2nd CfP: Seeing Like a Region

2nd CFP: Seeing Like a Region
2018 AAG Meeting | New Orleans, 10-14 April

Organizer: Jean-Paul Addie (Georgia State University) 
The aim of this session is to deepen our understanding of how regions are rendered visible, experienced, and governed: who can ‘see regionally’, and what, in conceptual and applied terms, does it mean to ‘see like a region’?
According to Scott (1998), to ‘see like a state’ means viewing the spatiality of politics through the territoriality of sovereignty. A world constituted by cohesive territories with claims to internal sovereignty emerges, in which subjects are beholden to the authority of a final arbiter – usually the national state – and disciplined by the arts of spatial governmentality. In contrast, several prominent scholarly interventions now argue that to ‘see like a city’ opens a plethora of diverse political and socio-spatial possibilities that themselves undermine appeals to territorial authority (Valverde, 2011). For Magnusson (2011), ‘seeing like a city’ presents a political world characterized by multiplicity, the presence of diverse knowledges, and a decentered web of politics ‘in becoming’. Amin and Thrift (2017) alternatively ‘see like a city’ to present the urban as a vital, messy, machine-like infrastructural space.
The territoriality and relationality of regions, however, defy the simple transfer of either the spatial or ontological politics proscribed by seeing ‘like a state’ or ‘like a city’ (Allen & Cochrane, 2010; Jones & MacLeod, 2004; Paasi & Metzger, 2017). Alternative techniques of spatialization and political modalities are required find coherence within the ‘fuzziness’ of regional space. Significantly, the ability to produce and claim regional space is uneven and unequal; regions are experienced over variegated scalar frames and understood differently by diverse social groups, often in partial and fragmented ways (Jonas & Ward, 2007; Owens & Sumner, 2017; Parker & Harloe, 2015). As frames for political activity – from formal governmental arrangements to informal everyday urbanism – regions look, and function, very differently relative to where they are viewed from: center/periphery, city/suburb, points of connectivity/spaces of marginalization. This has distinct ramifications for the politics and governance of ‘real existing’ regions (Addie & Keil, 2015); and poses a pressing challenge in the face of accelerated urbanization, the suburbanization of race and poverty, antiquated infrastructure systems, and the impacts of global climate change (Turok et al., 2014).
This session invites contributions that examine the implications of ‘seeing like a region’ for urban/regional theory, politics, and socio-spatial practice. It welcomes conceptual, methodological, and empirical interventions from a variety of geographic and scalar perspectives. Comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives from critical, policy-oriented, and urban science vantage points are also encouraged. Relevant questions and topics include, but are not limited to:
·       Who develops regional visions and how are their spatial imaginaries legitimized?
·       What technologies of power and infrastructure arrangements concretize the region?
·       Who benefits, and is excluded, from such formations?
·       How can key actors shift from producing a region ‘in itself’ to a region ‘for itself’?
·       How are the dynamics of ‘power over’ and ‘power to’ articulated in regional politics?
·       How is the region enacted and understood from the bottom up, and outside in?
·       In what ways do state and non-state actors adopt a regional spatial practice?
·       How are tensions between perceived, conceived, and lived dimensions of regional space negotiated, and competing scalar agendas balanced?
·       What role is played by the production (and re-production) of regional knowledge and practice inside and outside the academy?
If you are interested in participating in either a paper or panel session, please contact Jean-Paul Addie (jaddie[at]gsu.edu) by 10 October with an expression of interest.
Addie, J.-P. D., & Keil, R. (2015). Real existing regionalism: The region between talk, territory and technolgy. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(2), 407-417.
Allen, J., & Cochrane, A. (2010). Assemblages of state power: Topological shifts in the organization of government and politics. Antipode, 42(5), 1071-1089.
Amin, A., & Thrift, N. (2017). Seeing like a city. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Jonas, A. E. G., & Ward, K. G. (2007). Introduction to a debate on city-regions: New geographies of governance, democracy and social reproduction. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 31(1), 169-178.
Jones, M., & MacLeod, G. (2004). Regional spaces, spaces of regionalism: territory, insurgent politics and the English question. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 29(4), 433-452.
Magnusson, W. (2011). Politics of urbanism: Seeing like a city. New York: Routledge.
Owens, M. L., & Sumner, J. L. (2017). Regional or parochial? Support for cross-community shaing within city-regions. Journal of Urban Affairs, ealry view.
Paasi, A., & Metzger, J. (2017). Foregrounding the region. Regional Studies, 51(1), 19-30.
Parker, S., & Harloe, M. (2015). What place for the region? Reflections on the regional question and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(2), 361-371.
Scott, J. C. (1998). Seeing like a state: How certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Turok, I., Bailey, D., Bristow, G., Du, J., Fratesi, U., Harrison, J., . . . Wishlade, F. (2014). Editorial: New times, shifting places. Regional Studies, 48(1), 1-6.
Valverde, M. (2011). Seeing like a city: The dialectic of modern and premodern ways of seeing urban governance. Law and Society Review, 45(2), 277-312.

