CFP AAG 2016: Critical geographies of the home(land): (in)security, violence, everyday life


American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California,

March 29-April 2, 2016


Session title:

Critical geographies of the home(land): (in)security, violence, everyday life



Sara Hughes, UCLA

Maegan Miller, CUNY

Outline of topic/background:

The securitization of everyday life has attracted increasing academic attention in recent years. These processes–exacerbated, but not invented by the events of 9/11–are marked by the intensification and convergence of policing and military apparatuses, surveillance and profiling technologies, urban fortification, and social exclusion that blur meaningful distinctions between spaces of war/peace, foreign/domestic, enemy/civilian. Political geographers have explored these dimensions of “everywhere war” (Gregory 2011) across a range of theoretical and empirical contexts. Jenna Loyd situates the home within uneven militarized and racialized landscapes of war-making and, in doing so, disrupts neat divisions between battle zone and home front (Loyd 2011). William Walters introduces domopolitics: the reconfiguration of relations between citizenship, state, and territory in order to rationalize security measures in the name of a particular conception of home (Walters 2004). Domopolitics are comprised of a series of diagrams including crime, vulnerability, threat, and abuse, technologies of ‘managed’ borders, identity checks and archipelagos of detention–often extending well beyond the ‘homeland.’ Natalie Oswin explores how the two meanings of domestic, as residential shelter and national territory, converge to demarcate belonging within a national ‘family’ according to axes of race, class, nationality, and heteronomativity (Oswin 2011). Stephen Graham highlights the that the demolition of houses and “killing of cities” is a central tactic of modern warfare and occupation (Graham 2004). Setha Low and others examine the spread of gated communities and enclaves in Fortress America (and Fortress Israel, Brazil, etc…) (Low 2001; Rosen & Razin 2008, 2009); and Cindi Katz describes “banal terrorism” as producing a sense of terror and fear, embracing themes of ‘us’ versus ‘them,’ in everyday life (Katz 2007).


Aim of session:

Building upon this work, the aim of this session is to explore discourses of safety in various settings and communities–and all the contradictions they manage/contain–as well as the concrete ways humans in a variety of settings are dealing with risk, insecurity, and uncertainty (Rabinow & Samimian-Darash 2015). We are interested, particularly, with the ways in which war-making shapes domestic/home space and relations. What are the connections between the intimate, everyday spaces of the home and the geopolitical production of a homeland/nation-state? What does safety/security mean in varied contexts? Who gets to feel secure? To ground this discussion empirically, we seek submission of papers (in any stage of development) on the topics of geographies of (in)security, violence, and everyday life in the home(land). We welcome papers that focus on the U.S. as well as papers that explore these dynamics across other national and geopolitical contexts.


Please consider submitting an abstract on any of the following areas (or related areas) within political or cultural geography:


  • Geographies of vulnerability, uncertainty, instability, risk, threat
  • Ideology, consciousness, affect
  • The blurred spatiality of battleground and home front, militarized domesticities (Loyd, 2011)
  • Geopolitics of intimacy and domesticity
  • Geographies of law and law enforcement
  • Dispossession, displacement, settler colonialism and occupation
  • Everyday dimensions of policing, securitization, surveillance, and state violence
  • Gated communities, enclaves, landscape
  • Homelessness and housing crisis


Potential session participants should contact Sara Hughes ( ) and Maegan Miller ( by 5 October 2015 to indicate their interest in participating in the session. Please include a proposed title and a 200-word abstract.


Works cited:

Graham, S. (2004). “Lessons in Urbicide.” New Left Review 19

Gregory, D (2011). “The Everywhere War.” The Geographical Journal 117 (3): 238-250

Katz, C. (2007). Banal terrorism. Violent geographies: Fear, terror, and political violence. D. Gregory and A. Pred, Routledge: 349-363.

Katz, C. (2008). “Me and my monkey: What’s hiding in the security state.” Fear: Critical geopolitics and everyday life: 59-72.

Low, S. M. (2001). “The edge and the center: Gated communities and the discourse of urban fear.” American Anthropologist 103(1): 45-58.

