Call for Abstracts
Annals of the American Association of Geographers
Special Issue, March 2018
The Annals of the American Association of Geographers is seeking contributions for a Special Issue on “Social Justice and the City.”
We are seeking papers from a broad spectrum of scholars on social justice struggles in urban contexts. While we hope to be able to publish conceptual research drawing on now 40 years of cutting edge research in Geography on “social justice and the city,” we also hope to solicit papers on urgent contemporary issues, which will inform and motivate a broad audience of consumers and producers of geographic knowledge, from policy makers to grassroots activists.
Themes for the special issue could include, but are not limited to, original research in such areas as:
- Racial/Gendered/Queer Justice and the City;
- Environmental Justice, Social Justice, and the City;
- Social Justice and Planetary Urbanization;
- Social Justice and the Post/anti-colonial City;
- Law, Social Justice and the City;
- Segregation and inequality;
- Mobility and immobility;
- Urban Austerity and Social Justice;
- Labor, Economic Justice and the City;
- Social Justice and the Youth/Children’s City;
- Marxism(s) and the City;
- Social Justice and the Secular/non-Secular City;
- Measuring Social Justice and the City;
- Neoliberal Urbanism and Social Justice;
- The Right to (Social Justice in) the City;
- Urban Movements for Social Justice.
Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted by email to Jennifer Cassidento ( jcassidento [at] aag [dot] org) by March 1, 2016. The Editor will consider all abstracts and then invite a selection to submit full papers for peer review by April 15. Papers will have a target maximum length of 5,000 words (including main text, abstract, references, tables, figure captions, etc.). First draft papers will be due (via Manuscript Central) by December 2016 and final papers will be due in October 2017 for publication in 2018.
For any queries about this Special Issue contact the Editor, Nik Heynen (nheynen [at] uga [dot] edu). For queries about the abstract submission process contact the Annals Managing Editor, Jennifer Cassidento (jcassidento [at] aag [dot] org).
If I am Troy Davis, I Failed Troy Davis: Abolishing the Death Penalty through an Antiracist People’s Geography
My Troy Davis paper was officially published in ACME:
Heynen, N. (2015) “If I am Troy Davis, I Failed Troy Davis: Abolishing the Death Penalty through an Antiracist People’s Geography.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 14(4): 1066-1082.
Abstract In the wake of Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis, the importance of antiracist geographic thought has become ever more pertinent for clarifying how democratic politics and a people’s geography can help to bring about the abolition of the death penalty in the U.S. This paper seeks to engage the painful historicalgeographical legacies of white supremacism and the ways it has enabled capital punishment with an eye to moving toward a less violent and less dehumanizing state. More specifically, I imagine my historical-geographical engagement to provide a foundation from which to discuss putting into motion more deliberately what W.E.B. DuBois referred to as “Abolition Democracy”. In realizing the potential of DuBois’ notion of abolition democracy though, I will suggest more geographical attention to the ways racialized geographies have not been as explicitly connected to the notion of a people’s geography.
My second UPE review titled “Urban political ecology II: The abolitionist century” in now on Progress in Human Geography’s on-line first page.
Attention to the urban and metropolitan growth of nature can no longer be denied. Nor can the intense scrutiny of racialized, postcolonial and indigenous perspectives on the press and pulse of uneven development
across the planet’s urban political ecology be deferred any longer. There is sufficient research ranging across antiracist and postcolonial perspectives to constitute a need to discuss what is referred to here as ‘abolition ecology’. Abolition ecology represents an approach to studying urban natures more informed by antiracist, postcolonial and indigenous theory. The goal of abolition ecology is to elucidate and extrapolate the interconnected white supremacist and racialized processes that lead to uneven develop within urban environments.
Keywords: abolition ecology, antiracism, cities, environmental justice, political ecology, postcolonial, urban geography, urban political ecology (UPE)
We’re all excited that several years of fieldwork through the Coweeta Listening Project (CLP) is starting to yield some publications. Here is another new paper that is coming out in a special issue of the Annals of the Association of the American Geographers on Imagining Socio-Ecological Transformation.
Abstract: Whether used to support or impede action, scientific knowledge is now, more than ever, the primary framework for political discourse on climate change. As a consequence, science has become a hegemonic way of knowing climate change by mainstream climate politics, which not only limits the actors and actions deemed legitimate in climate politics but also silences vulnerable communities and reinforces historical patterns of cultural and political marginalization. To combat this “post-political” condition, we seek to democratize climate knowledge and imagine the possibilities of climate praxis through an engagement with Gramscian political ecology and feminist science studies. This framework emphasizes how antihierarchical and experiential forms of knowledge can work to destabilize technocratic modes of governing. We illustrate the potential of our approach through ethnographic research with people in southern Appalachia whose knowledge of climate change is based in the perceptible effects of weather, landscape change due to exurbanization, and the potential impacts of new migrants they call “climate refugees.” Valuing this knowledge builds more diverse communities of action, resists the extraction of climate change from its complex society–nature entanglements, and reveals the intimate connections between climate justice and distinct cultural lifeways. We argue that only by opening up these new forms of climate praxis, which allow people to take action using the knowledge they already have, can more just socioecological transformations be brought into being.
