CfP: Renewing accumulation: Strategies and geographies of energy transition

AAG 2018 Call for Papers: Renewing accumulation: Strategies and geographies of energy transition

Session organizers: Ingrid Behrsin (UC Davis), Conor Harrison (University of South Carolina), Sarah Kelly-Richards (University of Arizona), Sarah Knuth (Durham University), James McCarthy (Clark University)

Recent work in economic geography and political ecology has analyzed energy transitions as fundamentally geographical processes, ones with the power to transform the capitalist space economy in myriad ways (Bridge et al. 2013). Critical energy geographers have begun to explore how the rapid uptake of solar, wind, hydropower, and other renewable and ‘clean’ energy technologies in recent years is introducing new competition for land and resources and raising a host of environmental and social concerns across a variety of spaces, from rural lands and Indigenous territories to dense urban areas (Bridge et al., 2013; Calvert, 2015; Kelly-Richards et al., 2017; McCarthy, 2015; Huber and McCarthy, 2017). Energy geographers are likewise investigating energy efficiency as another accumulation frontier within today’s energy transition, as established conservation programs intersect with new schemes for making energy efficiency a valuable ‘resource’ within urban real estate markets (Knuth 2016), regional energy portfolios (Thoyre 2015), and smart metering initiatives (Levenda et al. 2015). Energy geographers studying the new accumulation sites and strategies above are increasingly attempting to situate them within broader trajectories of capitalist environmental-economic crisis and resolution, as energy transitions take center stage within the green economy’s imaginary of technological ‘disruption’ and renewal (Knuth 2017) and its promise of socioecological fixes to crisis tendencies (McCarthy 2015).

Electric utilities are key actors in these dynamics, sometimes embracing and sometimes resisting transitions to renewable energy sources. The industry is undergoing a period of tremendous technological change and turmoil across many national and regional contexts. In the face of the falling price of renewable energy, energy efficiency initiatives, and a variety of ‘smart’ technologies, tech firms, energy entrepreneurs and investors, and some policy makers view the industry as ripe for disruption and are deploying new accumulation strategies. With new accumulation strategies come new actors, dynamics, and uncertainties in renewable energy development, as market-based de- and reregulation continues to transform established electric utility regimes and large-scale electric grids. At the same time, these would-be ‘disruptors’ confront obdurate socio-technical systems and entrenched political interests. Many incumbent utilities are attempting to use their amassed political economic strength to withstand changes to accumulation strategies that have changed little since the early 20th century, and are thus investing heavily in centralized natural gas and nuclear generation while undermining distributed energy initiatives at every turn. Meanwhile, the expansion of electric grids is becoming a point of conflict in energy transitions in many developing contexts, as managers struggle to grow centralized transmission and distribution grids capable of handling variable renewable energy generation sources, while new competitors market distributed infrastructural and accumulation alternatives.

In the two paper sessions and associated panel session described below, we seek to explore the ways in which these transformations are unfolding, and being contested, across diverse-but-interconnected geographical and sectoral contexts, ones that present multiple sites for critical analysis and intervention. Our intent is to assemble one paper session focused on the political ecology of renewable energy projects and transitions broadly understood; a second paper session focused on the electric utility industry in the context of those transitions; and a panel session that will integrate the themes of both. We invite papers that build on recent work in economic geography/geographical political economy and political ecology in order to examine the strategies present in the renewable energy and electricity industries to ‘renew’ accumulation, and correspondingly, how these strategies articulate and conflict with existing land uses , territorial logics, and utility industry structures. Potential topics of interest may include:

  • The politics of renewable and ‘clean’ energy planning and deployments:  e.g., what are the techniques and justifications used to plan and legitimate such projects?
  • Displacements and dispossessions associated with planned or enacted renewable energy projects.
  • Flows of investments into the renewable energy sector and specific territories and/or projects.
  • The increasing role of tech firms in the electricity industry.
  • Competing tech paradigms, accumulation strategies, and visions for long-term accumulation.
  • Regulation, deregulation, re-regulation, and the changing structure of utility industries regionally, nationally, and transnationally.
  • Increases in renewable energy generation and land use implications.
  • Utility strategies to resist distributed energy projects in the Global North and South.
  • Material and technological politics (e.g., interactions between renewable energy growth and grid innovations, new proposals for energy efficiency and storage).
  • Conflicts and environmental governance implications of the transition to renewable energy.
  • Contradictions in the private-sector-led development of renewable energy.