CfP: New and Changing Geographies of Wildlife Crime

Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, April 10
14, 2018, New Orleans
New and Changing Geographies of Wildlife Crime

Organizers: Francis Massé (Dept. of Geography, York University), Jared Margulies (Department
of Politics, University of Sheffield)
Discussant: Dr. Bram Büscher (Wageningen University)

From extralegal rhino and elephant hunting, to illegal timber harvesting, to illegal, unregulated,
and underreported fishing (IUU), and the sourcing and trade of birds and reptiles, wildlife crime
and the responses to it are gaining increasing scholarly and policy attention. The International
Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) defines wildlife as “all fauna and flora”
(CITES, 2017). It defines crime as “acts committed contrary to national laws and regulations
intended to protect natural resources and to administer their management and use” (Ibid). At the
same time, wildlife crime is also transnational in scope, as the transport and sale of illicitly
harvested or otherwise protected species of fauna and flora make up the growing illegal wildlife
trade (IWT), a multi-billion dollar a year industry (UNDP, 2015).

Studying wildlife crime and the responses to it thus requires multiscalar research including the
spaces and sites of extraction, transit, and consumption of wildlife, to the connections and flows
in-between that span the local to the global. This includes spaces of conservation, the open seas,
surrounding communities, ports of entry and exit, global meetings, and (il)legal sites of purchase
and consumption both online and offline (Hansen et al., 2012; Hübschle, 2016a, 2016b; White,
2016). Efforts to combat wildlife crime similarly take us from local areas of sourcing, such as
protected areas (Lemieux, 2014; Lunstrum, 2014), to international forums and regional policing
agreements (White, 2016), and demand-reduction campaigns (TRAFFIC, 2017). Such efforts
involve communities (Massé et al., 2017; Roe et al., 2015) and increasingly more-thanconservation
actors, both state and non-state (Nurse, 2013). Put simply, wildlife crime and the
ways in which it is responded to are not relegated to a certain scale or political-ecological space.

Moreover, while much of the above might reflect or embody familiar geographical, politicalecological,
and socio-ecological dynamics, we are also seeing new and changing dynamics and
spatialities concerning wildlife crime and efforts to combat it (Büscher, Forthcoming). These
dynamics are shaped by a variety of factors including the very labelling of the illicit harvesting
of wildlife as “crime” and those who engage with harvesting as “criminals.” Wildlife crime is
also increasingly framed as a crisis, “war”, or a security issue connected to organized crime and
terrorism that enfold wildlife crime in geopolitical dynamics that are shaping responses to it and
where such responses take place (Büscher, Forthcoming; Duffy, 2014, 2016; Marijnen, 2017).

The result is that wildlife crime, responses to wildlife crime, and the studying of each is taking
place in new spaces and at new scales prompting an engagement with what might be termed
more-than-conservation spaces, actors, and interests. It is these changing geographies and related
political-/socio-ecological dynamics that this session is primarily interested in. Drawing on the
above, there are three key areas of focus for this session:

1. The spaces (and places) of wildlife crime and responses to it;
2. The ways in which the political-ecological and socio-ecological dynamics of wildlife crime
intersect with the geopolitical and political-geographic;
3. How these changes might influence or necessitate new approaches to studying wildlife crime.

