CFP AAG 2017: Geographies and Counter-geopolitics of Humor amid Adversity

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Geographies and Counter-geopolitics of Humor amid Adversity

Organizers: Lisa Bhungalia (Pittsburgh), Jessie Clark (Nevada), Jennifer Fluri (Colorado),  Azita Ranjbar (Penn State) 

Geographers draw on the geopolitics of vulnerability, precarity, biopower, homo sacer, and bare life (Agamben 1998, 2005; Butler 2006, 2009; Foucault 1978, 1980) to critically analyze gender, race, class, conflict, violence, and marginalization. Vulnerable bodies living in situations of conflict, abuse, acute violence, and displacement have simultaneously used humor and humorous acts and actions as an everyday form of counter-geopolitics. This session addresses the use of humor by vulnerable bodies in spaces and situations of continual and protracted adversity, especially through the lens of feminist geopolitics and emotional geographies. We seek papers that draw on ethnographic encounters with humor as an embodied and affective practice of coping, resisting and surviving adversity.

Humor amid adversity has been the subject of geopolitical research on political conflict and social justice. Geographers analyze and describe humor as a geopolitical tool of social movements (Routledge 2012) and a form of political satire in popular geopolitics (Cameron 2015, Dodds and Kirby 2013, Dittmer 2010, 2013, Kuus 2008), both deployed to contest and undermine hegemonic power. In a discussion of the subversive power of the Czech literary character, Švejk, Kuus suggests that humor “offers a lens through which we can think about agency of the margins without romanticizing their weak power position” (Kuus 2008, 259). Humor undermines rather than opposes power regimes (Kuus 2008) and calls attention to serious issues of power and inequality (Cameron 2015). Conversely, Billig (2005) describes “unlaughter”, “a display of not laughing when laughter might otherwise be expected, hoped for or demanded” (192) as another technique used to initiate critique, parody or resistance, particularly in situations that are not humorous (Hammett 2010).

In these examples, humor creates a distinctive and shared sense of place, a social bond, consolidates group identities and borderlines, and offers methods for creative opposition (Ridanpää 2014). Much of this research to date, however, has focused on the macro-scale and discursive expressions of humor as a form of resistance (Mehta 2012, Richards 2014) and political performance, while the everyday and affective engagements with humor in geopolitics are under-examined. Dittmer writes that geopolitical assemblages produce affective experiences – humorous and otherwise – that facilitate consensus building and debate (Dittmer 2013, Routledge 2013). And, Horn (2011) and Macpherson (2008) describe the everyday use of humor by vulnerable bodies as a coping mechanism and method to subvert stereotypes. Building on these insights, the papers in this session evaluate the embodied sites of humor from the voices of individuals/groups living in situations of uncertainty and conflict. We invite papers that draw on feminist geopolitics and/or emotional geographies (affect) to examine humor as a geopolitical coping mechanism, a form of resistance, and tactic of survival amid adversity.

Please submit abstracts to Jessie Clark ( and Jennifer Fluri ( by October 15th.

Selected Sources

Askins, K. 2009. ‘That’s what I do’: placing emotion in academic activism. Emotion, Space and Society 2, pp. 4-13.

Billig, M. 2005. “Laughter and unlaughter”. In: Billig, Laughter and ridicule: towards a social critique of humour. London: Sage Publications, pp. 175-199.

Cameron, J. 2015. Can poverty be funny? The serious use of humour as a strategy of public engagement for global justice. Third World Quarterly 36(2), pp. 274-290.

Dittmer, J. 2005. Captain America’s Empire: reflections on identity, popular culture , and post-911 geopolitics. Annals of the Association of American Geographers95(3), pp. 626-643.

Dodds, K. 2010. Popular geopolitics and cartoons: representing power relations, repetition and resistance. Critical African Studies 2(4), pp. 113-131.

Dodds, K. and Kirby, P. 2013. It’s not a laughing matter: critical geopolitics, humour and unlaughter. Geopolitics 18(1), pp. 45-59.

Flint, C. 2001. The geopolitics of laughter and forgetting: a world-systems interpretation of the post-modern geopolitical condition. Geopolitics 6(3), pp. 1-16.

Gibson, C. 2013. Welcome to Bogan-ville: reframing class and palce through humour. Journal of Australian Studies 37(1), pp. 62-75.

Hammett, D. 2010. Political cartoons, post-colonialism and crtitical African Studies. Critical African Studies 2(4), pp. 1-26.

Hernann, A. 2016. Joking through hardship: humor and truth-telling among displaced Tumbuktians. African Studies Review 59(1), pp. 57-76.

Horn, K. 2011. ‘Stalag happy’: South African prisoners of war during World War Two (1939-1945) and their experience and use of humour. South African Historical Journal 63(4), pp. 537-552.

Kuus, M. 2008. Svejkian geopolitics: subversive obedience in Central Europe. Geopolitics 13(2), pp. 257-277.

Macpherson, H. 2008. “I don’t know why they call it the lake district they might as well call it the rock district!” The workings of humour and laughter in research with members of visually impaired walking groups. Environment and Planning D: Social and Space 26, pp. 1080-1095.

Manzo, K. 2012. Geopolitical visions of climate change cartoons. Political Geography 31, pp. 481-494.

