[Iag-list] Decolonising Settler Cities - call for participation

Libby Porter libby.porter at rmit.edu.au
Wed May 3 14:02:54 AEST 2017

*Decolonising Settler Cities Symposium—announcement of two keynotes*

The first two keynotes for Decolonising Settler Cities have been
announced.  They are:

*Professor Tony Birch* ‐ renowned academic, novelist and educator and
inaugural recipient of the Dr Bruce McGuinness Indigenous Research
Fellowship at Victoria University.

*Ms Linda Kennedy* ‐ Yuin and Maltese woman located in the Illawarra NSW,
architectural designer and author of Future‐Black.com, a blog exploring
decolonisation of design in Australia’s built environment

*Date and location*:  Monday 25 September to Wednesday 27 September in
Perth, Western Australia.


The lands on which Australian urban centres continue to be built are
located on the unceded territories of distinct, sovereign Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples who continue to exert and practice their
laws, cultures, rights and interests. Beyond such broad recognition
statements as this, there has been remarkably little effort made to figure
out what this means and how this acknowledgement fundamentally unsettles
the categories and knowledges by which we claim to understand the
Australian city.

*Decolonising Settler Cities* seeks to create a space to talk about issues
that are difficult to define, but are also essential for justice and our
collective futures. While it is clear that urban areas in settler colonial
countries have always been Indigenous, the implications of this
understanding for the future of our cities is unclear. We invite scholars
and practitioners to share their questions and critiques, experience and
knowledge of decolonising possibilities and obstacles in urban locations.
Our hope is to find ways to think through and beyond ‘whitestream’
categories of knowing, thinking and imagining the Australian city, and
appropriately centre Indigenous experiences, theories, knowledges and

We are particularly interested in perspectives that draw on contemporary
Indigenous experiences and knowledge to unsettle the categories that
underlie urban governance and often make Indigenous peoples’ aspirations
impossible to achieve.  These categories include but are not limited to
property, health, development, education, work and family.  The corollary
of this negative set of experiences is the way that Indigenous Australians
find ways to claim rights, practice culture, enact laws and act in their
interests in urban locations.  These are the practices of Indigenous urban

We invite participants to contact us with a short statement explaining
their interest in participating. For those participants wanting to make a
presentation, please indicate the topic area and the type of medium
(whether a paper, film, performance, reading, or another format).  We
welcome approaches from people with a variety of backgrounds, experiences
and expertise.  *Decolonising Settler Cities* will have a limited number of
speakers and will seek a diverse set of presenters with a large Indigenous

Please see the attachment for our principles and more information on the
Urban Theory Symposium series (which includes Decolonising Settler


*Submissions due (300 words): 1 June 2017. *

*Notification of acceptance: 15 June 2017*

*Materials (whether film, paper, photographs, art work or something else)
due –17 July 2017*

The materials will be circulated before the symposium. We will discuss
publication of papers and other materials at the symposium.

Please email your submissions to either Tod Jones at Curtin University (
T.Jones at curtin.edu.au) or Libby Porter at RMIT (libby.porter at rmit.edu.au).
And if you have any questions, please let us know! We are happy to work
directly with you if you would like assistance with abstracts or accessing
information for your presentation.

We acknowledge and thank the Wadjuk Noongar people on whose territory
Decolonising Settler Cities will be held.

Hosted by:

·         Translational Research Centre for Aboriginal Knowledges and
Wellbeing, Curtin University

·         Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University

·         School of Built Environment, Curtin University and

·         Centre for Urban Research, RMIT.

We would also like to thank the Urban Geography Study Group, the Indigenous
Peoples' Knowledges and Rights Study Group, and the Critical Development
Study Group in the Institute of Australian Geographers for their support of
Decolonising Settler Cities.


*Associate Professor and VC's Principal Research Fellow*
*Centre for Urban Research*
*RMIT University*
*GPO Box 2476*
*Melbourne Vic 3001*
*p: 03 9925 3585*
*e: libby.porter at rmit.edu.au <libby.porter at rmit.edu.au>*
*twitter: libbyjporter*

*I respectfully acknowledge the Elders past, present and future of the
Kulin Nations, **on whose stolen lands I live and work. *

*Latest book (hotlink): Planning for Co-existence? Recognizing Indigenous
rights through land-use planning in Canada and Australia

*Things I'm interested in that you might be too:*
Planning Theory and Practice -
INURA - www.inura.org
Planners Network - www.plannersnetwork.org and Planners Network UK -
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