[URBANTH-L]RGS-IBG Conference 2006: call for papers "Left Geographies"

Justin Beaumont j.r.beaumont at rug.nl
Mon Dec 5 19:23:22 EST 2005

Please see below the call for papers for our session on "Left Geographies" that was also distributed on the Crit-Geog-Forum and Participatory Geographies Working Group lists last week.

Ugo Rossi &
Justin Beaumont


Call for Papers:



Paper session sponsored by the Participatory Geographies Working Group of the RGS-IBG


RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2006, Global social justice and environmental sustainability, 30 August - 01 September 2006



Ugo Rossi, University L'Orientale of Naples, Email: urossi at unior.it &

Justin Beaumont, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Email: j.r.beaumont at rug.nl


A recent intervention by Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift in Antipode has sparked a lively and still developing discussion among geographers about the present and the future of the Left in geographical research. Many authors have already responded or are in the process of responding to their intervention in scholarly events and gatherings or through journal articles. These responses discuss the ideas and the cultural and political sensibilities that should characterise a Left approach to geographical studies, or, to put it another way, a geographical approach to Left thinking and practice. Little attention, however, has so far been paid to the actual practices of contemporary Left geographers at the intersection of theory, politics and concrete experiences.


Conference participants are encouraged to submit papers that aim at theoretical enrichment and empirical advance, while avoiding partisan political polemic, through paper presentations and discussion in relation to one or more of the following sets of questions:


1) Theory: Which theories are relevant and appropriate for upholding a Left geography? And how have these changed over time?


2) Positions: How do Left geographers position themselves within the discipline as a field of power? How has this positioning evolved and transformed over the last decades?


3) Policy: How do Left geographers position themselves in relation to and deal with policy concerns in the context of wider issues policy and political relevance in their work?


4) Public Geography: Is there such a thing as public geography today, as there was once in the past? What is the actual and possible role of geographers on the Left as public intellectuals in contemporary societies?


5) Gauche Plurielle: Can we speak of a singular geography of the Left or about many Left geographies? What are the differences between radical and oppositional Left geographies, on the one hand, and those more closely located on the mainstream political Left? And what about the Left geographies of ethnic and cultural minorities and other identity groups?


6) Left and Right: What distinguishes a Left geography from a Right geography and does the binary opposition still hold? Is Left Geography a synonym of Critical Geography?


7) Substantive Issues: To what extent Is Left Geography still motivated by a political desire to reduce poverty, mitigate social, economic, political and environmental injustices and aim for wider democratization? What other issues are important?


Please express your interest in participating along with an outline of the paper you have in mind at the first opportunity. Final abstracts (250 words max.) should be sent by email to both session convenors by 24 January 2006.

Justin Beaumont
Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI)
Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen
P.O. Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen
Direct: 00 31 (0)50 363 6910
Secr: -3895/ -3896/ -3897, Fax: -3901
Email: j.r.beaumont at rug.nl
Web: www.rug.nl/frw/

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