Lauren Berlant Society and Space lecture at the AAG

A reminder that Professor Lauren Berlant will give the Society and Space lecture at the AAG meeting in Chicago. It’s TODAY, Friday, April 24th from 3:20 PM – 5:00 PM in Grand E/F, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level.

The talk title and abstract have been updated, as follows:

Affects of the Commons

“The commons” is currently a prestige concept for redescribing and rebooting democracy. In political theory after Kant it points to an unbounded, universally sensed space for the political. There’s a romantic story about the commons too, a pastoral story of nature and human creativity. Both of these are unconflicted spaces. At the same time, the concept points to an anti-pastoral process, involving rage at exploitation, theft, loss, mourning, the prospects of resistance to the state and capital, and the need to protect people from each other’s possessiveness. This register constructs the encounter with the commons as an ambivalent one, in which relations of property and intimacy encounter each other frictionally. This segment of a longer work focuses on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Juliana Spahr, and Liza Johnson, and engages the propertied and affective resonances of the commons concept. But rather than cast it as an aspirational achievement, it values the commons specifically for its negative pedagogy, its pedagogy of unlearning normative infrastructures as such.

STUART AITKEN ON PSYCHOANALYTIC GEOGRAPHIES

51ZloglmLWL._AA324_PIkin4,BottomRight,-53,22_AA346_SH20_OU15_Stuart Aitken reviews Psychoanalytic Geographies, a collection edited by Paul Kingsbury and Steve Pile (Ashgate, 2014).

For many of us who engage psychoanalytic theories to help understand the geographies of identity, day-to-day events and the spatialities of change and transformation, this book has been a long-time coming.  While not attempting to cover the complete range of psychoanalytic approaches used in geography, it nonetheless comes pretty close, and it certainly evokes an opus that makes important  connections between space, society, and the psyche by bringing together constituent parts in a credible and comprehensive way. Continue reading Stuart’s review here.

Lauren Berlant Society and Space lecture at the AAG

A reminder that Professor Lauren Berlant will give the Society and Space lecture at the AAG meeting in Chicago. It’s on Friday, April 24th from 3:20 PM – 5:00 PM in Grand E/F, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level.

The talk title and abstract have been updated, as follows:

Affects of the Commons

“The commons” is currently a prestige concept for redescribing and rebooting democracy. In political theory after Kant it points to an unbounded, universally sensed space for the political. There’s a romantic story about the commons too, a pastoral story of nature and human creativity. Both of these are unconflicted spaces. At the same time, the concept points to an anti-pastoral process, involving rage at exploitation, theft, loss, mourning, the prospects of resistance to the state and capital, and the need to protect people from each other’s possessiveness. This register constructs the encounter with the commons as an ambivalent one, in which relations of property and intimacy encounter each other frictionally. This segment of a longer work focuses on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Juliana Spahr, and Liza Johnson, and engages the propertied and affective resonances of the commons concept. But rather than cast it as an aspirational achievement, it values the commons specifically for its negative pedagogy, its pedagogy of unlearning normative infrastructures as such.

Volume 33, Issue 2 now out

Here is the table of contents of the current issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

Living absence: the strange geographies of missing people 191 – 208 Hester Parr, Olivia Stevenson, Nick Fyfe, Penny Woolnough
The state of exception and the imperial way of life in the United States–Mexico borderlands 209 – 228 Juanita Sundberg
Cross-border marriage, transgovernmental friction, and waiting 229 – 246 Juan Zhang, Melody Chia-Wen Lu, Brenda S A Yeoh
Wet ontologies, fluid spaces: giving depth to volume through oceanic thinking 247 – 264 Philip Steinberg, Kimberley Peters
Environmental research from here and there: numerical modelling labs as heterotopias 265 – 280 Sarah Laborde
Neoliberal Niagara? Examining the political history of fish consumption advisories in New York State 281 – 295 Jordan Fox Besek
Of lobsters, laboratories, and war: animal studies and the temporality of more-than-human encounters 296 – 313 Elizabeth R Johnson
Encountering Occupy London: boundary making and the territoriality of urban activism 314 – 330 Sam Halvorsen
Towards a global genealogy of biopolitics: race, colonialism, and biometrics beyond Europe 331 – 346 Hidefumi Nishiyama
Anarchism, geohistory, and the Annales: rethinking Elisée Reclus’s influence on Lucien Febvre 347 – 365 Federico Ferretti
Violent geographical abstractions 366 – 381 Alex Loftus

Review essay: Empire on trial: the forensic appearance of truth 382 – 388 Gastón Gordillo

Brief synopses of the papers by Parr et al, Sundberg, Zhang et al, Steinberg and Peters, Fox Besek, Johnson, and Halvorsen are available here.

