AAG 2019 CFPs

AAG CFP 2019: Nuclear Geographies: Between the exceptional and the banal

Session Organizers: Jonathan Luedee (UBC Geography) and James Rhatigan (UBC Geography)

We are looking for one more paper to round out a second session. If interested, please send a title and abstract to Jon Luedee (jonathan.luedee@geog.ubc.ca) and James Rhatigan (james.rhatigan@geog.ubc.ca) by November 5th, 2018.

The nuclear lends itself to the spectacular. Images of nuclear tests, mushroom clouds, and giant mutant ants loom large within popular imaginaries and scholarship of the ‘nuclear age’ (Kirsch,1997; Masco, 2004; Weart, 2012). Recent work within history, anthropology, and science studies has however sought to move beyond the mushroom clouds and sites of spectacular nuclearity to examine the banal and quotidian aspects of the ‘nuclear age’. This scholarship has been rich and varied. From Gabrielle Hecht’s (2012) work on uranium mining and trade, to Kate Brown’s (2013) comparative study of life in plutonium towns in the US and USSR, and Joseph Masco’s (2006) analysis of the long-term political and cultural legacies of the Manhattan Project, this work has productively uncovered the “everyday consequences of life within a nuclear economy” (Masco, 2008: 16).

In geography, Pitkanen and Farish (2017) and Alexis‐Martin and Davies (2017) have similarly argued for us to attend to the ways in which everyday nuclear spaces are produced and reproduced. These and other authors, have drawn attention to the uneven geographies of nuclearity and have examined how certain landscapes and bodies are enrolled in and impacted by nuclear practices in seemingly mundane – and often invisible – yet significant ways. In doing so, they have shown how the histories and geographies of nuclearity are entangled with those of colonialism, race, gender, and class.

In this session we seek to build on this emergent critical nuclear geography. In particular, we invite papers that examine the banal and overlooked practices, places, and events through which nuclear geographies have been and continue to be produced, reproduced, contested, and resisted. To this end, we welcome papers from diverse conceptual, empirical and geographic perspectives on issues such as (but not limited to):
  • Historical geographies of radiation exposures
  • The political ecologies of uranium extraction
  • Nuclear colonialism
  • Geographies of nuclear experimentation
  • Risk and nuclear technology
  • Secrecy and the nuclear state
  • Radioactive waste and nuclear legacies
  • Nuclear medicine and health geographies
  • Anti-nuclear activism, resistance, and environmentalism
  • Tensions between the spectacular and mundane aspects of nuclearity

CFP AAG 2019: Water & energy governance in the Americas

Papers in this session take different historical and empirical approaches to studying water and energy policy and governance in the Americas. The focus is on interactions between water and energy, but papers looking at either sector in isolation are included as well. The session aims for a comparative view of cases in different regions. 

Interested participants should send a copy of their abstract and program identification number (PIN) to Carl J. Bauer, 

CFP AAG 2019: Sustainable Transportation Systems: The Key Environmental Issues

Increasing global populations have magnified the pressures placed on existing transportation systems. Since approximately 25% of the worldwide carbon dioxide emissions are produced by the transportation sector, improving the sustainability of transportation systems is an important component of ultimately mitigating global climate change. Despite the need for evolving transportation systems, the specific strategies for enhancing the environmental sustainability of transportation are often still contentious, as recently highlighted by the proliferation of scooter vehicle sharing throughout several major American cities. This session will address the key environmental and sustainability issues surrounding various modes of transportation.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental impacts of transportation (e.g. noise pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, air quality issues, etc.)
  • The importance of new transportation technologies (e.g. smart and electric cars, renewable fuels, ride sharing, vehicle sharing apps, etc.)
  • The continued role of public transit systems (e.g. bus, subway, light rail, etc.)
  • Transportation network analysis
  • Urban design and planning perspectives on environmentally sustainable transportation

Interested participants should send a copy of their abstract and program identification number (PIN) to Neil Debbage (neil.debbage@utsa.edu) by November 6th.

CFP AAG 2019: Urban Sustainability – A Roadmap for Decision Making


Alamin Molla (Auburn University, azm0203@auburn.edu

Dr. Chandana Mitra (Auburn University – chandana@auburn.edu)


Given that three out of five people worldwide are expected to live in an urban environment by 2030, accurately forecasting urban weather is becoming increasingly important to protect these densely-populated areas from the impacts of adverse environmental conditions, as well as ensuring urban systems – transportation, energy and water – function efficiently. Cities with a concentration of people and resources both promote and damage aspects of sustainability, which can be quantified and assessed through various strategic planning techniques.

