AAG 2019 CFPs

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