2017 AAG CFP

The Rural Geography Specialty Group (RGSG) is very interested in sponsoring relevant sessions at the upcoming AAG annual meeting in Boston.

http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting.

The AAG deadline for submitting sessions and paper abstracts is November 17, 2016 (5 p.m. EDT).

To request sponsorship, send a request to Jill Clark (clark.1099@osu.edu) no later than November 15th.  Include a session title and summary description.

Once approved, the session organizer MUST remember to check the box indicating RGSG sponsorship when formally registering the session via the AAG’s conference site.

Below you will find those sessions that have already received sponsorship from the RGSG.


CFP: New Voices in Rural Geography

The Rural Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers seeks papers from undergraduate and graduate students, junior faculty, and researchers new to topics in the field of rural geography to include in one or more New Voices in Rural Geography paper sessions for the 2017 meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.  New Voices in Rural Geography paper sessions offer the opportunity for students, junior faculty, and those new to research topics in rural geography to present their work and receive feedback from knowledgeable people in the field and members active within the specialty group.

The Rural Geography Specialty Group (RGSG) promotes research and education related to contemporary rural landscapes, societies, and economies in the developed and developing world. Specialty group members conduct research across an array of topics, including agriculture; land use; environmental governance; population; rural health, crime, and poverty; food systems; indigenous peoples; and rural restructuring processes.

To take part in the New Voices in Rural Geography, interested participants should send their abstracts to Sarah Mason-Renton (smason27@uwo.ca) by October 27th. These emails should contain the presenter’s PIN number (obtained after registering at www.aag.org),whether he/she is a student, junior faculty, or new researcher to rural topics, paper title, and abstract.

Thank you for your assistance in advertising this call for papers for the New Voices in Rural Geography sessions at the 2017 meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

Sincerely,

Sarah Mason-Renton

Student Representative – RGSG


CFP: Rural Geography in Africa, Asia and Middle and South America

Based on the success of the sessions over the last four years, the Rural Geography Specialty Group will again organize paper sessions highlighting research in Africa, Asia, and Middle and South America. For years there has been a perception that the Rural Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers is focused on rural geography in the western world.  In an effort to dispel that myth and in recognition of the cutting edge rural research occurring around the world, this paper session(s) will present the work of geographers studying rural issues in Africa, Asia, and/or Middle and South America.  The Rural Geography Specialty Group is committed to diversity in its membership and its research.  We encourage diverse opinions and viewpoints in all sessions we sponsor.

To take part in these paper sessions, participants should first register for the AAG conference and submit their abstract at www.aag.org and take note of their PIN number. They then should send an e-mail to Dawn M. Drake (ddrake4@missouriwestern.edu).   These emails should contain the presenter’s PIN number, paper title, and abstract. The deadline to register for this session is midnight CT, Sunday October 23.

The Rural Geography Specialty Group promotes research and education related to contemporary rural landscapes, societies, and economies in the developed and developing world. Specialty group members conduct research across an array of topics, including agriculture; land use; environmental governance; population; rural health, crime, and poverty; food systems; indigenous peoples; and rural restructuring processes.

Thank you for your assistance in advertising this call for papers for the Rural Geography in Africa, Asia, and Middle and South Americasessions at the 2017 meeting of the Association of American Geographers.


CFP AAG 2017 

Critical Worldbuilding: Toward a Geographical Engagement with Speculative Fiction

Session Organizers: Jeffrey Martin (University of California, Berkeley) and Gretchen Sneegas (University of Georgia)

“Worldbuilding” – the construction of imaginary worlds – has long been a staple of speculative and visionary fiction. Today, the creation of alternate science fiction and fantasy universes – often with their own maps, histories, ecologies, cultures, and social structures – increasingly contributes to popular culture and big business. From novels to movies to games, from alternate versions of the “real world” (Marvel’s many properties, True Blood, Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle) to the more alien and bizarre (the many settings of Dungeons and Dragons, James Cameron’s Avatar, China Miéville’s Bas-Lag), these worlds represent an important and under-considered object of study and intervention for critical geographers.

While speculative fiction has long been examined as a lens through which to view the world – as it was, is, or could be – we contend that geography and critical social science have been under-involved in the creation, analysis, and struggles over fictional worlds. Worldbuilding is a fundamentally geographical exercise and an unavoidably political act (even if not recognized as such) – ideas, concerns, and controversies in the “real world” are embedded and reproduced through fictional worlds, and the production and consumption of these worlds informs and is informed by contemporary debates.

In this call for papers, we ask: How might critical social science and geographical tools help us understand and engage with speculative fiction? How might critical geography inform the creation of “better” fictional worlds, and to what end(s)? What can fictional worlds tell us about our “real” world? How might speculative fiction contribute to geographical and social science theory and method, in a similar manner to the history of dialogue between science fiction and technological practice?

We seek a selection of papers and other contributions (see below) representing the breadth of the geographic discipline, across such themes and sub-disciplines as earth sciences, political economy, discursive representation, race, gender, technology, ecology, social relations, ideological reproductions, cartography, and more. Possible topics include, but are in no way limited to:

  • Critical race theory and the construction of the other/alien;
  • Landscape as character, the co-production of social and physical landscapes;
  • The durability of environmental determinism and other debunked narratives in fiction;
  • Colonialism and the frontier, progress narratives and modernization;
  • Cartography and the representation of fictional/speculative worlds;
  • Political economy’s presence and absence across worlds, and the naturalization of capitalism;
  • “Blindspots”/erasures in historical fiction, “reading back” modern norms;
  • Tropes, “resonance”, and challenging “realism” in speculative fiction (see esp. gender, sexism);
  • Nature and environmentalism;
  • Present and near-future u/dystopias

**We also welcome submissions representing less “traditional” forms of analytical scholarly work. Such submissions may include short works of fiction, graphic novels/comics, poetry, video shorts, maps, and other forms of representation showcasing our own worldbuilding geographic expression.**

Bringing together a diverse group of theoretical orientations, we hope this session will contribute critical insights to ongoing discussions on the interrelation between art and politics, the “real world” and the many worlds of our imaginations.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words by 5 p.m., October 15 to: Jeff Martin (j.vance.martin [at] berkeley [dot] edu) and Gretchen Sneegas (gsneegas [at] uga [dot] edu).