Cities also present many opportunities to test and implement solutions at an efficient scale, translating collective knowledge into action. It is time that cities start including sustainability into their planning schemes and work in close coordination with local governments, businesses and organizations in order to encourage new innovative techniques.

Based on this, the question arises whether present cities could be retrofitted to adapt to the changing future or new cities have to be build. Our understanding in this respect is very rudimentary. Thus, studies involving any of the aspects of how urban areas will react/adapt to the impact of the changing climate and environment should be brought to the table, discussed and analyzed, to pave a better future for sustainable urban development and planning.

Session themes may include, but not limited to:

  1. Stormwater management and rainwater harvesting,
  2. Low Impact Development,
  3. Solar Power potential and implementation,
  4. Citizen participation in sustainability feedback and strategies,
  5. Renewable energy.

Interested participants should register and submit your abstract (max 250 words) through the AAG Annual Meeting Abstract Submission Console (http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/call_for_papers). Please send your AAG program identification number (PIN) to Alamin Molla (azm0203@auburn.edu) and/or Chandana Mitra (chandana@auburn.edu)  by before October 23 to enable us to include your paper in this session.


CFP AAG 2019: Energy Impact Geographies: Local Dynamics of Resource Development

Organizers: Kathryn Bills Walsh (Montana State University) & Kristin K. Smith (Montana State University)

Discussant: Dr. Jennifer Baka (The Pennsylvania State University)

Sponsored by Energy and Environment Specialty Group

Energy transformations, from the Shale Revolution to the growth of industrial renewable energy projects, have created new geographies of energy production across the United States and the world (Zimmerer 2011). These new geographies rework economies, governance, infrastructure, and community institutions into distinct assemblages that enable industry and are typically, to use Appel, Mason, and Watts’ (2015) terms, “chaotic,” “unplanned,” and “mind-boggling.” We employ Haggerty et al’s (2018) concept of impact geographies to make sense of this complexity by focusing on the social and local impacts of energy development.

Despite the growth in critical energy geography scholarship, the inner workings of impact geographies are often overlooked and taken for granted. In the U.S., sites of extraction and development are subject to environmental permitting processes but are not required to undergo community or social impact assessment. As a result, host communities must develop strategies to manage industry impacts and demands, including those related to infrastructure, fiscal management, landscape change, and social service provisioning (Walsh and Haggerty 2018; Smith and Haggerty 2018). Further, impact geographies have the potential to become sites of opposition to energy development and/or places where power imbalances between industry and community are made visible (Kroepsch 2016; Malin et al 2018; Neville et al. 2017). Thus, the ways that host communities navigate industry, who benefits, and who bears the burdens are examples of processes within the “black box” of resource development and consumption that need articulation (Bridge 2009).

In this session, we will attend to the underlying work and systems that enable impact geographies and how industrial development impacts host communities. We ask:

1. How do energy industries create new geographies and what roles do local government, citizen group and NGOs, and/or individuals play in shaping these new geographies? 
2. How are these new geographies experienced by local stakeholders?

We welcome (but are not limited to) case studies and/or critiques that explore:
  • Planning and local government responses to energy development
  • Political-Industrial Ecology approaches to researching impact geographies
  • Experiences with creating, financing, maintaining, and/or living with energy infrastructure
  • How dimensions of property ownership influence energy development projects
  • Innovative governance strategies for managing the impacts of energy development
  • Corporate social responsibility and/or social licence to operate
  • Other social and community impacts of energy development

If you are interested in participating in this session, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to Kathryn.bills@montana.edu and kristinsmith6@montana.edu by October 17th. We will reply to all submissions on October 19th, at which point we will collect your AAG PIN. (For references click here).