Loyd, J. M. (2011). ““Peace is our only shelter”: Questioning domesticities of militarization and white privilege.” Antipode 43(3): 845-873.

Oswin, N (2010). “The Modern Family Model at Home in Singapore: A Queer Geography.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 256-268

Rabinow, P. and L. Samimian-Darash (2015). Modes of Uncertainty: Anthropological Cases, University of Chicago Press.

Rosen, G. and E. Razin (2008). “Enclosed residential neighborhoods in Israel: from landscapes of heritage and frontier enclaves to new gated communities.” Environment and planning. A 40(12): 2895.

Rosen, G. and E. Razin (2009). “The rise of gated communities in Israel: reflections on changing urban governance in a neo-liberal era.” Urban Studies 46(8): 1702-1722.

Walters, W. (2004). “Secure borders, safe haven, domopolitics.” Citizenship studies 8(3): 237-260.

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: DIGITAL BORDER STRUGGLES: Pro- and No-Border Activism and the Rise of Technologies for and against Migration Management


Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, March 29 – April 2, 2016

Pro- and No-Border Activism and the Rise of Technologies for and against Migration Management

Camilla Hawthorne, University of California, Berkeley
Martin Geiger, Carleton University, Ottawa

From passports to fingerprints to medical screenings, technology has been intertwined with border control and migration management and their multiple transformations since the emergence of the modern nation-state (Torpey 2000; Geiger 2014). In recent years, biometrics (Magnet 2011), drones, and other new technologies have further expanded the state’s bordering powers. At the same time, tools such as social media, GPS, and mobile phones are being actively re-appropriated by migrants and made central to their practices of spatial mobility; they also facilitate protests against newly emerging border regimes (Trimikliniotis et al. 2014).

In other words, modern forms of technology both suppress and control mobility, and simultaneously enable new forms of mobilization—for instance, by supporting new and existing activist communities; enabling solidarity between different groups and stakeholders; providing new platforms for the creative expression of non-obedience; and challenging media and policy discourses related to irregular migration, asylum seekers, and economic migration (c.f. Ponzanesi and Leurs 2014).
From at least the fifteenth century, the category of technology has developed in relation to processes of racialization and exclusion: technological advancement, understood as a marker of civilizational advancement, couched the violence of imperial ambitions in the teleological language of “improvement” (c.f. Adas 1989). Indeed, the origins of many modern bordering technologies can be traced to the need to control the movements of colonized and enslaved populations (Browne 2012). More recently, revelations of large-scale telecommunication surveillance have thrown into question utopian predictions that digital technologies—by allowing the formation of new, sprawling networks not subject to geopolitical borders—would lead to human liberation. Far from eroding borders, new technologies enable equally new forms of control over mobility and support the “disciplining of transnational mobility” (c.f. Geiger and Pécoud 2014), sometimes even before migrants leave their countries of origin.
The violent realities of technologically mediated bordering suggest that, far from transcendence through abstract digital flows, technologies can enable oppressive forms of (re)territorialization. Yet, simple technological determinisms are insufficient for capturing the complexity of these developments. Technologies are always embedded within complex webs of institutions, actors, spaces, and histories such that their effects are never fully determined, even as they fundamentally transform the conditions of possibility for action on an international scale.

The aim of this session is to examine the myriad ways in which these new technologies not only shape and facilitate the ordering, control, and management of people at borders and areas of transit, arrival, or destination; but to also interrogate the ways in which they enable, support, and enhance political mobilizations among migrants, refugees, and activists against border control and migration management.