CFP, AAG 2017, Boston, MA, USA

Panel

A Just Transition? Critical Geographies of Appalachia

Organizers: Dr. Martina Angela Caretta & Dr. Bradley Wilson, West Virginia University

 

In recent years concerns about a post-coal future for Appalachia has captured the imagination of people across the United States.  From the federal government to regional philanthropists, grassroots activists to unemployed workers, there is frequent consensus that the Appalachia of the past is and must “transition” to a new future.  Transition talk has come to dominate the discourse of development in the region as the federal government rolls out its new POWER+ initiative, the Appalachian Funders Network coordinates large scale philanthropic activities, states confront changing fortunes, and a multitude of local initiatives led by people to envision and enact alternative futures.  While the loss of coal jobs and revenue have been catalysts of transition talk, questions of poverty, health care, food systems, water quality, local governance, urban change and state politics associated with historical changes in manufacturing and extractive industries in the region also figure into the conversation.  In this panel we ask: How is Appalachia transitioning and what is changing?  What geographies persistent and what new social, economic and environmental geographies are emerging in Appalachia?  How are geographers and other social scientists engaging with the growing “transitions discourse” promoted by the federal government, foundations and grassroots advocacy groups associated with declining coal production?  How is the so-called Appalachian transition performed, enacted, enabled, or resisted?  How are youth/women/unemployed miners/disenfranchised communities responding to post-coal scenarios as well as reflecting upon histories of dispossession and an emerging discourse of hope?  What kinds of new power relations are emerging as new spotlights, narratives and funds reconstruct new Appalachian imaginaries?

We would like our panel to be a forum for colleagues to discuss new and ongoing research and action in the region.  We welcome submissions from anyone who feels that their work fits under the broad umbrella of, or engages with, geographies of justice in Appalachia.

We hope to meet and build relationships with scholars that work on issues of development, social (in)justice, and environmental change in the region and particularly who bring fresh perspectives on race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability.

Please submit paper abstracts to Martina Angela Caretta martina.caretta@mail.wvu.edu , no later than September 29, 2016.


New/Critical Approaches to Water and Food Security

Call For Papers AAG 2017 Boston April 5-9, 2017

Session Organizers: Lily House-Peters (California State University, Long Beach), Sarah Kelly-Richards (University of Arizona), and Laurel Bellante (University of Arizona) Please send paper titles and abstracts (250 words) to the session organizers Lily House-Peters (lily.housepeters@csulb.edu), Sarah Kelly-Richards (shkelly@email.arizona.edu), and Laurel Bellante (bellante@email.arizona.edu) by October 1st . We will notify accepted applicants by October 7th.

Amidst climate change and the international recognition of human rights, resource security is a rapidly growing area of concern in human-environment geography with insights from diverse subfields including political ecology, critical risk studies, and coupled human-natural systems theory. This rich body of scholarship reveals how multiple axes (natural resource availability, power, race, gender, indigeneity, economic systems) intersect to shape differential outcomes among diverse social groups, producing distributional inequalities and associated uneven topographies of access to resources within and between communities (Mollett 2006; Birkenholtz 2009, 2013; Sultana 2010; Jepson 2012; Budds and Sultana 2013). Rather than being natural occurrences, we recognize conditions of food and water insecurity to be products of social relations and processes. Thus, these insecurities cannot be extricated from the politics of struggle over particular spaces and management approaches. Nor can they be understood apart from political economic trends and processes, which compound conditions of vulnerability for certain populations, something Lecheinko and O’Brien (2008) have termed “double exposure.” How resource security problems are framed is crucial, as problem framing often drives how food and water security are conceptualized, the development of metrics and indicators, the choice of data collection and analysis methods, and ultimately how the concept is enacted on the ground. Under the umbrella of resource security, both water security and food security are burgeoning areas of scholarship, yet there has been minimal cross-pollination between these literatures, a divide these sessions aim to bridge.


Political Education for Food Systems Transformation

Organizers: David Meek (University of Alabama) and Bryan Dale (University of Toronto)

 

Education and the processes of systemically transforming food systems are inherently intertwined, and both deeply political. Critical pedagogues acknowledge that, “education, [and] every aspect of it one can imagine, is political” (Apple & Aasen, 2003: 1). From a food systems perspective, education is directly implicated in perpetuating structural inequalities in the world of food and agriculture. For example, agricultural extension education, funded by development agencies and national banks, and linked to scientific research centers, has historically served as a central method for bringing farmers into the global commodity chain. Education also has incredible counter-hegemonic potential in an agrarian context, as both political theorists such as Antonio Gramsci (Mayo 2008) and grassroots social movements, including the Zapatistas, have long realized (Barbosa 2016). Many of these movements emphasize political forms of food systems education, which foster students’ critical understandings of agrarian change and agroecological practices. More generally, political education may be a key tool for food movements trying to establish alternative spatial practices in both rural and urban areas, such as in the promotion of smaller-scale food production rather than capital-intensive and spatially extensive monocultures. Perhaps radical educational spaces have the potential to produce transformative food and agricultural spaces.