CFP AAG 2019: The political economy and ecology of sustainability initiatives in the Global South
New and more complex sustainability initiatives are emerging to address the sustainability of natural resource use in the Global South. These initiatives variously link donors, governments, community-based groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business, consultants, certification agencies and other intermediaries. High expectations and many resources have been invested in them. Yet, we still do not know whether more sophisticated organizational structures, more stakeholders involved (including the private sector) and more advanced participatory processes have delivered better social and environmental outcomes – and if so, in what places and sectors, under what circumstances, and with what distributional effects. 
These sustainability initiatives are taking shape as contexts of, and narratives about, resource depletion are changing – bringing new global audiences, alliances and policies to bear on previously local and national issues. Linked to a growing sense of urgency, sustainability agendas now call for innovative measures and transnational and cross-sectoral cooperation and investment. Thus, wildlife resources now matter in the context of the severe increase in extinction rates due to human activities, wildlife crime and poaching; illegal fishing matters in the context of the global decline of capture fisheries; and forest cover in developing countries matters in the context of global climate change mitigation and adaptation. With a similar sense of urgency, experiences of nature’s wilderness and pristine status are being promoted as compensatory, even emancipatory features, almost essential for balancing stressful busy lives of modern consumers, leading to an intense commodification of nature and land into ecotourism products. While conventional narratives on resource depletion place the blame exclusively on actors and processes within the Global South, emerging narratives increasingly link local and global factors and actors.
Political economy and ecology approaches have shown that these relations are creating new kinds of values to previously existing resources and attracting more actors in competing for their access and utilization. New actors are appearing or becoming more prominent as old products and services (e.g. timber, fish, wildlife tourism) come under processes of sustainability certification or are more closely monitored. New products are being devised through new forms of commodification of nature (e.g. carbon credits and payments for ecosystem services), which require a similarly complex apparatus operating from local to global levels. Thus, in addition to a push towards more adaptive, participatory and collaborative management, new partnerships are arising in part to initiate or strengthen these commodification processes. By inserting economic logics related to pricing, promotion and product volume into the conservation decision making, commodification distorts the scope and purpose of conservation partnerships from unbiased protection adding new layers of complexity to the understanding of partnership dynamics.
Much research on the governance of natural resources so far has focused on the institutional features, potential, construction and participatory elements of these partnerships at the local/national levels and transnationally, and on ethnographies of conservation-development funding and of experts. The literature on local partnerships has shown that different configurations have resulted in both success and failure. The presence of many partners and linkages has often been reported as a feature of successful community-based initiatives, but with little in-depth analysis of whether and how socio-ecological contexts shapes outcomes. The literature has also shown that the possible erosion of government authority opens up opportunities for entrepreneurial actors and alliances to take on the leadership of sustainability, but often without a specific mandate or clear guidelines. 
In this session, we seek contributions that engage with these issues empirically and/or theoretically. For information or contributions, please email Stefano Ponte (spo.msc@cbs.dk) or Christine Noe (cnpallangyo@gmail.com). 

CFP AAG 2019: Critical Geographies of Energy and Food: Intersections and Productive Tensions

Discussant: Matt Huber (Syracuse University)
Organizers: Gretchen Sneegas (University of Georgia) and Deepti Chatti (Yale University)

Energy and food are among the most significant mediators of human-environment relationships across time, space, and scale. Accordingly, geographies of food and energy have both emerged in recent decades as robust subfields within resource geography and political ecology scholarship. Energy and food systems significantly affect global environmental change and are often the targets of numerous environmental, social, and political interventions. Additionally, energy and food production and consumption patterns often have deep cultural significance in their particular contexts, and are sites of meaning-making for various communities.

Both energy and food geographies can be characterized as methodologically, theoretically, and even disciplinary pluralistic “academic borderlands” linked by a shared topical focus (Calvert 2016). Yet parallel to these growing domains is a body of work which explicitly examines their intersecting and overlapping material, socio-cultural, and theoretical dimensions. This nascent body of scholarship has addressed a variety of topics, such as the disturbances of biofuel production for food and energy provisioning (Baka 2017), the complex entanglements of carbon-heavy nitrogen fertilizer production for the industrial agricultural sector (Huber 2017), the role of livestock as a key site of social reproduction for mining labor in the Yukon territory (Peyton 2015), and energy projects that intervene in kitchen spaces by targeting cooking technologies and fuels (Simon et al. 2014).

This session invites papers that extend this body of work by critically examining and interrogating the intersecting geographies of food and energy. Possible topics at the energy/food juncture include, but are not limited to:

● Perturbations and disturbances resulting from land use change
● The role of energy in shaping food commodity chains, and vice versa
● Overlapping political economies and resource frontiers
● Social production of space
● Identity formation, identity politics
● The role of gender, race, ethnicity, SES in shaping food/energy access and meaning
● Social construction of resources and scarcity/plenty
● Governmentality and biopower
● Animal geographies, multi-species networks, and the more-than-human
● Materiality and assemblages shaping energy and food geographies
● Geopolitics and food/energy security
● Ecosystem services and the repercussions of measurement/quantification
● How modes of production construct resources and shape their use
● The role of scientific knowledge and technology in the production and consumption of food/energy
● Development interventions that target cooking energy technologies and fuels (“improved” cookstove projects)

Please submit an abstract of 250 words or less to Deepti Chatti (deepti.chatti[at]yale.edu) and Gretchen Sneegas (gsneegas[at]uga.edu) no later than Friday, October 19, 2018.

