CFP AAG 2018: Urban Political Ecology: Bodies, Social Reproduction and Everyday Life

Call for Papers: AAG, New Orleans, 10-14 April 2018

*Urban Political Ecology: Bodies, Social Reproduction and Everyday Life*

Session organisers: Archie Davies (King’s College London) and James Angel (King’s College London)

Please email abstracts (no more than 250 words) to by Wednesday 18th October

Urban political ecology provides a valuable lens through which to interrogate the power-laden production of urban environments, undoing reactionary binaries between the city and nature and offering possibilities for imagining and enacting more democratic socionatural trajectories (Swyngedouw 1996, Heynen, Kaika and Swyngedouw 2006, Heynen 2014). Yet recent years have seen calls for an urban political ecology more closely attuned to the sensibilities, senses and rhythms of everyday life (Loftus 2012). Urban environments are produced through the dialectical relation between waged and unwaged labour, yet thus far urban political ecological engagements with the “fleshy, messy” (Katz 2001) work of social reproduction has been relatively sparse. For Doshi (2017) there is a need for a more “embodied” urban political ecology, beginning from the body as the site at which contested socioecological processes are made and remade.

This session seeks to deepen the dialogue between urban political ecology and theories of the body and everyday life. We welcome contributions that forge conversations between urban political ecology and a range of approaches to the everyday and the embodied.
Approaches could include, but are not limited to:
– materialist feminism,
– postcolonial and decolonial perspectives,
– new materialisms,
– geographies of affect and emotion, and
– queer theory.

We are interested in both empirical and theoretical contributions dealing with subjects such as urban food and hunger, energy, pollution, waste, infrastructure, water and more. We are keen to include papers that illuminate the role of the embodied and the everyday in mediating and constituting unjust urban environments, and the political possibilities opened up by seeing daily reproductive practices as a locus of struggle that might prefigure alternative urban natures.

Doshi, S. (2017) Embodied urban political ecology: five propositions. Area 49(1): 125–128

Heynen, N. (2014) Urban political ecology I: The urban century. Progress in Human Geography 38(4) 598–604

Heynen N, Kaika M, and Swyngedouw E (eds) (2006) In the Nature of Cities: Urban Political Ecology and the Politics of Urban Metabolism. Abingdon: Routledge

Katz, C. (2001) Vagabond Capitalism and the Necessity of Social Reproduction. Antipode 33(4): 709–728

Loftus A (2012) Everyday Environmentalism: Creating an Urban Political Ecology. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press

By Nate Millington

Presidential Fellow in Urban Studies, University of Manchester.

Nate Millington is an urban geographer, writer, and qualitative researcher, interested in the politics of urban environments, public space, and landscape design. He is currently a Presidential Fellow in Urban Studies in the Department of Geography at the University of Manchester, where he is conducing research into the political ecologies of climate change adaptation in Brazil, South Africa, and the United States. His work has appeared in The International Journal of Urban and Regional ResearchEnvironment and Planning A, Political Geography, Progress in Human Geography, Edge Effects, and Landscape Architecture Magazine. He holds a PhD from the University of Kentucky (2016) and a MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010). In 2014 and 2015, Nate was a Fulbright scholar and visiting researcher at the University of São Paulo, where he conducted research into water governance and flood prevention in the urban periphery. His dissertation considers the dynamics of a multifaceted water crisis in São Paulo, where water scarcity coexists with water excess in the form of regularized flooding.

From 2017-208, Nate was a post-doctoral researcher with the ESRC-funded project, “Turning livelihoods to rubbish? Assessing the impacts of formalization and technologization of waste management on the urban poor” at the University of Cape Town's African Centre for Cities. This project, a collaboration between researchers at four universities in Europe, the United States, and Africa, focused on changes to waste governance in southern Africa and the implications for the livelihood strategies of informal workers. This project is part of efforts to develop urban theory from cities in the global south, and considers the relationship between national-level sustainability policy and the implications of those changes for workers in the informal sector.

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