KeyWords: climate governance, democratization, politics of knowledge, praxis.
Can Science Writing Collectives Overcome Barriers to More Democratic Communication and Collaboration? Lessons from Environmental Communication Praxis in Southern Appalachia
As some of my other posts show, I have been interested in how writing collectives can operate and say different things than single or multi-authored writing projects. This new paper reflects of efforts out of the Coweeta Listening Project’s (CLP) experience having written many newspaper essays under the moniker of “Science, Public Policy, Community”, but under the shared authorship of the Coweeta Listening Project Writing Collective.
Burke, B. J., M. Welch-Devine, S. Gustafson, N. Heynen, J. L. Rice, T.L. Gragson, S.Evans, D. R. Nelson. (forthcoming) “Can science writing collectives overcome barriers to more democratic communication and collaboration? Lessons from environmental communication praxis in southern Appalachia.” Environmental Communication
Abstract: Despite compelling reasons to involve nonscientists in the production of ecological
knowledge, cultural and institutional factors often dis-incentivize engagement between
scientists and nonscientists. This paper details our efforts to develop a biweekly
newspaper column to increase communication between ecological scientists, social
scientists, and the communities within which they work. Addressing community generated
topics and written by a collective of social and natural scientists, the column
is meant to foster public dialog about socio-environmental issues and to lay the
groundwork for the coproduction of environmental knowledge. Our collective approach
to writing addresses some major barriers to public engagement by scientists, but the
need to insert ourselves as intermediaries limits these gains. Overall, our efforts at
environmental communication praxis have not generated significant public debate, but
they have supported future coproduction by making scientists a more visible presence
in the community and providing easy pathways for them to begin engaging the public.
Finally, this research highlights an underappreciated barrier to public engagement:
scientists are not merely disconnected from the public, but also connected in ways that
may be functional for their research. Many field scientists, for example, seek out neutral
and narrowly defined connections that permit research access but are largely
incompatible with efforts to address controversial issues of environmental governance.
Keywords: science writing; democratization; public engagement; journalism;
If I am Troy Davis, I Failed Troy Davis: Abolishing the Death Penalty through an Antiracist People’s Geography
When Troy Davis was executed in Georgia on the 21st of September 2011 many folks had a range of different responses. While until that moment I had not written about the Death Penalty, I had thought a great deal about about, especially after I moved to Georgia which has played such an important role in Death Penalty history within the U.S. When the opportunity presented itself via an invitation from Jim Tyner and Josh Inwood to participate in a special issue on Davis’ execution I did not feel like I could say no, as difficult a paper as it was for me to write.
Here is the forthcoming paper from these efforts:
Just a special note that this will be the third paper that I have published in ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies and I want to say what an absolute pleasure it has been working with the editorial team there over these occasions. Lawrence Berg, and the rest of the team at ACME, over the years have worked tirelessly with limited resources because they believe in the politics of open access publishing and I think they deserve wide ranging support and recognition for their efforts.
I am a bit tardy on posting this, but wanted to send out a warm congratulations to Dr. Ellen Kohl who recently successfully defended and submitted her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Permanence of the Struggle: Race, Gender, And Environmental Justice In Gainesville, Georgia”
Ellen’s research has been some of the most exciting I’ve advised to date.
Thanks to her research committee members Drs. Steve Holloway, Amy Ross, Patricia Richard and Laura Pulido.
In this dissertation, I examine the socio-spatial processes which contribute to and maintain places of persistent environmental injustices. I argue that there are compounding political, social, economic, and geographic processes that work in conjunction with the fatal coupling of difference and power to create almost insurmountable barriers to remedy social and environmental injustices. They would be insurmountable except for the sheer tenacity of activists and residents who work tirelessly to make positive change in their communities. Through an integrated lens of Black feminist thought and theories on the racial state I draw on my empirical research to introduce factors that independently and in their interactions with one another, lay the groundwork for the persistence of places of environmental injustice. I argue that while nuanced details differ from place to place, the challenges faced by environmental justice communities fall into six interrelated and compounding categories: 1) urban planning, (2) regulatory processes, (3) scale of analysis, (4) the role of science, (5) political economy, and (6) cultural capital. I consider these processes in a historic-geographical context because without explicitly considering these histories and their relationship to difference and power, regulators and activists intentionally or unintentionally perpetuate the uneven development of discriminatory processes. To do this, I rely on extensive participant observation, semi-structured interviews and archival research, with the Newtown Florist Club, a social and environmental justice organization in Gainesville, Georgia, elected and career representatives of the City of Gainesville, and representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Southeastern Division. I examine how through every day experiences and narratives, activists and governmental officials contest or perpetuate persistent injustices. I also examine how activist use storytelling as a way to reassert themselves on the physical and political landscape they feel ignores their lived experiences. In this way, they use the stories of their lived experiences to not only draw attention to individual environmental hazards, but also to the structural processes which allow these injustices to exist, and persist, in the first place.
KEY WORDS: Environmental Justice, Race and Racialization, Black Feminist Thought, Environmental Policy, Urban Policy