Of particular interest are presentations that bring light to novel developments and/or changes to
each with a view to why such changes are occurring and what the implications might be.
Specific topics might include, but are not limited to:
• The changing spatialities and geographies of wildlife crime and the responses to it.
• Legal geographies related to the illicit harvesting of wildlife and the production of
“crime” and “criminals.”
• New understandings and problematizations of what might be considered “wildlife crime”
and wildlife law enforcement.
• The multi-scalar nature of wildlife crime and the connections between local and global
ecologies and political-dynamics.
• Shifting and new geopolitics and political-geographies of wildlife crime and responses.
• The intersection of wildlife crime and related enforcement measures with other sectors
and geopolitical, political-geographical, and political-ecological dynamics.
• Theoretical and conceptual approaches to studying wildlife crime.
• Innovative ways to study wildlife crime and responses to it.

Please e-mail abstracts of up to 250 words to Francis Massé (massef@yorku.ca) and Jared
Margulies (j.margulies@sheffield.ac.uk) by October 15th. Successful applicants will be
contacted no later than October 20th and will need to submit their abstract online to the AAG
portal thereafter.

Francis Massé, Ph.D. Candidate, York University
Jared Margulies, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Sheffield

Büscher, B. (Forthcoming). From Biopower to Ontopower? Violent Responses to Wildlife Crime
and the New Geographies of Conservation. Conservation and Society.
CITES. (2017). Wildlife Crime. from cites.org/eng/prog/iccwc.php/Wildlife-Crime
Duffy, R. (2014). Waging a war to save biodiversity: the rise of militarized conservation.
International Affairs, 90(4), 819-834.
Duffy, R. (2016). War, by conservation. Geoforum, 69, 238-248.
Hansen, A. L. S., Li, A., Joly, D., Mekaru, S., & Brownstein, J. S. (2012). Digital surveillance: a
novel approach to monitoring the illegal wildlife trade. PLoS One, 7(12), e51156.
Hübschle, A. (2016a). Security coordination in an illegal market: the transnational trade in
rhinoceros horn. Politikon, 1-22.
Hübschle, A. (2016b). The social economy of rhino poaching: Of economic freedom fighters,
professional hunters and marginalized local people. Current Sociology,
Lemieux, A. M. (2014). Situational prevention of poaching: Routledge.
Lunstrum, E. (2014). Green Militarization: Anti-Poaching Efforts and the Spatial Contours of
Kruger National Park. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104(4), 816-
Marijnen, E. (2017). The ‘green militarisation’of development aid: the European Commission
and the Virunga National Park, DR Congo. Third World Quarterly, 1-17.
Massé, F., Gardiner, A., Lubilo, R., & Themba, M. (2017). Inclusive Anti-poaching? Exploring
the Potential and Challenges of Community-based Anti-Poaching. South Africa Crime
Quarterly, 60, 19-27.
Nurse, A. (2013). Privatising the green police: the role of NGOs in wildlife law enforcement.
Crime, law and social change, 59(3), 305-318.
Roe, D., Cooney, R., Dublin, H. T., Challender, D. W., Biggs, D., Skinner, D., et al. (2015).
Beyond enforcement: engaging communities in tackling wildlife crime: International
Institute for Environment and Development
TRAFFIC. (2017). Consumer Behaviour Change leading to Demand Reduction. Retrieved Sept.
1, 2017, from www.traffic.org/demand-reduction
UNDP. (2015). Combating poaching and wildlife trafficking: A priority for UNDP.
White, R. (2016). Building NESTs to combat environmental crime networks. Trends in

CfP: Geopolitics of Displacement and Exclusion: Making and Unmaking of Refugees

Geopolitics of Displacement and Exclusion: Making and Unmaking of Refugees

AAG, April 10-14, 2018

New Orleans, LA

Organizers: Kara Dempsey (Appalachian State University) and Orhon Myadar (University of Arizona)

As the number of refugees reaches record high globally, refugee issues have been brought to the forefront of political and public debates both nationally and internationally. The public views towards these refugees have been shaped by various mediums that disseminate images and ideas of and about refugees.

This session seeks to conceptualize refugee migration as a critical geopolitical issue and examine the theoretical and practical assumptions surrounding the humanitarian crisis. Invoking Judith Butler’s Precarious Life and Giorgio Agamben’s Bare Life, the session aims to explore the politics of making and unmaking refugees at different scales and in different milieus. Central to our understanding of the politics of refugees is the contradiction between the basic International Relations assumption based on the sanctity of the states and the forces that defy the assumption and the rigidity that comes with it. In exploring the processes of making and unmaking refugees within this contradiction, this session thus seeks to bring together discussions on topics including but not limited to: geopolitics of displacement and bordering (that of exclusion and inclusion; the travel ban); the biopolitics of making/unmaking refugees (coding, registration, incarceration, representation, exploitation and subjugation of refugee bodies); precariousness of refugee lives; refugee stories (production, narration, animation, fetishizing and silencing of refugee narratives; documenting refugee voices), racializing and essentializing tropes of refugees.

Interested contributors should submit an abstract of approximately 250 words to Kara Dempsey (dempseyke@appstate.edu) and Orhon Myadar (orhon@email.arizona.edu) by October 10, 2017.

CfP: Dimensions of dispossession: Spatialities, temporalities, and (im)materialities

CFP: Dimensions of dispossession: Spatialities, temporalities, and (im)materialities

2018 American Association of Geographers Annual Conference, New Orleans Louisiana 

Session Co-organizers

Joel E. Correia, University of Arizona Center for Latin American Studies

Max Counter, University of Colorado at Boulder Department of Geography


To be confirmed


Cultural and Political Ecology, Political Geography, Cultural Geography Specialty Groups

Dimensions of dispossession: Spatialities, temporalities, and (im)materialities

Dispossession is a central concept in the critical human geography lexicon with expansive use across various subfields that could almost certainly qualify it as one of Raymond Williams’ famed “keywords”  (Williams 1976). The literature on dispossession and its relation to capital accumulation bears witness to its enduring theoretical and empirical significance (See, for example, Marx 1976 [1867]; Harvey 2003; Glassman 2006; Hart 2006; Li 2010a; 2010b; Ballvé 2012; Chakravartty and Fernando da Silva 2012; Perreault 2012; Levien 2015; inter alia). Post-colonial, feminist, and critical social theorists have provided further perspectives that center on the affective aspects of dispossession as a more-than-material process (See, for example, Fanon 1952; Agamben 2005; Casolo and Doshi 2013; Coulthard 2014; Bhandar and Toscano 2016). Building from recent scholarship (Butler and Anthanisou 2013; Gordillo 2014; Fernandez 2017; Counter 2017; Bryan 2017), this session invites papers that explore the multiplicity of dispossession, taking as its point of departure that dispossession is a spatial process shaped by capital accumulation, but also more-than-material, affective, and temporal. In sum, we are interested in work, that through both empirical rigor and theoretical sensitivity, explores the very idea of “dispossession” and how it is manifest through an array of different dimensions.

Relevant questions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How are multiple facets of the concept dispossession effective for understanding current processes of dispossession as a lived experience?
  • What are the limits to the various ways the term “dispossession” is understood and utilized in contemporary critical geographic scholarship? In what ways can those limits be overcome?
  • What new aspects might the term further encapsulate?
  • How is dispossession manifest vis-a-vis temporal, spatial, and (im)material geographies?
  • And, importantly, how might geographers develop a sensitivity to illuminating these multiple dimensions of dispossession in their empirical work?

If interested, please email you 250 word abstract to Joel Correia (jcorreia@email.arizona.edu) or Max Counter (max.counter@colorado.edu) by October 9th. We will notify selected participants by October 15th 2017.