Mayo, C. 2008. Being in on the joke: pedagogy, race, humor. Philosophy of Education 2008, pp. 244-252

Mehta, H.C. 2012. Fighting, negotiating, laughing: the use of humor in the Vietnam War. The Historian 

Nickels, C.C. 2010. Civil War Humor. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.

Richards, C. 2014. Wit at war: the poetry of John Wilmot and the trauma of war. Eighteenth-Century Fiction 27(1), pp. 25-54.

Ridanpää, J. 2014a. Geographical studies of humor. Geography Compass 8(10), pp. 701-709.

—. 2014b. Seriously serious political spaces of humor. ACME. 13(3), pp. 450-456.

Routledge, P. 2012. Sensuous solidarities: emotion, politics and performace in the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army. Antipode 44(2), pp. 428-452.

Swart, S. 2009. “The terrible laughter of the Afrikaner” – towards a social history of humor. Journal of Social History. Pp. 889-917

CFP AAG 2017: Towards Vegan Geographies: Ethics Beyond Violence

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Towards Vegan Geographies: Ethics Beyond Violence


Richard J. White (Sheffield Hallam University)

Ophélie Véron (Université Catholique de Louvain)

Simon Springer (University of Victoria)

Yamini Narayan (Deakin University)

Veganism as an ethics and a practice has a recorded history dating back to Antiquity. Yet, it is only recently that researchers have begun the process of formalising the study of veganism. Scholars who examine this theory and action are usually situated in sociology, history, philosophy, cultural studies or critical animal studies. The centrality and contested nature of place in the actions and discourse of animal rights activists however suggest an inherently spatial praxis. Slaughterhouses are deliberately closed and placed out of the sight; our familiar urban environment is filled with references to eating meat and exploiting animals, although normalised and rendered invisible. On the other hand, activists take to the street to defend animal rights and invite individuals to change their perception on everyday places and practices of animal violence. Animal liberation and veganism therefore embody an inherently spatial praxis – the desire to live without places of violence (White, 2015). As underlined by Harper (2010:5-6), ‘veganism is not just about the abstinence of animal consumption; it is about the ongoing struggle to produce socio-spatial epistemologies of consumption that lead to cultural and spatial change’. While an interest in domination over non-human animals has gained momentum within critical geography circles in the last two decades (Wolch and Emel, 1995; Philo and Wilbert, 2000; Emel et al., 2002, Gillespie and Collards, 2015; White, 2015), the scarcity of available literature highlights the need for geographers to further reflect on vegan activism and practice. As scholars-activists identifying with veganism, we seek to underscore what geographers can contribute to our understanding of critical veganism and vegan praxis.

We therefore would like to invite research presentations addressing themes including but not limited to:

  • Veganism and critical animal geographies
  • Vegan, post-colonial and feminist geographies
  • Speciesism and imagined geographies
  • Total liberation and emancipatory politics
  • Veganism as a spatial praxis
  • Veganism and positionality
  • Vegan movements and activism
  • Vegan cultures and subcultures
  • Indigenous and Black veganism
  • Intersectionality
  • Anthroprivilege and anthroparchy
  • Veganism and anarchist geographies
  • Veganism, capitalism and the animal industrial complex
  • Veganism and critical pedagogies
  • Veganism and environmentalism
  • Vegan futures

We also welcome presentations in non-traditional and participatory formats. Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to, and by 21 October 2016.

The session will be followed by an open discussion. If you would like to participate (e.g. discussant) then please feel free to contact us as well.

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 27 October 2016:


Emel, J., Wilbert, C. and Wolch, J. (2002) Animal Geographies, Society and Animals, 10(4), p. 407-412.

Gillespie, K., & Collard, R. C. (eds.)(2015)Critical Animal Geographies: Politics, Intersections and Hierarchies in a Multispecies World. Routledge.: London& New York.

Harper, A. B. (2010). Race as a ‘Feeble Matter’in Veganism: Interrogating Whiteness, Geopolitical Privilege, and Consumption Philosophy of ‘Cruelty-Free’Products. Journal for critical animal studies, 8(3), p. 5-27.

Philo, C. and Wilbert, C.(eds.), Animal spaces, beastly places: new geographies of human-animal relations,Routledge, London and New York.

White, R. J. (2015) Animal geographies, anarchist praxis, and critical animal studies. In:Kathryn Gillespie and Rosemary-Claire Collard (eds.), Critical Animal Geographies: Politics, Intersections and Hierarchies in a Multispecies World. Routledge: London& New York, p.19-35.

White, R. J. (2015) Following in the Footsteps of Elisée Reclus: Disturbing Places of Inter-Species Violence that are Hidden in Plain Sight. In: Anthony J. Nocella II, Richard J. White and Erika Cudworth (eds.), Anarchism and Animal Liberation. Essays on Complementary Elements of Total Liberation, Jefferson: Mc Farland & Company, p. 212-230.

Wolch, J. and Emel, J. (1995) Bringing the Animals Back In. In: Jennifer Wolch and Jacque Emel (eds.) Special Issue: Bringing the Animals Back In. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 13.6, p. 632–636.

CFP AAG 2017: Practical pragmatism: Towards a ‘post-critical’ urban political geography?

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Practical pragmatism: Towards a ‘post-critical’ urban political geography?