These new protest movements challenge dominant portrayals of migrants as merely “uprooted” (Malkki 1992), passive subjects of geography; they also struggle for a more just world order in which control over global mobility is no longer the monopoly of states and newly dominant international entities (see, e.g., Georgi 2010), or unevenly distributed based on one’s position within a racial and gendered global division of labor (Massey 1994; Gregory 2007).
Geographers, and geographically oriented analyses more broadly, can contribute to existing, yet “anemic” geographies (Sparke 2005; c.f. Mitchell 1997) of technology and especially of the “digital.” Indeed, new technologies of bordering and “management” as well as technologies that are used to subvert borders and migration “managerialism” are actively reshaping both the material and affective geographies of the contemporary world—including the fraught and power-laden categories of state, nation, race, and citizen.
For this session, we welcome both empirically grounded and theoretical contributions, including those that draw from related fields such as migration studies, communication studies, and science and technology studies. We encourage submissions that address recent developments in the fortification of borders in Europe, North America and other world regions, as well as empirical case studies of new technologies in practice. We aim to publish a selected number of papers in an edited volume or special issue.

Potential paper topics might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Studies of digitally mediated activism, both in support of and against immigration.
• Migrants’ use of technologies in support of (spatial) mobility and (political) mobilization.
• Critical and geographically informed perspectives on “digital diasporas” (c.f. Brinkerhoff 2009; Alonso and Oiarzabal 2010; Oiarzabal & Ulf-Dietrich Reips 2012; Bernal 2014).
• Enrolment of technologies, both new and old, in emerging regimes of bordering and migration management: surveillance systems; the overlap between migration control and anti-terrorism programs; “humanitarian” interventions (e.g., anti-trafficking programs); the telescoping of borders both within and beyond the territorial borders of nation-states.
• Technological practices of inscribing borders, challenging borders, and imagining alternative cartographies.
• Engagements with specific, material technologies (e.g., the drone, the biometric passport, facial recognition software, risk assessment algorithms, watch list databases, virtual border fences) and their entanglement with border management.

Potential session participants should contact Camilla Hawthorne ( by 15 August 2015 to indicate their interest in participating in the session. Please include a proposed title and 200-word abstract.

CFP AAG 2016: Borders and Sovereignty

CFP Borders and Sovereignty, AAG 2016 San Francisco, March 29-April 02

Title: Borders and Sovereignty

This session will focus on borders and sovereignty and is open to papers that address the following theme(s): the history of borders and territorialities; how borders shapes the lives and/or livelihoods of borderlanders; how people in border areas influence the border and are influenced by the border; how modern state borders to control people’s movements; the use of new technologies and instruments to control people’s movement across borders; new opportunities and conflicts created by the hardening of borders; and the movement of people and goods across borders.

When to Submit

Send an email inquiry to me now if you are interested in joining this session ( Abstracts are due to me by October 20, 2015.


Reece Jones, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA

Md Azmeary Ferdoush, PhD student, Department of Geography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA.

Thank you very much for reading and considering our session.


Reece Jones

Md Azmeary Ferdoush

CFP AAG 2016: Student Engagement in Community Service

Call for Papers: AAG 2016 San Francisco, CA 

Session Title: Student Engagement in Community Service

Organizers: Sallie Marston (University of Arizona) and Vincent Del Casino (University of Arizona)

Student engagement – meaningful, hands-on experiences for undergraduates through research, foreign travel or community service – has long been a hallmark of higher education in the US. Existing programs that enabled self-selected students to gain practical skills and professional competencies from activities offered outside the classroom have included study abroad, structured internships, and volunteer or part-time paid work on faculty research projects. With the new movement in the US to provide engagement across the entirety of the undergraduate population, even in large public institutions, there are enormous challenges to administrators and faculty to expand existing programs and develop new ones. Alongside the basic logistical challenges of providing these new engagement opportunities are the political questions about what sorts of experiences should be offered, how to collaborate effectively with communities, how to best prepare students to exercise respect and openness in their engagements, and what the outcomes of a successful experience should and can be.

In this CFP we invite submissions that address the student engagement phenomenon from the perspective of community service and that can make a range of contributions to the ongoing discussions about it.

Papers might consider topics including, but not limited to:

+   fostering progressive leadership through student engagement in community

+   assessments of successful/unsuccessful programs

+   cultivating an ethic of community service among undergraduates

+   mobile technologies for engagements in the community

+   the politics of student engagements in the community

+   the challenges of managing faculty and staff workload in developing and undertaking community service projects

+   defining student and programmatic learning outcomes related to community service
Submissions:  Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Sallie Marston ( by Monday, October 12, 2015. Successful submitters will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online on the AAG website by Thursday, October 29, 2015 with a session proposal deadline of November 18, 2015.