Regarding the remaining papers: Laborde draws on ethnographic work with fishermen and computer modellers to examine the production of local and remote knowledge about the flows of Italy’s Lake Como; Nishiyama interrogates Foucault’s articulation of racism as a biopolitical strategy through an examination of the production of racial knowledge during Japanese colonialism; Ferretti contributes to understanding of the discipline of geography’s history as well as to current debates on anarchist geographies with his paper on the influence of the work of geographer and anarchist Elisée Reclus on Lucien Febvre, founder of the French Annales School; and, Loftus follow’s Marx’s Grundrisse to trace the emergence of geographical abstractions as a central feature of modern capitalist society.

Rounding out the issue is Gordillo’s review essay on Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth, a compilation that includes work by architects, artists, filmmakers, lawyers, and theorists on contemporary forensic practices and aims to “produce new kinds of evidence for use by international prosecutorial teams, political organizations, NGOs, and the UN.”

Rogers on Pedwell

9781137275257Amanda Rogers reviews Carolyn Pedwell’s book Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (Palgrave Macmillan 2014).

Pedwell’s rich study examines the diverse ways in which empathy is mobilised – from political speeches that uphold neoliberalism, to postcolonial literatures that refuse certain forms of empathic connection. Empathy is an affective relation often conceptualized in liberal and neoliberal thought as the imaginative and felt ability to “put oneself in the other’s shoes”. In challenging the appropriative dynamics of this mode of perspective taking, alongside its assumptions of universality, Affective Relations underscores the multiple configurations of empathy across different contexts. Continue reading Amanda’s review here.

 

Call for Applications for Society and Space Editors and Review Editors

We will soon announce editorial changes afoot at Society and Space.  We will add members to our editorial collective who share our commitment to the interdisciplinary mission of the journal and the vibrant Open Site.  If you are interested in joining the collective in the role of Editor or Review Editor, please see the below call, and please forward this widely.

Editor

Society and Space Editors work collectively in all aspects of journal and Open Site work.  We all read the 250+ annual submissions to the journal, collaborating on the decision to send a manuscript for review or to redirect the paper to another outlet.  We determine appropriate reviewers for manuscripts entering into the peer review process (see also last year’s Open Site entry on “The problems of peer review”).  While each paper has a coordinating Editor, we all weigh in on results of peer review before we write and send decision letters to authors.  We also work together to adjudicate Special Issues proposals; to write journal commentaries; and to determine Open Site content.

The Editors maintain a firm commitment to the timely review of manuscripts.  This means that we must maintain regular and responsive email correspondence with authors, the Editorial Manager (Kiersty Hong), the publisher’s representatives, and the other members of the editorial collective. Editors must also provide frequent, almost daily, input on new manuscripts and decisions through Manuscript Central, and we seek to communicate decisions to manuscript authors in a timely manner.

Editors also contribute steady content to the Open Site, including efforts to enrich the range of material and voices on its pages.  Editors work to encourage journal authors to provide supplemental content in tandem with article publication; to communicate journal news, including highlights of Board Members’ work; to conduct and coordinate interviews with authors, theorists, and scholars of interest to our readers; to support the work of the Review Editors; to edit unsolicited submissions; and to compile other materials like virtual theme issues.  Editors learn how to format entries on WordPress, the host of the Open Site.

To be considered for Editor, please submit a two page letter of interest and CV to Natalie Oswin (natalie.oswin@mcgill.ca) and Mary Thomas (thomas.1672@osu.edu).  This letter should address the following:

  • Your overall scholarly background, including areas of interest and expertise.
  • Your relationship to the journal if any, including publications, work as a reviewer, contributions to the Open Site, etc.
  • Your experience with editing and reviewing academic writing.
  • A brief vision statement outlining your potential contributions to the journal and Open Site.

Informal inquiries about the position can also be directed to Natalie and Mary.

