PGSG book award – Call for nominations

PGSG is currently soliciting nominations for the annual Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award, which is given to the author(s) of the best book published during the previous calendar year (2015) in the field of political geography.

The deadline for nominations is January 15 and can be sent to Natalie at:

Additional information about this award, as well as the other PGSG non-student awards, is pasted below and available here.
Additional information and deadlines on student awards are here.


1. Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award.  This award will be given to the author(s) of the best book published during the previous calendar year (2015) in the field of political geography.

2. Virginie Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award. This award will be given to the author(s) of a journal article or book chapter published in the previous three (3) calendar years (2013, 2014, 2015) that makes an innovative, original contribution to the conceptual and/or methodological embrace of political geography.

3. Stanley D. Brunn Young Scholar Award.  This award will be given to an individual who has received her/his Ph.D. within the past ten years, in honor of contributions that have generated new interest in the subfield and/or opened up new areas of inquiry for political geographic research.

4. Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award.  This award will be given to an individual who has used her or his political geographic expertise to affect change (in public thought or public policy) beyond the academy.

General Information:

1. All awards will be based on nominations made to the President of the PGSG, with award decisions to be made by the PGSG Board. Nominations should include a paragraph describing the impact of the nominee’s work in political geography and more broadly. The next deadline for nominations is 15 March 2016 for all awards, except for the Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award, which is 15 January 2016.

2. For each award category, a maximum of one award will be conferred each year, with the announcement to be made at the PGSG Business Meeting taking place the next Spring (e.g., the announcement for the Outstanding Research Award for 2015 will be made at the Spring 2016 Business Meeting).  For each award category, if there are no nominees whom the Board views as deserving of merit, no award will be made.

3. Decisions regarding who receives awards will be made by the PGSG Board.  The PGSG Board reserves the right to determine whether a nominee (or a nominated publication) falls within the scope of political geography.

4. Nominations by Board members are permitted.

5. Nominations of Board members are permitted. In this case, the board member will be recused from the vote.

6. Awardees need not be PGSG or AAG members, although awardees will be strongly encouraged to join both groups if they are not already members.

STS Summer Institute at University of Wisconsin, Madison: DUE Monday, January 11, 2016

Science and Technology Studies Summer School

Disclosing/Enclosing Knowledge in the Life Sciences

July 11-15, 2016

University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison WI


We invite applications from students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities for a five-day summer school that will provide training in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). This seminar is an excellent opportunity for graduate students who are interested in incorporating social and humanistic perspectives on science and technology into their research, and require an advanced level introduction to the field.


A curious feature of knowledge societies is that producing more data does not always result in less uncertainty, and the circulation of information may obscure some facts even as it reveals and amplifies others. Scientists, policy-makers, ethicists, laypersons, and advocacy groups alike attempt to manage the flow of facts, techniques, and materials by sequestering, containing, or merely highlighting certain facets. Yet despite their best efforts at controlling the distribution of knowledge, there are also unanticipated leaks, diversions, and revelations. Imperatives for transparency and the ‘right to know’ may also come into direct conflict with intended ‘protections,’ as demonstrated by controversies over the sequestering of knowledge through intellectual property regimes or governmental suppression of data for political purposes. We will use examples and case studies from research on the paradoxes of information flow in the life sciences to introduce and illustrate some of the key approaches in STS. These examples cases will span genetics, synthetic biology, newborn screening, bioinformatics, regenerative medicine and precision medicine.

The Summer School is supported by the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and its Disclosing/Enclosing

knowledge research cluster. For more information about the cluster, see


Program and faculty

Through a mix of lectures, group workshops and discussions of individual projects, participants will be exposed to core concepts and methodologies in STS. The workshop faculty will illustrate core concepts or methods with examples from their own research. These will be accompanied by in-depth discussion sessions, case study exercises, short presentations on student research projects, and a field trip. There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction and participation, as well as enjoying artisanal beer and cheese on UW Madison’s lakefront.

