[Iag-list] Final CFP AAG: Troubling the geographies of illusion and occlusion

Neil Nunn neil.j.nunn at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 05:02:36 AEDT 2016

Final CFP, AAG 2017, Boston, MA

*Troubling the geographies of illusion and occlusion*

Sponsored by the Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group

*Discussant: Adam Barker (University of Leicester)*

Session Organizers: Tara Cater (Carleton University) and Neil Nunn
(University of Toronto) neil.nunn at mail.utoronto.ca

In this session we invite researchers to join us in thinking about the
mechanisms, strategies, infrastructures, and techniques put in place by
capitalist and governing assemblages to distract from the violence and
dispossession that emerges with spaces of industry and extraction. In
recent years, important work has analysed how social control operates
through good intentions (de Leeuw, Greenwood & Lindsay, 2013; Li 2007;
Stevenson 2014), recognition (Coulthard 2014), uncertainty and doubt
(Kirsch 2014), and normativity (Braun 1997; Cameron 2015;  Nixon 2011).
Building on these ideas, we want to critique narratives of extractive and
industrial economies, and examine how they shape our understandings of
industrial projects and their effects across scales (Bell 2010). We examine
both slow and instant forms of violence and the entanglement of the two, as
well as ‘historically blind’ readings of resource economies (Piper 2009)
that conceal the extent to which production of toxic and industrial spaces
are embedded within wider histories and processes of colonialism, racial
subjugation and capitalist transformation (Athey et al. 2016; Ilyniak 2014;
McKittrick 2011; Shabazz 2015). In this session we engage with ideas of
industry and extraction in the broadest sense, ranging from the animal
industrial complex, to genetic testing, and well beyond.

We arrive at this session as researchers whose work interrogates the
temporally and spatially variegated ways that ongoing systems of settler
colonialism and white supremacy function and are upheld through industrial
processes. We work from the assumption that forms of colonial control that
obfuscate the building blocks of its own ontology (cf. Howitt & Suchet-
Pearson 2006), serve as a powerful tool to conceal alternative ways of
knowing and being in time (Stern 2003), thus foreclosing the possibilities
of bringing together local, national, and global scales in the same
analytical frame. Increasingly, we find ourselves disturbed by the
countless events such as the BP Deep Horizon Disaster and struggles for
access to non-toxic water in Flint, Michigan and Grassy Narrows, Ontario
that rely on social technologies deployed to evade sustained ethical
conversations about the full extent of their impacts. Given this, we are
hoping to open up broader conversations about disrupting a status quo that
privileges capital and white(human)ness over life and living (Athey et al.
2016; Harris 1993; Reardon & Tallbear 2012).

In bringing these topics together, we hope to create a supportive and
theoretically engaged space to experiment with and share new ideas. In
doing so some questions we ask are:

-What techniques of power obfuscate the dispossession of industrial and
extractive processes and normalize the logics of colonialism?

- How are complicit and docile subjectivities produced through education,
training programs, and social media?

-What mechanisms enable systems of genocide to take place without being
regarded as such?

-What insights into the geographies of race and colonialism can be gained
by attending to these opaque and illusory modes of dispossession?

- How can examining illusory spaces offer the opportunity to rethink
colonial sovereignty and the naturalized acceptance of colonial state

- How are acts of violence and genocide obfuscated through the normativity
of nationalist, (neo)liberal, and pro-capitalist discourses?

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to tara.cater at carleton.ca
<taracater at cmail.carleton.ca> or neil.nunn at mail.utoronto.ca by *Sunday
October 23rd.*


Athey, S., Ferebee, K. M., & Hesford, W. S. (2016). The poisoning of Flint
and the moral economy of human rights. *Prose Studies*, *38*(1), 1–11.

Bell, L. (2010). Economic Insecurity as Opportunity: Job Training and the
Canadian Diamond Industry. In M. Daveluy, M. Lévesque, & J. Ferguson
(Eds.), Humanizing Security in the Arctic (pp. 293-304). Edmonton: Canadian
Circumpolar Institute Press.

Braun, B. W. (1997). Buried Epistemologies: The Politics of Nature in
(Post)colonial British Columbia. Annals of the Association of American
Geographers, 87(1), 3–31.

Coulthard, G. S. (2014). *Red skin, white masks: Rejecting the colonial
politics of recognition.* Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Cameron, E. (2015). *Far off Metal River: Inuit lands, settler stories, and
the makings of the contemporary Arctic*.Vancouver: UBC Press.

de Leeuw, S., Greenwood, M., & Lindsay, N. (2013). Troubling good
intentions. *Settler Colonial Studies*, 3(3-4), 381–394.

Harris, C. I. (1993). Whiteness as property. *Harvard Law Review*,

Howitt, R., & Suchet-Pearson, S. (2006). Rethinking the building blocks:
Ontological Pluralism and the idea of 'management' Geografiska Annaler:
Series B, Human Geography, 88(3), 323-335.

Ilyniak, N. (2014). Mercury Poisoning in Grassy Narrows: Environmental
Injustice, Colonialism, and Capitalist Expansion in Canada. *McGill
Sociological Review*, *4*, 43–66.

Li, T. (2007). *The will to improve: Governmentality, development, and the
practice of politics*. Durham: Duke University Press.

Kirsch, S. (2014). *Mining Capitalism: The Relationship between
Corporations and Their Critics*. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Nixon, R. (2011). *Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor*.
Harvard University Press.

Piper, L. (2009). The industrial transformation of subarctic Canada.
Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Reardon, J., & TallBear, K. (2012). “Your DNA Is Our History”: Genomics,
Anthropology, and the Construction of Whiteness as Property. *Current
Anthropology*, *53*(S5), 232–245.

Shabazz, R. (2015). *Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement
and Black Masculinity in Chicago*. University of Illinois Press.

Stern, P. (2003). Upside-Down and Backwards: Time Discipline in a Canadian
Inuit Town. Anthropologica, 45(1), 147.

Stevenson, L. (2014). *Life beside itself: Imagining care in the Canadian
Arctic*. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.


*Neil Nunn | PhD Student *

*Department of Geography and Planning University of Toronto*
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