CFP AAG 2016: Paper Sessions(s) on The Agency of Place in a More-than-human World

Call for Papers

2015 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA

March 29-April 2, 2016

Paper Sessions(s) on The Agency of Place in a More-than-human World

We are organizing session(s) at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting in San Francisco around research and creative activities that explore place as an active agent in the lives of humans and nonhumans. Instead of thinking about place as a locale or background experience, we would like to engage in a discussion about the agency of place to motivate and guide dialogue, struggle, activism, and projects in defense of the pluriverse. Examples of contributions may include scholarly and creative work that seeks to understand place as an agent of ontological pluralism or its role in political agonism and partnership. We also welcome ethnographic and collaborative research with communities whose ontologies recognize the capacity of place to teach, create, and speak across ontological boundaries. In short, we envision this session as an opportunity to think through the agency of place in defending and nourishing the more-than-human communities and ontologies of the pluriverse, which, following Marisol de la Cadena, we define as “partially connected heterogeneous socionatural worlds negotiating their ontological disagreements politically.”

Our session is motivated first and foremost by Indigenous ontologies that recognize the agency of place as a creator, teacher, and guide in kinship relationships. These and other place-based ontologies are currently working through a variety of social movements around the world in what Isabelle Stengers has conceptualized as an agonistic “cosmopolitics” in which the “cosmos refers to the unknown constituted by . . . multiple, divergent worlds and to the articulation of which they would eventually be capable.” Arturo Escobar has argued that these place-based social activisms and struggles are creating the transition discourses that “posit radical cultural and institutional transformations – indeed, a transition to an altogether different world.” Importantly for this session, transition discourses are grounded in the agency of place and in “the fact that the re/constitution of place-based (though not place-bound) societies are not only possible but perhaps inevitable.”

Although our inspiration for this session comes from Indigenous thinkers and contemporary scholarship on the place-based politics of the pluriverse (e.g., Arturo Escobar, Walter Mignolo, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Leroy Little Bear, the Bawaka collective), we are open to any work that explores the agency of place in contemporary ontological pluralism and agonism. We cast our net widely but foresee contributions engaging such topics as:

  • Indigenous activism
  • Insurgent ecologies, biopolitics, and natural contracts
  • Place-based environmental activism and social movements
  • Land-based affinity movements/geoanarchism
  • Theoretical developments and debates engaging place in posthumanism/more-than-humanism, ontological pluralism, multinaturalism, cosmopolitics, and the Anthropocene.

If you are interested in participating in this session, please contact either one of the session organizers by September 30, 2015:

Soren Larsen                                                                Jay T. Johnson
Department of Geography                                           Department of Geography
University of Missouri                                                 University of Kansas                                          

CFP AAG 2016: Contemporary Migration by Boat and Border Enforcement: The governance, representation, spatialities and humanitarian realities of people migrating by boat at sea.


Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, March 29 – April 2, 2016


Contemporary Migration by Boat and Border Enforcement:

The governance, representation, spatialities and humanitarian realities of people migrating by boat at sea.



Elaine Burroughs, Maynooth University, Ireland

Keegan Williams, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada


Outline of topic/Background:

The migration of people by precarious and unauthorized boat methods at sea has increased substantially in recent years. This practice has gained significant attention from a range of actors, including governing authorities, political elites, the media, and NGOs. Although the sea has become a space of hope/desperation for migrants, it has also become a space of conflict over territory and sovereignty (Mountz, 2013). The critical literature on borders and exclusion shows that wealthier states have enacted a “policy of containment” designed to keep most migrants out (Castles, 2003). Border enforcement at sea is premised on this idea of containment. To this end, state authorities, like border guards and immigration agencies, have built systems to force migrants back before, during, or after arrival at the physical border (Hyndman & Mountz, 2008; Samers, 2004). Previous literature notes that this increased enforcement will be associated with increased loss of life as migrants take more dangerous journeys to evade authorities (Betts, 2006; Collyer, 2007). Indeed, not only are the number of people travelling by boat increasing, but the number of deaths are also increasing, especially in areas such as the Mediterranean (IOM, 2014; UNHCR, 2015).