Organizing UW Madison faculty:
Linda Hogle, Medical History and Bioethics Nicole Nelson, History of Science
Pilar Ossorio, Morgridge Institute for Research Krishanu Saha, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery


Guest faculty:
Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University Sergio Sismondo, Queen’s University Stefan Timmermans, UCLA

Selection criteria

We will recruit outstanding young scholars from UW Madison and across the United States. Applications are open to all graduate students, including disciplines other than STS or History and Philosophy of Science. The summer school will offer a rich educational experience for those new to the field, and scientists who are interested in gaining skills to address social or policy questions related to their research are especially encouraged to apply.

Key dates
Deadline for applications: Monday, January 11th, 2016 Notification of acceptance: Monday, February 1st, 2016 Registration and financial aid form: Monday, February 8th, 2016

Financial aid

Accommodations for out of town students and some meals will be covered by a grant from the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. A limited amount of funds are available for travel grants ($150-$400, depending on the distance traveled). More information about travel grant allocation will be provided in the acceptance letters.

Application process

Applications should include the following, sent as a single PDF file:

  1. Statement of interest (maximum 300 words). The statement of interest should describe the applicant’s background and qualifications and describe their current research and its relevance to the aims of the summer school
  2. Brief Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages)
  3. One signed letter of recommendation from a supervisor, director of graduate studies, or other faculty member familiar with applicant’s research interests.

Application materials should be sent to Lyn Macgregor at




Bergamo (Italy) – June 8-11, 2016

Call for Papers


The past year has been a tumultuous one for the south/eastern borderlands of Europe. From the failed attempts to resist austerity in Greece against the backdrop of its possible exit/expulsion from the Eurozone, to the ongoing ‘refugee crisis’ that reverberates from Germany to the Mediterranean, old patterns of exclusion at Europe’s socio/spatial ‘margins’ are being reinforced, and new ones are being created. The production of categories of exclusion – the insolvent debtor, the economic migrant, the refugee – are also moments of redefinition of what ‘Europe’ may mean, and who or what may be ‘European’.

This panel seeks to bring together areas that are usually studied separately – the Eurozone crisis and ‘austerity’ on one side, and migration and the ‘refugee crisis’ on the other – in order to challenge the notion that it is migration alone (and a supposed ‘difference’ embodied by migrants, or citizens of non-European descent) that is calling into question a stable notion of ‘Europe’. Instead, the panel seeks to analyze the multiple ways in which ‘Europe’ (as a ‘geo-body’, a ‘historical construct’, a symbol, a relation) is currently being produced and reproduced through patterns of inclusion, exclusion and constant renegotiation of belonging at its borderlands, peripheries and margins. Understanding the present moment as part of a longer history of the making and remaking of Europe, the panel seeks to understand what is particular about how Europe is being produced at the present conjuncture, and how this is occurring in multiple arenas of everyday life.

In order to hold this conversation, the panel welcomes ethnographically-grounded papers that study how, through everyday forms of interaction, people from different socio-geographical positionalities produce ‘Europe’. Papers can be grounded in ‘obvious’ border-making spaces such as Lampedusa, or peripheries such as Greece, but also in those traditionally conceived as ‘centers’ such as Berlin, as well as outside of Geographical Europe. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: mobility, migration, and the ‘refugee crisis’; life with, and resistance to, austerity measures; rethinking ‘Fortress Europe’, the Eurozone, the Schengen Area, and the meaning of the European project through everyday material practices. We welcome works in progress as well as finished studies.

