A Book Review Forum is a collection of reviews by various authors in response to a single book, or a group of books. Each forum is concluded by a response from the author.
The promise of urban planning is especially bright in postconflict cities, where planning is expected to bring not only development but also peace. But as Hiba Bou Akar shows in this celebrated book, what followed the 1990 ceasefire was not peace but a “war in times of peace.”
This essay serves as an introduction to the book forum for Micol Seigel’s "Violence Work". I provide context for the reviews gathered here and offer some additional reflections on the place of her book within literatures on policing and organizing for abolition that has been rapidly changing the political landscape.
Grounded in Beam’s experiences of frontline work and careful inquiry into the history and political economy of LGBTQ nonprofits in Chicago and Minneapolis, this book offers a persuasive indictment of the nonprofit form, as well as a deeply felt mediation on how savvy grassroots organizers struggle with its constraints.
We explore the implications of Lewis' argument that confronting unjust aspects of the surrogate industry requires not simple opposition to its technologies, but rather an abolition of the hetero-patriarchal private capitalist form in which surrogacy is embedded.
The critique of transpacific spaces is not merely an intellectual project, but one that is constituted by and constitutive of material politics and activism on the ground.
Based on ethnographic research in two orangutan rehabilitation centers in Malaysian Borneo, the book urges us to think about mutual but unequal vulnerability in the face of annihilation.
Black Food Geographies’ emphasis that food geographies are made, lived, and experienced shows that there is much more to be gained through food geographies research – expressly through the condition of Black communities.
The food system has been widely recognized as the source of many social and environmental problems but also as a catalyst for action. Critical scholars have demonstrated, the capitalist, industrial food system is doing exactly what it was designed to do – exploit labour and land to concentrate resources and power in the hands of corporations (Clapp, 2012; Holt-Giménez, 2017). Over the past few decades, there has been a rise of scholarship and activism that aspires to confront inequities in the food system and develop viable alternatives.
The book is focused on long-standing anticolonial struggles in territory that is, at least as the colonial powers-that-be understand it, in the western part of the province of Québec, about three hours’ drive north of the Canadian national capital in Ottawa, Ontario.
In this well-written and accessible book, Sam Stein explains the role of the state in creating gentrification. In popular discourse, gentrification has often been seen as a “private” phenomena.
This is an extraordinary book. It is lucid, compelling, insightful, and a tremendous achievement. It is dense and scholarly but also fascinating, moving, gripping even. Geoff Mann really wants you to understand, he wants you to see what he sees, and he has a gift for involving you in the process of discovering all the threads and alleyways that animate this study.
A House of Prayer for All People by David K. Seitz is based on nearly three years of ethnographic fieldwork in a large, predominantly LGBT and evangelical Christian church located in Toronto, Canada.
In 'Police: A Field Guide' (Verso, 2017), David Correia and Tyler Wall provocatively argue for a "redefined language of policing" in order to get out of the trap of "copspeak", which typically legitimates police activity and provides few avenues for thinking critically about police practices. This forum collects and extends those commentaries, highlighting the book's challenges and contributions to debates over police power, incarceration, abolition, military and law enforcement technologies and black feminism.
This book forum grew out of an “author meets critics” session at the April 2018 meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Lisa Bates, Nate Gabriel, Stephen Healy, and Heather McLean all responded to the book there, raising important questions about feminist theory, black feminist theory, theorizing capitalism, and the utility of the idea of the commons.
The recipient of the Organization of American Historians’ 2017 David Montgomery Award for the best book on a topic in U.S. labor and working-class history, Deregulating Desire offers an empirically rich and beautifully written account of the politics of gender, sexuality and race in late 20th-century U.S. flight attendant organizing.
This review forum stems from an author-meets-critics session on Austin Zeiderman’s Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá and Nikhil Anand’s Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai. The session was organized by Asher Ghertner and held at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Boston, MA. The forum includes reviews by Malini Ranganathan, Diane Davis, and AbdouMaliq Simone, with an introduction by Asher Ghertner and responses from the authors.
