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8 January 2016 - Call for Papers: Geographies of Anti-colonialism

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RGS-IBG 2016 Annual International Conference, London 30 August – 2 September, Nexus thinking


CALL FOR PAPERS: Geographies of Anti-colonialism


Session sponsored by the Historical Geography Research Group (HGRG)



Andy Davies, University of Liverpool, a.d.davies@liverpool.ac.uk

David Featherstone, University of Glasgow, David.Featherstone@glasgow.ac.uk 

Federico Ferretti, University College Dublin, federico.ferretti@ucd.ie

In the last decades, geographers have done a great work in critical exploration of the imperial legacy of their discipline, joining subaltern and postcolonial interdisciplinary scholarship. This has implied the critique and de-construction of colonial discourses and representations including imperial geographies, imperial maps, imperial and euro-centric standpoints, racist presentations of different peoples. Nevertheless, relatively fewer efforts have been done until now to study geographies of counter-empire, anti-colonialism, anti-racism and de-colonization.

Recent research has shown the early emergence of unorthodox nonconformists and dissenters in the scientific field since the end of the 19th century, like the anarchist geographers Elisée Reclus, Pyotr Kropotkin and Lev Me?nikov and their international fellows, radically opposed to racisms, empires and colonialisms including, in the definition given by Antonio Gramsci, the internal ones. In the mid-20th century, some radical European scholars, like the French geographers Jean Dresch and Jean Suret-Canale, militated for of the de-colonisation of African countries; in the English-speaking world, scholars like James Blaut and Keith Buchanan pioneered then a geographical critique to Euro-centrism. New scholarship has also shown the early emergence of counter-global and anti-colonial networks in several regions, from Northern Atlantic to South Asia, and started to address geographies of resistance, of solidarity, of insubordination, of mutinies, of black and indigenous internationalisms. There is also increasing recognition of the importance of intersections between feminist struggles and anti-imperialism/ anti-colonialism, e.g. in the work of activists such as Claudia Jones and Ida Wells Barnett.

The interdisciplinary field of studies linked to the transnational turn in history and social sciences is progressively shedding light on all these scholars and networks, needing nevertheless further research by geographers. After analysing imperial issues in geography, it is time to excavate anti-imperial issues in geography, as well as the geographies of anti-colonialist and subaltern networks and struggles. For this purpose, we invite papers on the following topics:

  • Spaces, places and transnational networks of anti-colonialist and anti-racist struggles both in Europe and in the colonial and de-colonized countries
  • Early anti-colonialist, anti-racist and non-Eurocentric geographies in imperial ages, including critiques of internal colonialisms (Celtic fringe, Southern Italy, Eastern Europe, creole appropriation of indigenous lands, etc.)
  • Geographies of counter-global networks, resistance, solidarity, feminist, anti-colonial and anti-racist internationalism between the 19th and the 21st centuries
  • Intersections of anti-colonialism with other radical social and political movements and the heterogeneous ontologies, epistemologies and geographies that were produced through these intersections
  • Critical and historical geographies of de-colonisations (from Latin America in the 19th century to Asia and Africa in the 20th century)  
  • Decolonizing the Nexus: critique of the relations between societies, spaces and resources in colonial and neo-colonial exploitation
  • Anti-colonialisms of the present and their connections (or not) with previous struggles
  • What is at stake in different perspectives, e.g. post-colonialism, anti-colonialism and radicalism?

Please send abstracts up to 250 words by 8 February 2016 to: a.d.davies@liverpool.ac.uk, David.Featherstone@glasgow.ac.uk, federico.ferretti@ucd.ie

UCD School of Geography

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