[with apologies for cross-posting]


AAG 2017 Call for Papers – Emotions and Practicing Everyday Urban Spaces

Session organizers: Ashraful Alam and Nicole McNamara (Macquarie University, Australia)


‘Emotions’ and ‘affect’ are significant research themes within cultural geography. Emotions, in particular, have been understood as shaping individual phenomenological experiences of place and space. This approach is critiqued in terms of its capacity to mobilize broader political actions and social change. Yet, emotions are mediated and expressed through bodies, politics and spaces. One of the key issues for scholars interested in emotions is the role that the ‘body’ plays in the processes of social, cultural, historical, political, economic and other forms of change through the appropriation of the body. The body is not the opposite of culture, but rather the site where culture is played out. This turn towards emotion as an embodied manifestation of everyday practices requires a new emphasis on space as bodies are necessarily situated in space.


Through this session, we invite scholars to explore the central question: ‘what differences do emotions make in our everyday practices as we (re)negotiate urban forms/spaces?’


The session organizers are currently researching the everyday practices of cycling and homemaking. This entails rethinking the role that emotions play in intimate, everyday practices and in informing broader socio-ecological changes in cities, urban governance, and sustainability praxis. Emotions play a significant role in the everyday cycling routines of cycling practitioners in Sydney and in the homemaking practices of the urban homeless in Bangladesh. Thinking through these emotionally charged corporeal performances unfolds the nuanced and non-elitist ways urban spaces are negotiated by cycling minorities in Australian car-centric society and the climate-induced migrants living in the shadows of coastal cities in Bangladesh.


We call for greater critical attention to whether emotion can be an effective agent of change, a tool to be utilized through the individual and collective assemblage of bodies in urban space. More broadly, we invite papers that think through how emotion and everyday practices inform negotiations of, or struggles for, urban spaces at the intersection of the body. Mathew Gandy, John Urry and Doreen Massey have long suggested that cities or spaces are corporeal achievements, and if bodies make sense in space, they might make sense of how spaces are socialized, appropriated and how politics are played out to establish the marginalized narratives in a city.


The above questions and discussion are intended to stimulate ideas and generate discussion but should not be viewed as limiting. We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions that seek to reimagine the terms of this question to further our understandings of emotion and everyday practices as agents of positive change in cities. 




Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Ashraful Alam (ashraful.alam@mq.edu.au) and Nicole McNamara (nicole.mcnamara@mq.edu.au) by Monday 10th October 2016. Accepted submissions will be contacted by Monday 17th October 2016 and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by 27th October 2016 which is the earlybird registration deadline. Please note that conference registration fees must be paid before the online submission of abstracts.





Blazek, M., and Kraftl, P. (2015) Children’s Emotions in Policy and Practice: Mapping and Making Spaces of Childhood and Youth. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 

Gandy, M. (2005) Cyborg urbanization: complexity and monstrosity in the contemporary city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 29, 26-49.

Gandy, M. (2006) Urban nature and the ecological imaginary. In N. Heynen, M. Kaika and E. Swyngedouw (eds.), In the nature of cities: Urban political ecology and the politics of urban metabolism, Routledge, New York, 63-74.

Letherby G and Reynolds G. (2009) Gendered Journeys, Mobile Emotions, London: Ashgate Publishing.

Massey, D. (2005) For Space. London: Sage.

Sheller M. (2005) Automotive Emotions: Feeling the Car. In: Featherstone M, Thrift N and Urry J (eds) Automobilities. London: Sage, 221-242.

Shillington, L. (2015) ‘Birds are for the girls’: children’s media landscape and the emotional geographies of urban natures, in Skelton, T., Dwyer, C., & Worth, N. (eds). Geographies of Children and Young People: Volume 4: Geographies of Identities and Subjectivities, Springer Reference.

Shillington, L. (2008) Being(s) in relation at Home: Corporealities, Aesthetics, and Socialnatures in Managua, Nicaragua. Social and Cultural Geography 9(7): 755-776.

Simonsen K. (2010) Encountering O/other Bodies: Practice, Emotion and Ethics. In: Anderson B and Harrison P (eds) Taking-Place. Farnham: Ashgate.

Urry, J. (2013) City Life and the Senses. The New Blackwell Companion to the City, pp: 347-356.


Nicole McNamara

PhD Candidate & Casual Lecturer
Department of Geography and Planning | W3A Building
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

T: +61 29850 7984 M: +61 419 123 170 F: +61 29850 6052  |  mq.edu.au/geoplan

Macquarie University

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