This review forum stems from an author-meets-critics session on Timothy Stewart-Winter’s Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics, organized by David K. Seitz. The session was held at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in San Francisco.
A special review forum on Mustafa Dikeç’s Space, Politics and Aesthetics, published by Edinburgh University Press as part of its "Taking on the Political" book series. The review forum includes contributions by David Featherstone, Gillian Rose, Japhy Wilson, Mark Jackson, and Nigel Clark. The reviews are followed by a response from Mustafa Dikeç.
This book forum considers the insights and challenges of Jenna Loyd’s Health Rights Are Civil Rights: Peace and Justice Activism in Los Angeles, 1963-1978. Loyd is an intellectually expansive scholar whose work addresses a number of fields, including detention, immigration, prisons, militarism, and health.
This review forum follows from an author-meets-critics session on Bobby Benedicto’s Under Bright Lights: Gay Manila and the Global Scene, organized by Natalie Oswin and held at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Chicago.
This review forum on Sara Westin’s The Paradoxes of Planning: A Psycho-analytical Perspective originated in an author meets critics session that Christian Abrahamsson and I organized for the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Chicago earlier this year.
Ben Woodard’s On an Ungrounded Earth is an innovative work of philosophy with a powerful aesthetic allure. It is also a timely book situated at the intersection of two emerging trends in contemporary thought: so-called ‘speculative realism’ in Continental philosophy, and the ‘geological turn’ in the humanities and social sciences.
Sapana Doshi of the University of Arizona organized an author-meets-critics forum on Gupta’s 2012 Duke University Press book Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence and Poverty in India for the 2012 Association of American Geographers meeting in Los Angeles.
Meredith Raimondo and Lorena Muñoz each offer a review of Karen Tongson's Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries. They were part of an author-meets-critics panel organized by Jasbir Puar at the 2012 Association of American Geographers meeting in New York. Relocations was published in 2011 by New York University Press.
At the 2012 AAG conference in New York City, Michael Brown organized an author-meets-critics panel for Claire Rasmussen's 2011 book "The Autonomous Animal: Self-Governance and the Modern Subject". Read reviews by panelists Robert Lake and Matthew Wilson, and Claire's author response.
Michael Katz organized a symposium on Stephen Graham's 2011 book, Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism at the 2011 annual meeting of the Social Science History Association in Boston. Read the reviews of panelists George Steinmetz, Alice O'Connor, and Jennifer Light.
Though not an exhaustive list, these are many of the main areas we cover.
Writings that critically engage the ongoing conditions of coloniality and its effects. Entries in this section may also speculate on intellectual, political and organizational tactics that work to resist coloniality, colonization and colonialism’s effects in the present.
Examines the evolving social, ecological, cultural and geopolitical impacts of energy systems and resource extraction, with particular emphasis on the spatial relationships that structure the extraction, production, distribution and consumption of energy and other natural resources and raw materials
Chronicles past, present, and potential impacts of technoscientific development on the production of space. Provides critical looks into how scientific disciplines and industries influence how we analyze, categorize, experience, interpret, navigate, and represent that which we call space.
Investigates the spatial implications of the mass production, consumption, and disposal of digital media. Core areas of study include the environmental impacts, industrial landscapes, infrastructures, political transformations, social activities, and subjectivities particular to the digital age.
Charts the role that maps and various other forms of geo-visualisation play in the production of space. Offers a critical forum for investigating older modes of cartographic representation as well as newer approaches to big data and the politics of algorithmic and other data-driven processes.
Investigates relations between policing (narrowly and broadly understood), incarceration, and the production of space and spatial knowledge. Borders, criminalized neighborhoods, detention centers, heavily securitized areas, internment camps, jails, prisons, rendition sites, and the spatial relations that they rely on and produce are explored as sites of power and subversion.