Agamben, G. 2005. State of exception. Atell, K. trans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bryan, J. 2017. Oil, indigeneity, and dispossession. In Other geographies: The influences of  Michael Watts. Chari, S. Freidberg, S., Gidwani, V., Ribot, J., and Wolford, W. eds. p. 157-168. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Ballvé, T. 2012.. Everyday state formation: Territory, decentralization, and the narco landgrab in Colombia. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(4), 603-622.

Bhandar, B. and Toscano, A. 2016. Representing Palestinian dispossession: Land, property, and photography in the settler colony. Settler Colonial Studies, 7(1): 1-18.

Butler, J. and Athanisou, A. 2013. Dispossession: The performative in the political. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Casolo, J. and Doshi, S. 2013. Domesticated dispossessions? Towards a transnational feminist geopolitics of development. Geopolitics, 18(4): 800-834.

Coulthard, G.S. 2014. Red skins, white masks: Rejecting the colonial politics of recognition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Counter, M. 2017. ‘La doble condición’: landmine victims, forced displacement, and disability in Colombia’s Magdalena Medio. Social & Cultural Geography, 1-25.DOI:10.1080/14649365.2017.1280616

Chakravartty, P. and Fernando da Silva, D. 2012. Accumulation, dispossession, and debt: The racial logic of global capitalism-an introduction. American Quarterly, 64(3): 361-385.

Fanon, F. 1965. Black skins, white masks. New York: Grove Press.

Fernandez, B. 2017. Dispossession and the depletion of social reproduction. Antipode, DOI: 10.1111/anti.1235.

Glassman, J. 2006. Primitive accumulation, accumulation by dispossession, and accumulation by ‘extra-economic’ means. Progress in Human Geography, 30(5): 608-625.

Gordillo, G. 2014 Rubble: The afterlife of destruction. Durham: Duke University Press

Hart, G. 2006. Denaturalizing dispossession: Critical ethnography in the age of resurgent imperialism. Antipode, 38(5): 977-1004.

Harvey, D. 2003. The new imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Levien, Michael. 2015. “From Primitive Accumulation to Regimes of Dispossession: Theses on India’s Land Question.” Economic and Political Weekly 50(22): 146-157

Li, T.M. 2010a. Indigeneity, capitalism, and the management of dispossession. Current Anthropology, 51(3): 385-414.

______. 2010b. To make live or let die? Rural dispossession and the protection of surplus populations. Antipode, 41(s1): 66-93.

Marx, K. 1976 [1867]. Capital: A critique of political economy volume one. Fowkes, B. trans. London: Penguin Books.

Perreault, T. 2012. Dispossession by accumulation? Mining, water, and the nature of enclosure on the Bolivian Altiplano. Antipode, 45(5): 1050-1069.

Williams, R. (1976). Keywords: a vocabulary of society and culture. Fontana/Croom Helm, London.

CfP: Emergent politics of REDD+ governance

AAG Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 10–14 April 2018

Emergent politics of REDD+ governance

Organizers: Adeniyi P. Asiyanbi (University of Sheffield); Jens Friis Lund (University of Copenhagen)

Emerging in the mid-2000s, REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhance of forest carbon stocks) quickly became an important symbol of optimism not only for international action on climate change but also for forest governance, biodiversity conservation, market-based environmental governance, and development. However, a decade on, hope in the scheme has plummeted. Not only has the scheme been largely ineffective, we have also seen fears of ‘green grabbing’ materialize despite the development of safeguards. REDD+ discourse has been mobilized for a variety of purposes, including as innovative financing for private wildlife conservation, for a variety of NGO projects and to finance state budgetary deficits. Above all, REDD+ has remained mired in technical and political challenges that raise important questions (Leach and Scoones, 2015; Beymer-Farris and Bassett, 2012; Cavanagh et al., 2015). Increasingly, critical scholars ask whether REDD+ is another fleeting conservation fad (Lund et al., 2017), and whether it might be time to ‘move on’ (Fletcher et al., 2016).

Yet, REDD+ stumbles on, and emergent global environmental imperatives warrant that we critically examine it and its future within the broader global environmental governance arena. The Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015, the New York Declaration on Forests in 2014 and the 2015 global climate deal (the Paris Agreement) all give REDD+ a renewed significance (Angelsen et al. 2017; Savaresi, 2016). Meanwhile, outright and outspoken resistance to REDD+ among forest-dependent and indigenous groups across the world is growing, partly in response to failed expectations. And at a more general level, increasing nationalism raises new challenges for multilateral governance of climate change mitigation and REDD+.
This session invites theoretical, empirical and review papers that reflect on the current and future politics of REDD+ governance. Some questions of interest include: How are actors at various levels reacting to the learnings generated over the past decade? In what ways can nations now be seen to be more ‘ready for REDD+’ than they were a decade ago? How are the major international REDD+ institutions interpreting, evaluating and responding to local outcomes of REDD+ implementation? What discursive strategies are being deployed among REDD+ actors to reframe narratives of the poorly performing scheme? We are also interested in contributions that situate REDD+ within the wider global climate change mitigation, forest conservation, and energy debates. Under the emergent global environmental imperatives, we ask: how are REDD+ institutions, structures and processes being reworked? How are these new imperatives shaping the emergent governance of REDD+? Is REDD+ governance undergoing important structure shifts (e.g. from market-based to aid-based; from centric to polycentric approaches)? What are the implications of these shifts?

Please submit your 250-word abstract to Adeniyi Asiyanbi (a.asiyanbi@sheffield.ac.uk) and Jens Friis Lund (jens@ifro.ku.dk) by October 20, 2017.


Angelsen, A., Brockhaus, M., Duchelle, A. E., Larson, A., Martius, C., Sunderlin, W. D., … & Wunder, S. (2017). Learning from REDD+: a response to Fletcher et al. Conservation Biology31(3), 718-720.

Cavanagh, C. J., Vedeld, P. O., & Trædal, L. T. (2015). Securitizing REDD+? Problematizing the emerging illegal timber trade and forest carbon interface in East Africa. Geoforum, 60, 72-82.

Beymer-Farris, B. A., & Bassett, T. J. (2012). The REDD menace: Resurgent protectionism in Tanzania’s mangrove forests. Global Environmental Change22(2), 332-341.

Fletcher, R., Dressler, W., Büscher, B., & Anderson, Z. R. (2016). Questioning REDD+ and the future of market‐based conservation. Conservation Biology30(3), 673-675.

Leach, M., & Scoones, I. (Eds.). (2015). Carbon conflicts and forest landscapes in Africa. Routledge.

Lund, J. F., Sungusia, E., Mabele, M. B., & Scheba, A. (2017). Promising change, delivering continuity: REDD+ as conservation fad. World Development89, 124-139.

Savaresi, A. (2016). The Paris Agreement: a new beginning?. Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law34(1), 16-26.

CfP: Electoral Geographies

​I am willing to organize a session or more to electoral geography for the AAG meeting in New Orleans April 10-14, 2018. If you have research devoted to recent elections, gerrymandering, and related aspects to electoral geography please get in touch with me.

John Heppen
University of Wisconsin, River Falls

​​CfP: Popular Geopolitics across Multiple Mediums

​​CFP: AAG 2018  Popular Geopolitics across multiple mediums
Session organizers: Katrinka Somdahl-Sands & Darren Purcell
Popular geopolitics is a subfield of geopolitics, which studies how cultural products intervene in the pre-existing geopolitical practices. Most of the popular geopolitics literature has focused on the scale of the state and how popular culture influences ideas of nationalism. Papers of that kind are welcome to submit for inclusion, however in this panel we are also looking for papers that look at different scales, multiple media forms, and those that push past the Anglo-American centric analyses that have dominated the subdiscipline.
Those interested please send your abstract and pin to somdahl-sands@rowan.edu by October 15th, 2017

2nd CfP: Pragmatism in Geography: Between Objectivity and Affect Lies Social Hope

AAG Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 10-14 April 2018
Pragmatism in Geography: Between Objectivity and Affect Lies Social Hope
Organizer: Robert W. Lake, Rutgers University  (rlake@rutgers.edu)

Sponsored by:
Urban Geography; Political Geography; Ethics, Justice & Human Rights; Socialist & Critical Geography Specialty Groups