The issue of containment of migrant boats emerged as early as the late 1970s (Mountz, forthcoming). Great concern about movement at sea was generated in Australia, the EU and the USA in the 1990s (Lutterbeck, 2006). Increasing publicity of migrant boat incidents worldwide reinforces these concerns and the security threats they reportedly pose (Pugh, 2001). State authorities attempt to combat migration by boat through various enforcement measures (e.g. the EU’s Operation Triton and NAVFOR Med). The causes of this humanitarian issue, however, are complex, and authorities inadequately and improperly use search and rescue services to address the situation. A number of scholars and non-governmental organisations have discussed the humanitarian and legal realities of migration by boat and border enforcement at sea (Gammeltoft-Hansen, 2008; Carling & Hernandez-Carretero, 2011); however, few studies have analysed their empirical relationship. We also have little information on what happens to migrants after their journeys at sea end. These gaps exist despite the importance of the continual “crisis” which migration by boat represents to these states.


Aim of session:

The key aim of this session is to specifically examine the current migration of people by boat at sea and the multiple instances of this practice from around the world. We wish to bring together scholars interested in this area and to advance knowledge on this topic within the field of geography. We aim to explore the full spectrum of processes involved in the migration of people by boat, from the reasons why people do so, to the attempt to control and “manage” this type of migration, through to what happens to these migrants once their “journey” at sea ends. Of particular interest to this session are papers that: (1) identify the empirical realities and outcomes of migration by boat; (2) describe the relationship between migration by boat and modern border enforcement in wealthier states; and (3) explore how migration at sea is represented by authorities and the media.

Regional examples include (but are not exclusive to): Australia/Indonesia, Canada, the European Union (e.g., Canary Islands; Spain; Italy/Malta; Greece), Malaysia and the United States of America.


Potential session participants should contact Elaine Burroughs ( and Keegan Williams ( by 28 September 2015 to indicate their interest in participating in the session. Please include a proposed title and a 200-word abstract.


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

CFP: The Geography of Infrastructure: States, Nature, and Capital

AAG 2016 San Francisco

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 the deadline 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

Undergrad student paper award deadline 6/15

Please remember that the deadline for the PGSG Undergraduate Student Paper Award is coming up very soon – June 15. You will find all the details here:

Congratulations to PGSG’s 2015 Award winners

Congratulations to all the 2015 PGSG award winners. We are pleased to announce the following recipients:

Grad student paper awards:
1. PhD Student Paper: Emma Mullaney, Penn State University for ”Geopolitical Maize: Peasant Seeds, Everyday Practices, and Food Security in Mexico” (honorable mention is Katherine Sammler)
2. MA: Kelsey Carlson, Syracuse University for “Drawing Borders to Dispossess and Placing Dakota People in the Present: Alternative Territoriality”

Alexander B. Murphy Dissertation Enhancement Award:
Keegan Williams, Wilfrid Laurier University for “Arriving Somewhere but not Here: Exploring and Mapping the Relationship between Border Enforcement and Migration by Boat in the Central Mediterranean Sea, 2006-2014”

Student Travel awards:
1. Ali Nehme Hamdan, UCLA
2. Genevieve Parente, UBC
3. Wes Attewell, UBC
4. Joshua Watkins, UC Davis

Non-student awards:
1. Stanley D. Brunn Young Scholar Award: Simon Springer, U of Victoria
2. Richard Morrill Public Outreach Award: Martin Müller, U of Zurich
3. Julian Minghi Outstanding Book Award: Emma Norman, Northwest Indian College for Governing Transboundary Waters: Canada, the United States and Indigenous Communities (Routledge 2014)
4. Virginie Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award: Sarah Mills, Loughborough University for ‘An instruction in good citizenship’: scouting and the historical geographies of citizenship education (Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 2013)