 

Critical forms of food systems education are particularly necessary given the significant challenges facing movement actors (Meek and Tarlau 2016). Many of these challenges are associated with the tension between radical interpretations of concepts, such as food sovereignty and agroecology, and the neoliberal/capitalist contexts in which those food movements are operating. In much of Canada and the US, for example, food sovereignty and agroecology remain marginal, and as they become better known they are at risk of being co-opted by dominant social groups whose interests are in line with the corporate food system. The pedagogical work of grassroots peasant movements and urban food justice organizations, which have established autonomous schools where radical visions for food sovereignty are being used, can help ensure the radical potential of these concepts is realized.

 

This paper session will address the political education that is arguably required to advance radical food systems transformations in various geographical contexts. We invite presentations on topics including, but not limited to:

  • The potential for counter-hegemonic educational activities to help food movement actors tackle the contradictions and tensions inherent in making food sovereignty and agroecology part of a Gramscian ‘passive revolution’.
  • The pedagogical activities that may contribute to movement building at the rural-urban interface and, more generally, that may strengthen connections between food producers and eaters as part of efforts for food system transformation.
  • Farmer-to-farmer (or ‘campesino-a-campesino’) educational activities and methodologies that are incorporated into struggles for food sovereignty and agroecology in different geographical contexts.
  • The work that political education can do in creating space for discourses concerning, for example, alternative economies and systemic critiques, and those that can counter competing rhetorical frameworks such as the Green Economy, food security, and Climate Smart Agriculture.

Please submit an abstract (of 250 words or less) by October 20, 2016 to David Meek (ddmeek@ua.edu) and Bryan Dale (bryan.dale@mail.utoronto.ca).

 Note: AAG requires that all participants in pre-organized sessions be registered for the conference and submit their abstracts by Oct. 27th. We will ask those confirmed for the session to register for the conference, submit their abstract online, and send us your program identification number (PIN) by Oct. 25th.


Toward New Geographies of the Rural Global South

Call for papers, Association of American Geographers 2017 Meeting, Boston, MA, April 5-9, 2017

Session Organizers:  Ryan J Stock (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Pronoy Rai (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Sponsored by: Development Geographies Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, and Rural Geography Specialty Group

Discussant: TBD

This session seeks to interrogate the entanglements and interstices of power that transform rural geographies and reproduce intersectional difference in the Global South. We propose to bring together research to advance our understanding of continuities and transformations of rural spaces in the context of the Anthropocene through multiple epistemologies and methodologies.

Recent research in the rural developing world has challenged academics to question the longstanding connections between agriculture and land tenure, with wellbeing of smallholder farmers and landless laborers (Rigg 2006); deepen our understanding of globalization as rural areas globally are being produced through suburban development caused by elite retreat to these areas (McCarthy, 2007), of spatial differentiation in the experiences of climate change and food insecurity and the politics of contestation over ecological resources (Woods, 2012), and of how class and identity constitute and are constituted by the social movements that are steered by the rural subaltern to confront land grabbing in the global South (Hall et.al, 2015); and bring into the realm of analysis embodied practices of work and care as these map on to the rigidities of rural masculinity and femininity to (re)produce heteronormative rural space (Little and Leyshon, 2003).
Patriarchal relations of production differentially situates rural women to respond to and cope with socioecological change (Sultana 2014). Essentializing discourses of “agrarian crisis” or “rural resurgence” ignore the political economic structures that reconfigure the gender divisions of rural livelihoods, as the work itself becomes more precarious (Ramamurthy 2014). Further, technologies of agricultural modernization alienate resources away from marginalized populations to new sites of capital accumulation (Birkenholtz 2016). In the context of anthropogenic climate change, development practitioners are haunted by “surprise” failures and “maladaptive” outcomes of projects targeting climate change vulnerability, representative of epistemological

Patriarchal relations of production differentially situates rural women to respond to and cope with socioecological change (Sultana 2014). Essentializing discourses of “agrarian crisis” or “rural resurgence” ignore the political economic structures that reconfigure the gender divisions of rural livelihoods, as the work itself becomes more precarious (Ramamurthy 2014). Further, technologies of agricultural modernization alienate resources away from marginalized populations to new sites of capital accumulation (Birkenholtz 2016). In the context of anthropogenic climate change, development practitioners are haunted by “surprise” failures and “maladaptive” outcomes of projects targeting climate change vulnerability, representative of epistemological blindspots informed by uncritical binaries of social difference (Carr and Thompson, 2014). Multiscalar institutions mobilize apocalyptic discourses within a post-political social milieu (Swyngedouw, 2010), thereby naturalizing the neoliberal solutions of (debt)velopment that foreclose revolutionary transformation (Casolo and Doshi, 2013) and new carbon economies (Boyd, Boykoff and Newell, 2011) as repertoires of dispossession through “accumulation by decarbonization” (Bumpus and Liverman, 2008).

Intersectional social inequalities are resilient because of the ways in which material and semiotic boundaries are represented (Nightingale, 2011) by scholars and practitioners alike. Therefore, this session seeks to expand the horizons of methodology and praxis in the field of critical human geography. We invite scholars to draw on these and other vast bodies of research in development geography, agrarian studies, and political ecology to examine, among other things:

  • How are new strategies of accumulation by the state and transnational corporations in rural areas of the global South impacting on existing agrarian class relations?
  • What are the new forms of governmentalities being produced in the rural global South as rural populations and the state are increasingly becoming entwined in relations of struggle and cooperation?
  • What are the mechanisms by which sustainable development policies and interventions reproduce social power and social difference?
  • How do we understand the production of space in the rural context as smallholder farmers and landless laborers migrate to cities and to other productive rural areas, and new social relations and relations of production are engendered in the home villages of the migrants?
  • How do we navigate the ethical and emotional challenges associated with doing qualitative research among poor rural populations in order to enhance the transformative potential of our research for the marginalized populations?