Organizers: Laura Cesafsky, University of Minnesota

Ryan Holifield, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

We are seeing a ‘slow turn’ towards pragmatism across political geography, evidenced by a growing interest in American philosophical figures like Dewey, Peirce and James. A 2008 Geoforum special issue on ‘Pragmatism and Geography’ was an early touchstone (Wood & Smith 2008). Contributors unearthed an array of themes of possible value in this unwieldy tradition that the Italian futurist Giovanni Papini described as ‘lying in the midst of our theories, like a corridor in a hotel’ (cited in James, 1907). In his contribution to the special issue, for example, Jones (2008) cited “the primacy of life and action, pluralism, materiality/spatiality/temporality/relationality, anti-essentialism, creativity, collectivity, fallibilism, and disorder in method” as possible pragmatic contributions to geography.
We fear the scope of these discovered (potential) uses may have had the unintended effect of dulling conversation around pragmatism rather than enlivening it. In other words, we fear that geographers have not been pragmatic enough about pragmatism, moving by habit toward first principles and ‘metaphysical ground-maps’ (Cutchin 2008) rather than doing what pragmatists insist we must: start from the practical problems that face us and emphasize the practical application of the knowledge we make. To that end, in this session we invite papers that turn to pragmatic ideas in an effort to overcome concrete impasses in (urban) geographical thought and practice. We identify three ‘urban geographical obstacles’ for debate that are actually motivating the turn to pragmatism among scholars today (and we welcome additional problems from contributors to the session):

1) The problem of politics. What counts? There is dissatisfaction in urban geography with the limits of ‘post-political’ and Marxian theories that specify too much, obscuring the diverse processes by which knowledges, desires, and claims are constructed. On the other hand, the idea that ‘everything is political’ or that politics is identical with the composition of the common world is equally dissatisfying. Geographers are turning to pragmatism (Holifield & Schuelke 2015; Bridge 2014; Barnett & Bridge 2013; Agnew 2011) in order to define a politics between these poles [and in-step with Latour (2013), who has turned to Dewey to ‘autocorrect’ his own composition-as-politics problem].

2) The problem of critique. How to move past it? Braun (2015) and Woodyer and Geoghagen (2013) speculate about a ‘post-critical’ political ecology. Might the same happen in urban geography? Critical urban theory has helped us understand the production of space and the uneven distribution of social goods, but pragmatism insists that experimentation is necessary to gain knowledge and create new forms of urban life and politics. Geographers debate actually-existing experimentalism in cities (Bulkeley et. al year; Evans et. al 2016). But what of experimentalism as research practice, as widely discussed (Last 2012; Harney et. al 2016) and rarely modeled (but see Whatmore 2013)—a practice that alters conditions and examines the results, allows new normativities to emerge, and makes researchers less paranoid and detached and more embroiled and open to surprise (Sedgwick 1997)?

3) The problem of democracy. What makes democratic action possible? Related to the problem of critique, the prevailing mode of democratic research among critical geographers is the unmasking of betrayals and contradictions. Pragmatism offers an account of democracy as a distributed, experimental practice of working on the issues that affect us (Lake 2016). Geographers and other social scientists are working through the problem of how to actualize democratic life by examining how things/issues/problems/settings/affects compel thought and engagement, as well as how publics can be constituted through the design of participatory apparatuses (Berlant 2011; Holden et. al 2013; Marres 2013; Latour & Weibel 2005; DiSalvo 2009; Healey 2012).

We invite papers that deal with these themes or with the broad question: What does it mean to do practical—i.e. pragmatic—politics and (urban) geographical research; why have geographers traditionally resisted the injunction to be practical (whatever that means); and what impasses have presented themselves that compel us to lift the injunction now?

We are especially interested in papers on:

+ Practicality, instrumentality, and geography

+ Democracy and pragmatism

+ The production of democratic subjectivities and publics

+ Interfaces between American pragmatism and the pragmatic sociology of critique

+ Critique and ‘post-critique’

+ Thought and action

+ Pragmatic politics and post-politics

+ Issues, problems and things as ‘forcers’ of political thought and practice

+ Experimentation in urban politics

+ Experimentation as a critical research practice

+ Cities as pragmatic entities

+ Consequentialism as method

We invite interested participants to send their title and 300-word abstract to Laura Cesafsky ( and Ryan Holifield ( by October 15th.


Agnew, J. (2011) Waterpower: Politics and the geography of water provision. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101(3), 463-476.

Berlant, L. G. (2011) Cruel optimism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Barnett, C. & G. Bridge (2013) Geographies of radical democracy: Agonistic pragmatism and the formation of affected interests. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103(4): 1022-1040.

Braun, B. (2015) From critique to experiment?: Rethinking political ecology for the Anthropocene. The Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology: 102-114.

Bridge, G. (2014) On Marxism, pragmatism and critical urban studies. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(5), 1644-1659.

Bulkeley, H. & V. Castán Broto (2013) Government by experiment? Global cities and the governing of climate change. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 38(3): 361-375.

Cutchin, M. (2008) John Dewey’s metaphysical ground-map and its implications for geographical inquiry. Geoforum 39(4): 1555-1569.

DiSalvo, C. (2009) Design and the construction of publics. Design Issues 25(1): 48-63.

Donaldson, A., S. Lane, N. Ward, S. & Whatmore (2013) Overflowing with issues: following the political trajectories of flooding. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 31(4): 603-618.

