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

Graduate student opportunities in Geography at University of Wyoming

I am interested to advise graduate students in cultural geography, political geography, cultural studies, and/or on themes in the regional geography of Latin America. In the UW department more generally, we are well positioned to advise and build committees around MA projects across the breadth of the discipline.

Graduate students with whom I currently work as an advisor or committee member are examining a wide array of topics, from indigenous movements for autonomy in Panama to gender in the electoral geography of Wyoming, to gendered and raced experiences of education in Moldova, to cultural landscapes of waste in post-unification Germany.

Please email if you are interested in working with me and/or have any questions about graduate school as a geographer at the University of Wyoming: ncrane@uwyo.edu. I will appreciate an informal statement about what you may want to do as a graduate student, and some background information about your preparation for that course of study.

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Convocatoria: “geografías críticas en América Latina,” con Íconos

Una revista de FLACSO, Íconos va a publicar una colección de articulos en “geografías críticas en América Latina.” (En parte, este proyecto surge a través del trabajo del Colectivo de Geografía Crítica del Ecuador.) Esta es la segunda colección sobre este tema en poco tiempo. Hace poco, la revista de CLAG, the Journal of Latin American Geography publicó su propia colección “critical geographies in Latin America,” sobre que he escrito un post y en que tengo una contribución, escrito con Zoe Pearson.

Estan recibiendo articulos para esta colección en Íconos hasta el 4 de septiembre. Puedan ver aquí, la convocatoria. There is also a version of the call in English.

Posted in América Latina, Calls, Convocatorias, Critical Human Geography, geografía crítica, The Americas | Leave a comment

Group-centered leadership formation in contemporary racial justice organizing

I recently returned to some collaborative writing from the “Breaking Consent” project. Our first paper from the project will be on group-centered leadership formation in contemporary racial justice organizing. The intention is to produce a contribution to academic and movement-relevant literatures that Ohio Student Association organizers can smoothly incorporate in the political education and leadership development processes of the organization.

The article intervenes in the context of “horizontalist” and “verticalist” arguments about social justice organizing (arguments quickly described at the outset of this post on the Mobilizing Ideas blog). Contemporary racial justice organizing in the United States is remarkable in part for how it fundamentally challenges the terms of this debate. Although contemporary racial justice organizing is often interpreted as “leaderless” in the mold of Occupy, and is sometimes revered for its spontaneous quality by people who presume to speak for the movement, people contributing to U.S.-based racial justice organizing since 2012 have explicitly described the work as “leader-full.” With this descriptor, racial justice organizers are naming a post-liberal turn towards group-centered leadership formation that revives subjugated histories of the Black Freedom Movement and disobeys the dichotomy in social movement theory and practice between “vertical” and “horizontal” modes of political engagement.

Our article maps connections between subjugated histories of Black Freedom struggle and contemporary organizing practices, and identifies challenges facing racial justice organizers who promote group-centered leadership formation. We are informed by an array of movement-relevant literature and data (video reflections, journals, fieldnotes, and interviews) from our process of “strategic reflection” in the Ohio Student Association. Our analysis follows post-Althusserian currents in political theory to characterize hero-centred charismatic leadership as a technology of policing, echoing a paper I presented at the 2016 Mini-Conference on Policing and Race in Cincinnati. In contrast, we characterize group-centered leadership formation as a mode of politicization. By framing group-centered leadership formation this way, we emphasize that, while these processes clearly disrupt an unjust configuration of the world, group-centered leadership formation is even more significant for how it ensures both escalation in movement moments and stability in organizational moments.

Group-centered leadership formation is not, however, an easy solution to organizational shortcomings of “leaderless” protest. Activists promoted leaderlessness because it seems to promise relief from ubiquitous oligarchical forms of political engagement. Organizers of “leader-full” campaigns have developed organizing practices that appear to address the problems of accountability, sustainability, strategic uncertainty, and individualism associated with “leaderless” protest, but they also must skillfully negotiate tendencies towards mediation and individualization that have historically been established through the lionization of charismatic leaders.

Readers interested in these themes might also enjoy the “Social Movement Leadership” forum on the blog Mobilizing Ideas.

Posted in action-research, Activism, My publications or presentations, Policing, Political Geography, Politics, Posts (uncategorized), Resistance Studies, Social Movements, Young People | Leave a comment