CFP AAG 2016: Hipster Geographies: Socio-spatial practices, politics, and economies of one of culture’s most maligned figures

Final Call for Papers: AAG 2016 (San Francisco, CA)
Hipster Geographies: Socio-spatial practices, politics, and economies of one of culture’s most maligned figures.
Organizers: Ryan Burns, Temple University; Cristina Temenos, Northeastern University; Jesse McClelland, University of Washington.
Both hailed and maligned, the figure of the ‘hipster’ plays a prominent role in the administration, spatial configuration, and narration of consumption in contemporary cities. The hipster has been blamed for many social ills in popular discourse including gentrification, the dissolution of political activism, and the expression of race and class privilege (Cowen 2006, Rayner 2010, Oluo 2010). Yet just what the hipster is remains loosely mapped and poorly articulated. Though some have already pronounced the death of the hipster (Greif et al. 2010), it continues to haunt urban imaginaries, akin to ‘chavs’, ‘dandies’, ‘welfare queens’, ‘yuppies’ or other figures of urban lore.
By deflecting attention from the structural forces and struggles around injustice and naturalizing a state of ironic detachment, the figure of the hipster may help to depoliticize the workings of capitalist urban governance. These workings include economic incentives designed to promote specific kinds of consumption (Barry 2013) and differential policing of racialized, classed, and gendered bodies and behaviors (Smith 2014) – many of which Neil Smith (1996) identified as the new drivers of gentrification. In this sense, the hipster is at once thought to be conferring ‘new’ energies and possibilities on urban spaces, while ratifying decades-long tendencies of commodification and dispossession. Some even trace the hipster’s origins back to the Antebellum U.S. South (Leland 2001). On the other hand, the hipster’s positioning within current digital and creative economies indicates new political-economic transformations (McWilliams 2015, Omidi 2014). Further, some scholarly accounts have suggested that the hipster is less a figure than a new sociology and cultural force with unknown implications (Greif, Ross, Tortorici 2010; Schiermer 2014).
The figure of the hipster remains remarkably nebulous and its spatialities, political-economic transformations, and cultural significance remain underexplored, particularly from a perspective that prioritizes its geographic conditions. This session calls for papers addressing these gaps and contributing to geographers’ theoretical and empirical understanding of the ordering of cities today. Along these lines, papers could address the following issues, and more:
  • What forms has the hipster taken in diverse contexts, locally and globally, and how have these geographic specificities led to distinct implications and impacts?
  • What are the politics of the hipster – its formulation, its influence on activism, its injection into the political arena, or its depoliticization of urban social and economic transformations?
  • How is the hipster imbricated in economic and cultural geographies? Of urban geographies of gentrification, housing, labor markets?
  • How does the hipster mediate broader understandings of youth cultures, queer cultures, transnational cultures and others?
  • How does the hipster assist in broader processes of appropriation, production and consumption (whether of sport, fashion, food, home, public/private divides)?
  • How does the hipster synergize with either new technological transformations or craft/traditional/DIY practices?
  • How might the hipster disrupt or reinforce social orderings, such as racism, classism, sexism, and heteronormativity?
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Ryan Burns (, Cristina Temenos (, and Jesse McClelland ( by October 10.
Information about conference fees, registration, etc can be found at:
Barry, D. (2013). So Hipsters Aren’t The Economic Boon Some Urbanists Thought They’d Be. Jezebel. March 13, 2013
Cowen, D. (2006). Hipster urbanism. Relay: A Socialist Project Review 13: 22-23.
Greif, M., K. Ross, D. Tortorici (2010). What Was the Hipster? A Sociological Investigation. New York: n+1 Foundation.
Leland, John (2001). Hip: The History. New York: Harper Perennial.
McWilliams, D. (2015). The Flat White Economy: How the Digital Economy is Transforming London and Other Cities of the Future. New York: Duckworth Overlook.
Oluo, I. (2015). Uncomfortable Fact: Hipster Racism is Often Well-Intentioned. The Guardian. Feb 13, 2015.
Rayner, A. (2010). Why do people hate hipsters? The Guardian. Oct 14, 2010
Schiermer, B. (2014). Late-modern hipsters New tendencies in popular culture. Acta Sociologica, 57(2), 167-181.
Smith, C.B.R. (2014). Harm Reduction Hipsters: Socio-Spatial-Political Displacement and the Gentrification of Public Health. In Nadya S. Columbus (Ed.) Harm Reduction: Principles, Perceptions and Programs. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Ltd.
Smith, N. (1996). The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City. New York: Routledge.