Please email abstracts of 250 words or less to Sarah Kelly-Richards (shkelly@email.arizona.edu) or Conor Harrison (cmharris@mailbox.sc.edu) by Wednesday, October 25.

Final CfP: Contesting Border Formation(s): Territory, Crises, and Resistance

Contesting Border Formation(s): Territory, Crises, and Resistance

Co-organizers:
Vera Smirnova, Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Tech
Jared Keyel, Government and International Affairs, Virginia Tech

Borders are politically and socially produced phenomena, they appear as fixed, yet are always in flux. Borders are not merely edges but contested and strategic frontiers, crucial for (re)production of prevalent power relations. Border formation can be exploited to legitimize dispossession, land theft, or the displacement of marginalized communities and, as Agamben (2005) has argued, create states and zones of exception. Border (re)formation in response to the current economic crises and political instabilities has proven to be a disputed process whereby varied constellations of overlapping actors and interests seek to exploit moments of instability to consolidate and exercise power in novel ways.

‘Border’ as a concept has generated much research in the fields of political geography, political theory, and international relations, yet, it has received comparatively less attention than other scales of analysis such as ‘territory’ or ‘space’. Moreover, Anglophone scholarship on border formation, in many cases, is state-centric, primarily seeing borders as a state territorial container or coercive state power strategy (Soja, 1971; Gottmann, 1973; Sack, 1986; Taylor, 1994; Elden, 2009).

This session seeks contributions that contest border formation in the present moment and/or through their historical manifestations, advance understanding of borders that serve at once as a means of coercion and resistance, or perceive borders as lived spaces where both top-down and bottom-up practices overlap and often clash. We invite theoretically rich and/or empirically grounded papers that directly engage in problematizing border formation and together can unite, contribute, or advance the on-going debate.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

– Urbanization, dispossession, and displacement;
– Land appropriation, enclosure, and agrarian crisis;
– Migration and refugee crisis;
– Decolonization or new imperialism;
– Sovereignty and territoriality;
– Violence and territoriality;
– Borders in racialized or gendered marginalization;

If you are interested in joining the session, please send abstracts of up to 250 words to Vera Smirnova (veras@vt.edu) and Jared Keyel (jaredk1@vt.edu) by October 23 or send us your PIN number if you already registered.

References:
Agamben G (2005) State of exception. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Elden S (2009) Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Gottmann J (1973) Significance of Territory. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
Sack RD (1986) Human Territoriality: Its Theory and History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Soja E (1971) The Political Organization of Space. Washington, DC: Commission on College Geography, Association of American Geographers.

CfP: NeoGeographical Resistance Movements of the 21st Century

Call for Proposals: NeoGeographical Resistance Movements of the 21st Century (with the usual apologies for cross-posting….)

Session Chairs:
Joern Langhorst, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Denver
Jordan Hill, Director of Social Justice & Masters of Humanities/Masters of Social Science (MHMSS) Program University of Colorado Denver