Symposium Announcement: What is the Urban? Registers of a World Interior

What Is the Urban? Registers of a World Interior
Iowa State University, Center for Excellence in Arts and Humanities (CEAH) Symposium
April 4-5, 2016
Full details and free registration at 

The urban, long a popular topic of inquiry, has become an unavoidable condition for contemporary life. For many disciplines, it has become a primary locus of research. Disciplines as varied as sociology, anthropology, geography, literature, art, design, economics, history and politics increasingly find themselves in contact with and shaped by the urban. And as more and more spaces of the world are urbanized, the ubiquity of this category as a site of scholarly research could be said to rest on the urgency we face in accommodating ourselves to its contradictions, imposed forms of violence, and the environmental fallout it has unleashed. From all scales, we encounter the urban, too: popularized notions like the anthropocene shed light on this category just as much as the problem of uneven development that characterizes our everyday experiences in its spaces. Yet for as much as it has opened itself to scholarly research, there is oddly scant reflection on the category itself. Despite its irrefutable complexity, its use is often irrefutably reductive: it appears as a background condition, as much for life itself as for the many discourses that attempt to describe it. Always at the disposal of myriad forms of knowledge, it is the unquestioned specification for the definition of other problems. The urban, it seems, is a given.

This symposium opens with a simple yet perplexing question: what is the urban? It brings together a range of internationally renowned scholars in an effort less to provide answers to this question than to frame a problem that has yet to be fully constituted. What language do we need to speak about the urban? What spaces and politics does it produce? Does the urban have a history of its own? An ontological specificity? By simply addressing the urban as a problem in and of itself, the symposium aims to open radically new apertures toward a world increasingly viewed through its endlessly urbanized space.

Emerging philosophical, theoretical and conceptual apparatuses may be necessary to repose the urban outside of its traditional spatial and ontological frameworks. Considering recent work in the humanities, what happens when we consider the urban to be a political ecology in its own right-a dense, complex, relational entanglement of human and non-human natures, embodied energies and materialities? What political forms and technologies does its spatial organization produce? Likewise, through juridico-political histories, the urban may begin to appear as a spatio-political order on par with a historical figure like territory, raising genealogical questions as to its emergence and formation. Can discourses on circulation, logistics and network theory be marshaled to confront the trans-scalar qualities that we observe in a spatial order visible at once at the planetary and the bodily scales? What kind of spatial theories can reconcile the geopolitical with the biopolitical?

In this regard, Peter Sloterdijk’s recent provocations around the notion of ‘world interior’ may shed crucial light on the question of the urban. The ‘world interior’ for Sloterdijk operates as a metaphor to describe the end result of a long history of globalization, characterized by an overarching aversion to risk developed over centuries of plunderous oceanic crossing. ‘Interiorization’ for him stands as a tendency whose effect today is marked by sprawling insurance policies, unchecked security measures and a techno-media power structure whose effort to totally annihilate risk comes through endless structures and technologies of enclosure. The space of the world interior, akin to Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace (1851), is an interior so vast as to permit the fantasy that there is no outside. Moving from paradigm to ontology, how can such a notion of a ‘world-interior’ be useful for unfolding relations between the material, legal, social, political, architectural and phenomenological conditions of the urban today? How can it help to describe new socio-spatial ontologies of this category that transgress the familiar urban/rural, center/periphery, and even global south/north divides? What other emerging concepts and motifs can help capture the elusive yet omnipresent condition of the urban?


James C. Scott, Yale University

Max ViatoriIowa State University

Charles Rice, University of Technology Sydney

Design Earth (Rania Ghosn/El Hadi Jazairy), MIT/University of Michigan

Jane Rongerude, Iowa State University

Ayala Levin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Marwan Ghandour, Iowa State University

Nikos Katsikis, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Albert Pope, Rice University

Ross Exo Adams, Iowa State University

AbdouMaliq Simone, Max Planck Institute/Goldsmiths College

Michael Bailey, Iowa State University

Alice Randall, Vanderbilt University

Kenny Cupers, University of Basel

Barbara Ching, Iowa State University

Antonio Petrov, University of Texas at San Antonio

UCL – two Assistant Professor openings

2 x Assistant Professor vacancies


The Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STeaPP), is now recruiting two assistant professors to join its growing team and collaborate with the UCL City Leadership Initiative, a joint effort of UN-Habitat, University College London and World Bank based at UCL STEaPP. Two positions are now open with deadline on 3 January 2016 for posts as:

Lecturer in Urban Governance

UCL STEaPP is seeking an innovative scholar working on urban governance, especially in relation to the mobilisation of knowledge within urban policy, to join the department as a Lecturer on or before July 2016.