In this session, we invite papers that trace the contours of social power and a broadly-defined political economy, offering “chains of explanation” (Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987) for the ever-widening axes of difference spatialized in rural areas. Moreover, we challenge participating scholars of the aforementioned rural transformations to theorize equitable political economic transformations (O’Brien, 2012). This session seeks to advance scholarship that privileges the “partial perspective” (Haraway, 1988) of critically-defensible methodology that lends itself to emancipatory praxis.

Please send paper titles, abstracts (250 words) and Presenter Identification Number (PIN) to Ryan J Stock (rjstock2@illinois.edu) or PronoyRai (prai2@illinois.edu) by October 14. We will notify participants by October 17.

 Authors need to submit paper abstract first through the AAG website to obtain the PIN. Guidelines for preparing abstracts areavailableat: http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/call_for_papers/abstract_guidelines


New Natures and Novel Landscapes: Critical Geographies of Conservation and Wildlife Management in the Anthropocene

Session Organizers: John Patrick Connors and Anne Short Gianotti (Boston University)

Humans have long shaped environmental processes, constructing and re-constructing landscapes and ecological assemblages through action and inaction. Geographers have a history of problematizing the construction of socionatures, yet the co-constitution of environment and society have only recently received recognition in environmental and wildlife management. The emerging concept of the Anthropocene has broadened the lexicon of ecologists and biologists, invoking narratives of the design of social-ecological systems. This shifting discourse has implications for the praxis of environmental management, at once opening opportunities to imagine new models, but also providing new rationalizations for the reification of existing social relations.

This session seeks to disentangle the issues of environmental management in the context of shifting environmental discourse, particularly those of of the Anthropocene and Novel Landscapes. The conceptualization of ‘novel’ and ‘hybrid’ landscapes presents challenges to traditional narratives of conservation, which build upon various binaries of urban/rural and human/natural. Nonetheless, ideas of nature and naturalness continue to provide a means to rationalize strategies for the management of land and resources. The session, thus broadly asks: How has this discursive and material shift has opened up new spaces for ecological management and how do these changes promise to reproduce existing ideas about nature/society and/or produce new social imaginaries?

We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions that can to advance this political ecology of Anthropocene. If you are interested in participating, please submit a brief abstract to John Connors (jpcc@bu.edu) by October 17. Decisions regarding participation will be communicated by Oct 20.


What is “rural”?: Discussion Based on US Usage

Panelists: Dr. Michael Ratcliffe, U.S. Census Bureau, Dr. John Cromartie, USDA, Dr. Hart, University of North Dakota, and Dr. Sara McLafferty, Professor, University of Illinois, and Dr. Kevin Henry, Assistant Professor, Temple University

Organizer: Yolanda J. McDonald, Texas A&M University, ymcdonald77@tamu.edu

This panel will present a discussion on the various definitions used in the United States for the term ‘rural’. There are a plethora of definitions of ‘rural’ used by Federal agencies, with most based to some extent on either the Census Bureau’s Urban-Rural Classification or the Office of Management and Budget’s Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Classification. Moreover, it is recognized that the multitude of definitions serve different purposes. Researchers, policymakers, and community groups are tasked with identifying the most suitable definition of rural based on targeted program recipients and outcomes. Inappropriate selection of a definition can lead to confusion and unwanted mismatches in program eligibility and the inability of researchers to generalize findings. Panelists will discuss the use and misuse of contemporary definitions of rural, as well as proposed definitions that capture the gradients of rural places in the United States.


Scale mismatch and the challenge of managing natural resources using socially- and ecologically-coherent geographic units

Managed natural resource systems have been described as “hierarchically arranged mosaics of temporally interdependent social, technological and environmental processes or elements” (Rammel et al. 2007). Theories of coevolution in human and natural systems suggest that ecosystems reorganize themselves in response to human actions, and that people in turn adjust their management systems to changing ecosystem characteristics (Liu et al. 2007, Bodin et al. 2016). As human populations and cultures shift and impose new pressures and practices on natural systems, conditions in natural systems and the goods and services they provide impose new limitations and opportunities for humans. Many environmental conditions and processes occur at large spatial scales (e.g., large animal habitat, exotic plant incursions, and wildfire risk). However, humans tend to not identify with large spatial scales; instead they develop connections to place at local scales based on their social, historical and cultural realities (Fall 2003, Powell 2010). Even at smaller scales, resource system boundaries and administrative jurisdictions may not align. When management actions are not planned or implemented at the same extent or resolution as the environmental conditions or processes those actions seek to address, problems can ensue (Guerrero et al. 2013), as when conservation actions to address landscape-scale problems (e.g., declining migratory bird habitat) are applied at fine scales (e.g., habitat restoration on individual parcels) resulting in a lack of connectivity among restored habitat patches such that they do not benefit the target species. The concept of scale mismatch refers to lack of correspondence in ecological and social processes (Cumming et al. 2006, Guerrero et al. 2013). Similarly, the concept of institutional fit suggests that scales of environmental variation and social organization for management should be aligned to avoid disruption, inefficiencies and failures in system functions (Young 2002, Ostrom 2010, Farrell and Thiel 2013). Solutions to scale mismatches may require institutional changes at more than one level of social organization (e.g., individual land management, multi-actor conservation planning, public policy incentives), and enduring solutions may hinge on the development of flexible institutions that can adjust and reorganize in response to changes in ecosystems (Cumming et al. 2006). However, considerable conceptual work in this area has not been matched by development of robust theories based on synthesis of empirical research (Epstein et al. 2015).