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.

UCL – Postdoctoral Researcher openings

2 x Postdoctoral researcher vacancies


The UCL City Leadership Initiative, a joint effort of UN-Habitat, University College London and World Bank based at UCL STEaPP, is now recruiting two postdoctoral researchers to join its growing team. Two posts are now open with deadline on November 4 for posts as:

The postholder will collaborate with other researchers in the WEF WEBs consortium of major universities across the UK (Glasgow, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Oxford, Exeter and Newcastle) in developing stakeholder analysis of the urban governance of the Water Energy Food (WEF) nexus, in particular in relation to its multi-scalar challenges, while working closely with colleagues at Oxford University, Cambridge University and Imperial College London. Further particulars here.
The postholder will collaborate with other researchers in the “Vaccinating the Nexus’ (VTN) consortium of major universities across the UK (Southampton, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University of Nottingham, HR Wallingford, Aberystwyth, Loughborough and Bath) in developing a framework for assessing learning in urban governance, in particular in relation to contexts of crisis management, while supporting interdisciplinary integration and collaboration across VTN. Further particulars here.

The two postdoctoral researchers will work within the CLI team at UCL STEaPP, and will have a chance to further shape the programmes of research and policy engagement by CLI with key stakeholders like the World Bank, WHO or ARUP. Further information on CLI and CLI’s research programmes is available here:

For any query on these posts please contact Steve Morrison (, research coordinator at UCL STEaPP or dr Michele Acuto (, director of the City Leadership Initiative.

CFP AAG 2016: Geographies of Education Restructuring and Teacher Union Activism in North America

Call for papers: AAG 2016 San Francisco, CA

Session Title: Geographies of Education Restructuring and Teacher Union Activism in North America

Organizers: Paul Booking (York University) and Peter Brogan (York University)


Education scholars and geographers have in recent years been collaborating and developing a rich sub-field of education geography (Taylor 2009). With the spatial turn in Critical education scholarship researchers have typically approached their inquiries through a socio-temporal lens that draws on the works of Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, Pierre Bourdieu, Edward Soja, and others to expand the sociological study of education by insisting on the different ways in which “space matters” to the study of education. Geographers have described these spaces of education as, “rich subjects of critical geographical analysis,” especially as “neoliberal reforms… are transforming the spaces, subjectivities, and power relations of education” (McCreary et al. 2013, 255).

This session aims to elaborate a geographical analysis of recent attacks on public education, teachers and their unions throughout North America. In particular, we are interested in papers that focus on developing a spatialized political economic analysis of the policies of education restructuring and how teachers have been collectively fighting back against the destructive neoliberalization of education policy and practice, both through their unions and outside of them. Some of the questions that might be addressed in this session might include:

  • What kind of theory and research practice is necessary to both understand and contest the neoliberalization of public education and the assault on teacher unions?
  • How have the ideologies and politics of neoliberal education “reform,” on the one hand, and organizing models, strategies and tactics of resistance against such restructuring, on the other, evolved as they have travelled across space?
  • How have the dynamics of these struggles varied from place to place depending on diverse local, regional and national contexts? Put another way, how does education policy, activist discourses and practices travel and get taken up in different places across Canada, the United States and Mexico?
  • In what ways does race and racism figure into current educational reform policies and the remaking of urban space?
  • What is the political ecology of neoliberal education policy-making in North America?
  • In what ways does a critical geographical approach matter to grassroots struggles for education justice?