Evans, J., A. Karvonen & R. Raven (eds.) (2016) The Experimental City. New York: Routledge.

Harney, L., J. McCurry, J. Scott, & J. Wills (2016) Developing ‘process pragmatism’ to underpin engaged research in human geography. Progress in Human Geography: 40(3), 316-333.

Healey, P. (2012) Re-enchanting democracy as a mode of governance. Critical Policy Studies 6(1): 19-39.

Holden, M., A. Scerri, & C. Owens (2013) More publics, more problems: The productive interface between the pragmatic sociology of critique and Deweyan pragmatism. Contemporary Pragmatism 10(2): 1-24.

Holifield, R. & N. Schuelke (2015) The place and time of the political in urban political ecology: Contested imaginations of a river’s future. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105(2): 294-303.

James, W. (1907/1975) Pragmatism (Vol. 1). Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.

Jones, O. (2008) Stepping from the wreckage: Geography, pragmatism, and anti-representational theory. Geoforum 39(4): 1600-1612.

Lake, R. (2016) Urban Geography Plenary Lecture: On Poetry, Pragmatism, and Urban Possibility of Creative Democracy. AAG Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Last, A. (2012) Experimental geographies. Geography Compass 6(12): 706-724.

Latour, B. (2013) An Inquiry into Modes of Existence. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.

Latour, B. & Weibel, P. (2005) Making things public: atmospheres of democracy.

Marres, N. (2013) Why political ontology must be experimentalized: On ecoshowhomes as devices of participation. Social studies of Science 43(3): 417-443.

Sedgwick, E. K. (1997) Paranoid reading and reparative reading, or you’re so paranoid, you probably  think this essay is about you. In: Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity: 123-152.

Whatmore, S. (2013) Earthly powers and affective environments: An ontological politics of flood risk. Theory, Culture and Society 30 (7–8): 33–50.

Wood, N. & S. Smith (eds.) (2008) Themed issue: Pragmatism and geography. Geoforum 39(4): 1517-1636.

Woodyear, T. & H. Geoghagen (2013) (Re)enchanting geography? The nature of being critical and the character of critique in human geography. Progress in Human Geography 37(2): 195-214

CFP AAG 2017: Geographies that Matter: The Middle East beyond the State

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Geographies that Matter: The Middle East beyond the State

The prioritization of the state as a unit of study in geography is closely linked to the discipline’s colonial history. The same can also be said for the origins and motivations behind area studies and regional geography. While these histories are troublesome, we argue that modernGeography’s lack of critical, long-term engagement with the Middle East through field research is equally problematic. This CFP calls for innovative ways in which we can have engaged Middle East-focused work in Geography that goes beyond classic geopolitical tropes of state power and conflict. In a recent piece, Ince & de la Torre (2016) call for post-statist geographies, an approach that prioritizes “interrogating the intersections between statism and other power relations; constructing new epistemologies and methodologies; and shifting the way the state is represented in geographical work” (11). Building on their example, we wish to organize a (group of) session(s) that engage(s) substantively with post-statist geographies by turning our attention to engagements the Middle East.

The Middle East is an important source of theoretical insights for scholars interested in post-statist geographies. This is in part due to the still-developing state of field research by geographers there, but also, importantly, to the relative strength of localized networks within and across the region. These networks furnish numerous opportunities to investigate the evolving interactions between places inside and outside of the Middle East and the state apparatuses that try to govern them. At the same time, although state power is everywhere uneven, this uneven quality must be contextualized in time and space rather than through careless recourse to geopolitical scripts at play in formal politics – for instance, “state failure.” Due to geographers’ keenness for thinking through the politics of space, place and networks, they are well positioned to engage in the region in a way the challenges the traditional geopolitical narrative of (failed) states and conflict.

Accordingly, this Call for Papers is organizing a session that explores

  • Conceptual alternativesto studying politics in state-container terms, with an emphasis on networks, topologies, STS, mobilities, etc;
  • Methodological challengesthat arise in the course of fieldwork in the region, from the point of formulating research questions, priorities, and frameworks; to research design and implementation; and the processing and publishing of our data, with particular attention to how these things can transcend methodological nationalism; and
  • Critical and currently-pressing political issuessuch as the Syrian conflict, environmental management, the refugee “crisis,” and global economic development in ways that highlight emergent geographies of politics in a world still dominated by territorial states.

Please send 200 word abstracts to or by October 15. We will review submissions no later thanOctober 20. We plan on having a discussant, and so papers will need to be submitted to the discussant a few weeks before April 5.

Works Cited:

Ince, Anthony, and Gerónimo Barrera de la Torre. 2016. “For Post-Statist Geographies.” Political Geography 55 (November): 10–19. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.04.001.

CFP AAG 2017: Embedding Trust and Responsibility in Agrifood Networks

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Embedding Trust and Responsibility in Agrifood Networks

Organizer: Benjamin Schrager, University of Hawai‘i;

The papers in this panel examine the ways in which agrifood networks are being remade to embed trust and responsibility (Lockie 2009, Thorsøe and Kjeldsen 2015). Far from being a uniform process, there are numerous strategies, and their impact continues to grow more pronounced for producers, retailers, non-profits, and consumers. Geographical approaches have examined the political economy of food certifications (Guthman 2004), the impacts of ethical consumption (Barnett et al., 2011), food’s visceral geographies (Hayes-Conroy and Martin, 2010), and the role of social anxiety (Jackson 2015). These agrifood studies are on the cusp of interdisciplinarity (Goodman 2015). This panel welcomes a wide range of approaches that bring together theoretical and empirical developments around food and agriculture.