Baka, J. 2017. Making space for energy: Wasteland development, enclosures, and energy dispossessions. Antipode 49(4): 977-996.
Calvert, K. 2016. From ‘energy geography’ to ‘energy geographies’: Perspectives on a fertile academic borderland. Progress in Human Geography 40(10: 105-125.
Huber, M. 2017. Reinvigorating class in political ecology: Nitrogen capital and the means of degradation. Geoforum 85(2017): 345-352.
Peyton, J. 2015. “A strange enough way”: An embodied natural history of experience, animals and food on the Teslin Trail. Geoforum 58(2015): 14-22.
Simon, G. L., Bailis, R., Baumgartner, J., Hyman, J., & Laurent, A. (2014). Current debates and future research needs in the clean cookstove sector. Energy for Sustainable Development, 20, 49-57.

AAG CFP 2019: Post-Capitalist Possibilities for (and despite) a Scarred Earth: Decolonial, Ecosocialist, Ecofeminist 

Organizers: Laurel Mei-Singh (University of Hawai‘i Manoa), Nicholas Beuret (University of Essex)  and Jesse Goldstein (Virginia Commonwealth University)

As climate change intensifies and conditions suitable for abundant life deteriorate, struggles for a just future increasingly have no choice but to articulate their visions of and for a better world in environmental terms. For many indigenous movements, the critique of racial capital and colonial violence has always been inextricably linked to the material and social conditions of intergenerational reproduction. As Kyle Powys Whyte makes clear, for many thrust to the margins of global capitalism, a climate of violence, disruption, toxicity and unsustainability is nothing new at all.

However, now that this violence is beginning to threaten the relative peace of (petro)modern society, “climate change” has come to name a planetary crisis, one in which a much broader and at times seemingly universal “we” has an immediate, necessary stake in addressing. A number of debates attempt to define possibilities for left environmental struggle, and articulate visions of a viable and desirable post-capitalist, ecologically sustainable future.

In this panel, we want to explore how visions of post-, or non-capitalist possibilities differentially circulate with, through and against various concrete forms of political and ecological struggle. Decolonial? Ecofeminist? Ecosocialist? Ecomodernist? Buen vivir? Mino-mnaamodzawin? Aloha ‘aina? Degrowth? Green New Deal?

Implicit in these various approaches aiming to define the material and energetic flows of the future, communities work to address multiple forms of abundance at the horizon of possibility. To put it in Vandana Shiva and Maria Mies’ terms: do we fight for a freedom from necessity, or for a freedom within necessity? For example: does a path to a low carbon economy involve embracing 100% renewable energy systems or pragmatically accepting that nuclear power, carbon capture and storage and geo-engineering will play a role in our energy future? Or should we instead be questioning the prevailing uses of energy as they are inextricably tethered to colonial capitalist violence and marshaled towards the creation of a material and social abundance specific to capitalist society?

What kinds of post-carbon futures are being envisioned and by whom? How do these visions translate into concrete political agendas – or not? Who do they mobilize and towards what ends?

Possible issues abound:

  •         Racial capitalism and environmentalism,
  •         Indigenous self-determination and decolonization,
  •         Water issues including access, potability, and ecosystem viability,
  •         Housing, urbanisation and the city-country divide,
  •         Public health, sanitation and transportation infrastructures,
  •         Food systems, agro-ecology, and the material conditions necessary for sustaining life,
  •         Energy production and use,
  •         Resource extraction and material flows,
  •         Scientific and technological advances – towards what ends, and in who’s labs?
  •         And more...

In this session, we invite contributions that seek to reflect on the messy, increasingly contentious politics of anti-capitalist and anti-colonial environmentalisms, past, present and future. We are committed to assembling a diverse group of thinkers, speaking to a range of issues and struggles. Please send expression of interest and/or abstracts to Jesse Goldstein (jgoldstein2@vcu.edu). Depending on the interest we receive we will run a panel session, a paper session or one of each.


