We’d love a couple more papers to fill these sessions! Deadline can be extended to Friday 17 October!
AAG 2016 // 29 March – 2 April 2016, San Francisco, CA
Second CFP: Uncertain futures and everyday hedging
In her prophetic novel, The Almanac of the Dead, Leslie Marmon Silko depicts the dystopic future visions of a super-elite, who plan to de-camp earth for socially purified satellite space colonies. She writes
Lazily orbiting in the glass and steel cocoons of these elaborate “biospheres,” the rich need not fear the rabble while they enjoyed their “natural settings” complete with freshwater pools and jungles filled with rare parrots and orchids…At the end the last of the clean water and the uncontaminated soil, the last healthy animals and plants, would be removed from the earth to the orbiting biospheres to “protect” them from the pollution on earth.
Set across the Americas, the sprawling de-colonial novel explores the various ways in which differently situated actors respond to a future they imagine suffused with violence and looming with social, environmental, spiritual and economic catastrophe. Back on earth, visions of the <future uncertain> likewise produce divergent modes of assessing, negotiating and coming to terms with risk—from financialization, to planning for resilience, to shifting the burden down the line through produced forms of hyper-vulnerability.
In this set of sessions, we seek papers that address the everyday hedging and imaginaries of stochastic risk and uncertainty that shape living and livelihoods all over the world (Zeiderman et al 2015). While knowledge about sociality, the changing climate and the world in general expands logarithmically as a result of technological innovations that produce ‘big data,’ whole “regions of experience” are left out—not only unknown, but fundamentally indecipherable (Simone, 2015). How do the varying techniques of knowing and coming to terms with uncertainty and the future—the gut feeling, modeling, faith, financialization—come together and get negotiated in different contexts across the globe? What modes of movement and circulation do they provoke, in both rural and urban settings? How is the unknowable seized or put to use for the opportunities that are exposed in the gaps between differing ways of understanding, anticipating and responding to risk?
We invite papers that take up questions related to the future, uncertainty and risk. These might include:
- Sociality of risk spreading
- Movement and circulation around the city, or across borders/oceans
- Experimental sociality
- The uneven impacts of managing for or experiencing uncertainty
- The spatialization of risk
- Everyday financialization and optionality
- Spatial and scalar effects of various forms of hedging
- Access to hedging
- Differential interpretations of future uncertainty and risk
- Produced precarity
In broadly considering these terms, we hope to draw distinct forms of thinking about the uncertain future into conversation across conventional analytical boundaries—i.e. those distinguishing the urban from the rural, the everyday from the global, science from sociality—while still attending to the specificities of each. Papers will be grouped according to commonalities, the paper sessions will be followed by a panel discussion which will seek to draw out lines of connection, synthesis and dissonance among the disparate work.
We strongly encourage scholars working in/on (cities in) Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific to consider submitting.
Léonie Newhouse (Max Plank Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)
Jamie Shinn (Geography, Texas A& M University)
AbdouMaliq Simone (MPI MMG/ African Centre for Cities/Goldsmiths/ Rujak Center for Urban Studies)
Alex Schafran (Leeds University)
Specialty Group Sponsorships:
Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
- Name, affiliation
- Paper abstract (250 word max)
- Brief bio-sketch (250 word max)
A decision will be communicated by 20 October, and selected participants should ensure that they have registered for the conference (which requires paying the fee) and submitted their abstracts by the general conference deadline 29 October. Full papers will be circulated a month prior to the conference to encourage productive dialogue among and between participants and to give the discussants sufficient time to consider the papers.