The successful applicant will join a dynamic and growing department, within a world leading research university, uniquely focused on the mobilisation of science and engineering knowledge for policy, and the use of policy to advance science and engineering for society. Lectures within STEaPP help lead the development and delivery of the department’s expanding teaching, research and policy engagement programmes. This is an exciting opportunity for emerging and entrepreneurial scholars to develop a reputation in these areas.

The department welcomes candidates with a PhD and track record of relevant scholarship in either the natural or social sciences. The topical focus can be on any aspect of urban governance or policy, and incorporate any domain(s) of science, engineering and/or technology. A focus on some aspect of the interaction, circulation or city networking of scientific/engineering knowledge with urban policy, and/or of the role of technology in urban governance, is a distinct plus. The department also has a preference for research/teaching foci that relate explicitly to urban experiences within the Global South and emerging countries.

Further particulars here.


Lecturer in Urban Analytics

UCL STEaPP is seeking an innovative scholar working on the application of scientific analyses and/or models to support public decision-making in cities to join the department as a Lecturer on or before July 2016.

The successful applicant will join a dynamic and growing department, within a world leading research university, uniquely focused on the mobilisation of science and engineering knowledge for policy, and the use of policy to advance science and engineering for society. Lecturers within STEaPP help lead the development and delivery of the departments expanding teaching, research and policy engagement programmes. This is an exciting opportunity for emerging and entrepreneurial scholars to develop a reputation in these areas.

The department welcomes candidates with a PhD and track record of relevant scholarship in either the natural or social sciences. The topical focus can be on any aspect of urban analytics, and incorporate any domain(s) of science, engineering and/or technology. A focus on some aspect of the interaction between the scientific analyses with decision-making in cities is essential, and there is a preference for foci that relate to urban experiences within the Global South and emerging countries.

Further particulars here.

CFP AAG 2016: Territorial Struggles: despojo, titulación y comunidad en Colombia (dispossession, titling, and community in Colombia)

Below, some information about a panel on land struggles, dispossession, community ties and the conflict in Colombia. Alexander Huezo, the organizer, is looking for more people to present at this panel (there are four-five presenters but there is space for, at least, two more). You can contact him or you can reply to this message. The deadline to edit the panel (and include more people) is December 2nd


Dear Alexander D. Huezo, Congratulations on a successful submission of your session to the 2016 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California. Your session details are as follows:

Title: Territorial Struggles: despojo, titulación y comunidad en Colombia
Description: Territorial rights are at the heart of Colombia’s current civil conflict and the current peace negotiations with the FARC. The papers featured in this panel examine the spatial dimensions of rural territorial struggles in relationship to: conceptualizations of property, restitution processes, the War on Drugs, and the relationship between land concentration & displacement.
Anticipated Attendance: 25
Alexander D. Huezo
Alexander D. Huezo
Presenter: Natalia Perez, Exploring conceptualizations of property in the current debate about the Colombian Land Restitution Policy
Presenter: Monica Patricia Hernandez, Challenging development concepts through processes of collective titling for Afro Colombian communities
Presenter: Luis Sanchez-Ayala, Agribusiness and land grabbing in Colombia’s last agricultural frontier
Co-Presenter: Patricia Gomez
Presenter: Alexander D. Huezo, Territory is Life: The Aerial Eradication of Coca in Colombia
Sponsorships: Rural Geography Specialty Group

Please note: Submitted sessions must use all 100 minutes of allotted time. For paper sessions that do not use the full 100 minutes, additional presentations may be added after the submission deadline to complete the time. You may return to the submission console to edit your session if you wish.