2019 AAG CFP: Frontiers of Rent and Rentiership in the Green Economy

Sarah Knuth (Durham University) and Tyler Harlan (Cornell University)

Across multiple spheres and spaces today, geographers have argued that “contemporary capitalism is different”; that, as Birch, Ward, and Zeller (2017) maintain, “it is increasingly dominated by forms of rentiership rather than entrepreneurship.” Whether described as value extraction (Birch 2017) or value-grabbing (Andreucci et al. 2017), rentiership implies a transfer of economic value to the owner of a resource, rather than the creation of economic value through productive activities. While debates continue about the nature and future of surplus value production in late capitalism, its significance and temporalities over the longue durée, and its regional vs. global character (e.g., Silver and Arrighi 2003), it is clear that rentiership has gained prominence as a mode of accumulation in the present era. Moreover, recent interventions argue that rentier imperatives are colonizing and imperiling technologically advanced sectors often framed as the ‘saviors’ of capitalism, capable of infusing it with fresh value and innovating fixes for its other spiraling contradictions (e.g., Mazzucato 2015; Christophers 2016; Birch 2017; and see Storper and Walker 1989; Ekers and Prudham 2015). In this session, we take on a key contemporary frontier for these turbulent questions of rent, rentiership, and (post)capitalist futures: the green economy.

Our focus on the green economy builds on established political economic and ecological critiques of green capitalism, ranging from work on green urban infrastructure financing to rural resource enclosures (McAfee 1999; Fairhead et al. 2012; Christophers 2018; Langley 2018). Yet, rather than emphasize the arenas where green accumulation occurs – be they conservation (Büscher and Fletcher 2015), restoration (Huff and Brock 2017), decarbonization (Bumpus and Liverman 2008), or others – we aim here to foreground the specific mechanism(s) through which value is appropriated, which we suggest increasingly occurs through rentiership. We understand the green economy as a ‘frontier’ of rentiership in two key modes: as an extensive expansion of large-scale land conversions and ‘grabs’ for the inputs and infrastructure (such as renewable energy installations), and as an intensive expansion into novel realms and asset classes (such as bioprospecting and risk) (e.g., Johnson 2013; Goldstein and Johnson 2015; McCarthy and Huber 2017; Rignall 2016; McEwan 2017; Knuth 2018; and see Walker 2017). We argue that these parallel forms – and, particularly, novel ways in which they are being interconnected – remain an outstanding empirical and theoretical challenge for contemporary political economic and ecological scholarship, over and above both fields’ now-extensive engagements with value (e.g., Kay and Kenney-Lazar 2017) and recurrent invocations of accumulation by dispossession (Harvey 2003). These developments span rural, urban, and industrial geographies. Moreover, they suggest deepening entanglements between traditionally construed forms of rent/rentiership: rooted in, for example, monopoly control over land, money, or intellectual property – all embedded in complex ways with state powers and permissions. As such, they demand ongoing engagements across political ecology, political economy, and their established remits in rural land relations, on the one hand, and urban-industrial geographies, on the other.

In this session, we seek contributions that engage these new rent frontiers in the green economy empirically and/or theoretically. Questions to consider include (but are not limited to):

  • What new assets and forms of rent are prominent in the green economy? To what extent is the existence of these new assets predicated upon the ability to extract rents from them (as opposed to actual value creation)?
  • How do rent and rentiership shape new green investment location decisions, particularly as they relate to frontier spaces? How might these decisions reshape or deepen processes of uneven development?
  • How does the extensive expansion of the green economy articulate with its intensive expansion? That is, how does the green economy re-inscribe traditional frontier spaces and relations, even as it simultaneously constructs new assets and forms of rent?
  • Relatedly, what are the entanglements and paradoxes of materiality and immateriality in the green economy, and how do such complexities matter in the evolving politics of rent/rentiership? That is, how does a nominally ‘post-industrial’ and eco-efficient green capitalism nevertheless reshape land relations, industrial geographies, and other materially embedded geographies?
  • Are Schumpeterian technological rents accruing to ‘disruptive’ cleantech players more productive than rents extracted by financial players or landed capital, as high-tech champions and defenders of intellectual property often claim? How might different configurations of innovation and industrial policy (Mazzucato 2015) shape such determinations? (Conversely, how might we evaluate and counter similar claims to productivity from ‘market-making’ financial players such as private equity?)
  • How might green economic expansion contour existing capitalist/rentier strategy and lines of critical inquiry (e.g., questioning of ‘land as a financial asset’ or the ‘financialization of ‘nature’’ as financial players grab real property and value in new ways) (e.g., Christophers 2010; Knuth 2015; Ward and Aalbers 2016; Ouma et al. 2018)?
  • How do capitalist states enable, shape, and/or constrain resource and rent territorialization in frontier spaces (e.g. Bridge 2014)? How do they shape opportunities for rent extraction from financial and technological innovations?
  • What are the political challenges of rent in the green economy, and what opportunities exist to do rent and rentiership differently? For example, do state extractions of rent (such as from re/nationalized control of renewable energy infrastructure and landed inputs), and redistribution of such rents, offer new tools in growing a more just green economy?

