The announcement for the annual Critical Geography Conference (below) circulated today through social media and on several academic lists. This is always a great conference: intimate, collegial, and – yes – critical. I encourage readers to attend.
In my experience (correct me if I’m wrong), this is the furthest west it has traveled. The conference was initiated two decades ago in Cincinnati and has consistently been hosted by universities east of the Mississippi River.
20th Annual Critical Geography Conference
University of Colorado, Boulder, February 21-23, 2014
“Difference, Diversity, Critique: A Peoples’ Geography for the Future”
Three decades ago, David Harvey called upon geographers to “build a popular geography, free from prejudice but reflective of real conflicts and contradictions, capable also of opening new channels for communication and common understanding.” Harvey’s call captures the sentiment and approach of much of the work done under the banner of “critical geography” in the intervening years. That work has certainly transformed the discipline, driving efforts to expand the range of topics and methods employed by geographers. And yet there remains, undeniably, considerable work to do.
How have critical geographers’ engagements with social theory limited the scope of efforts to meet challenges posed by social movements and others outside the academy? Can social movements generate alternative means of theorizing, taking Geography beyond its Anglophone tradition? How might geographers engage that potential? How might engagement with these themes further reflection on geography’s reputation as a “white discipline”? What new methods and approaches to doing geography might this entail both in the field and in the academy?
The conference is organized around four themes described in the “Call for Papers” posted online:
1) Geographies Otherwise, 2) The Critical Tradition, Revisited, 3) Decolonizing Methods, and 4) Diversifying Geography.
We invite papers and panel submissions as well as proposals for interactive workshops, roundtable discussions, and other performances addressing these themes. The conference will focus on “geography” but welcomes participation by people from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds.
Abstracts are due December 1, 2013 and can be submitted online at http://www.cucriticalgeography.org/.