Final CFP AAG 2016: Shifting the Frontiers of Eurasia

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

Session Title: Shifting the Frontiers of Eurasia

Part of the Asia Symposium, “Highlighting Asian Geographies,” organized by the Asian Geography Specialty Group (AGSG)

Organizers: Mia Bennett, UCLA (; Andrew Grant, UCLA (

Co-Chairs: Alexander Diener, University of Kansas (; Jeremy Tasch (

Discussant: Stanley Toops, Miami University (

The last five years have witnessed the rise of a multi-polar geopolitical order in Eurasia. Russia, China, India, and the US have all moved forward with their own regional projects. While Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union has foundered somewhat, it counts Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in its fold and puts forth a vision of reintegrating parts of the former Soviet Union. As China, the world’s largest economy, seeks to build ports and railroads in places like Pakistan and Burma to further secure trade linkages and transportation infrastructure, it has pledged $40 billion for its “One Belt, One Road” project, which could also potentially be supported by the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The US has proposed its own “New Silk Road” initiative, hoping to increase trade between India and Afghanistan.

These regional projects are both remaking the political economy of the region and recasting the roles of borderland provinces and states. Once deemed vulnerable “shatter zones” (Rieber 2014), many of these peripheral places are now seen as integral spaces for connecting new global production and trade networks and for exerting political influence. Reeves’ work in the Ferghana Valley, which finds a “fear of ‘things out of place’” and a desire among local and international conflict interventionists to “bring order to a region deemed chaotic” (2005: 67) could be scaled up to consider how and why states seek to reshape and reorder the fuzzy frontiers of Eurasia. Effects on these borderlands often go hand in hand with states rhetorically recasting the history, intention, and legitimacy of their regional roles; Megoran and Sharapova (2013) have found that Mackinder’s 20th-century term “heartland” has returned to contemporary geopolitical discourses. But the effects are more than simply rhetorical: The ways that powerful Eurasian states are attempting to expand their geopolitical presence is causing greater state penetration into “peripheral” lands, resulting in increased resource extraction, infrastructure development, and, in some cases, human migration. This transformation poses pressing questions: are these states’ projects mutually compatible? Are these material and discursive changes successfully re-orienting frontier regions? And finally, are these projects triggering local resistances?

***Please send an abstract by November 18 to the session organizers.***


Reeves, M. (2005). Locating danger: konfliktologiia and the search for fixity in the Ferghana Valley borderlands. Central Asian Survey, 24(1), 67-81.

Rieber, A. (2014). The Struggle for the Eurasian borderlands: From the rise of early modern empires to the end of the First World War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Megoran, Nick, and Sevara Sharapova, eds. 2013. Central Asia in International Relations: The Legacies of Halford Mackinder. London: C. Hurst and Co. Ltd.

CFP AAG 2016: Point, Line, Plane, Volume: Increasing Dimensionality in Geographic Inquiry

Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, March 29-April 2, 2016, San Francisco, CA

Point, Line, Plane, Volume: Increasing Dimensionality in Geographic Inquiry

Session Organizers: Katherine Sammler (University of Arizona), Audra El Vilaly (University of Arizona)

Sponsor: Political Geography Specialty Group

Improvements in technology along with expanding territories of capital investment make it important to recognize that previous theorizations in geography have largely considered space and territory in two dimensions. Recent scholarship calls for the extension of theoretical and empirical inquiry to include the third spatial dimension of verticality and volumes. Contributions to these efforts include research on oceans (Steinberg and Peters 2015), subterranean spaces (Braun 2000; Weizman 2002; Elden 2013a, 2013b), airspace (Williams 2013), and outer space (MacDonald 2007). These volumes have been considered, respectively, as spaces of fluidity and continual reformation, as the hidden, invisible or imperceptible, as spaces of military power and surveillance, and as the final capitalist frontier. This session seeks to expound on conversations of the material, political, legal and social assemblages that construct these voluminous spaces as three-dimensional terrains of historical, contemporary, and future human activities. This includes how bodies are moved, replaced or stretched – spatially, temporally and technologically – towards different sites, territories, and regimes of governance.