Please send titles and abstracts (max 250 words) to Sarah Knuth (sarah.e.knuth@durham.ac.uk) and Tyler Harlan (tyler.harlan@cornell.edu) by October 17. We will respond by October 20. (For references, please click here). 


AAG 2019 CFP – "John Wesley Powell and his legacy on American geography and future in the arid West"

Organizers: Drs. Thomas Minckley and Chen Xu, Department of Geography, University of Wyoming

With the success of his first expedition 150 years ago (setting out on May 24, 1869) down the Green and Colorado rivers, John Wesley Powell became a major voice and leader in understanding the lands and people of the Arid West. He was the first director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institute and second director of the US Geological Survey.  The anniversary year (2019) of his first expedition calls for an examination of John Wesley Powell's impact on the Geography of the West through the mapping of the region, the description of the physical geography, and the understanding of cultures past, present, and future.  This session looks to examine these themes and solicits presentations. 

We envision presentations that look at the past, present, and future of the Arid West in the intellectual spirit of one of the first major scholars in the region. We hope to facilitate dialogs on scientific research, technology evolvement, and community engagement for creating a sustainable future of stakeholder-based resource (e.g., water) management.

Specific topics include (but are not limited to):

· Social, cultural, historical contexts of peoples of the West (human geography)
· Water science and technology (GI / data sciences)
· Natural resources of the West (physical geography)
· Natural resource science education and community building (education)

Please send us your name, abstract, paper title, and PIN to Thomas Minckley (Minckley@uwyo.edu) and Chen Xu (cxu3@uwyo.edu) by Oct. 21, 2018.

AAG CFP 2019: Critical Environmental Justice (EJ 2.0)

This session is jointly sponsored by the Energy and Environment Specialty Group (EESG) and the Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Specialty Group.

Critical environmental justice, or EJ 2.0, expands on “first generation” EJ scholarship by explicitly taking an interdisciplinary, intersectional, and multi-scalar approach to examining and alleviating disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards, in a way that deepens the practice of direct democracy (Carter 2016; Pulido 2017; Pellow, 2016). Pellow (2016:223) suggests that scholars should investigate questions of intersectionality (in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.); more readily undertake multi-scalar analyses of the “causes, consequences, and possible resolutions of EJ struggles”; examine the degree to which inequality and power relations, including state power, are perceived as being entrenched; and better account for the ways in which human and non-human populations experiencing violence are deemed “expendable”. In this session, we seek papers that draw on critical race, feminist, anti/post-colonial, queer theory and beyond to engage with EJ 2.0 conceptually, theoretically, and empirically. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary, critical EJ praxis that incorporates critical physical geography, radical citizen science, community-based engineering, informal STEM, and other approaches. We see this session as an opportunity to focus on the content of critical EJ, as well as to refine our methods and analytical approaches to critical EJ research.

Please send abstracts or interest in serving on a panel to Erin Goodling (eringoodling@gmail.com) and Anthony Levenda (anthony.levenda@asu.edu) by October 12th. We will get back to you by October 15th with more information.

**This session will be organized in collaboration with Dean Hardy and Ellen Kohl’s session to be advertised separately.

Carter, E. D. (2016). Environmental justice 2.0: new Latino environmentalism in Los Angeles. Local Environment, 21(1), 3-23.
Pellow, D. N. (2016). What is critical environmental justice?. John Wiley & Sons.
Pulido, L. (2017). Geographies of race and ethnicity II: Environmental racism, racial capitalism and state-sanctioned violence. Progress in Human             Geography, 41(4), 524-533.

