A curation of articles, essays, book reviews and interviews on critical geographical concerns.
A Forum is a collection of essays by various authors in response to a single topic or theme.
"Humanitarian Borders" is intended as a caution against seeing humanitarian life saving efforts at borders as a panacea or as a sustainable solution rooted in justice to the violence and harm caused by unequal mobility. Humanitarian borderwork, she argues, does quite the opposite. It allows border violence to continue.
This forum offers an alternative engagement with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) that moves the reader beyond the more frequent policy-centered analysis and attention to a multiplicitous set of provocations and perspectives, reflecting differently on the normative underscorings of power that shape UN agendas, and the ways such schemes are traditionally encountered academically.
After a small hiatus, we return in 2022 with a third and final set of contributions. These pieces bring the urgencies and anxieties of the last few years to the fore.
[W]e make solidarity when [we constitute] communities across boundaries and borders, engaging in radical placemaking to make new life-worlds.
Neo-apartheid might be defined as a spatial and political urban regime of division which (re)produces a deeply flawed and unsustainable urban order, spawning further conflicts and instability.
This forum offers a rich set of contributions grappling with the potential enclosing and enclosures of outer space. It starts from a simple premise: if geography has its roots in ‘earth’ writing, what can the discipline contribute to the current race for near space?
The objective of this Forum is to complicate the usual depictions of Global South mega-urban regions. Neither the sure-fire means of realizing the aspirations of majority populations nor as a descent into chaos, the massiveness of Southern cities offers many different dimensions and implications.
In this Society and Space forum on Anti-Asian violence, we gather the perspectives of Asian-American scholars and organizers who contextualize the Atlanta mass shootings within the long histories of US immigration policy, US empire, the policing of sex work, and more.
In this Forum we seek to show how the repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang is one iteration of what might be termed a global assemblage of repression. Such global assemblages inevitably take different forms in their varying contexts, but draw on common elements: ideological, technical and related to international processes and institutions.
This forum provides a suite of cross-cutting conversations on ecologizing infrastructures. These conversations have multiple threads and are necessarily plural, much like already existing scholarship on infrastructures, but what is common to these themes is that they go beyond the predominantly anthropocentric focus of the latter.
To highlight groundbreaking directions in police scholarship, we must look beyond the limits of the allegations that police geographies are marginal or lacking. These radical police geographies — some of which are in this forum, organized and edited by Emily Kaufman — examine scales from the skin to the body, home, café, neighborhood, city, state, nation, globe, recognizing they are intertwined and not a neatly nested hierarchy.
This forum, edited by Caren Kaplan, Gabi Kirk, and Tess Lea, analyzes how militarism is both obscured and perceptible, particularly in “everyday life,” across diverse sites and histories. The pieces gathered here explore some of the outer reaches of modern militarization, in order to explicate new historical and geographical insights on the legacies of colonialism, imperialism and environmental extractivism.
This forum, edited by Joaquín Villanueva and Marisol LeBrón, is about Puerto Ricans’ refusal to accept the violence of abstract space – the unwillingness to imagine a future from which they have been disappeared. While Rosselló and his administration paid millions to consultants, publicists, and lobbyists to represent space logically and homogenously to investors, many Puerto Ricans were left to fend for themselves receiving neither financial or technical aid from the government as they navigated the archipelago’s intersecting crises.
To seek better understanding of these movements, assess the arrangements of power from which they emerge, and build on their implications for future struggle, this forum on global uprisings - edited by Charmaine Chua - collects perspectives from scholars and activists seeking to place these uprisings within decolonial frameworks.
Originally developed in relation to the work of artists and architects (Rendell 2006, 2011, 2012; see also Liggett and Perry, 1995), critical spatial practice has since expanded to include discourse among designers, geographers, planners, landscape architects, activists, and philosophers. The following essays, edited by Brent Sturlaugson, join this interdisciplinary effort to catalogue the different forms of critical spatial practice at work in the contemporary built environment.
Franck Billé presents a collection of essays from scholars actively engaged with the "volumetric turn," both in terms of new research and in revisiting past work. A seminal intervention that appears to have given the impetus for much of this “volumetric turn” was Stuart Elden’s 2013 paper, Secure the Volume, in which he argued for the necessity to rethink geography in terms of volumes rather than areas.
Guest editors Lorena Muñoz and Megan Ybarra present a collection of Latinx geographical work to offer research that rethinks the relationship between Latinx identities and place, and that moves beyond a singular identity politics and toward explaining solidarity across “black, brown and yellow” communities (Pulido, 2006).