In the aftermath of the global civil rights struggles and movements of the 1960s and 1970s, the conservative retrenchment and the rise of neoliberal policy led many to assume that large social movements and the art of protest were effectively dead.  In this context, we can now see that the 1999 “Battle of Seattle” uprising against the World Trade Organization was in many ways the birth of a uniquely 21st century kind of resistance movement with a global network of membership with strategic local mobilizations. From Seattle to the most recent uprisings in Catalonia, this session seeks papers that investigate the geographical dimensions of these 21st century resistance movements with a particular focus on how they act locally, yet position their grievances in global contexts using networks of international participants.  In order to make this session accessible to not just an interdisciplinary range of scholars, but meaningful to people from a wide array of educational opportunities, we are seeking papers that are written in a jargon-free and accessible format that makes complex ideas and frameworks accessible to all citizens. Paper proposals that exemplify inclusive politics and participatory dialogue of the NeoGeographical Resistance Movements of the 21st century will be given preference, so that we might help to continue to think, in an accessible manner, about the strategies and tactics necessary to combat the complex international injustices of our time.

Please send abstracts / proposals by Sunday, Oct. 22 to jordan.hill@ucdenver.edu and joern.langhorst@ucdenver.edu

CfP: Geographies of Entrepreneurship

In the last decade, entrepreneurship has (re)emerged as a social, cultural and economic phenomenon promoted on a global scale by states, institutions, and experts. As a discourse and practice, it can be seen as a response to a rapidly changing global economy, a remedy for high unemployment rates, and a way to exercise freedom. The goal of this session is to stimulate discussion on the variegated spaces in which entrepreneurship takes place. We invite contributions focused on entrepreneurship research along the lines, but not exclusive to, the following topics:

– Globalization
– The Global South
– Specific case studies on entrepreneurship
– Institutional frameworks and entrepreneurial activity
– The entrepreneurial subject
– Neoliberalism
– Economic transition
– Development
– Affect and entrepreneurship
– Work, lifestyle, and freedom
– Precarity
– Politics of entrepreneurship and development
– Knowledge transfer/exchange and best practices
– Entrepreneurship and urban growth

If interested, submit a 250-word abstract to either Antonio Cabrera (jacabrera@email.arizona.edu) or Feras Klenk (ferasklenk@email.arizona.edu) by October 25, 2017.

CfP: Productive Imaginaries of Crime and (In)security

Call for Papers: American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, 2018
April 10-14, 2018 in New Orleans, LA
Productive Imaginaries of Crime and (In)security
Organizers: Stefano Bloch (University of Arizona) and Dugan Meyer (University of Kentucky)
Abstract Submission Deadline: October 23, 2017
“Security is an illusion that has forgotten it is an illusion.”
-Mark Neocleous and George Rigakos, Anti-Security: A Declaration (2011)
Logics of security have long been central to the (re)production of social order. It may even be said that the concept of security is the very cornerstone of liberal modernity (Neocleous 2008). But as a growing body of critical scholarship has brought increasingly into focus, security is neither cohesive nor neutral. Moreover, it cannot be understood but through its own shadow: insecurity. In this sense the project of securing civil society– which is the fundamental ambition of policing– must be understood as productive, and not simply productive of order, but of the persistent specter of its opposite as well. For this reason our attention is drawn to the imaginaries of insecurity– of which crime is one particularly potent form– and to the productive roles that those imaginaries play in projects of order.
This paper session seeks to bring together scholars interested in exploring such productive imaginaries. How are shifting conceptualizations of crime, disorder, and other perceived threats to social order used to mobilize discourses, bodies, institutions, policies, and politics within broader projects of order? How might we analyze, visualize, and politicize the dialectics of fear and desire that animate state power and processes of racialization?
Contributors may address this topic from a variety of angles. While we are particularly interested in work that engages critically with imaginaries of crime and criminality, potential participants need not necessarily limit themselves to this frame. We invite contributions that intersect with and/or build upon the following topics or perspectives:
  • Social theory and policing
  • Productive capacities of crime discourse
  • Mechanisms of fear and anxiety in urban politics
  • Affective perspectives on othering and exclusion
  • Intersections of criminality and social death
  • Geographic perspectives on social threat
  • State security politics and pacification
  • Rhetoric of criminality, (dis)order, and (in)security
Potential participants should send an abstract of a maximum of 250 words to Stefano Bloch (s.bloch@arizona.edu) and Dugan Meyer (dugan.meyer@uky.edu) by Monday, October 23. A notification of acceptance with further instructions will be sent by Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

CfP: Nations beyond Nationalism

Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers

AAG 2018 – New Orleans, April 10-14, 2018

 

Nations Beyond Nationalism:

Producing Nation-ness at Multiple Scales

Session Organizers: Dylan Brady (University of Oregon) and Jennifer Titanski-Hooper (Francis Marion University)

Discussions of nationalism as a political movement often overshadow and displace discussions of nations as multi-scalar social, cultural, and political entities. Beyond even banal nationalism (Billig 1995), powerful sociomaterial processes produce the nation as an invisible and ubiquitous backdrop to everyday life (Lefebvre 1991; Brenner and Elden 2009). This session seeks to draw together papers that examine the subtler ways that the nation is embodied, produced, transformed and institutionalized, apart from the political movement of nationalism.

Agnew’s identification of the territorial trap (1994) exposed the limits and failures of the nation-state as a geopolitical ideal. While a static, bounded territorial unit is the target of the national project, producing the nation is itself a series of dynamic, contingent and relational network processes at multiple scales (Jones and Fowler 2007; Merriman and Jones 2016).  Nations are embodied via the construction of multiple, intersecting gender, race, and class identities (Dowler and Sharp 2001; Fluri 2008; Yuval-Davis 1997). This session seeks to investigate the concrete processes which work to actualize and contest the abstract ideal of the nation-state.

Momentarily decoupling the nation from nationalist rhetoric allows us to trace the divergent and complex processes that contribute to nation-ness. Military service (Conversi 2007), infrastructure projects (Akhter 2015), public education, media and other social institutions (Edensor 2004) all work to integrate people and space into the nation-state. Yet each of these “nation effects” (cf. Painter 2006) has a distinct geography, articulating together particular groups at specific scales—and often creating fractures within the nation even as they knit it together.

This session seeks to better understand the nation by engaging with these material processes of nation-building. How are nations assembled (and contested) in localities, regions and the globe? How are other infrastructural, technological, economic, social and cultural processes linked into the production of nation-ness? To what extent can nation-building escape the confines of nationalism, or subvert it? We invite empirically-based paper submissions that investigate how material practices create multiple senses of nation-ness.

1) Call for papers: Please submit an abstract of 250 words and program identification number (PIN) to Dylan Brady (dbrady@uoregon.edu) and Jennifer Titanski-Hooper (jtitanskihooper@fmarion.edu) by October 25th.

2) In addition to paper presentations, the session organizers hope to conclude the session with a panel discussion on the session’s themes. If you are interested in joining this discussion, please send your name, PIN, and a brief sketch of your thoughts to the session organizers.

 

Works Cited:

Agnew, John. 1994. “The Territorial Trap: The Geographical Assumptions of International Relations Theory.” Review of International Political Economy 1 (1): 53–80. doi:10.2307/4177090.

Akhter, Majed. 2015. “Infrastructure Nation: State Space, Hegemony, and Hydraulic Regionalism in Pakistan.” Antipode, April, 1–22. doi:10.1111/anti.12152.

Billig, Michael. 1995. Banal Nationalism. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Brenner, Neil, and Stuart Elden. 2009. “Henri Lefebvre on State, Space, Territory.” International Political Sociology 3 (4): 353–377. doi:10.1111/j.1749-5687.2009.00081.x.

Conversi, Daniele. 2007. “Homogenisation, Nationalism and War: Should We Still Read Ernest Gellner?” Nations & Nationalism 13 (3): 371–94. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8129.2007.00292.x.

Dowler, Lorraine, and Joanne Sharp. 2001. “A Feminist Geopolitics?” Space & Polity 5 (3): 165–76. doi:10.1080/13562570120104382.

Edensor, Tim. 2004. “Automobility and National Identity Representation, Geography and Driving Practice.” Theory, Culture & Society 21 (4–5): 101–120.

Fluri, Jennifer L. 2008. “Feminist-Nation Building in Afghanistan: An Examination of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).” Feminist Review 89 (1): 34–54. doi:10.1057/fr.2008.6.

Jones, Rhys, and Carwyn Fowler. 2007. “Placing and Scaling the Nation.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25 (2): 332–54. doi:10.1068/d68j.

Lefebvre, Henri. 1991. The production of space. Oxford; Cambridge: Blackwell.

Merriman, Peter, and Rhys Jones. 2016. “Nations, Materialities and Affects.” Progress in Human Geography, May, 309132516649453. doi:10.1177/0309132516649453.

Painter, Joe. 2006. “Prosaic Geographies of Stateness.” Political Geography 25 (7): 752–74. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2006.07.004.

Yuval-Davis, Nira. 1997. Gender and Nation: SAGE Publications. SAGE.

CfP: From the Margins to the Center: Voices and Movements that Communicate, Demonstrate, Relocate, or Emancipate Marginalized Communities

CFP: 2018 AAG Annual Meeting, NOLA

Title: “From the margins to the center: voices and movements that communicate, demonstrate, relocate, or emancipate marginalized communities”

Today’s cultural politics feature continual assertions of power through both symbolic and material practices as well as opposition and resistance to it. Current events involve spaces and communities across all geographic scales and position geographers well to question and understand what seems to be an increasingly carnivalesque and exclusionary world. This paper session seeks to consider and explore spatial and representational strategies used by disenfranchised communities in response to the marginalizing effects of economic, political, coercive, and symbolic power. Work that engages processes implicated in making assertions of power or the opposition or resistance to power present in the public imagination; in the formation, spatial exclusion, and contestation of communities; or, in the maintenance or effects of borders or trans-boundary flows is particularly encouraged. Theoretical engagements are welcome as well as focus on any place or space irrespective of location or extent. Communities and sites include but are not limited to:

  • homes and the homeless;
  • children and adolescents;
  • persons labeled or diagnosed with disabilities;
  • sites of violence and warfare;
  • sites of detention, incarceration, or committal;
  • minority groups including people of color or people of any ethnic or religious group;
  • gender-based or LGBTQ communities;
  • indigenous or stateless peoples; and,
  • victims of human trafficking, human rights violations, or sexual violence.

If interested, please contact organizer Eric West (weste1@southernct.edu) with your 250 word abstract and AAG PIN by October 23, 2017. Some effort will be made to consider submissions that arrive later.

CfP: Indigenous gendered studies of the global changes in the Arctic: experiences, challenges, and prospects for research

CALL FOR PAPERS

American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting

New Orleans, Louisiana, April 10-14, 2018

Paper Session: Indigenous gendered studies of the global changes in the Arctic: experiences, challenges, and prospects for research

Organizer: Vera Kuklina, Vera Solovyeva

Discussant: Jessica K. Graybill

Recent changes in geopolitical configurations; growing mobilities of people, goods, ideas; and the reality of climate change have variety of impacts on people and places. Indigenous groups are recognized as especially vulnerable (International Labor Organization, 2016) while simultaneously having expert knowledge on how environments and communities are impacted by climate changes (Krupnik & Jolly, 2002; Louis, 2007; Cruikshank, 2005; Comberti, 2016; Johnson, 2016).  This dichotomy is especially evident in the Arctic and subarctic regions affected by extractive and infrastructural development, urbanization, environmental degradation, ethnic conflicts, cultural and spiritual heritage losses, broken relations between generations, and reduced “fate control”, among other things. As noted by Shaw et al., 2006 and others, there is need for better engagement by geographers with the experiences of indigeneity to understand the experiences of indigenous and non-indigenous groups in the North.

The levels of vulnerability and resilience vary within indigenous groups of different regions, age, gender, class, and sexuality. The gendered aspect of global change in the North today has been noted in the “gender shift” (in Russia; Povoroznyuk et al., 2016), “female flight” (Hamilton & Seyfrit, 1994; Rasmussen, 2009), gendered employment mobilities (Walsh, Valestrand, Gerrard, & Aure, 2013), masculinization of the traditional activities (Rasmussen, 2009; Ulturgasheva, 2012), and related to processes of urbanization (Peters, 2006).

There are specific issues that make the focus of indigenous gendered studies especially relevant. First, in many indigenous communities, women take leading roles (Bodenhorn, 1990; Vinokurova et al., 2004; Larsen & Fondahl, 2015). Second, indigenous communities are often characterized by return migration (Huskey et al, 2004), that make their presence in the Arctic more likely permanent than those existing settler communities. Finally, with increased infrastructural development and communication technologies, better links with remote communities can make the last ones more vocal and visible in the urban and metropolitan centers of decision-making. To expand our awareness of emerging issues of indigenous communities and increase their resilience, we need more collaborative efforts as in academia and with remote communities.

We seek theoretically grounded and practically oriented discussion on how indigenous gendered studies could contribute and shape the academic understanding of the global changes in the North. Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How do gendered differences among indigenous people affect our spatial perception, conceptualization, and action in the context of global changes?
  • What are the best ways of integrating indigenous and gender-specific knowledge with Western scientific methods?
  • How can indigenous researchers enhance dialogue among different members of local indigenous communities and global decision-makers to critically address the roles/rights ascribed for indigenous peopled that are gendered, age-ified, and regionalized?
  • How can critical, feminist, and indigenous methodologies contribute to indigenous gendered studies?

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Vera Kuklina (vvkuklina@gmail.com) and Vera Solovyeva (vera_solovyeva@yahoo.com)by October 20th. Accepted applicants will be notified by October 25th.

References:

Technical Note. Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: From Victims to Change Agents through Decent Work www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/2016/Docs-updates/…

Bodenhorn, B. 1990. “„I‟m Not the Great Hunter, My Wife Is‟: Inupiat and Anthropological Models of Gender.” Etudes/Inuit/Studies 14(1-2):55-74.

Cruikshank, J. (2005). Do glaciers listen?: local knowledge, colonial encounters, and social imagination. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Huskey, L., Berman, M., & Hill, A. (2004). Leaving home, returning home: Migration as a labor market choice for Alaska Natives. The Annals of Regional Science (38), 75-92.

Louis, R.P. (2007). Can you hear us now? Voices from the margin: using Indigenous methodologies in geographic research, Geographical research 45 (2): 130-139.

Comberti, C., Thornton, T. and Korodimou, M. (2016) Addressing Indigenous Peoples’ Marginalisation at International Climate Negotiations: Adaptation and resilience at the margins.

Johnson, J.T., Howitt, R., Cajete, G., Berkes F., Louis R.P., and Kliskey, A. (2016). Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences to Diversify our Methods. Sustainability Science.

Coombes, B., Johnson, J.T., Howitt, R. (2014). Indigenous Geographies III: Methodological innovation and the unsettling of participatory research. Progress in Human Geography 38 (6): 845-854.

Hamilton, L.C., and Seyfrit, C.L. 1994.  Female flight? Gender balance and outmigration by Native Alaskan villagers. Arctic Medical Research 53(Supplement 2):189 – 193.

Krupnik, Igor, and Jolly, Dyanna (eds.). 2002. The Earth is Faster Now: Indigenous Observations of Arctic Environmental Change. Fairbanks, Alaska: Arctic Research Consortium of the United States

Fondahl, G.  (1998). Gaining ground?: Evenkis, land and reform in southeastern Siberia.

Shaw, W.S., Herman, R.D.K. and Dobbs, G.R., 2006: Encountering Indigeneity: re-imagining and decolonizing geography. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography 88, 267–276.

Peters, E.J. (2006). “[W]e do not lose our treaty rights outside the… reserve”: challenging the scales of social service provision for First Nations women in Canadian cities. GeoJournal 65: 315-327.