CFP AAG 2019: Rethinking the Politics of South Asia’s Infrastructures: Towards New Scalar, Methodological, and Theoretical Approaches 

Organizers: Yaffa Truelove, University of Colorado at Boulder; Heather Bedi, Dickinson College

This paper session brings together scholars working across South Asia’s diverse infrastructures to query new scalar, methodological, and theoretical approaches attentive to infrastructural politics in the region. In what is now termed the “infrastructural turn,” a growing interdisciplinary scholarship conceptualizes infrastructure as a socio-material assemblage of both human and non-human associations. By revealing the simultaneous social, cultural, political, and material dimensions of infrastructure, this literature illuminates the differing agencies and power relations that shape socio-technical systems.  Broadly, this work demonstrates that infrastructures are not only projects of state-making that articulate new temporalities, spatialities, and modes of state power (Rankin, et al., 2018; Murton, 2017; Harvey & Knox, 2015; Bedi, 2018), but infrastructures often exhibit “a life of their own” in shaping sociality, everyday experiences, and subjectivities in often unpredictable and unanticipated ways (Amin, 2014; Simone, 2004; Meehan, 2014; Anand, 2015; Millington, 2018; Truelove, 2016; Sabhlok 2017). Within this burgeoning field, scholars of South Asia have brought the region’s diverse colonial and postcolonial histories and contemporary geopolitical dynamics to the forefront in interrogating the politics, poetics, and power of a broad range of infrastructural projects: from roads and energy procurement to urban water, waste, and dams. In this paper session, we seek to bring scholars working on the politics of South Asia’s infrastructure into conversation in order to deepen understandings of the region’s complex infrastructural geographies, and build bridges that span across studies that focus on the urban, rural, extra-territorial space, and zones of exception. Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to: 

  • The environmental, political, aesthetic, social, and historical registers of infrastructures in the region
  • The material and organizational infrastructures of social life in South Asia, including the role of the state and other mediating institutions
  • Violence, pacification and dispossession that result from securitizing, militarizing, or splintering infrastructures
  • The use of infrastructure to normalize land acquisitions and/ or population displacement
  • The social relations that connect the body to infrastructure, necessitating particular everyday practices and/or labor that reinforce gender/race/caste/ ethnoreligious power geometries
  • New theorizations regarding the temporality and spatiality of South Asia’s infrastructural projects
  • Nascent methodological approaches attentive to the scalar dimensions of infrastructure, including the body, neighborhood, national and global scales (and their entanglement)
  • Intersections between infrastructure, uneven development, and marginalization
  • The tensions between conflicting infrastructural imaginaries, and their accompanying discursive and material forms of power
  • The socio-political dynamics accompanying infrastructural decay, repair, disruption, and maintenance
  • The role of “expert knowledge” and/ or techno-politics in shaping infrastructural (in)visibilities, trajectories, and futures


If interested in participating in this paper session, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Yaffa.Truelove@colorado.edu and bedih@dickinson.edu by October 10th, 2018. We will get back to all authors within one week.

CFP AAG 2019: Theorizing the Just City in the Era of Climate Change 

Co-Organizers: Joshua Long (Southwestern), Jennifer L. Rice (University of Georgia), and Anthony Levenda (Arizona State University)

Climate change, as both a socio-ecological process and a policy issue, is dramatically changing urban environments and the practices of local governance. Whether ignored completely, or a chief concern among urban planners and policymakers, we are now in an age of “climate urbanism” (Long & Rice 2018) where resilience, preparedness, and adaptation to a changing climate are essential problems for urban governance. The patchwork of action and inaction on climate change in the world’s cities, furthermore, has created a complex landscape of socio-environmental injustice. For example, where local policies on climate change have been enacted, scholars have noted that many of these policies and programs are likely to exacerbate urban inequality, further marginalize underrepresented populations, and reinforce environmental privilege through securitization and militarization (While et al. 2010; Oels 2013; Marzec 2016; Hodson & Marvin 2017; Long & Rice 2018). In urban areas where officials have not acted on climate change, essential infrastructures are threatened, marginalized populations are left vulnerable to extreme weather events, and carbon-fueled capitalism remains unchallenged or unregulated. As such, we suggest that the only challenge greater than building the climate resilient city is building the socially just and equitable climate resilient city. We argue that this is becoming increasingly difficult as the world transitions from the planning paradigm of sustainable urbanism to one of “climate urbanism.” This session seeks contributions from scholars considering questions of climate change from the intersection of social/environmental justice and urban theory.

We invite scholars interested in advancing theoretical perspectives on this area of research to submit abstracts related to urban equity and/or justice in any of the topics below. We invite all perspectives and disciplinary concentrations; however, recognizing that much of the research on these topics has traditionally come from scholars in the global north, we especially encourage scholars who focus on cities of the global south and/or marginalized populations of cities in the global north.

