, alternative practices and ‘commoning’ etc. Further, we wish to problematize the potential of these in acting as spaces of empowerment and engaging with ‘in-against-(and) beyond’ formal electoral politics and state solutions, e.g. Syriza, Podemos etc.

We invite papers from across critical/radical geography scholars that develop conceptions of crisis contexts through forms of contestation and possibilities for resistance to deepening austerity. Further to these, during this session we aim to draw out comparative elements from these different local contexts of activism. In particular, contributions are encouraged (but not restricted) to address one or more of the following issues:

  • Conceptions of everyday practices of resistance to neoliberal crises
  • The spatialities of resistance and struggle
  • Examples of local contexts as emergent sites of resistance to austerity and crisis
  • Emerging forms of collective (self)-organization as a ‘politics of hope’
  • Organisation ‘despite and through’ local and national, state and autonomous contexts
  • Specific cases of neighbourhood resistance for example in Spain, Greece and Latin America
  • Bringing together Latin American and European neighbourhood struggles to demonstrate connected articulations of resistance, repression and compromise.


Session Organisers

Athina Arampatzi, University of Leeds

Victoria Habermehl, University College London

Nick Clare, University of Sheffield


Anyone interested in participating in the session should send an abstract of no more than 250 words by October 21, 2015 to Athina Arampatzi (, Victoria Habermehl ( and Nick Clare (

For more information on the requirements of the AAG see: