“1968, Fifty Years of Struggles” and other 50th anniversary events

the Comité 68 in Mexico City on the 48th anniversary of October 2

The organizers  for the “1968, Fifty Years of Struggles” conference at Middlebury College have posted information about the conference including the schedule of presentations, and biographies and abstracts of the presenters. I will present a paper from my Between Repression and Heroism project. Details about the paper can be found here.

The Middlebury conference is of course one of a slew of events in the US that mark the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of 1968. For example, University of Pittsburgh will host a semester long series events on “Global Legacies of 1968” including film screenings and presentations from some significant voices in the study of the global ’68, the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul is currently hosting “The 1968 Exhibit,” which focuses more on the Anglo-American experience of ’68, and the American Historical Association annual meeting earlier this month featured panels on histories of 1968 and the significance of the events of that year for contemporary politics (discussed here and here). Events are also being organized around the world. In Mexico, I am aware of diverse forms of commemoration beyond the annual march on October 2, from a rock opera to book projects and colloquia to theatrical performances. I will continue to catalogue anniversary events on this blog as they come to my attention.

Posted in Conferences, Memory, Mexico, My publications or presentations, Politics, The Americas, Transnationalism | Leave a comment

Geographies of crime and securitization in neoliberal Mexico, contributions to the Journal of Latin American Geography 16(3)

The editorial team for the Journal of Latin American Geography has released 16(3), which includes a number of excellent contributions, including an interesting analysis of changes in the spatial distribution of violence in Mexico between 2006 and 2011, a process that will demand continued attention as Mexico is unfortunately on track to break previous record numbers of violent crimes in 2017.

I contributed an invited book review of Markus-Michael Müller’s The Punitive City (Zed Books) to JLAG 16(3). Müller’s book approaches the processes examined in María del Pilar Fuerte Celis and Enrique Pérez Lujan’s article from a critical criminological perspective, and with a more narrow focus on Mexico City. The book is worth a read, not only for its study of how the geography of crime has been rendered and governed in Mexico City, but also because it provocatively offers a timely argument for “desecuritizing” scholarly analysis and practical engagement with the instabilities wrought by neoliberal governance. As I say in conclusion to the review,

“Müller’s The Punitive City will appeal to students and scholars of democracy, policing, urban development, and neoliberalism in Latin America, and it promises to immediately shape debates in the literature on Mexico City. Beyond its academic audience, activists and social justice organizers may find emancipatory energy in Müller’s analysis of the punitive city, for it shows that, despite the endurance of hierarchical and exploitative relationships in the governance of Mexico City, a punitive turn in neoliberal governance is contingent upon disparate practices of securitization and is therefore vulnerable to contestation. Amidst the emergence of transnational movements that are explicitly responding to extra-legal detention and disappearance, Müller underscores the urgency of politically engaged geographical scholarship, and suggests a need for future work on counter-topographies of anti-security.”

The complete issue of JLAG 16(3) can be found here.

Posted in Mexico, My publications or presentations, Policing, Political Economy, Political Geographies of the State, Political Geography, The Americas | Leave a comment

Act in solidarity with “Academics for Peace” in the face of ongoing repression in Turkey

via Petition

Ebru Ustundag circulated this petition on the GARN list — opportunities to act in solidarity with academics and others suffering from the ongoing repression in Turkey:


Call for solidarity for the academics for peace on trial

Violations of academic freedom and freedom of speech in Turkey have reached a dire situation.  The intimidations from Turkish government and its affiliates toward academics have escalated to legal action, whereby peace signatory academics face 7.5 years’ imprisonment if convicted for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”