This organized session will explore the concepts of scale mismatch and institutional fit in a variety of natural resource management and environmental conservation contexts. Presenters will report on empirical research and syntheses on the topic of scale mismatch and discuss implications for improving alignment in the scales on which social and ecological systems operate through innovative approaches to natural resource planning and management. The purpose of the session is to advance theories of spatial scale mismatch and institutional fit by reflecting on recent research. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words along with title and author names to Paige Fischer apfisch@umich.edu and Matt Hamilton mhamil@umich.edu. Authors of accepted submissions will be contacted shortly thereafter and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts by the submission deadline, currently October 27th.

Critical Worldbuilding: Toward a Geographical Engagement with Speculative Fiction

Session Organizers: Jeffrey Martin (University of California, Berkeley) and Gretchen Sneegas (University of Georgia)

“Worldbuilding” – the construction of imaginary worlds – has long been a staple of speculative and visionary fiction. Today, the creation of alternate science fiction and fantasy universes – often with their own maps, histories, ecologies, cultures, and social structures – increasingly contributes to popular culture and big business. From novels to movies to games, from alternate versions of the “real world” (Marvel’s many properties, True Blood, Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle) to the more alien and bizarre (the many settings of Dungeons and Dragons, James Cameron’s Avatar, China Miéville’s Bas-Lag), these worlds represent an important and under-considered object of study and intervention for critical geographers.

While speculative fiction has long been examined as a lens through which to view the world – as it was, is, or could be – we contend that geography and critical social science have been under-involved in the creation, analysis, and struggles over fictional worlds. Worldbuilding is a fundamentally geographical exercise and an unavoidably political act (even if not recognized as such) – ideas, concerns, and controversies in the “real world” are embedded and reproduced through fictional worlds, and the production and consumption of these worlds informs and is informed by contemporary debates.

In this call for papers, we ask: How might critical social science and geographical tools help us understand and engage with speculative fiction? How might critical geography inform the creation of “better” fictional worlds, and to what end(s)? What can fictional worlds tell us about our “real” world? How might speculative fiction contribute to geographical and social science theory and method, in a similar manner to the history of dialogue between science fiction and technological practice?

We seek a selection of papers and other contributions (see below) representing the breadth of the geographic discipline, across such themes and sub-disciplines as earth sciences, political economy, discursive representation, race, gender, technology, ecology, social relations, ideological reproductions, cartography, and more. Possible topics include, but are in no way limited to:

Critical race theory and the construction of the other/alien;

  • Landscape as character, the co-production of social and physical landscapes;
  • The durability of environmental determinism and other debunked narratives in fiction;
  • Colonialism and the frontier, progress narratives and modernization;
  • Cartography and the representation of fictional/speculative worlds;
  • Political economy’s presence and absence across worlds, and the naturalization of capitalism;
  • “Blindspots”/erasures in historical fiction, “reading back” modern norms;
  • Tropes, “resonance”, and challenging “realism” in speculative fiction (see esp. gender, sexism);
  • Nature and environmentalism;
  • Present and near-future u/dystopias

**We also welcome submissions representing less “traditional” forms of analytical scholarly work. Such submissions may include short works of fiction, graphic novels/comics, poetry, video shorts, maps, and other forms of representation showcasing our own worldbuilding geographic expression.**

Bringing together a diverse group of theoretical orientations, we hope this session will contribute critical insights to ongoing discussions on the interrelation between art and politics, the “real world” and the many worlds of our imaginations.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words by 5 p.m., October 15 to: Jeff Martin (j.vance.martin [at] berkeley [dot] edu) and Gretchen Sneegas (gsneegas [at] uga [dot] edu).


Scale mismatch and the challenge of managing natural resources using socially- and ecologically-coherent geographic units

Organizers:

Paige Fischer, University of Michigan

Matt Hamilton, University of Michigan

Sponsors: Human Dimensions of Global Change, Rural Geography and Cultural and Political Ecology specialty groups

Abstract: Managed natural resource systems have been described as “hierarchically arranged mosaics of temporally interdependent social, technological and environmental processes or elements” (Rammel et al. 2007). Theories of coevolution in human and natural systems suggest that ecosystems reorganize themselves in response to human actions, and that people in turn adjust their management systems to changing ecosystem characteristics (Liu et al. 2007, Bodin et al. 2016). As human populations and cultures shift and impose new pressures and practices on natural systems, conditions in natural systems and the goods and services they provide impose new limitations and opportunities for humans. Many environmental conditions and processes occur at large spatial scales (e.g., large animal habitat, exotic plant incursions, and wildfire risk). However, humans tend to not identify with large spatial scales; instead they develop connections to place at local scales based on their social, historical and cultural realities (Fall 2003, Powell 2010). Even at smaller scales, resource system boundaries and administrative jurisdictions may not align. When management actions are not planned or implemented at the same extent or resolution as the environmental conditions or processes those actions seek to address, problems can ensue (Guerrero et al. 2013), as when conservation actions to address landscape-scale problems (e.g., declining migratory bird habitat) are applied at fine scales (e.g., habitat restoration on individual parcels) resulting in a lack of connectivity among restored habitat patches such that they do not benefit the target species. The concept of scale mismatch refers to lack of correspondence in ecological and social processes (Cumming et al. 2006, Guerrero et al. 2013). Similarly, the concept of institutional fit suggests that scales of environmental variation and social organization for management should be aligned to avoid disruption, inefficiencies and failures in system functions (Young 2002, Ostrom 2010, Farrell and Thiel 2013). Solutions to scale mismatches may require institutional changes at more than one level of social organization (e.g., individual land management, multi-actor conservation planning, public policy incentives), and enduring solutions may hinge on the development of flexible institutions that can adjust and reorganize in response to changes in ecosystems (Cumming et al. 2006). However, considerable conceptual work in this area has not been matched by development of robust theories based on synthesis of empirical research (Epstein et al. 2015).