Questions of interest include:

How does embedding trust in agrifood networks transcend and/or reinforce market dynamics?

What larger political goals can be accomplished through embedding?

How do the meanings of embedding change at different stages of the commodity chain?

How is responsibility experienced in everyday practices of food consumption?

Please submit abstracts of less than 250 words to Benjamin Schrager (schrager@hawaii.eduby October 20th.

Works Cited:

Barnett, C., Cloke, P., Clarke, N., & Malpass, A. (2011). Globalizing Responsibility: The Political Rationalities of Ethical Consumption: Wiley-Blackwell.

Goodman, M. K. (2015). Food geographies I: Relational foodscapes and the busy-ness of being more-than-food. Progress in Human Geography, 40(2), 257-266.

Guthman, J. (2004). Agrarian dreams: the paradox of organic farming in California: University of California Press.

Hayes-Conroy, A., & Martin, D. G. (2010). Mobilising bodies: visceral identification in the Slow Food movement. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35(2), 269-281.

Jackson, P. (2015). Anxious Appetites: Food and Consumer Culture: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Lockie, S. (2009). Responsibility and agency within alternative food networks: assembling the “citizen consumer”. Agriculture and Human Values, 26(3), 193-201.

Thorsøe, M., & Kjeldsen, C. (2015). The Constitution of Trust: function, configuration and generation of trust in alternative food networks.Sociologia Ruralis, 56(2), 157-175.

CFP AAG 2017: Spaces of War Power/Police Power: Intersections, Thresholds, Modes, and Contestation

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Spaces of War Power/Police Power: Intersections, Thresholds, Modes, and Contestation

Organizers: Ben Butler, Killian McCormack and Leah Montange (University of Toronto)

This paper session aims to analyze and explore the versatility of modes of war power and police power, and the spaces and sites at the intersections and thresholds between war and police. Although the intersection between police and war power is not entirely novel, it is increasingly apparent today in the militarization of police forces and the extension of logics of war to domestic security practices, as well as in the combination of police and war tactics in peacekeeping and stability operations of militaries (Bachmann et al, 2014; Neocleous, 2014). At the same time, the boundary between inside and outside the nation-state has become troubled with the instability of traditional divisions between home and battlefield, murky divisions between war and “military operations other than war” (MOOTW), the rise of counterinsurgency (COIN), and in the militarization of police forces and militarization of borders (Anais, 2011; Bell, 2011; Coleman, 2007; Graham, 2011; Loyd, 2011; Nevins, 2002). However, while tracing diagrams of power in the interstices of these domains is important, it is crucial to identify these as sites of resistance as well. As Robin DG Kelley (2016) has observed, the war to colonize is also the war to decolonize.

We welcome papers that trace these themes in a wide variety of contexts, and that are provoked by questions such as: What are the continuities and discontinuities amongst war power, police power, and border militarization? In what ways are war power, police power and border militarization relationally constituted through resistance, struggle, and contestation? How do the intersections between police and war power challenge conventional understandings of the parameters of war and warfare?

We are especially interested in exploring these questions in relation to:

-A variety of violences, struggles, wars, and conflicts ranging from counter-terrorism operations to the war on drugs to border militarization and border control

-Transnational agreements and arrangements for foreign security assistance, border enforcement, and police training

-The circulation and exchange of technologies, material objects, and practices across military, police, and border control agencies

-War and police power in contemporary peacekeeping, stability, and counterinsurgency operations, as well as in domestic operations including counter-protest, immigration raids, and broken windows policing.

-Processes of racialization, gendering, and corporealization that occur through war power and police power

-Material sites and objects of war power and police power as nexuses of power and resistance

-Counter-hegemonic cultural production, protest, or everyday practice in relation to war and police power.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Ben Butler (, Killian McCormack ( and Leah Montange ( by October 14, 2016.


Anais, S. (2011) “Ethical interventions: Non-lethal weapons and the governance of insecurity.” Security Dialogue42(6), 537–552.

Bachmann, J., Bell, C. and Holmqvist, C. (2014) War, Police and Assemblages of Intervention. New York: Routledge.

Bell, C. (2011) Civilianizing warfare: ways of war and peace in modern counterinsurgency. Journal of International Relations and Development,14(3), 309–332.

Coleman, M. (2007) “Immigration Geopolitics Beyond the Mexico–US Border.” Antipode 39 (1), 54–76.

Graham, S. (2011). Cities under siege: the new military urbanism. New York: Verso.

Kelley, R.D.G. (2016) “Mike Brown’s Body: A Meditation on War, Race & Democracy.” Lecture on April 11, 2016 for the Hall Center for the Humanities’ 2015-2016 Humanities Lecture Series. Retrieved from:

Loyd, J. M. (2011) “Peace is Our Only Shelter”: Questioning Domesticities of Militarization and White Privilege. Antipode43(3), 845–873.

Neocleous, M. (2014) War power, police power. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Nevins, J. (2002) Operation Gatekeeper : The Rise of The “illegal Alien” and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary. New York: Routledge.

