urgent (pour le 24/09/18) – Appel à communication « critical river geographies »

urgent (pour le 24/09/18) – Appel à communication « critical river geographies »

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Appel à communication : « Critical River Geographies« 

pour la West Lakes Division of the AAG 2018 Annual Meeting

University of Wisconsin – 1-3 Novembre 2018

Organisateurs: Anya Kaplan-Seem (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) et Ned Wilbur (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Modalités : envoyer un résumé de 250 mots à Anya Kaplan-Seem (kapla298@umn.edu) et Ned Wilbur (wilbu056@umn.edu), d’ici le 24 septembre 2018

Session :
« Rivers are dynamic socio-natural entities. They collect, carry, and distribute materials, meanings, power, and difference along intersecting axes of race, sex, citizenship, and class. They enable and disable lives and livelihoods in unique ways. Moreover, rivers are sites of reckoning, where state governance, private interests, and public concerns meet and clash. Dredging a river or damming it, cleaning it or polluting it, can be understood as processes that differentially impact communities already differentially exposed to the conditions of capitalism, colonialism, and climate change. How we think rivers has material consequences that impact both lands and bodies (Davis and Todd 2017). 

In this session, we seek to engage rivers as sites of critical inquiry and critical infrastructure, productive of both space and power (Barnd 2017). We understand thinking rivers to be an expansive project limited neither to the geography of a bounded waterway nor to knowledge production as the particular remit of the academy. At the same time, we are interested in what is particular to rivers, and in how they exceed any singular analytical approach. Ongoing struggles over drinking water in Flint, Michigan; the siting of the Dakota Access Pipeline; and the impacts of up-river runoff on down-river ecosystems and gulf livelihoods demonstrate rivers to be archetypal 21st century “matters of concern” (Latour 2004). Understanding rivers as such takes up recent challenges to those geographic imaginaries that constitute present socio-natural conditions as newly catastrophic or river governance as only now failing (Gómez-Barris 2017). For whom is that true? For whom has the management of rivers always been catastrophic? As sites of reckoning, rivers demand interdisciplinary—and anti-disciplinary (Sharpe 2016)—approaches. 

We invite work that takes up all manner of river-related topics: hypoxia, invasive species, contamination, flooding, and drought; the livelihoods of farmers, barge operators, or shrimpers; questions of land, labor, property, governance, sovereignty, dispossession, and sacred space; tariffs and transportation; the petrochemical industry and frac sand mining; historical trauma and present violence; memory, time, and space. 


Barnd, N. (2017). Native Space: Geographic Strategies to Unsettle Settler Colonialism. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press.

Davis, H. and Todd, Z. (2017). On the Importance of a Date, or, Decolonizing the Anthropocene. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 16(4), 761–780.

Gómez-Barris, M. (2017). The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives. Chapel Hill: Duke University Press.

Latour, B. (2004). Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern. Critical Inquiry, 30, 225–248.

Sharpe, C. (2016). In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Durham: Duke University Press. »

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