In January 2016, 1128 academics signed the Peace Petition, titled ‘We Will Not Be A Party To This Crime’ in order to draw the public’s attention to the brutal acts of violence perpetrated by the state in the Kurdish regions of Turkey.  Immediately after the release of the petition, many signatories were prosecuted, dismissed from their posts, and their citizenship rights were seized. A large number of academics including Nobel Prize laureates and members of major science academies around the world initiated a support campaign nationally and internationally. People from different professions, such as journalists, artists, screen actors and actresses, and writers voiced their support for the persecuted academics. More people signed the petition, yet the suppression on the signatory academics got fiercer; hundreds of more academics were dismissed with statutory decrees, their passports were confiscated, they were banned from public sector employment, and criminal investigations were launched. Many of those academics had to leave the country and are now facing extreme difficulties in re-settling their lives and professions. One of the signatory academics –Mehmet Fatih Traş– could not stand this injustice and committed suicide. The declaration of state of emergency in July 2016 after a military coup attempt further blurred the distinction between criminal investigations and political punishment, and opened an arduous and painful avenue for not only the academics but also for journalists, writers, teachers, artists and others who demand freedom of speech in Turkey.

The signatory academics abroad have recently initiated a targeted boycott towards the Turkish higher education system, and its complicit universities. The aim of the academic boycott is to ensure that all dismissals are revoked and the persecution of academics, exacerbated under the state of emergency regime, is ended. To this boycott, and continuous struggle of Academics for Peace, the government recently responded by a harsher strategy: signatory academics are sued on an individual basis based on the accusation of terror propaganda according to the Law on Struggle against Terrorism, Article 7/2. The public prosecutor proposes imprisonment extending to 7.5 years. The number of academics with indictments is increasing day by day, and their trials start on December 5, 2017.

Since the petition, one of the most important acts of support for the academics who demanded peace has been the solidarity from colleagues who are not content with Turkey’s oppressive regime and its fatal actions on freedom of speech. In this new turn, we are well aware that we will need a stronger voice of resistance and call for justice! This solidarity can be through standing by us in the court hearings starting December 5, 2017, sending monitoring teams, observers, and news-makers; spreading the word and raising the awareness for what is happening now in Turkey regarding the academics.

In order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted academics, we, the peace academics from North America, call on you to:

1. Share and spread this call for solidarity; show your solidarity by following the trials,

commenting on them in your blogs, social media and/or writing a news article. For more

info on the latest attacks on academics in Turkey, please visit

https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/ or http://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20171017.pdf

2. Contact bakuluslarasi@gmail.com if you want to attend the trials as an observer, or

write to a human rights organization to send a delegate;

3. Sign the petition https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/petition/ to support the

targeted boycott on complicit universities in Turkey;

4. Inform your professional organizations and university senate to take action against

complicit institutions, such as The Scientific and Technological Research Council of

Turkey (TUBITAK; www.tubitak.gov.tr/en);

5. Support dismissed scholars financially by donating to the education union that supports

them https://www.youcaring.com/academicsforpeaceinturkey-763983

Posted in Activism, Posts (uncategorized), Transnationalism, Turkey | Leave a comment

Rashad Shabazz at University of Wyoming

One of our students produced this great flyer for Rashad Shabazz’s visit to University of Wyoming. Rashad will present a talk later this evening related to his historical geography of the Minneapolis sound, part of a book project in progress.

Posted in Cultural Geography, History, Political Economy, Politics, The Americas, Urban Geography | Leave a comment

Geography Awareness Week at University of Wyoming, and a talk by Rashad Shabazz

The national theme for the 2017 Geography Awareness Week is The Geography of Civil Rights Movements as discussed in this essay by Derek Alderman and LaToya Eaves. At University of Wyoming, we are excited to, among other things, host Rashad Shabazz for our keynote talk next Thursday. Shabazz is the author of the 2015 book, Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago, which I’ve found is a fantastic book for teaching in addition to being a rigorous work of scholarship.

At University of Wyoming, Dr. Shabazz will deliver, “The Geography of the Minneapolis Sound,” a talk organized around the question, is Minneapolis a Black geography and how does that matter? To do this, as he clarifies in his abstract, he will use Prince and his sound as a way “to illuminate and map how social forces such as poverty, migration, and anti-Black racism shaped not only Minneapolis’s urban and racial geography, but also the popular musical forms that have defined the city and its most famous son for nearly a half century.”

