A curation of articles, essays, book reviews and interviews on critical geographical concerns.
Recent interventions in geography regarding the Anthropocene have demonstrated how Western logics of order and containment have produced massive geologic transformations. This paper focuses on odor as a sense that, when engaged critically, disrupts those logics by exposing the porousness of the body to other bodies and spaces. Visceral reactions to smell produce affective responses in the body which are informed by circulating political discourses. Thus, this paper explores how research focused on odor can reveal the complicated dynamics through which bodies are enrolled into subject formation and become a terrain of political struggle. Research on the everyday experience of hog manure in a rural Iowa watershed forms the case study through which these questions are raised. Since the transition to concentrated livestock agriculture at the end of the twentieth century, the disposal of animal waste has caused serious concern. This waste is often collected and later spread on fields across the state, producing foul odors and potential toxins. Political discourses that maintain this system claim waste is ordered and properly maintained, generating positive affective responses to foul odors and thereby maintaining support for industrialized agriculture.
Madeleine Hamlin's paper critically contends that the Chicago Housing Authority's important pilot program to allow a limited number of individuals with criminal records to live in their housing replicates pervasive fears of crime linking poverty to criminality.
In this article, Julie Chamberlain asks what the concept of the 'urban laboratory' achieves in the context of racialized urban disinvestment and stigmatization, with the Hamburg International Building Exhibition’s (Internationale Bauausstellung Hamburg, 2006–2013) work in Hamburg–Wilhelmsburg as an example.
Taking the case of Calaveras County, California, Michael Polson's article shows how medical cannabis activists reimagined the urban and rural in capacious ways, thus catalyzing a local transformation that mirrored national trends around drugs, penality and Rightist politics.
This essay by Samantha M Fox show how, during the socialist era, street lamps were an essential instrument in the construction and conceptualization of socialist urban space. Since privatization, they have come to signify the fractured and radically individualized nature of capitalist urban space.
This paper by Martin Müller and Elena Trubina discusses improvisation as a liminal practice of inhabiting the in-between that marks urban spaces from squats and brownfields to communal gardens, from infrastructural maintenance and urban living labs to political protest and solidarity in times of crisis.
In this article, Wendy Cheng examines newspaper publisher Elias Manchester Boddy’s transactions of purchasing three Japanese-owned nurseries as an instance of racial plunder: a morally and affectively inflected act of theft structured by racism that is as much about the act’s preconditions and afterlives as it is about the act itself.
In this paper, Elise T Jaramillo examines the way that the social and material reality of water flow troubles deeply embedded racial and socioeconomic divisions by creating fluid kinship: a social space that flows like an acequia, according to a topography of human relationships.
By attending to chemicals through the mundane work of removal, Angeliki Balayannis' paper opens up different lines of inquiry for studies of waste, and enriches understandings of materiality by considering how visual representations make a difference.
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.