Submissions need not be limited to these suggestions; we welcome abstracts with expansive interpretations of these topics and themes.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to Peter Brogan ( and Paul Bocking ( by Monday, October 23rd, 2015. Selected abstracts will be accepted by October 25th. All participants must provide AAG PINs by October 28th.

CFP AAG 2016: Geographies of State Terror

CALL FOR PAPERS: Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), San Francisco, CA, March 29April 2, 2016.

Geographies of State Terror

After forty-three students were disappeared one year ago from the streets of Iguala, Guerrero, Mexican citizens took to the streets by the hundreds of thousand, crying “Fue el Estado” – It was the State. This cry of grief and rage resonates with a complex global geography of violence that is sanctioned, designed, and administered by apparatuses of state power. In convening a session on Geographies of State Terror, we seek to better understand where and why the state terrorizes people.

State terrorism is nothing new. However, several twenty-first century political and economic shifts have altered these old forms of violence in pernicious and important ways. First, since September 11, 2001, the state has developed new technologies and claimed new license to surveille, apprehend, and even assassinate. Expansive new definitions of criminals and enemy combatants have authorized preemptive action against targeted likely threats, profiled by race, gender, religion, and nationality. Second, amidst the wreckage of the post-2008 financial crisis, renewed neoliberal and austerity policies have served to further consolidate wealth and accelerate the dispossession of the global poor. Third, these growing, discontented populations of surplus humanity are a source of increasing anxiety among the political and economic elite. This shifting terrain – in which state apparatuses seek to produce and punish terrorized subjects – demands innovative scholarship and solidarities.

We seek, through this session, to bring these three trends into conversation with one another toward a deeper, clearer understanding of how state terrorism operates and what it accomplishes.

Topics for proposed papers could include, but are not limited to:

  • Militarized and anticipatory policing
  • State-sanctioned extra-legal and paramilitary violence
  • Mass incarceration and detention
  • Border security and deportations
  • Racist and trans/homophobic profiling
  • “counter-terrorist” strikes
  • Institutions of impunity
  • Vagabond capitalism and social reproduction
  • Terror in the spaces of everyday life

Please send proposed titles and abstracts of up to 250 words by October 12th to: Emma Gaalaas Mullaney ( and Vanessa Massaro ( We will confirm participation by October 17th, with abstracts and AAG registration due on October 29th

CFP AAG 2016: The European Migration Crisis

Call for Papers: AAG 2016 San Francisco, CA 
Title: The European Migration Crisis
Photographs, interviews and news reports covering the rising number of international migrants who are arriving along the European Union’s border or have died trying to reach Europe are now ubiquitous. This recent and unprecedented increase in the number of migrants destined for Europe is so startling it has been identified as a migration “crisis”. While internally the European Union’s Schengen common border agreement purports freedom of movement for its citizens, international migrants arriving at the border face numerous challenges and the European Union has increased spending for its border patrol operations since April 2015. Discrepancies between various member-states responses’ to migrants and their willingness to accept asylum applications complicate matters further.
The aim of this session is to critically examine this migration from a theoretical and/or empirical perspective. We are interested in investigating a variety of factors surrounding this crisis including conflicts at the EU border, local and/or national responses (e.g. resistance or support for migrants), and media portrayal of the crisis. In this CFP, we invite papers that investigate the aforementioned topics as well as topics including, but not limited to:
  • Contestation surrounding EU or member-state regulations governing migration and refugee status, including external pressure on EU member-states to accept refugees
  • Conflicts at borders and challenges faced by both migrants and receiving member-states
  • Policies or beliefs (real or mistaken) that make certain member-states more desirable destinations than other EU member-states for migrants
  • Investigation of geographic tropes, discourse(s) and global imaginaries that contribute to perceptions of this surge of migrants as a “crisis”
  • Motivating factors that are driving many of these migrants out of their homeland
This session is sponsored by the Political Geography and European Specialty Groups. Reece Jones will serve as discussant for this session. Please send proposed titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Kara Dempsey ( by Friday, October 9, 2015.