Posted in Critical Human Geography, geografía crítica, Teaching | Leave a comment

Book review forum on ‘The Anarchist Roots of Geography’

The AAG Review of Books has published its book review forum on Simon Springer’s The Anarchist Roots of Geography to which I contributed an affirmative but critical commentary. Contributions to the forum follow from the author-meets-critics session at the 2017 AAG meeting in Boston. The whole forum can be found here, and here.

Posted in Conferences, Critical Human Geography, My publications or presentations, Political Geography, Politics, Posts (uncategorized) | Leave a comment

Conferences and events on legacies of 1968

This coming year, 2018 will be an opportunity to mark the fiftieth anniversary of 1968. On the thirtieth anniversary, Immanuel Wallerstein sought to coordinate the disparate events of that year into an identifiable “single revolution.” On the fortieth anniversary, others, like Michael Watts, characterized the year 1968 as “a global insurrection.” For scholars in the social sciences and humanities this coming year will be an opportunity to look back and, for some, relate to the past as a way of thinking forward. Recent calls for papers suggests that it ought to be a busy year for those of us who are writing and thinking about the present, post-1968.

Organizers at University of York recently circulated their call for papers for a two-day interdisciplinary conference, “Fifty Years of Revolution: Gender, Race and Resistance 1968-2018.” (I cut-and-paste the call below.) Earlier this month, organizers at Middlebury College circulated their call for “1968, Fifty Years of Struggles,” another interdisciplinary conference set to take place in March (the deadline for abstracts has passed). Here at University of Wyoming, I am working with colleagues in History, Spanish, and International Studies to organize our “Fifty Years of ’68” as a launch event for our Latin American Studies Working Group (more on that as the project develops).


Fifty Years of Revolution: Gender, Race and Resistance 1968-2018

A two-day interdisciplinary conference, University of York

Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 May 2018

2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, a year that has gone down in history, certainly in the Western context, as synonymous with revolution and protest. It also marks seven years since the Arab uprisings which revealed an image of Arabs, contrary to Orientalist stereotypes, as progressive, politically informed and independently minded. Amid these contexts, the Centre for Women’s Studies, the Department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Modern Studies at the University of York are holding a two-day interdisciplinary conference on revolution and the revolutionary in politics and culture from 1968 to the present from an explicitly gendered perspective. Gender is constitutive of how we think about revolution, revolutionary subjectivity and the revolutionary, and the fifty years since 1968 have seen the appearance of radically new gendered forms of revolutionary subjectivity, politics and aesthetic practices.

Questions the conference seeks to address include (but are not limited to):

  • How has gender, as it intersects with categories such as race, ethnicity, class and (dis)ability, shaped what counts as revolution and the revolutionary over this fifty-year period?;
  • How are constructions and embodied experiences of revolutionary agency and subjectivity gendered?;
  • What historical (dis)continuities exist in forms of cultural production around revolution and the revolutionary since 1968?;
  • What is the significance of revolutionary textual/aesthetic practices and acts of what Marwan Kraidy has termed ‘creative insurgency’ (2016) in wider revolutionary projects?

The conference does not hope to be exhaustive in covering this fifty-year period; rather we seek to employ a case-studies approach, taking in different historical moments and geographical contexts with the aim of critically rethinking how we theorise revolution and revolutionary practices from a gendered perspective.

We invite proposals for papers from diverse (inter)disciplinary contexts, including: Gender/Women’s Studies, English Literature, Modern Language Studies, Postcolonial Studies, History of Art, History, Political Science, International Relations, Drama/Theatre Studies, Philosophy.

Please email abstracts (of around 250 words) along with a short bio to Clare Bielby and Claire Chambers at: genderingrevolution@gmail.com by 28th February 2018.

Posted in Calls, Conferences, Memory, Politics, Transnationalism | Leave a comment