We will hold Skype interviews with finalists during the weeks of May 11 or 18, so please submit your letters to us by May 7, 2015.  We would like for the Editor to begin work immediately if possible, although this is negotiable. There is an honorarium for the position provided by the publisher, Pion, Ltd.

Review Editor

We will also be appointing Review Editors to the editorial team.  Review Editors solicit and post content on the Open Site, primarily reviews of books, installations, and films.  Review Editors also solicit and post book review forums, commentaries, author interviews, and news of interest to journal readers.

We seek Review Editors who are willing and able to keep a steady flow of content over time.  The work of the Review Editors requires them to stay current on new publications across a wide range of presses and book series; to maintain regular and responsive email correspondence with the Editors and with contributors; to be willing to learn and master the WordPress format; to edit contributions, including attending to writing, formatting, grammatical, and stylistic concerns; to have an interdisciplinary commitment reflective of the range of interests published in the journal; and to work collaboratively, drawing on the Editorial Team and academic networks more generally to ensure vibrant interdisciplinarity in Open Site content.

To be considered for Review Editor, please submit a two page letter of interest and CV to Natalie Oswin (natalie.oswin@mcgill.ca) and Mary Thomas (thomas.1672@osu.edu).  This letter should address the following:

  • Your overall scholarly background, including areas of interest and expertise.
  • Your relationship to the journal if any, including publications, work as a reviewer, your contributions to the Open Site, etc.
  • Your experience with editing and reviewing academic writing.
  • A brief vision statement outlining your potential contributions to the Open Site.

Informal inquiries about the position can also be directed to Natalie and Mary.

We will hold Skype interviews with finalists during the weeks of May 11 or 18, so please submit your letters to us by May 7, 2015.  We would like for the Review Editors to begin work immediately if possible, although this is negotiable.  There is an honorarium for the position provided by the publisher, Pion, Ltd.

Open access highlight papers updated

The ‘highlights’ section of the Environment and Planning D: Society and Space website has been updated. The following recent papers are now available open access:

On the peripheries of planetary urbanization: globalizing Manaus and its expanding impact 32(6) 1071 – 1087 Juan Miguel Kanai

Botanical decolonization: rethinking native plants 32(2) 363 – 380 Tomaz Mastnak, Julia Elyachar, Tom Boellstorff

The right to infrastructure: a prototype for open source urbanism 32(2) 342 – 362 Alberto Corsín Jiménez

Agency, affect, and the immunological politics of disaster resilience 32(2) 240 – 256 Kevin Grove

Dissolving city, planetary metamorphosis 32(2) 203 – 205 Henri Lefebvre [translated by Laurent Corroyer, Marianne Potvin, Neil Brenner]

What is a destituent power? 32(1) 65 – 74 Giorgio Agamben G [translated by Stephanie Wakefield]

A new urban dispositif? Governing life in an age of climate change 32(1) 49 – 64 Bruce P Braun

Feminicidio, narcoviolence, and gentrification in Ciudad Juárez: the feminist fight 31(5) 830 – 845 Melissa W Wright

Tracking and tracing: geographies of logistical governance and labouring bodies 31(4) 594 – 610 Annja Kanngieser

Disciplining de facto development: water theft and hydrosocial order in Tijuana 31(2) 319 – 336 Katharine Meehan

Insensible worlds: postrelational ethics, indeterminacy and the (k)nots of relating 31(2) 208 – 226 Kathryn Yusoff

Dissimulated landscapes: postcolonial method and the politics of space in southern Sri Lanka 31(1) 61 – 79 Tariq Jazeel

Mapping children’s politics: the promise of articulation and the limits of nonrepresentational theory 30(5) 788 – 804 Katharyne Mitchell, Sarah Elwood

Queer ecology: nature, sexuality, and heterotopic alliances 30(4) 727 – 747 Matthew Gandy

Everyday state formation: territory, decentralization, and the narco landgrab in Colombia 30(4) 603 – 622 Teo Ballvé

Between us in the city: materiality, subjectivity, and community in the era of global urbanization 30(3) 468 – 481 Martin Coward

From toxic wreck to crunchy chic: A photo essay – Leslie Kern

The following photo essay is a supplement to Leslie Kern’s article, “From toxic wreck to crunchy chic: environmental gentrification through the body”, that appears in issue 1 of the 2015 volume of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. As in the paper, here she draws on her research on Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood to consider how a polluted past can be mobilized as an asset for neighbourhood rebranding and gentrification. The paper will be open access until April 27, 2015. 

