CfP: Race, capitalism, and metropolitan space under (late) neoliberalism

Race, capitalism, and metropolitan space under (late) neoliberalism

Last year’s presidential election breathed new life into-and shined new light onto-one of the more contentious and protracted themes to occupy left political praxis and theory in the last century: Race? Or class? Decades of critical scholarship tell us that this polarized construction fails both to explain the contemporary world and to produce emancipatory political possibilities to fundamentally change it (See, e.g., Hall 1980, Robinson, 2000, Roediger, 2017). Nevertheless, the power of this particular duality remains seductive.

As scholars of the urban-and especially as geographers-we are called to consider these thorny, interrelated problems as they mark and are marked by the urban landscape. Yet the constellation of issues which the race/class binary responds to, is produced with, or otherwise engages is made all the more difficult to contend against or otherwise resolve as the hegemonies of racial neoliberalism (Goldberg, 2009) and neoliberal urbanism (Brenner & Theodore, 2002) have ossified in recent decades.

With the foregoing in mind, this session aims to interrogate the interconnections between race and class, capitalism and white supremacy as they are manifest in metropolitan space in the era of (late) neoliberalism. Explicitly rejecting the race/class binary in favor of intersectional and synthetic analysis, while also welcoming the particular challenges and possibilities of theorizing race and class (and contesting interstitial injustice) under neoliberalism, we invite participants to speak to the following themes:

  • Racial and class struggles over sub/urban space
  • Racial neoliberalism and economic development
  • Race/class dimensions of housing finance or policy
  • Economic and racial inequality under (late) neoliberalism
  • Suburbanization of poverty and racial diversity (or segregation)
  • Spaces of concentrated poverty and bounded blackness
  • Commodification of diversity

Participants should submit abstracts to Coleman Allums (, Scott Markley (, and Taylor Hafley ( by the 20th of October. Notification of acceptance will be communicated to participants by the 22nd, and participants must be fully registered by the 25th.



Brenner, N. and Theodore, N. 2002. Cities and the geographies of ‘actually existing neoliberalism.’ Antipode. 34(3):349-379.
Goldberg, D. T. 2009. The Threat of Race: Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism. Malden, MA:Wiley-Blackwell.
Hall, S. 1980. Race, articulation and societies structured in dominance. In Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism (1980), pp. 305-345.
Roediger, D. R. 2017. Class, Race, and Marxism. London: Verso.
Robinson, C. J. 2000. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. ChapelHill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.

CfP: Seeing Like a Region

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] 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: Breaking boundaries from bottom to top: critical approaches to migration.


Breaking boundaries from bottom to top: critical approaches to migration.

Organizers: Dan Johnston, (Indiana University Bloomington), Christabel Devadoss (West Virginia University), and Ágnes Erőss (Geographical Institute RCAES Hungarian Academy of Sciences).

Research on migration is increasingly important in Geography and across disciplines. Yet, too often contemporary research concerning migration is stuck asking the same questions despite a changing political climate, applying top-down perspectives and terminology. As a result of new trends in global migration, classical definitions of individuals and groups, e.g. refugee, non-resident alien, immigrant, etc., often used in research on migration, no longer sufficiently describe current mobilities. In an era when migration is a global phenomenon, and despite the movement against borders (Agnew 2007, 2008; Anderson, Sharma, and Wright 2009), many nation states are implementing new physical and institutional barriers to limit free mobility (Mountz 2010; Jones 2012, 2016). Importantly, the current global political climate is also encouraging dehumanizing discrouse surrounding migration and encouraging violence against minorities in these spaces (Jones 2016, Smith 2016).

This calls for new, innovative ways of elucidating phenomena surrounding migration and the way we research it. For this series of sessions, we seek papers that take a critical approach to researching migration. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Forced migrations, IDPs, Urban refugees, Camps, International refugee crisis
  • Gateway/Non-gateway cities, New Destination, Under-researched origins/destinations
  • Borderland mobilities and externalization of the border, securitization of migration
  • The effects of migration at different scales on sending societies (from regional to family level), analysing/questioning the driving forces causing migration
  • Benefits and losses of migration on sending and hosting societies
  • Diasporic and expatriate communities, Diaspora strategies and engagement
  • More humanizing, creative approaches to migration
  • The effects of borders and rhetoric on everyday communities and people
  • Decolonizing approaches to research on migration

Interested contributors should submit your PIN and an abstract of approximately 250 words to the organizers by October 15, 2017: Dan Johnston (, Christabel Devadoss (, and Ágnes Erőss (

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

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 ( or Max Counter ( 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: 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: TBA

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 ( and Jared
Margulies ( 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
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
UNDP. (2015). Combating poaching and wildlife trafficking: A priority for UNDP.
White, R. (2016). Building NESTs to combat environmental crime networks. Trends in
Organized Crime, 1-18.

CfP: From the Inside Out: Uncovering Administrative Legal Geographies

2nd Call for Papers – Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, 2018

From the Inside Out: Uncovering Administrative Legal Geographies

Legal geographies have laid bare law’s complex action within and against state power. These include delineating spaces of incarceration, protection, and refuge; differentiating public from private and citizen from migrant; and contesting social and ecological injustice from the courts to the streets. Indeed, law’s many contexts and effects embody multiple economic, social, historical, and ecological processes. Accordingly, legal geographies advance theories of performance, knowledge, and governmentality as well as state-making (Braverman et al. 2015, Dean 2009, Mitchell 1991).

Legal administration is no mundane bureaucratic matter, then, but a diverse field of socio-spatial practice across jurisdictions and places. By “administrative legal geographies” we mean the study of these practices and their social, spatial, and environmental implications. Examining them reveals contradictions and limits of global governance, as well as new articulations of (neo)liberal and authoritarian state order.

Yet analyzing administration faces considerable obstacles. Many administrative practices are hidden to non-specialists, securitized, or highly technical. Scholars have often misapprehended administration as purely “procedural,” rather than “substantive” in its own right, an analytically costly separation (Benson 2015).  Many have argued that focusing on administrative practices ultimately detracts from environmental and social justice goals (eg Pulido et al. 2016). Recent research illustrates the import of administrative practice: from institutionalizing exclusionary politics of recognition in postcolonial society (Coulthard 2014), to the limits of rights regimes in protecting people from violence (Spade 2011), to forestalling appropriate responses to climate crisis (Herbert et al. 2013).

We welcome papers from across geography and other social sciences that extend these lines of inquiry to examine administrative legal geographies in substantive, theoretical, or methodological terms. Possible guiding questions include:

  • How do particular administrative practices produce and/or depend upon spaces, and with what consequences and ties to wider social dynamics?
  • How can we theorize administrative legal processes and practices in ways valid and useful not only to academic geographers, but to other social scientists and practitioners (including lawyers, non-governmental organizations, social movement actors, civil servants, and even the general public)?
  • How might ethnographic, textual, participatory, or other methods help to illuminate practices of administration, their consequences, and their analysis? What ethical and logistical issues attend such projects?

If interested, please send the session organizers your name, institutional affiliation, and a paper abstract of up to 250 words by Monday, October 2. We will reply to proposals by Tuesday, October 10. Sponsored by the AAG’s Political Geography Specialty Group and Legal Geography Specialty Group.
Session organizers:

Brandon Derman, (, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Illinois at Springfield
Tiffany Grobelski (, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, United States Department of Homeland Security
Jesse McClelland (, Department of Geography, University of Washington


Benson, M.H. (2015). “Rules of Engagement: The spatiality of judicial review,” in Braverman, I., Blomley, N., Delaney, D., & Kedar, A. The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography. Stanford University Press.

Braverman, I., Blomley, N., Delaney, D., & Kedar, A. (2015). The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography. Stanford University Press.

Coulthard, G. (2014) Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Dean, M. (2009). Governmentality: Power and rule in modern society. Sage Publications Ltd.

Goodale, M., and S. E Merry. (2007). The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local. Cambridge Univ Press.

Herbert, S., Derman, B., & Grobelski, T. (2013). “The Regulation of Environmental Space,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 9: 227-247.

Mitchell, T. (1991). The limits of the state: beyond statist approaches and their critics. The American Political Science Review, 85(1), 77–96.

Pulido, L., Kohl, E., & Cotton, N. (2016) “State Regulation and Environmental Justice: The Need for Strategy Reassessment,” Capitalism Nature Socialism 27(2): 12-31.

Spade, D. (2011). Normal Life: Administrative violence, critical trans politics, and the limits of law. Brooklyn, NY: South End Press.

CfP: Violent Atmospheres and Weathered Livelihoods in Southeast Asia

Call for Papers AAG – New Orleans, 2018

Wolfram Dressler, School of Geography, University of Melbourne, Australia (
Mary Mostafanezhad, Department of Geography, University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa (

Jason Moore, Department of Sociology, Binghamton University, New York

Violent Atmospheres and Weathered Livelihoods in Southeast Asia

Emerging work on the political ecology of environmental crises addresses the social and material production of crisis, its relation to changing modes of production, and new configurations of capital. Scholars’ framings of crises have drawn upon Marxist conceptualizations of crisis theory and the internal contradictions of capital accumulation. The “crisis as contradiction” has provided analytical fodder for social theorists who have used crisis as a way into critically engaging these internal contradictions (Harvey, 2011, 2015; Moore, 2011, 2015). Early on, Sahlins (1972), for instance, referred to disasters as “revelatory crises” involving processes by which the structural contradictions of the mode of production are revealed through interruptions to socio-economic life that cannot be ignored. A crisis of social reproduction can also result in the exposure of the structural contradictions of modes of production (Watts,1987; Watts, 2017). Yet, crises resulting from contradictions in modes of production do not always reveal more than they conceal. Crises have also been shown to further conceal the deteriorating conditions and relations of production by diverting attention to the branches of crisis itself rather than its structural roots (Soloway, 1994). In other cases, critical scholarship has increasingly interrogated how the moments and periods of ecological disaster can drive acute financial crises (Peet, Robbins & Watts, 2010). Capitalist brokers exploit and ‘overcome’ crises through the further extraction of value through spatial fixes by reorganizing, expanding and connecting ideas, capital and labour to create new markets and financing opportunities (Harvey, 2006). Still others have pointed to the relation between environmental crises and the geographical patterns of metabolic rift produced in part through the division of labor between the “town and countryside”. These relations are seen as reflective of the socioecological contradictions internal to the development of capitalism and the development of environmental crisis itself (Moore, 2015). In Southeast Asia, theories of environmental crises are increasingly brought to bear on regional agrarian and livelihood transitions. Discourses of deforestation, for example, are often framed by urban dwellers as environmental crises that are widely blamed on the rural poor (Mostafanezhad et al., 2016; Montefrio and Dressler, 2016).

Our call for papers aims to address how various forms of atmospheric crisis emerge, manifest and are represented in the context of capital over-accumulation and livelihood transitions in mainland and insular Southeast Asia. We seek papers that critically engage how violent atmospheric processes and events such as climate change, haze and air pollution intersect with and impact upon other socio-political, economic and environmental process in rural and urban spaces. Rightly or wrongly, violent atmospheres are attributed to a range of sources –small-scale farming, fuel wood burning, urbanization, agro-industrial expansion, and large-scale land conversion etc– that are entangled with livelihoods, emerging translocal struggles and conflicts, and dominant discourses of modernization.

The papers in this panel will address the ways in which blame and responsibility for the causes of environmental crises are represented in official and popular discourses, as well as how these discourses, in turn, mediate everyday practices of environmental governmentality that both challenge and enable livelihood practices. Livelihood transitions and related processes are driving changes in urban-rural land relations in Southeast Asia that often reproduce ethnic, class and urban-rural relations. When we dig to the core of debates over atmospheric crises, we often find historically layered and highly politicized livelihood struggles. In this way, livelihoods in crisis are intimately entangled in webs of meaning as well as modes of production. This panel seeks to integrate emerging scholarship on the political ecology of livelihoods with violent environments (Peluso & Watts, 2001), in order to push forward new understandings of how the material and discursive production of environmental crises mediate increasingly interrelated urban-rural livelihoods in Southeast Asia.

Papers may cover a range of themes and issues in Southeast Asia such as:

–       the political economy of haze (and other atmospheric pollutants)
–       agro-industrialization, livelihoods, and micro-climates
–       peasant resistance, social movements, and climate change
–       indigenous perceptions of, and adaptation to, extreme weather events/ El Niño/ climate change
–       livelihood change, migration and extreme weather (rural-urban nexus)

If you are interested in joining this panel please send an abstract to Mary ( and Wolfram (


Harvey, D. (2006). The Limits to Capital. London: Verso Press.
Harvey, D. (2011). The enigma of capital: and the crises of capitalism, London: Profile Books.
Harvey, D. (2015). Crisis theory and the falling rate of profit. In Subasat, T. (Eds) The Great Financial Meltdown (pp. 37-54). Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Moore, J. W. (2011). “Transcending the metabolic rift: a theory of crises in the capitalist world-ecology.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 38(1): 1-46.
Moore, J. W. (2015). Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital. New York: Verso Books.
Montefrio, M. J. F., & Dressler, W. H. (2016). The green economy and constructions of the “idle” and “unproductive” uplands in the Philippines. World Development, 79, 114-126.
Mostafanezhad, M., Norum, R., Shelton, and E., Thompson, A. (2016). Political Ecology of Tourism: Community, Power and the Environment. New York: Routledge.
Peet, R., Robbins, P., & Watts, M. (Eds.). (2010). Global Political Ecology. New York: Routledge.
Peluso, N. L., & Watts, M. (Eds.). (2001). Violent environments. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Sahlins, Marshall. 1972. Stone age economics. Chicago: Aldine and Atherton.
Watts, M. (1987). Drought, environment and food security: some reflections on peasants, pastoralists and commoditization in dryland West Africa. Drought and hunger in Africa. 171-211.
Watts, M. J. (2017). “Frontiers: Authority, Precarity, and Insurgency at the Edge of the State.” World Development (in press).

CfP: Political Geologies: Earth Sciences and Subterranean Territorialization

Political Geologies: Earth Sciences and Subterranean Territorialization

CFP: American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting; New Orleans, Louisiana; April 10-14, 2018

Organizers: Andrea Marston (UC Berkeley); Matt Himley (Illinois State University)

Sponsors: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group; Political Geography Specialty Group

Session Description:

Recent publications have called for geographers to attend to the “verticality” and “volume” of space, including the air, oceans, and subsoil (Weizman 2007, Elden 2013, Adey 2015, Grundy-Warr et al. 2015, Steinberg and Peters 2015). Much of this work has explored volumetric space from a geopolitical perspective, emphasizing the optical techniques used to render space visible, governable, and in some cases marketable. Although perhaps inattentive to the lived experiences of three-dimensional space (Harris 2014), as a corpus this work directs attention to the scientific and technological practices through which volumetric space is known, secured, and exploited, and thus the role of these practices in the making of territory (Bridge 2013).

In this session, we build on this work with a focus on the technosciences of subterranean territorialization, aiming to encompass the political/governmental, economic/commercial, and social/meaningful aspects of territorial production. While attempting to understand earth’s “deep history” and “inner structure,” geological exploration has long been linked to the production of colonial and capitalist spaces (Stafford 1990, Frederiksen 2013). Capitalist expansion relies on metals and fossil fuels buried in the subsoil, and the production of subterranean resources has gone hand in hand with the inventorying of colonial natures and colonized peoples. These interlinked processes have produced “geological landscapes” and cultivated geological senses of regional and national belonging (Braun 2000, Shen 2014). In conjunction with archeology and paleontology, geology provides earthy depth to national historical narratives, while subsoil engineering transforms such “natural inheritance” into promises of future progress. On (and in) the ground, “geologic subjects” (Yusoff 2013) continue to produce and consume the products of the subsoil, through their daily actions rendering these subterranean resources the literal bedrock of capitalist modernity.

We invite papers that explore the sciences and technologies of subterranean territorialization as they relate to questions of governance, exploitation, and belonging. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

• Politics of subterranean knowledge production
• Earth sciences and imperial expansion
• Relationship between colonial ordering of people and subsoil natures
• Earth sciences and state formation/national territorialization
• Role of earth sciences in territorial conflicts
• “Everyday verticalities” (Harris 2014) of the subsoil

Please submit your abstract of no more than 250 words to Andrea Marston ( and Matt Himley ( by October 9th.

Note: This session will have a discussant. Presenters will be asked to submit a written paper several weeks before the conference.


Adey, P. (2015). Air’s affinities. Dialogues in Human Geography, 5(1), 54–75.

Braun, B. (2000). Producing vertical territory: geology and governmentality in late Victorian Canada. Cultural Geographies, 7(1), 7–46.

Bridge, G. (2013). Territory, now in 3D! Political Geography, 34(C), 55–57.

Elden, S. (2013). Secure the volume: vertical geopolitics and the depth of power. Political Geography, 34(C), 35–51.

Frederiksen, T. (2013). Seeing the Copperbelt: science, mining and colonial power in Northern Rhodesia. Geoforum, 44(C), 271–281.

Grundy-Warr, C., Sithirith, M., & Li, Y. M. (2015). Volumes, fluidity and flows: rethinking the ‘nature’ of political geography. Political Geography, 45(C), 93–95.

Harris, A. (2014). Vertical urbanisms. Progress in Human Geography, 39(5), 601–620.

Shen, G. Y. (2014). Unearthing the Nation: Modern Geology and Nationalism in Republican China. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Stafford, R. A. (1990). Annexing the landscapes of the past: British imperial geology in the nineteenth century. In Mackenzie, J. M (ed.) Imperialism and the Natural World. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 67-89.

Steinberg, P., & Peters, K. (2015). Wet ontologies, fluid spaces: giving depth to volume through oceanic thinking. Environment and Planning D, 33(2), 247–264.

Weizman, E. (2007). Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. London, UK: Verso.

Yusoff, K. (2013). Geologic life: prehistory, climate, futures in the Anthropocene. Environment and Planning D, 31(5), 779–795.

CfP: White Supremacy and the (Re)Making of America

CFP AAG Annual Meeting New Orleans April 10-14, 2018

“White Supremacy and the (Re)Making of America”

Events from the past year in the United States indicate that far from being a “post-racial” society the United States continues to function as a white supremacist, settler state.  The rise of Donald Trump and his not so subtle courting of the alt-right, the growth of extremist groups and the rise of Nazi and Klan organizations, hyper-militarized police response to the Black Lives Matter Protests as well as efforts to build a wall on the Southern border amongst other examples are indicative of the way race operates in the United States.   In addition, we recognize the powerful historical precedents have been structured race relations of our moment. We propose a session that explores the ways in which rearticulations of white supremacy are tied to historically grounded geographic realities of race and empire in the (re)making of America. Specifically, we are looking for papers, of either past or present geographies, that engage with whiteness and/or race and that work through this contemporary racialized moment.  Possible themes for this session include, but are not limited to:

*Historic Geographies of race and racism that explore whiteness and/or white supremacy

*Contemporary processes of racialization and efforts to remake white supremacy.

*Efforts to confront race and racism and broader efforts at decolonization

*The role of Geography in animating specific configurations of place, race and power and related to race.

Those interested in submitting a 250 word abstract should send their submissions to: Joshua Inwood ( and Steve Hoelscher ( by October 15.

Joshua Inwood, Ph.D.

CfP: Politics of State-Change: Matter and Transition

Politics of State-Change: Matter and Transition

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

s: Dr Ingrid A. Medby (Oxford Brookes University) and Prof. Jason Dittmer (UCL)


Central to the politics of recent months have been concerns with the materialization of particular versions of the past in the present, with Confederate monuments serving as a flashpoint for protest, counter-protest, and bloodshed. The removal of the statues in question (and the white supremacy they materialize) is seen by both sides as a potential existential threshold that will tip the polity into a new state of being.

At the same time, debate continues to rage about climate change and our political responsibilities in the Anthropocene, not least as the US plans to withdraw from global mitigation efforts. Here, the concern is with matter in transition; it is disappearing, appearing, or reappearing precisely due to our lack of action.

Uniting these examples is the politics of presence and absence, of the material and immaterial; and at its core, the politics of matter and its transformation. Political geographers have produced rich bodies of work on both memorializations and materialities, on symbolism, affect, and the more-than-human. What we seek to interrogate in this session, however, is neither the physical absence nor presence per se, neither the solid nor the fluid. Instead, we wish to consider the state-change itself: the political effects of the processual transformation, whatever the cause or matter. From absent to present, or vice versa; from immaterial to material; from land to water to gas, solid, liquid, and air. What do these changes themselves ‘do’ to politics? How can we think of matter in its multiplicity? What are the consequences of something lost, forgotten, backgrounded, or absent reappearing – or vice versa? How are, should and can such change be responded to politically, and/or academically by political geographers? What does it do to our academic work to truly take into account the event of change itself?

We invite papers that consider these broad conceptual issues, with the aim of fostering interesting discussions.  Researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts that relate to topics broadly engaging with the above.

Please email your abstract of no more than 250 words (and/or any questions) to Ingrid A. Medby ( by Monday October 9, 2017. Please include institutional affiliation, contact details, etc.

Successful participants will be notified by October 16, and will have to pay the registration fee and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website before October 25, 2017.