We are seeking potential panelists and presenters on the following topics: 
- Housing Affordability and Accessibility in the Era of Climate Change
- Smart Urbanism and Climate Change
- White Privilege, Environmental Racism, and Climate Action
- Transportation and Access in the Climate Resilient City
- Financing the Climate Resilient City
- Climate-Oriented and Climate-Friendly Infrastructure
- Urban Migration, Surveillance, and Securitization in the Era of Climate Change
- Digital Infrastructure in the Era of Climate Change
- Corporate Power and Political Influence in the Climate-Friendly City

Interested participants should send abstracts to jlong@southwestern.edu, jlrice@uga.edu, and anthony.levenda@asu.edu by October 8th. Please indicate your preference for a panel, paper session, or no preference. We hope to notify selected participants of their acceptance by October 15th. Please feel free to email the co-organizers with questions.

Call for Panelists AAG 2019: Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene 

Panel Session Organizers: Nino Antadze (University of Prince Edward Island), Lauren Gifford (University of Colorado, Boulder)

*Please note this is a panel session. You can still participate if you're already presenting in a paper session!*

Scientists argue that we have entered a new epoch in planetary history-the Anthropocene. For the first time in our planet's existence, a single species, homo sapiens, is driving planetary-scale changes (Steffen, Grinevald, Crutzen, & McNeill, 2011). Scholars also agree that the scale and intensity of the changes in the Anthropocene, and more importantly, the leading role that humans play in these changes, necessitate rethinking some of the fundamental questions about what it means to be a human, what binds us together, and how we want to live on this planet (Gibson-Graham, 2011; Palsson et al., 2013; Schmidt, Brown, & Orr, 2016). Understandings of the Anthropocene are radically changing perspectives and action "in terms of human awareness of and responsibility for a vulnerable earth" (Palsson et al., 2013, p. 4). At the same time, this irreversible global transformation has pressing and profound implications for environmental injustice, the unfair treatment of vulnerable communities through unequal distribution of environmental harms (Agyeman et al., 2016; Bullard, 1983; McGurty, 1997).

From its origins as a social movement against environmental racism, the concept of environmental justice has evolved to cover a diversity of issues (e.g., food, energy, climate, urban planning) and geographic scales (e.g., the global manifestations of environmental injustice), as well as environmental injustice claims in relation to the non-human world (Schlosberg, 2013). Global environmental justice scholarship and activism is moving beyond demands for equity in the distribution of environmental harms and benefits, toward calls for structural transformation of economic systems, and the reimagining human-environment relationships amid social, political, economic and environmental crises. This panel aims to stimulate the interdisciplinary conversation around what implications the analytical construct of "the Anthropocene" can have on environmental justice scholarship. Panel participants will propose and discuss some of the ontological, epistemological and methodological questions they deem relevant to studying environmental justice within the political and imaginative contexts of the Anthropocene.

We explicitly do not suggest possible themes, as we hope to facilitate exposure to wide ranging discussion on the broad theme of Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene. We are looking for 2-3 additional contributors to join our panel. If interested, please send your name, institutional affiliation, and a list of two or three topics that you would like to address to session organizers (nantadze@upei.ca and lauren.gifford@colorado.edu) for consideration. For references please click here.

CFP AAG 2019: Geographic Research on Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) 

The occurrence of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs)-including Cyanobacteria and Red Tides-are becoming an increasing concern worldwide with notable serious outbreaks in recent years in China, South America, and within the United States in the Great Lakes (most notably Lake Erie, Lake Michigan), Chesapeake Bay, Texas, Florida and other regions. HABs consist of organisms that can severely impact oxygen levels in waters bodies, led to marine life declines, and present environmental and human health concerns with release of toxins released from the algae. On occasion HABs can blooms can last from a few days to many months resulting in extended long-term impacts to communities and aquatic ecosystems. Decay of the organic matter use up even more of the oxygen, creating unhealthy systems for fish and other species-via formation of “dead zones” in water bodies. HABs are driven by an increase of nutrients into water by both natural and human sources, with the two most common nutrients are: phosphorous and nitrates. The sources of these can come from agricultural runoff, industrial discharges excessive lawn fertilizer applications in urban areas, and direct release of municipal sewage. Research has indicted that higher water temperature and low circulation are contributing factors in many water bodies. Geographers worldwide and in the United States are making important research contributions to understanding the complex natural and human factors that are resulting in HAB outbreaks and considering the wide range of physical and cultural issues, plus potential solutions, to address their occurrences and impacts. The aim of this session is to highlight the variety of such work being conducted by geographers and foster the concept of a potential future research networking and collaborations on this important and serious issue.

For more information and to submit papers, please contact Dr. Patrick Lawrence at patrick.lawrence@utoledo.edu