Gentrification is a global phenomenon that transforms cities, neighbourhoods, and everyday lives. Cities like Toronto, Canada have seen a variety of neighbourhoods – working class, commercial, ethnic – remade by an influx of wealthier residents and new retail enterprises. But what if your neighbourhood is better known for abattoirs, toxic chemicals, and diesel trains than Victorian housing stock, ethnic restaurants, or historical significance? For over ten years, (2000-2010) I lived in a formerly industrial Toronto area that was considered by some to be “too shitty to even wreck.”

“What do you care what other people think?” Until recently, the Junction didn’t seem to.

“What do you care what other people think?” Until recently, the Junction didn’t seem to.

Gentrification seemed a distant threat, even as neighbourhood after nearby neighbourhood sprouted Starbucks, sushi bars, and salons. But the Junction maintained its infamy as a zone with both high poverty and high pollution rates. Named for the railroad that cuts through it, the Junction had hosted Toronto’s stockyards as well as numerous manufacturing and processing plants, until deindustrialization and relocation cemented a long period of decline. It has also long been home to a concentration of social services and spaces that serve low-income people, including a women’s shelter and rooming houses. With a reputation as a polluted and derelict zone with a socially-marginal population, the Junction was largely ignored by real estate agents, property developers, and new commercial enterprises.

Continue reading here.

 

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In the Meantime reviewed

s-l500Ella Harris reviews Sarah Sharma’s In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics. The book came out last year with Duke University Press and further information about it can be found here.

Forthcoming papers

Issue 2 of the 2015 volume of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space will go to press soon. In the meantime, many of the papers slated for that issue are up online:

In Encountering Occupy London: boundary making and the territoriality of urban activism, Sam Halvorsen situates an examination of Occupy London within literatures on boundary-making, and argues that Occupy’s practices of encountering provide ways to rethink the production of territoriality.

Practices of encountering are also examined in Elizabeth Johnson’s Of lobsters, laboratories, and war: animal studies and the temporality of more-than-human encounters. Through a reflection on field notes from an ethnographic encounter with lobster experimentation, she argues for the need to examine wider temporal and spatial relations, and particularly political economies, as important elements in any encounter.

Living absence: the strange geographies of missing people, by Hester Parr, Olivia Stevenson, Nick Fyfe and Penny Woolnough, seeks to understand urban geographies of absence through an analyses of the restaged testimonies of ‘missing people’.

Juanita Sundberg’s The state of exception and the imperial way of life in the United States-Mexico borderlands situates recent events in the US–Mexico borderlands in relation to modalities of power used in the expansion of US imperial hegemony, in order to support ongoing efforts to forge coalitions better able to contest legal suspension as a predominant technique of government.

In Cross-border marriage, transgovernmental friction, and waiting, Juan Zhang, Melody Chia-Wen Lu and Brenda S A Yeoh likewise consider governmental rationalities around border-crossing, here in relation to the experiences of Chinese marriage migrants in Singapore. [Note: for more papers on the governance of migration flows, see the virtual theme issue on International Immigration on this site]

In Wet ontologies, fluid spaces: giving depth to volume through oceanic thinking, Philip Steinberg and Kimberley Peters expand on work on volume that seeks to destabilise static, bordered, and linear framings of place, territory, and time, arguing that a ‘wet ontology’ can reinvigorate, redirect, and reshape debates that are restricted by terrestrial limits.

Finally, Jordan Fox Besek’s Neoliberal Niagara? Examining the political history of fish consumption advisories in New York State examines the ways that conservationist and neoliberal logics converge in environmental policies geared towards support for recreational anglers rather than those who fish for subsistence.

 

Also up early online are two papers that will appear in theme issue titled ‘War, law and space’ (guest edited by Craig Jones and Michael Smith) that will be published later this year:

Zoltán Glück’s Piracy and the production of security space utilizes Foucault’s analysis of security and Marx’s analysis of capital circulation to offer an analysis of the new institutional patchwork of ‘counterpiracy’. And, in Securitizing instability: the US military and full spectrum operations, John Morrissey examines the recent broadening of the US military’s overseas mission into what it calls ‘full spectrum operations’ and critiques how it is being enabled by what he terms ‘full spectrum law’.

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