This organized session will explore the concepts of scale mismatch and institutional fit in a variety of natural resource management and environmental conservation contexts. Presenters will report on empirical research and syntheses on the topic of scale mismatch and discuss implications for improving alignment in the scales on which social and ecological systems operate through innovative approaches to natural resource planning and management. The purpose of the session is to advance theories of spatial scale mismatch and institutional fit by reflecting on recent research. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words along with title and author names to Paige Fischerapfisch@umich.edu and Matt Hamilton mhamil@umich.edu. Authors of accepted submissions will be contacted shortly thereafter and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts by the submission deadline, currently October 27th.

Toward New Geographies of the Rural Global South

Session Organizers: Ryan J Stock (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Pronoy Rai (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Discussant: William G. Moseley, Professor of Geography & Director of African Studies, Macalester College

Sponsored by: Development Geographies Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, and Rural Geography Specialty Group

This session seeks to interrogate the entanglements and interstices of power that transform rural geographies and reproduce intersectionaldifference in the Global South. We propose to bring together research to advance our understanding of continuities and transformations of rural spaces in the context of the Anthropocene through multiple epistemologies and methodologies.

Recent research in the rural developing world has challenged academics to question the longstanding connections between agriculture and land tenure, with well-being of smallholder farmers and landless laborers (Rigg 2006); deepen our understanding of globalization as rural areas globally are being produced through suburban development caused by elite retreat to these areas (McCarthy, 2007), of spatial differentiation in the experiences of climate change and food insecurity and the politics of contestation over ecological resources (Woods, 2012), and of how class and identity constitute and are constituted by the social movements that are steered by the rural subaltern to confront land grabbing in the global South (Hall et.al, 2015); and bring into the realm of analysis embodied practices of work and care as these map on to the rigidities of rural masculinity and femininity to (re)produce heteronormative rural space (Little and Leyshon, 2003).

Patriarchal relations of production differentially situates rural women to respond to and cope with socioecological change (Sultana 2014). Essentializing discourses of “agrarian crisis” or “rural resurgence” ignore the political economic structures that reconfigure the gender divisions of rural livelihoods, as the work itself becomes more precarious (Ramamurthy 2014). Further, technologies of agricultural modernization alienate resources away from marginalized populations to new sites of capital accumulation (Birkenholtz 2016). In the context of anthropogenic climate change, development practitioners are haunted by “surprise” failures and “maladaptive” outcomes of projects targeting climate change vulnerability, representative of epistemological blind spots informed by uncritical binaries of social difference (Carr and Thompson, 2014). Multiscalar institutions mobilize apocalyptic discourses within a post-political social milieu (Swyngedouw, 2010), thereby naturalizing the neoliberal solutions of (debt)velopment that foreclose revolutionary transformation (Casolo and Doshi, 2013) and new carbon economies (Boyd, Boykoff and Newell, 2011) as repertoires of dispossession through “accumulation by decarbonization” (Bumpus and Liverman, 2008).

Intersectional social inequalities are resilient because of the ways in which material and semiotic boundaries are represented (Nightingale, 2011) by scholars and practitioners alike. Therefore, this session seeks to expand the horizons of methodology and praxis in the field of critical human geography. We invite scholars to draw on these and other vast bodies of research in development geography, agrarian studies, and political ecology to examine, among other things:

* How are new strategies of accumulation by the state and transnational corporations in rural areas of the global South impacting on existing agrarian class relations?

* What are the new forms of governmentalities being produced in the rural global South as rural populations and the state are increasingly becoming entwined in relations of struggle and cooperation?
* What are the mechanisms by which sustainable development policies and interventions reproduce social power and social difference?
* How do we understand the production of space in the rural context as smallholder farmers and landless laborers migrate to cities and to other productive rural areas, and new social relations and relations of production are engendered in the home villages of the migrants?
* How do we navigate the ethical and emotional challenges associated with doing qualitative research among poor rural populations in order to enhance the transformative potential of our research for the marginalized populations?

In this session, we invite papers that trace the contours of social power and a broadly defined political economy, offering “chains of explanation” (Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987) for the ever-widening axes of difference spatialized in rural areas. Moreover, we challenge participating scholars of the aforementioned rural transformations to theorize equitable political-economic transformations (O’Brien, 2012). This session seeks to advance scholarship that privileges the “partial perspective” (Haraway, 1988) of critically-defensible methodology that lends itself to emancipatory praxis.

Please send paper titles, abstracts (250 words) and Presenter Identification Number (PIN) to Ryan J Stock (rjstock2@illinois.edu) or Pronoy Rai (prai2@illinois.edu) by October 20. We will notify participants by October 23.

Authors need to submit paper abstract first through the AAG website to obtain the PIN. Guidelines for preparing abstracts are available at: Abstract Guidelines | AAG Annual Meeting


CFP: Scale Mismatches and Tensions in Coastal & Marine Management

Karen Alexander, University of Tasmania and Marcello Graziano, Central Michigan University.