WVU Graduate Student Recruitment

The Geography Program at West Virginia University is currently recruiting five funded graduate students for 2017-18 academic year.  WVU Geography offers both Masters and Doctoral degrees and a rigorous certificate program in Geographic Information Science.  Our rapidly growing graduate program is composed of 19 core geography faculty with expertise in the interdisciplinary subfields of Human Geography, Environmental Geography and GIScience (  WVU Geography faculty are engaged in local, regional and global research focused on human-environment relations, climate change, political geography, spatial science, digital humanities, forest ecosystem modeling, cultural and political ecologies, conservation science, feminist geography, science and technology studies, humanitarianism, land change science, critical cartographies, food justice, and development geography.  Faculty are currently conducting research in South Asia, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and the United States, including Appalachia.
The geography faculty are recruiting for 5 Graduate Research Assistant positions on funded projects.  Applicants interested in the Graduate Research Assistantships described below are encouraged to contact the research faculty prior to applying. Applicants must submit a CV and research statement addressing specific interests and qualifications for the potential research topics outlined below. In addition to the specific qualifications for these positions, potential candidates must meet the admission standards and be fully accepted into the Geology & Geography Department at WVU. Transcripts, test scores, and all other completed application materials are due January 1, 2017 for Fall 2017 admission. You can access the application portal here:
Funded projects include:
Human Dimensions of Water in Appalachia
This study will focus on the dual nature of water in West Virginia: a resource towards economic transition and/or a source of concern due to its polluted and destructive nature. This study will be based on a case study methodology where experience with qualitative methods is required and knowledge of GIS is welcomed.
Faculty Information:  Dr. Martina Angela Caretta,
Social Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Botswana
This research project is based in the Okavango Delta, Botswana and focuses on understanding how existing social vulnerabilities related to gender and ethnicity result in differential adaptive capacities for people in changing environments. RA responsibilities will include assistance with research design, fieldwork in remote locations, and data analysis.
Faculty Information: Dr. Jamie Shinn,
Mapping Wildfire Burn Severity in the New Jersey Pinelands using WorldView-3 imagery, Mobile Terrestrial Lidar and Aerial Lidar
Moble ground-based lidar and aerial lidar, in conjunction with WorldView-3 satellite imagery, offers new opportunities for mapping wildfire burn severity using remote sensing.  RA responsibilities will focus on ground and aerial lidar analysis; prior experience with working with lidar for vegetation analysis is preferred.
Faculty Information: Dr. Tim Warner;
Food Justice and Cooperative Development in Appalachia
This research fellowship is housed within the Food Justice Lab at WVU and focuses on food sovereignty and the potential of cooperative enterprises in advancing social and economic change in West Virginia
and Appalachia more broadly. RA responsibilities will include research assistance on the WV FOODLINK community food security project ( supported by USDA and regional foundation grants. GIS background is desired.  Fellows will join a dynamic community of graduate students in the Food Justice Lab who are advancing alternative economic futures.
Faculty Information: Dr. Bradley Wilson,
Personal Virtual Reality (VR) System for Geovisualization 
The goal of this project is developing framework and applications of personal VR system centered in geovisualization for spatial analysis, science communication, geography education, and many more areas of geography. RA will be required to have some experience of computer programming and GIS software. 
Faculty Information: Dr. Insu Hong, 
Funding Packages:
Doctoral Applicants: Funded Ph.D. students will be guaranteed 3 years of funding contingent upon progress within the program and are eligible for continued funding in years 4 and 5, based upon performance. 
Master’s Applicants: Funded M.A. students are guaranteed 1 year of funding contingent upon progress within the program and are eligible for continued funding in year 2, based upon performance.
Program and University Information: 
WVU recently attained R1 Carnegie Ranking and Geography is a respected Program of Excellence at the university.  We are located in Morgantown, a vibrant town repeatedly ranked as one of the best small cities in the country ( and located just 75 miles south of Pittsburgh.  The Geography Program is housed in a state of the art research facility and students have access to some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in the East (
West Virginia University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer dedicated to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty, staff and students committed to working in a multicultural environment. The university welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

CFP AAG 2017: Critical geographies of policing and law enforcement

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Critical geographies of policing and law enforcement

The public protests and debates about police conduct in the US highlight the salience of policing to everyday life for many people within particular places while also forcing a recognition of the relative paucity of geographic scholarship on the same. This is a missed opportunity given that the aims of policing are highly contextual (involving the daily management of people in specific places) and that the techniques of policing are highly geographic (such as limiting the movement of people, setting checkpoints, or detaining lawbreakers). Although geographers have explored some of these issues before, these efforts have not yet yielded a tradition of sustained interest in policing itself within geography. This has left geography in the unenviable position of having little to contribute to the current debates on a self-evidently geographic topic.

This session aims to lay the groundwork for more sustained geographic inquiry on policing by bringing together scholarship that addresses the many interrelated issues about law enforcement that have become so central to contemporary political life. The session welcomes contributions that are either theoretical or empirical (or both).

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) geographic perspectives on:

  • Theorizing policing for geographic inquiry
  • Interconnections between policing and the state
  • Territorial tactics of law enforcement
  • Place, policing, and race, class, gender, or other identities
  • Police militarization
  • Police-related violence (by police or against police)
  • Spatialities of anti-police protests
  • Police-community engagements
  • Police privatization and neoliberal impacts on law enforcement
  • Policing and urban gentrification

Please send paper titles and abstracts (250 words) or expressions of interest to Steven Radil ( before October 15.

