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 last five years have witnessed a veritable efflorescence of publications on the topic of volume. 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.
Human geography has been late to embrace Latinx geographies, partly due to the historical masculinist Anglophone traditions that took Westphalian nation-states as a basis for inquiry even as it sought to question them, and later due to the historical and continued Whiteness of geographers themselves.
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.
This forum 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.
Over the last decade there has been an explosion of popular and scholarly interest in infrastructure. Reports of infrastructural obsolescence, failure, crisis and struggle are a mainstay of the daily news and mark the volatility and vulnerability of the socio-technical systems upon which contemporary life is said to hinge.
February and March 2018 brought a mass walkout on UK university campuses over pension reform, but also state-wide teachers’ strikes in West Virginia, university campus strikes in Canada, ongoing struggles to unionise US university campuses, student walk-outs in US high schools over gun violence and upcoming strikes in Kentucky and Oklahoma.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin a 20-year-old fast food worker of color walks off her job at McDonald’s to demand a $15 hourly wage and the right to organize. In Nunavut, Canada a mine shuts down while its fly-in-fly-out Inuit workers set out on ATVs to hunt caribou. In Barcelona a young gay man remembers to take his daily dose of PrEP, the little blue pill prescribed to prevent HIV-infection, then makes a coffee for his partner. These everyday moments situate deep histories and structural forces making and remaking the contours and conditions of life. These are the everyday moments of social reproduction.
After Donald J. Trump won the U.S. presidential election on November 8, 2016, the organizers of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers solicited panel discussions to address key themes of the coming administration that are relevant for academic geographers and related disciplines.
In May 2015, the European Commission issued its “Agenda on Migration” in response to what was already an urgent humanitarian situation in the Mediterranean. The Agenda was primarily concerned with the full implementation of the Dublin III Agreement in Italy and Greece, who were accused of letting migrants move on to central Europe without fingerprinting or receiving asylum claims.
The echoes of the mass sexual assaults during the New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Cologne and other German cities continue to reverberate through international public, political and academic debates. In Germany, they represented a testing ground for the country’s refugee politics and “Willkommenskultur,” the much promoted welcoming attitude to refugees.
One of the key challenges posed by the Anthropocene concept is that it forces us to engage with both an entangled present and its uncertain futures. While seemingly anthropocentric (in its claim that the influence of humanity is all pervasive), the idea of an Anthropocene highlights how the non-human and inhuman world is firmly embedded within and through us.
Since the last economic recession, discussions about how to reimagine ecologically and socially just economies have proliferated. A recent conversation at the 2015 American Association of Geographers Conference in Chicago focused on the role of waste, pollution, and other discarded materials that pose fundamental problems for economic production in these imaginaries.
There have by now been many pieces published in response to the events that took place in Paris between 7 and 9 January 2015 that we now associate with ‘Charlie Hebdo’. Indeed, so much has been written that the novelist Hari Kunzru claims that he can barely bring himself to sit down and read the commentary.
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.
To its critics, the US justice system is anything but just. A look at the numbers of people ensnared in the vast reach of the carceral society illustrates the horrifying scale of its impacts on lives in the US, particularly for people of color. One in 34 adults in the United States was under correctional supervision in 2011.
On 10 May 2013, 400 parts per million of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii.
Who cares about militarism? Well, ostensibly we do. As an interdisciplinary group of scholars who have met on several occasions to work on and through ‘cultures of militarism’, we certainly care about the politics and violence the term signifies.
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.
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. The forum includes reviews by Gerry Pratt, Derek Ruez, and David K. Seitz, as well as a response from Bobby Benedicto.
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.