In recent years, coastal and marine regions (CMRs) have become a major focus for the promotion of job creation and economic development commonly referred to as ‘Blue Wealth’. Simultaneously, we have become increasingly aware of the importance of these areas in providing a variety of ecosystem goods and services, as well as the need to preserve such (Visbeck et al., 2014). CMRs are peculiar in both their socio-economic and policy systems. CMRs may cross biophysical and political borders at scales ranging from local to international. Furthermore, their ecological and economic efficiency relies on interconnected, complex processes which may affect stakeholders across multiple scales. Empirical and theoretical research has focused on new ways of conceptualizing and managing these issues of scale. For example, the Driver–Pressure–State–Welfare–Response (DPSWR) framework has been used more explicitly attempted to identify scale mismatches when analysing changes to ecosystem services (Cooper, 2012). However, the issue of scale(s) in formulating and operationalizing Blue Wealth in CRMs still poses many questions. This session seeks to critically examine the scale mismatches, tensions, and solutions for operationalizing Blue Wealth in CRMs, by inviting papers that:

 Use empirical research to present solutions to or issues of scale mismatches in CMRs in relation to Blue Wealth initiatives;

 Formulate theoretical frameworks for overcoming tensions between bottom-up and top-down approaches, addressing issues such as stakeholders’ identification or inter-jurisdictional conflicts;

 Identify bottom-up (or ‘local’) initiatives to overcome these mismatches in relation to new initiatives, particularly in previously remote/peripheral CRMs;

 Investigate sector-specific mismatches, arising from endogenous changes in ocean sectors, such as expansion in aquaculture practice or de-investment in fisheries

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Karen Alexander (karen.alexander@utas.edu.au) and Marcello Graziano (grazi1m@cmich.edu) by October 21, 2016.


Relational Ruralities – Networks, Connections, and Flows

Organizers: Peter B. Nelson, Middlebury College

Martin Phillips, University of Leicester

Over the last decade or so, the field of rural studies has become increasingly concerned with illuminating the myriad webs of connectivity implicated in processes of producing rural space (see Woods 2011; Heley and Jones 2012; Huijsmans 2015). From a relational perspective, rural space is not simply a geographic container where social or economic processes take place (Yarwood 2015; Shucksmith and Brown 2016). Rather, a relational perspective emphasizes the ways in rural space is situated within complex sets of political, economic, demographic, social, cultural and more-than-human networks, flows, and actors which serve to continuously (re)constitute rural space and places. In this session, we seek papers (both theoretical and empirical) from any geographical regional location (e.g. Europe, North America, Global North, Global South, Global East etc.) that engage questions related to relational ruralities.

 

We invite contributions that address, but need not be limited to, questions such as:

 

  • How are conceptions of the rural constituted out of relations with other spaces, places and entities/symbols/affects (such as nature, community, purity, modernity, the historic, the timeless, the slow, the local, the healthy)
  • How do theorisations of rural processes flow between and across spatial contexts such as the nation, the region, the local.
  • How are networks of global capital and labour linked to processes such as amenity migration, rural gentrification, exurban sprawl and rural/agricultural restructuring?
  • How do networks of rural residents act in ways that connect rural places with other urban and rural spaces both domestically and abroad?
  • In what ways has deregulation of mortgage markets and planning influenced flows of capital and reshaped rural housing landscapes?
  • How do global politics, economics, or climate change influence international migration flows directed toward rural destinations?
  • What range of assets are flowing into rural areas and how might these reconfigure local and more-than local social relations?
  • How do planning networks and/or property relations compare from one place or region to another and how do they produce differentiated rural landscapes?
  • What theories, methodologies and research practices might be adopted for relational rural studies?

If you would like to be included in this organized session or set of sessions, please register for the conference and submit your abstract and conference PIN to Peter Nelson (pbnelson@middlebury.edu) by October 25th.


Understanding challenges and opportunities for future food and nutrition security

It is well established that the food system is globally integrated and that this system is subject to a wide range of drivers of change including climate, economic concentration and market structure, financial power, resource competition, marginalization, property rules, geo-political shifts, consumer preferences, consumption patterns and nutritional transition. These drivers of change affect how food flows through this system, at all stages from production to consumption (Yakovleva, 2007; Tansey, 1994). It is important to obtain a comprehensive picture of the effects of these drivers, as well as to systematically assess the vulnerabilities of the food system (pressures, hazards, shocks and stresses), in the context of socio-economic, behavioural, technological, institutional and agro-ecological change. To do so will enhance understandings of the new challenges and opportunities that the food sector will face in the future (Ericksen, 2007; Maxwell and Slater, 2003). Due to the intersectional nature of food –operating in biophysical, socio-cultural, economic, political and technological contexts- food system vulnerabilities should be assessed from a range of perspectives (Sobal et al., 1998; Tansey, 1994). In addition, it has been argued that institutional processes and practices are an inherent part of the food system and as such, any analysis of food system vulnerabilities should interrogate regulative, normative and cognitive institutions and their role in coordinating the dynamic interplay between food system activities, actors and assets (Geels, 2004). As well as investigating system vulnerabilities, it is imperative to assess where opportunities and resilience lie for food and nutrition security. In this context, it is necessary to be cognizant of changing socio-economic, behavioural, technological, institutional and agro-ecological circumstances (Warr, 2014). The concept of adaptive capacity (towards greater sustainability) is one which holds great potential and recent research has utilised dynamic modelling tools and scenario design to test adaption strategies for transitions towards greater food and nutrition security in the short, medium and long term (Eakin and Luers, 2006).

Potential topics might include:

  • Which drivers of food system change have been identified in a given place, and how might the geography of that place have contributed to the uniqueness of these drivers?
  • How and why do food system vulnerabilities differ across space and place, and what are the implications of this?
  • Across scales, which institutional processes and practices impact on food systems and which interventions are most urgent at each scale?
  • Which potentially or actually changing political or economic conditions are relevant for the food system of a given place and how might these changes be responded to, to either mitigate or enhance their effects?
  • In the current context, characterised by polarised debates and food and nutrition security perspectives, which governance characteristics and configurations can help progress on delivering good food for all?
  • What is the potential for modelling tools and scenario design (or other innovative ‘futures’ methodological approaches) to enhance sustainability in the food system?