Expanding the conceptualization of territory from areas to volumes and from surfaces to cubes, spheres and columns of height and depth produces a need to rethink the politics of space, in particular the techniques for asserting power over and within volumetric spaces. Thus securing the material and affective dimensions of verticality necessarily forces a reorientation and renegotiation of power relations, property rights regimes, legal apparatuses, financial calculations of transmuting volume into value, cartographic representations, and other technologies of governance (Bridge 2013; Elden 2013a). In this session, we expand the concepts of verticality and volumetric territory beyond the realm of exceptional, securitized, and militarized spaces, previously the predominant focus of this scholarship. We are particularly interested in the applications of and implications for rethinking space and place as vertical and voluminous through the occupation, regulation, and exploitation of bodies, objects, and territories such as via GPS tracking, satellite surveillance, on and off-shore resource extraction, on and off-planet mining, regulation of atmosphere, and privatization of space travel. We welcome conceptual, theoretical, and empirically based papers.

If you are interested in presenting a paper in this session, please submit a title and abstract (up to 250 words) to Katherine Sammler ( and Audra El Vilaly ( by Monday, November 16, 2015.


Adey, P. 2013. Securing the volume/volume: Comments on Stuart Elden’s Plenary paper ‘Secure the volume’. Political Geography 34: 52-54.
Braun, B. 2000. Producing vertical territory: Geology and governmentality in late Victorian Canada. Ecumene 7(1): 7-46.
Bridge, G. 2013. Territory, now in 3D! Political Geography 34: 55-57.
Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari. 1987. A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis.
Elden, S. 2013a. Secure the volume: Vertical geopolitics and the depth of power. Political Geography 34: 35-51.
Elden, S. 2013b. Bodies, books, beneath: A reply to Adey and Bridge. Political Geography 34: 58-59.
MacDonald, F. 2007. Anti-Astropolitik– outer space and the orbit of geography. Progress in Human Geography 31(5): 592-615.
Scott, H.V. 2008. Colonialism, landscape and the subterranean. Geography Compass 2 (6): 1853-1869.
Steinberg, P. and K. Peters. 2015. Wet ontologies, fluid spaces: Giving depth to volume through oceanic thinking. Environment and Planning D: Society  

and Space 33: 247-264.
Weizman, E. 2002. Introduction to the politics of verticality.
Williams, A.J. 2013. Re-orientating vertical geopolitics. Geopolitics 18: 225-246.

CfP: Dimensions of Political Ecology 2016

CfP: Dimensions of Political Ecology 2016

Illicit Agricultures and Natures

Plants and humans have developed intimate relationships throughout human history, and the nature of those relationships has frequently been fraught with conflicting values and meanings. As such, we seek to examine a wide breadth of topics in this session that explore (il)licit natures and agricultures, from sacred plants – like Mama Coca and peyote – to the global War on Drugs, from re-legalized hemp to taboo tobacco, and all the political ecologies therein. We recognize that illicit plants maintain long histories as foodstuffs, medicines, cultural signifiers and commodities, and we couch our session in the lived realities of planting and harvesting illicit crops. We are primarily interested in the perspectives of growers themselves, though we welcome reflections on law officials, police, processors, distributers, consumers, public health, and the military and prison industrial complexes and their roles in (re)producing illicit agricultures and natures. We also welcome analyses that emphasize illicit crops (or the illegality of crops as such) analyzed from the perspective of agrarian viability, agrarian heritage, agrarian crisis, or agrarian change.
We are interested in illicit agricultures and natures in their varied manifestations across time and space, and, as such, we welcome paper ideas that address:
The production of agrarian (il)licitness
The varied trajectories of illegality and legalization in agriculture
Illicit crops as a livelihood strategy
Redefining and challenging ‘illicit’
Racialization and the production of illicit crops
Coloniality of Drug Wars
Policing agriculture
Indigeneity and the cosmological significance of plants deemed illicit
Please send all paper proposals and inquiries to Garrett Graddy-Lovelace ( and Nicholas L. Padilla (