The devastating impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria across the Caribbean (especially in Barbuda, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St Martin/St Maarten, and parts of the British and US Virgin Islands) are haunting harbingers of a world of climate disaster, halting recovery, and impossible futures. Here, we are fortunate to be able to publish responses from Sharlene Mollet, Beverley Mullings, Marion Werner, and Mimi Sheller.
This forum, edited by Kate Coddington, Deirdre Conlon, and Lauren Martin, draws together research presented at the Annual Conference of the American of Geographers in 2018, “Destitution Economies: Mapping Relationships of Enforced Precarity.” Based on our collective research—and trends we noticed across the field—we became interested in mapping the relationships between policies of migration control and destitution.
This forum, edited by Deborah Cowen, highlights the 'concrete' socio-technical systems that enable uneven connection and circulation - the pipes, the roads, the cables and the rail - as well as infrastructure's human, social, intimate, biopolitical and affective forms.
Lauren Martin presents a collection of work that highlights how schools and universities remain important sites of dissent - and depoliticization - as well as a growing consensus that budget cuts and austerity policies threaten the people and promise of public education.
Guest editors Max Andrucki, Caitlin Henry, Will Mckeithen, and Sarah Stinard-kiel present a forum that attempts to call for a “sideways” approach to more-than-capitalist life in the making (Gibson-Graham, 1996)—one that queerly challenges the ontological underpinnings of these binaries themselves by moving across and beyond easy categorization. The papers in this forum will thereby trouble three overarching binaries that are explicitly or implicitly reproduced through social reproduction literature: labor and care, the human and the non-human, and the heteronormative sex/gender binary.
Edited by Austin Kocher, these essays hope to provide a useful snapshot of precisely the kinds of issues that are being raised by the Trump administration, while also understanding that the current context of immigrant precarity unquestionably precedes the 2016 election.
The essays collected here, edited by Lauren Martin and Martina Tazziol, gather current, ongoing research on EU hotspot processing centres’ implementation and each provides rich ethnographic detail to analyse hotspots from different angles. This diversity reveals not only the sophistication of research on political geographies of migration, but also the ways in which hotspot centres are reorganising the infrastructure, legal geographies, and politics of asylum and migration in Europe.
This forum, edited by Angela Last, seeks to explore the meaning of the Cologne sexual assaults in relation to the diversity of topics that resonate with them: issues of patriarchy, racism, economic and geopolitical hierarchies, policing of borders and sexuality, and nationalism. It is the hope that this forum can contribute to sustaining the debate around these topics, and attempts to unmask blindspots and especially the resonance beyond Germany.
The Anthropocene provides a provocation to think life differently and to make prominent the geo-politics of an epochal event, whose present and future telling offers opportunities for alternative ways of writing the Earth. Guest editors Beth Greenhough, Jamie Lorimer, and Kathryn Yusoff present a forum to speculate on “future fossils” and reflect on the process of speculation itself as a mode of engagement (click through on each tab to find out more about each exhibit).
Guest editors Josh Lepawsky and Max Liboiron present a series of short, open-source publications that look at the intersection of discards, diverse economies, and degrowth. They will query how different regimes of value and circulation can redefine waste, and how the material agencies of waste will shape future economies.
This collection of short, largely spontaneous responses, edited by Angharad Closs Stephens, seek ways of responding to this event that refuse the ‘imaginative geographies’ of ‘us’ and ‘them’ (Closs Stephens), as well as other familiar framings through which this event has become known, but all nevertheless note the very difficulties of addressing ‘Charlie Hebdo’ otherwise, and in ways that refuse the ‘languages of terror’ (Ferreboeuf) in particular.
A forum on the 2015 Greek elections and future prospects for the country and Europe.
In response to the protests that swept Istanbul in mid-2013, Society and Space solicited the following commentaries on these events.
Guest editor Mary Thomas presents this forum, convened to contribute to the growing body of critical commentary on this range of injustices, which offers insights from an interdisciplinary group of scholars whose work examines various aspects of US carceral society.
On 10 May 2013, 400 parts per million of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. In light of these potentially seismic changes in the atmosphere and society, Society and Space invited some interdisciplinary reflections on 400 ppm.
This mini forum, edited by Deborah Cowen, in part asks: can ‘militarism’ question or contest the ways in which war is always already in our peace? Can it orient us towards a spatiality and temporality that recognizes warfare and colonial violence as part of the architecture of everyday life, and not something against which ‘society must be defended’ (cf Foucault 1997)?
Since March 2012, students across Quebec have been on strike against tuition hikes proposed by the provincial government. This strike, now the longest running student strike in Quebec history, has spurred on province wide protests that have been met with continual police action and legislation to curtail the right to public assembly. Below, we offer several commentaries from students and scholars on these events.
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.