Interested participants should submit a 250 word abstract to the organiser Dr. Brídín Carroll (University College Dublin, Ireland) via email: bridin.carroll@ucd.ie by October 25th. Those who are accepted for participation in this session will be notified the following day, October 26th, and must register for the conference and submit their abstract to the AAG online by October 27th.


Uncertainty and Context in Geography and GIScience:
Advances in Theory, Methods, and Practice

Uncertainty and context pose fundamental challenges in geographic research and GIScience. Geospatial data are imbued with error (e.g., measurement and sampling error), and understanding of the effects of contextual influences on human behavior and experience are often obfuscated by various types of uncertainty (e.g., contextual uncertainties, algorithmic uncertainties, and uncertainty arising from different spatial scales and zonal schemes). Identifying the “true causally relevant” spatial and temporal contexts that influence people’s behavior and experience is thus also challenging, since people move around in their daily lives and over their life courses and experience the influences of many different contexts. To generate reliable geographic knowledge, these uncertainties and contextual issues need to be addressed.

This theme within the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting in Boston will explore research frontiers and advances in theory, methods, and practice that address the challenges of uncertainty and context in geography and GIScience. We welcome papers from all disciplines, subfields and perspectives (e.g., geography, public health, sociology, transportation, urban studies, etc.).

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Uncertainty and context: advances in theory and methods
  • Human mobility and contextual uncertainties
  • Uncertainty and error assessment
  • Social networks as individual and social context
  • Error propagation and modeling
  • Quality of geospatial data
  • Big data, algorithmic uncertainties, and algorithmic geographies
  • The uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP)
  • The modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP)
  • Advances in the conceptualization and assessment of the neighborhood effect
  • Improving assessments of exposures to physical and social environments and health
  • Exposure monitoring utilizing real-time interactive GPS/GIS methods
  • Relational understanding of context and uncertainty
  • Cumulative contextual influences over the life course
  • Uncertainty in spatial pattern detection
  • Incorporating uncertainty in spatial modeling

To participate in this theme, please submit your abstract at www.aag.org/annualmeeting. When you receive confirmation of a successful abstract submission, please then forward this confirmation to: GeoContext@aag.org. The abstract deadline is October 27, 2016.

For more information, please visit www.aag.org/annualmeeting, or contact members of the theme’s organizing committee atGeoContext@aag.org.

Scientific Committee

Co-Chairs:

• Mei-Po Kwan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
• Daniel Griffith (University of Texas at Dallas)
• Tim Schwanen (University of Oxford)
• Michael Goodchild (University of California, Santa Barbara)


Resilience, Food, and Agriculture: Social-Ecological Frameworks for Sustainability and Social Justice

Organizers: Jennifer Blesh (University of Michigan), Russell Hedberg (Penn State University)

Food systems are an increasing focal point for research and debate as farmers, policy makers, and the public grapple with changing global environments and political economies, persistent undernutrition and food insecurity, and the need to reduce the environmental impacts of food production.

Resilience thinking, with its focus on the persistence, adaptability, and transformability of social-ecological systems, offers great promise as a framework for addressing the multidimensional challenges of food systems, and their complex interactions. Promising synergies with other frameworks addressing human dimensions of environmental change, such as political ecology, provide a means of better incorporating vulnerability and social justice into resilience assessments. These sessions bring together papers that apply resilience thinking, broadly defined, as a framework for assessing agriculture and food systems. We welcome empirical, methodological, and conceptual contributions from both biophysical and social sciences, as well as interdisciplinary approaches.

2-3 paper sessions are being planned to capture the breadth of contemporary frameworks for resilience and their applications to food systems research. Possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to: Agroecology/managing ecological processes to support more resilient crop production; Resilience and sustainable or ecological intensification; Adaptive capacity and transformability in food systems; Links between agency, institutions, nature, and resilience; Gender and food system resilience; Resilience, food security, and food sovereignty; Local and regional approaches to food system resilience; Resilience thinking in a globally integrated food system; and, Methods for assessing resilience in food systems.

Please submit abstracts of 250 words or less to Jennifer Blesh (jblesh@umich.edu) and Russell Hedberg (rch206@psu.edu) by October 24th, 2016.


The Visible and Invisible in Rural Communities

Session co-organizers:

Cheryl Morse, University of Vermont, USA

Karin Patzke, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

A quarter century ago, Chris Philo (1992) asked geographers to consider the lives of ‘others’ who rarely figured into accounts of rural places.  In so doing, he began to make visible those who have been invisible on the landscape.  This session aims to inventory our collective progress in drawing out, sharing, and mobilizing the stories of many different groups living in rural communities.  Have geographers succeeded in developing deeper insights into the multiple experiences of rural social life? Or, has the gap in understanding grown wider? Are there good reasons to remain invisible on the landscape?  What methods have effectively rendered people visible, and to what ends? What work remains to be done?  Papers on the following topics are most welcome:

Invisibility as a survival strategy

Performance of identity in rural spaces

Social consequences of rural marginalization

Visibility and invisibility as political practices

Cultural misunderstandings and clashes in the countryside

Material culture of visibility and invisibility in small towns

Philo C, 1992, “Neglected rural geographies: A review” Journal of Rural Studies 8 193-207

Please send abstracts (250 words maximum) to Cheryl Morse at cheryl.morse@uvm.edu by October 20, 2016. Kindly include your name, title, and affiliation.  Decisions on session participation will be made on October 21.

Accepted participants will be asked to register for the AAG 2017 meeting, submit their abstract to AAG, and send their PIN number to Cheryl by October 26, 2016.

Thank you!

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Cheryl Morse
University of Vermont
cemorse@uvm.edu
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