CFP AAG 2016: Geopolitical representation, culture, and territoriality

Call for Papers: AAG 2016 San Francisco, CA

Title: Geopolitical representation, culture, and territoriality

Linkages between geopolitical representations, culture, and territoriality are powerful and complex entities that are manifested across a variety of socio-spatial scales. While these dramatic and dynamic elements often result in contested perceptions of place and belonging, they still hold great power and meaning. The aim of this session is to critically examine these geopolitical and/or cultural representations and spaces across a variety of scales. We are interested in investigating a variety of factors surrounding these forces and assemblages through a full range of theoretical and methodological approaches. Papers may focus on, but are not limited to:

-Contested geopolitical representations of place and belonging
-Engagement of issues of territoriality, power, and governance
-Critical analysis of folklore festivals or commemorative acts
-Employment of architecture and urban design as a medium for shaping political discourses

This session is sponsored by the Political Geography, Cultural Geography, and European Specialty Groups. Please send proposed titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words to Kara Dempsey ( by Monday, October 19th 2015.

CFP AAG 2016: Sanitation inadequacy: Beyond poverty and preferences

Call for Papers

AAG 2016: Sanitation inadequacy: Beyond poverty and preferences

Organizer: Richa Dhanju, Texas A&M University

Sanitation inadequacy, defined as lack of access to hygienic and safe human waste disposal infrastructure, affects more than 2.6 million people worldwide. Despite the size and global nature of the problem, and the advantages of geographic approaches for its study (Jewitt, 2011), few geographers do research on this topic. The extent and impact of sanitation inadequacy is rooted in social, economic, political and ecological realities that are particularly complex in the global south. It is crosscut by gender norms, cultural beliefs, and income poverty. It is also about soil type, water availability and poor governance.

Current sanitation policy asserts that sanitation inadequacy stems from household income poverty coupled with individual preferences and beliefs. It is assumed that the poor will be the least likely to afford or access adequate sanitation, and that inadequate sanitation produces negative health and ensuing economic conditions that keep the poor in poverty. However, sanitation scholarship has not attended to the structural and relational issues that produce sanitation inadequacy. The session aims to question the conventional viewpoint that sanitation inadequacy affects only the poor and is a product of their income poverty or preferences.

This session invites papers to examine sanitation inadequacy through the interconnected nature of power and privilege between citizens (caste, class, gender, religious identity, assets), and, between citizens and governments (citizen participation, social capital, development investments). We invite scholars to share their sanitation research from urban or rural parts of the world that challenges individualized framings of sanitation inadequacy to instead highlight its relational and structural causes.


Papers can address the following broad areas:


  • poverty and sanitation policies
  • the role of political will of governments and NGOs in addressing sanitation inadequacy
  • stress and violence experienced by women and girls due to sanitation inadequacy
  • impact of livelihoods, land use, and environmental changes on beliefs and practices around sanitation
  • key geographic concepts and theories used to understand the current sanitation situation
  • analysis of political changes wrought by sanitation interventions or their absence
  • rethinking sanitation inadequacy through the application or critique of the relational poverty framework.


Abstract submission:

Please send your paper title and abstract to Richa at by October 20, 2015. Please also email if you would like to be a discussant for this session.


Once you submit abstract for this particular session, you will also need to register and submit an abstract on the AAG website. The AAG abstract deadline is 29 October 2015:



Jewitt, S. (2011). Poo Gurus? Researching the threats and opportunities presented by human waste. Applied Geography, 31 (2), 761–769.


2nd CFP AAG 2016: The Geography of Infrastructure: States, Nature, and Capital

Dear PG and EG SGers,

We are looking for a few more papers to round out a second session. We’ve already seen abstracts on energy democracy in Berlin, the hydro-social cycle in Oregon, and mining in Mongolia. Great stuff – keep ‘em comin’!



The Geography of Infrastructure: States, Nature, and Capital

Sponsored by the Political geog., Economic geog., and Cultural and Political Ecology specialty groups

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting,

San Francisco March 29-April 2, 2016

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 10/30 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

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,