CFP AAG 2017: Territorial Articulations and Shifting Legal Geographies: Indigenous and Native Rights in the Americas

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Territorial Articulations and Shifting Legal Geographies: Indigenous and Native Rights in the Americas

Session Organizers: Sarah Kelly-Richards (University of Arizona; and Joel Correia (University of Colorado;

Discussant: Dr. Tom Perreault, Syracuse University

Sponsored by: Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Specialty Group, Latin American Specialty Group

Please send a 250-word abstract to Sarah Kelly-Richards ( and Joel Correia ( by October 15th. Accepted applications will be notified by October 22nd.

Throughout the Americas, indigenous peoples and their allies are engaging the law to defend their rights and territories. Scholars have shown that law can be used to revive, or create, new socio-spatial and economic orders that challenge historic relations between states and indigenous peoples (Postero 2007; Blaser 2010; Anthias and Radcliffe 2015). While other scholars argue that indigenous rights can paradoxically reinforce state authority and serve the purposes of expanding neoliberal spatial governance (Offen 2003; Wainwright and Bryan 2009; Bryan 2012). Nevertheless, the interpretation of law within formal legal spaces – such as courts, state institutions and multi-national nodes of the Inter-American Human Rights System – interacts with and is informed by material, discursive, and spatial articulations of rights outside of formal sites. While international treaties such as ILO Convention 169 are ratified and legally codified by many nation states in the Americas, in practice the enactment of rights varies greatly (Perreault, 2015). From the Willimapu of southern Chile to the territory of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas, indigenous peoples and their allies are engaging the law through diverse strategies. In this session, we seek to discuss and better understand relationships between territory, the law, and indigenous and native rights throughout the Americas in contribution to debates in legal geography, indigenous studies, and political ecology.

Indigenous and native rights embody connections across space, time, and scale. Across the Americas, these connections are producing new legal geographies, opening political possibilities, and shifting territorial claims and practices. Both legal change and territorial processes, such as the collective learning of indigenous rights, create these openings and correspondent spaces. These legal geographies and territorial claims are connected to different histories, and processes of recuperation. Roots of current indigenous conflicts are often traced to unresolved and contested land tenure histories that reach back decades to hundreds of years. Conflicts can reflect competing spatial ontologies between legal definition and territorial embodiment, yet these definitions and practices are mutually constitutive (Benson, 2012). How conflicts regarding indigenous rights are addressed within the legal sphere and articulated in territories throughout the Americans present important, timely questions. These include:

  • How are different indigenous communities and their allies engaging the law to advance indigenous rights and the material practice of those rights? More specifically, how are human and indigenous rights and natural resource laws being enacted and interpreted within diverse territories?
  • Conversely, how are territorial claims being interpreted in formal legal spaces from the local to the international level? In relation to what histories of dispossession and rights recognition
  • What legal technologies and mechanisms of cooptation are enrolled by state and private actors, and how are these efforts received or countered by indigenous peoples and their allies?
  • How does the law limit the possibility of achieving social and environmental justice in relation to human rights violations against indigenous peoples?
  • How does the law exclude or incorporate the spatial conceptions that indigenous peoples use or that are related to spirituality or cosmovision?
  • In what ways are legal precedents regarding territorial claims being set within different institutional arrangements of nation states and international legal mechanisms?
  • What new relationships are being forged between territory, property, and legal legitimacy?

We encourage submissions by applicants who are interested in preparing their conference papers for future publication.

Works Cited

Anthias, P. and Radcliffe, S. 2015. The ethno-environmental fix and its limits: Indigenous land titling and the production of not-quite-neoliberal natures in Bolivia. Geoforum 46: 257-269.

Benson, M. H. 2012. Mining sacred space: law’s enactment of competing ontologies in the American West. Environment and Planning A44, vol. 6: 1443-1458.

Blaser, M. 2010. Storytelling globalization from the Chaco and beyond. Durham: Duke University Press.

Bryan, J. 2012. Rethinking territory: Social justice and neoliberalism in Latin America’s territorial turn.Geography Compass 6, vol. 4: 215-226.

Offen, K. 2003. The territorial turn: Making black territories in Pacific Colombia. Journal of Latin American Geography 2, vol. 1: 43-73.

Perreault, T. 2015. Performing participation: Mining, power, and the limits of public consultation in Bolivia. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 20, vol. 3, 433-451.

Postero, N. 2007. Now we are citizens: Indigenous politics in Postmulticultural Bolivia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Wainwright, J. and Bryan, J. 2009. Cartography, territory, property: Postcolonial reflections on indigenous counter-mapping in Nicaragua and Belize. Cultural Geographies 16, vol. 2: 153-178.

