A curation of articles, essays, book reviews and interviews on critical geographical concerns.
This paper examines the production of settler ecologies through nineteenth century swamp reclamation projects in California. It focuses on the transformation of inland swamps into agricultural land and San Francisco salt marshes and tidelands into urban real estate. I argue that swamp reclamation was both an economic and a racial project. Swamp reclamation sought to transform perceived wastelands into productive property. Swamp reclamation was also a racial project, in at least three ways. First, it aimed to transform colonial environments for the health of the white settler body. Second, draining swamps and making solid land depended on a racialized labor force. Third, swamp reclamation was accelerated through government subsidies that largely benefitted white settlers at the same time the state of California disenfranchised Black, Chinese, and Indigenous residents and supported racial immigration policies. These formations of race, nature, and property were established by law and political economy, and undergirded by settler epistemologies of space and nature. By studying the discourses and practices of swamp reclamation in nineteenth century California, this paper contributes to scholarship on the production of settler ecologies under conditions of racial capitalism.
The authors seek to trouble the rigidity of relations of domination so often portrayed in critical property studies, instead bringing to light the tenuousness, ambiguity, and messiness of the property-racial matrix, and the forms of resistance and refusal that render imaginative futures beyond property. It is one of the chief contentions of this special issue that while they may seem hegemonic and fixed, racial regimes of property are inherently unstable, constantly subject to undoing through and beyond their own internal logics.
Guided by recent work on property and Black geographies, respectively, this article examines how racial subjects are constituted in struggles over tenants’ rights. The racial limits of tenants’ rights in Montreal, it argues, are traceable to the socio-spatial relations of slavery and the intensifying criminalization of Black life in the 1980s, each of which nullified Black spatial belonging in the city.
Working through the record of intra-colonial correspondence relating to the control of non-white but also non-Khmer property interests in Cambodia, this article documents racialization’s powerful disruptive impact on liberal property formation.
Drawing on findings from an analysis of nearly 10,000 postwar property records in the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Englewood, this article demonstrates that vacancy stems not from disinvestment but from predatory and hyperextractive investments in housing that derive economic feasibility and legal sanction from property’s historical articulation with race.
This paper interrogates the ongoing lives of whiteness, asking how whiteness operates as an invisible substrate within planning and property regimes. Utilizing the concept of sedimentation, it explores how planning takes part in concretizing racial formation processes and suggests that the project of sustaining white geographies lays bare deeper questions about the ways that planning enacts multi-scaled, racialized regimes of property.
Focusing on Canada as a settler colonial liberal democracy, I look at the Indian Act which has supported colonial dispossession and assimilation in Canada for almost 200 years and rely on Brenna Bhandar’s conceptualization of “racial regimes of property” as a means of examining how racial subjects and private property are co-produced.
This article considers the significance of disrespecting property as a long-standing practice of abolition. As an organizer, observer and participant, I consider a series of Black Lives Matter protests in Sacramento that transgress the dictates of property in the city.
During the presidency of Donald Trump, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted migrant justice activists, journalists, and advocates with deportation proceedings. The recent political repression has a revanchist character that appears to be a new pattern introduced by Trump but is part of a longer project of securing the smooth functioning of economic and racial social control in the US.
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.