Eli Meyerhoff circulated a call for participants in a workshop at the Dimensions of Political Ecology (DOPE) conference. The proposed workshop reflects Eli’s work on the politics of curriculum planning and education. It also promises to extend conversations at the recent Critical Geography Mini-Conference on ‘the minor.’
Subconferences: For Minor Spaces of Political Ecology, Geography & Beyond
– a workshop at the DOPE conference in Lexington, KY – Feb. 26-27, 2016
For the past six years, radical subconferences have emerged in the cracks of the annual Association of American Geographers (AAG) conference. Dissident geographers and others have sought to create minor spaces for subversive experimentation within/against/beyond the major conference. They have hosted workshops featuring local activists, discussion of scholar-activist praxis, organizing around precarious labor in the university, building mutual aid networks, working for change within the AAG such as for supporting childcare, and more. Partly in response to these interventions, the AAG itself has taken on more radical aspects over the years. This raises questions about what role(s) the subconference – and minor experimentation more generally – should play going forward. DOPE, as a grad student organized space with radical aims, has similarly opened up new lines of thinking/practicing in political ecology, geography, and beyond.
How should we think of the tensions that minor projects face in relation to shifting disciplinary agendas? How can projects like the subconference, DOPE, and critical geography conferences better highlight and push the limits of the geography discipline and of academia as a whole? How can such minor projects create spaces for building relationships of subversion and resistance while avoiding marginalization and co-optation? How can the lenses of political-ecological theories help us grapple with these questions, such as by using minor spaces to think through the environmental (carbon footprint), social (professionalization, alienation) and political-economic (exclusions and marginalizations) impacts of conferences themselves? Considering the proliferation of subconferences at other disciplinary conferences (such as the Modern Language Association, or MLA, and the Western Political Science Association), how can we build relationships across disciplines and for a minor academic movement?
This workshop will create a space for facilitating discussions around these questions as well as for building relationships. We seek participants of all kinds. We are open to short presentations, and we are also interested in finding folks who would like to help us design and facilitate this workshop. Please reply to us (Elsa and Eli, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) with your expression of interest by November 28th, 2015.