CFP AAG 2017: Neo-Extractivism, Resource Nationalism, and ‘New’ Geographies of Resource Governance and Development

Call For Papers
AAG 2017 Boston (April 5-8, 2017)

Session title: Neo-Extractivism, Resource Nationalism, and ‘New’ Geographies of Resource Governance and Development

Co-Organizers: Meredith DeBoom (University of Colorado-Boulder) and Emily Billo (Goucher College)

Sponsored by: Cultural and Political Ecology, Development Geographies, and Political Geography Specialty Groups

Deadline for Papers/Panel Proposals: October 13, 2017

Despite the political and economic challenges associated with commodity dependency, governments of many resource-rich states have placed a renewed emphasis on resource-based development over the past ten years. In countries such as Bolivia, South Africa, Ecuador, Namibia, Zambia, and Argentina, opposition and ruling political leaders have called for or implemented diverse reconfigurations of resource governance, resulting in new forms of “networked interactions of various state and non-state organizations and institutions operating at multiple sites and scales” (Himley, 2008: 435). These changes have often been accompanied by renewed rhetoric of national progress and resource nationalism, and also by political unrest rooted in environmental degradation, inequality, and violated property rights. This unrest has highlighted the injustices and violence often associated with state-led development and resource governance practices, including increased criminalization of environmental protests. Such developments at the “resource-state nexus” (Bridge, 2014) are of particular interest to geographers given the territorial fixity of resource deposits and the interconnections among land, resources, place-making, livelihoods, subject formation, and the state.

To date, however, research on the (re)turn to resource-based development has been hindered by regional and subfield-based research silos. These sessions aim to challenge this fragmentation by bringing Latin America-based studies of neo-extractivism (Gudynas, 2012; Burchardt and Dietz, 2014), resource-based struggles (Bebbington and Bury, 2013), and resource imaginaries (Coronil, 1997; Perreault and Valdivia, 2010) into conversation with research on petro-developmentalism (Ovadia, 2016), resource nationalism (Childs, 2015), and resource sovereignty in Africa (Emel et al., 2011), as well as research on resource governance in other regions.

Through a paper session and panel discussion, we aim to connect scholarship on resource governance across a variety of regions and subfields, including political ecology, political geography, economic geography, development geography, legal geographies, and resource geographies. Our goal is to better understand the commonalities and divergences across shifting resource governance regimes and their implications for development and social and environmental justice at multiple scales.

1) Paper session: we invite papers that engage with resource governance in and across a variety of contexts. Both empirical and theoretical proposals are welcome. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Continuities and divergences in resource governance under neoliberal and post-neoliberal/post-Washington Consensus extraction regimes
  • Implications of new resource governance schemes for development challenges associated with commodity dependency (e.g., the resource curse)
  • State-society relations and resource-based development
  • Resource imaginaries, nationalism, place-making, and state-making
  • Roles of foreign investment in domestic resource politics
  • Resource extraction and the developmental or neo-developmental state
  • Neo-extractivism and indigenous politics
  • Scale in resource politics and associated scalar tensions
  • Issues of enclosure, dispossession, property rights, and exclusion
  • Criminalization of environmental protests
  • Identity, subject formation, and social movements
  • Sovereignty, territory, states, and extractive industries
  • Methodological or fieldwork issues associated with researching resource governance

2) Roundtable/panel discussion: we invite expressions of interest by panelists who might speak to broader theoretical debates or to the practicalities of conducting research on resource governance.


Presenters interested in participating in the paper session are asked to submit a paper title and an abstract of no more than 250 words to the organizers by October 13, 2017.

Presenters interested in participating in the panel discussion are asked to submit a brief description of 100-200 words overviewing the topics and themes about which they would like to speak by October 13, 2017.

Please direct submissions and questions to Emily Billo ( and Meredith DeBoom (

Relevant Literature

Bebbington, A. and J. Bury (Eds.). 2013. Subterranean Struggles: New Dynamics of Mining, Oil, and Gas in Latin America. Austin: University of Texas Press. 

Bridge, G. 2014. Resource Geographies II: The Resource-State Nexus. Progress in Human Geography 38(1), 118-130.

Burchardt, H-J. and K. Dietz. 2014. (Neo-)extractivism: A New Challenge for Development Theory from Latin America. Third World Quarterly 35(3): 468-486.

Childs, J. 2016. Geography and Resource Nationalism: A Critical Review and Reframing. The Extractive Industries and Society 3: 539-546.

Childs, J. and J. Hearn. 2016. ‘New’ Nations: Resource-Based Development Imaginaries in Ghana and Ecuador. Third World Quarterly. DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2016.1176859.

Coronil, F. 1997. The Magical State: Nature, Money, and Modernity in Venezuela. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Emel, J., M. Huber, and M. Makene. 2011. Extracting Sovereignty: Capital, Territory, and Gold Mining in Tanzania. Political Geography 35: 35-51.

Gudynas, E. 2012. Estado Compensador y Nuevos Extractivismos: Las Ambivalencias del Progresismo Sudamericano. Nueva Sociedad 237: 128-146.

Himley, M. 2008. Geographies of Environmental Governance: The Nexus of Nature and Neoliberalism. Geography Compass 2: 433-451.

Ovadia, J.S. 2016. The Petro-Developmental State in Africa: Making Oil Work in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

Perreault, T. and G. Valdivia. 2010. Hydrocarbons, Popular Protest and National Imaginaries: Ecuador and Bolivia in Comparative Context. Geoforum 41(5): 689-699.

Rosales, A. 2013. Going Underground: The Political Economy of the ‘Left Turn’ in South America. Third World Quarterly 38(8): 1443-1457.

Veltmeyer, H. and J. Petras (Eds.) 2014. The New Extractivism: A Post-Neoliberal Development Model or Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century? Zed Books.