Rasmussen R.O. 2009. Gender and Generation: Perspectives on Ongoing Social and Environmental Changes In The Arctic.: Signs: Journal Of Women In Culture And Society 34(3): 524-532.

Vinokurova, L.I., A.G. Popova, S.I. Boiakova, and E.T. Miarikianova. 2004. Zhenshchina Severa: Poisk novoi sotsial’noi identichnosti [Women of the North: The Quest for a New Social Identity]. Novosibirsk: Nauka.

Whyte, Kyle and Cuomo, Chris J., Ethics of Caring in Environmental Ethics: Indigenous and Feminist Philosophies (April 25, 2016). The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics. Edited by Stephen M Gardiner and Allen Thompson, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: ssrn.com/abstract=2770065

Larsen, J., & Fondahl, G. (2015). Arctic Human Development Report: Regional Processes and Global Linkages. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.

2nd CfP: Critical Geographies of Sports Capitalism

2nd CALL FOR PAPERS
AAG Annual Meeting, April 10-14, 2018, New Orleans, LA

From Kaepernick and Qatar to Cobb County and the Kop: Critical Geographies of Sports Capitalism
Organizer: Andy Walter (University of West Georgia)

Quoting literary theorist Terry Eagleton, “No finer way of resolving the problems of capitalism has been dreamed up” than football (soccer). If this reads as an overstatement, geographer Doreen Massey argued that concerning oneself with the ways in which capital has enclosed football offers a means to understand and, on that basis, figure out ways to challenge neoliberalized and financialized society. Recent years have provided spectacular illustrations of both scholars’ claims and their relevance to modern sports generally. From the overt rent-seeking and subversion of local democracy by/for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County, Georgia, to the deadly exploitation of migrant workers building stadiums for a World Cup serving as a conduit for the circulation of Qatar’s massive surpluses, sport offers a concrete picture of the modes and consequences of wealth extraction and accumulation. At the same time, professional sport provides a view of various ways in which capital’s dominant forms are challenged and grounds are potentially established to create different, less exploitative and unjust ones. For example, by “taking a knee” quarterback Colin Kaepernick inspired a players’ anti-racist movement that exposed the humanity and power of highly-skilled, highly-paid workers and ultimately disrupted the smooth multi-billion dollar flow of value in the NFL (leading NFL owners to collectively withhold work from Kaepernick as an apparent retaliation). Meanwhile, at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium, the loyal supporters of the Kop end, among others elsewhere in the stadium, walked out of a match en masse to contest the narrowing of their role in the club to that of customer and to caution the American owners against treating the club as simply a financial, rather than a community, asset.

This session provides a forum for papers exploring the ways in which space and place figure into the operations and outcomes of sports capitalism as well as challenges and alternatives to it at all scales and in any region of the world. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the connections between the production and consumption of sport as a commodity and:

Rent-seeking through land development, media rights, etc.
Labor regulation, exploitation, and organization within and beyond the stadium
Fandom and neoliberal subject formation
Fandom and solidarity
Gender/sexism/gender politics and injustices
Urban politics and citizenship
Democracy and emancipatory politics
Economic governance
Race/racism/racial injustice
Global value chains/production networks
Urban public space
Urban infrastructures
Financialization of the built environment
Commoning and expropriation
Urban and global wealth inequality

In you are interested in contributing to this session, please contact Andy Walter (awalter@westga.edu) with a description of your paper’s topic, or any questions you may have about it, by October 23.

CfP: Electoral Geography

​This is a second call for papers devoted to electoral geography. Right now we have four papers and we would like a fifth paper. If demand warrants we could add a second session. Papers to devoted to electoral geography–elections, electoral districts, gerrymandering, methods, results, and other topics related to electoral geography are welcome. Recent elections and historical elections are welcome. Topics related to the 2016 election and elections worldwide are welcome.  Please join us in a session or two devoted to electoral geography instead of taking your random chances.