How can geography discern a path toward betterment of the human condition? Several well-worn paths toward this goal have encountered the limitations of their presuppositions. The quest for objective representation of an external truth, bequeathed from the Enlightenment, has deteriorated variously into authoritarian modernism (Scott, 1999); the tyranny and hubris of expertise (Mitchell, 2002); the retreat into abstraction and theorization (Harman, 2014); or the deceptive comfort of conceptual validation through ideological purity (Rorty, 1982, 1991). The encounter with affect has, from a different direction, too often descended into egocentric fascination with auto-ethnography or the self-affirming seductions of sentimentality and “consolatory distraction” (Nelson, 2017). Both objectivity and affect flounder as revelatory strategies when confronted with the complexity, unpredictability, and indeterminacy of the social world (Rogers, 2009). Faced with the evacuation of teleological certainty-a reliable route linking means to ends-how can geographers identify a practice of knowledge production conducive to social hope?
This session seeks to explore the possibilities of philosophical pragmatism as an approach to praxis that evades the pitfalls of earlier orthodoxies. As exemplified in the voluminous writings of John Dewey (e.g., 1929, 1948), pragmatism abjures the rigidity of foundational principles and theorization from abstraction while recognizing contingency, relationality, experimentalism, and the validation of knowledge through practice. Papers are invited that consider any aspect of pragmatism as an approach to discerning a path to, in Dewey’s words, “achieving a better kind of life to be lived.”
Please send abstracts (max. 250 words) by October 9, 2017 to Bob Lake (rlake@rutgers.edu).
Dewey, John. 1929. The Quest for Certainty. G.P. Putnam.
Dewey, John. 1948. Reconstruction in Philosophy. Dover.
Harman, Graham. 2014. Bruno Latour: Reassembling the Political. London: Pluto Press.
Mitchell, Timothy. 2002. Rule of Experts. University of California Press.
Nelson, Deborah. 2017. Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil. University of Chicago Press.
Rogers, Melvin. 2009. The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality, and the Ethos of Democracy. Columbia University Press.
Rorty, Richard. 1982. Consequences of Pragmatism. University of Minnesota Press.
Rorty, Richard. 1991. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Cambridge University Press.
Rorty, Richard. 1999. Philosophy and Social Hope. Penguin Books.
Scott, James. 1999. Seeing Like a State. Yale University Press.

CfP: Entreprepreneurial urbanism 2.0: Local and comparative perspectives

Call for Papers: AAG New Orleans, 10-14 April 2018

Entreprepreneurial urbanism 2.0: Local and comparative perspectives

Session organizers: Ugo Rossi (University of Turin, Italy) and June Wang (City University of Hong Kong)

We live in times of ambivalence in which many traditional wisdoms are now revisited/retaken to allow two-sided readings. Gaining centrality of such scholarly debates are cities, which illustrates the ambivalences, contradictions and promises of existing global societies. Using “urban entrepreneurialization 2.0”, this session invites reflections on the present urban process that has unfolded both new-neoliberal economies and insurgent practices of municipal, community-based democracy.

First of all, the term entrepreneurship deserves revisiting. Post-recession societies offer a powerful illustration of what Michel Foucault identified as the ‘entrepreneur of the self’ in his writings on neoliberal governmentality (Foucault, 2005). In this regard, one can observe a qualitative shift with respect to the entrepreneurialization of urban governance that David Harvey brought to light in the late 1980s (Harvey, 1989). The writing by Hard and Negri in their recent book Assembly retakes the word to argue for collective bio-political agency of the multitude to demonstrate autonomy in the production in factories and beyond. Nevertheless, the flip side of the happy and self-actualisation project promised by “self-entrepreneualism” and “everyone has become an entrepreneur” has also witnessed an array of well documented critiques on self-disciplinary and self-exploitation. With an emphasis put on procedural reading, we uses the term ‘entrepreneurialization of city life’ to call for studies that involve not only the governance structures of capitalist cities but the mobilization of society at large and life itself for both capitalist and non-capitalist purposes.

