AAG Tampa CFP: Reinventing the Rural: Gender, Development, and Contested Landscapes

Association of American Geographers annual meeting in Tampa, Florida (April 8-12, 2014)

Organized by Ann M. Oberhauser (West Virginia University)

Over one-half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this proportion is predicted to increase with expanding rural-urban migration and rapid economic growth of cities in the global South.  Increasing focus on urbanization in developing countries is often misleading and overlooks essential and vibrant rural communities, as well as dynamic and contested linkages between rural and urban areas.  Underlying many aspects of these rural communities and linkages are the gendered networks and power relations that shape socio-spatial processes in rural households, livelihood strategies and sustainable development.  For example, gender plays a critical role in rural – urban migration patterns, in flows of capital between rural households and urban markets, and in the conservation and management of resources in rural communities.

This session will explore the social, economic and environmental processes that intersect with highly gendered aspects of households, mobility patterns, and use of natural resources in rural areas.  The papers will address issues such as migration and remittances, conservation and sustainable development, rural livelihoods, post-war rural landscapes, and land use policy. The research presented in this session will provide examples of theoretically engaging debates and empirically rich case studies and policy applications that address the dynamic and contested landscapes of gender and rural development.

Questions raised in this session include: How do gendered power relations impact the driving forces and outcomes of rural – urban migration? What is the role of gender in restructuring narratives, practices, and politics of conservation and sustainable development in rural areas?  These and other questions will provide a basis for feminist scholars, activists and policy-makers to shift the discourses of development studies and feminist geography towards a more critical understanding of the complexity and contested nature of rural areas.

Please contact Ann Oberhauser if you are interested in participating in this session.  Send an abstract of 250 words to her at ann.oberhauser@mail.wvu.edu by November 10, 2013. The guidelines for preparing abstracts is on the AAG website at


Thank you,

Ann M. Oberhauser

Department of Geography and Geology

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV  26506, USA

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