Amalgamating urban and entrepreneurialization, this session also tends to revisit the machinic assemblage. In other words, how to study the relational interaction of body-environment and the anthropogenetic constitution of urban economies and societies. For some, the ‘mobilizing potential of place’, that is, the ambient power of place is a process of encounter, where various human and non-human elements assemble in a way that particular moral value or social norm is enacted, sensed, felt, and also reacted (Allen, 2006; Roberts, 2012; Thrift, 2007).  For some others, machinic subjectivity is inherent in the ‘cooperative intelligence’ of human being, such that “a multitude is formed capable of ruling and leading itself to conceive and carry out strategic goals” (Hardt and Negri, 2017). In one way or another, today’s urban environments offer evidence of a wide array of practices, projects and experiments – on both capitalist and non-capitalist sides – that draw on what we have defined ‘the mobilizing potential of place’ and the cooperative intelligence of human being.

If you are interested in taking part in this session, please contact June (june.wang@cityu.edu.hk) and/or Ugo (ugo.rossi@unito.it) with an abstract of no more than 250 words by Friday 20th October 2018 (earlier the better!). We will then get back to you by Monday 23 October with a decision.



Ahmed, S. (2010) The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke UP

Davies, W. (2015) The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being. London: Verso.

Foucault, M. (2008), The Birth of Biopolitics. Lectures at the College de France, 1978–79, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hardt, M., & Negri, A. (2017). Assembly. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Harvey, D. (1989) From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: The transformation in urban governance in late capitalism. Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography 71(1)

Best, June

June Wang. PhD : Assistant Professor of Urban Studies : Dept of Public Policy : City University o Hong Kong : Phone: (852) 3442 8707 : Email: june.wang@cityu.edu.hk.

New Publications:
(in press) “The moral atmosphere of Lishui Barbizon: self-governance in China.” In Chinese urbanism: critical perspectives, eds. Mark Jayne (Routledge).

CfP: Contemporary U.S. Colonialisms: Crises and Politics.

CfP AAG 2018 – Contemporary U.S. colonialisms: Crises and Politics.

Organizers: Sasha Davis (Keene State College) and Scott Kirsch (University of North Carolina)

Recent hurricane disasters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the targeting of Guam during disputes between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, have highlighted the dangers and oppressions that accompany contemporary colonial relationships in U.S. territories. Given the continued relevance and impact of colonialism in the current era, this session invites papers that examine the consequences of modern colonialism as well as help develop theories, tactics and strategies – legal and extralegal – for transforming these colonial relationships.

While the political statuses between the U.S. and territorial possessions formalize the second-class citizenship of many territorial residents, the contemporary imposition of colonial processes extends beyond ‘official’ colonies. While there are places with territorial or commonwealth statuses such as Puerto Rico, Guam, The U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands that are clear examples of formally restricted governance, there are other places such as foreign communities hosting U.S. military bases, countries in ‘Free Association’ with the U.S., and culturally distinct spaces within the official boundaries of the U.S. such as Hawai’i and indigenous lands across North America that are subject to U.S. policies, but which have limited or non-existent formal mechanisms for producing or affecting these policies. We therefore invite papers that focus on any geographical context where U.S. colonial political processes continue to operate.

Possible topics can include, but are not limited to:

The production of vulnerability in colonies (environmental, infrastructural, military)

Legal geographies of contemporary colonialism

Colonialism, austerity and neoliberalism

‘Insularity’ as political category

Militarization and colonialism

Research methodologies in colonial contexts

Theoretical perspectives on sovereignty and territory

Case studies of resistance and sovereignty movements

Solidarity activism and colonized places

Migration, mobilities and citizenship in colonial settings

United Nations decolonization processes

Resource extraction in colonial settings


  1. Please submit an abstract or description to the organizers by October 20th, 2017 for consideration in the session.
  2. You must complete your registration and abstract submission at annualmeeting.aag.org/submit_an_abstract by October 25th, 2017.
  3. Co-Organizers:                     

Sasha Davis, Department of Geography, Keene State College. Sasha.davis@keene.edu

Scott Kirsch, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina kirsch@email.unc.edu