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Call for Papers: RGS-IBG Annual Conference Tuesday 29 August to Friday 1 September 2017

Sponsored by the Geographies of Justice Research Group

Session: Practising paradox: decolonising urban geographies from the settler-colonial University



Libby Porter, RMIT University, Melbourne


Tod Jones, Curtin University, Perth



The question of decolonisation raises a series of paradoxes in the context of urban geographical scholarship in settler-colonial universities. The city, perhaps the most emblematic location of how settler privilege is upheld, is a site where decolonisation is urgently needed but at the same time energetically ignored. And the institutions of the academy – from universities to funding bodies – are hardly innocent of sustaining those very same structures of privilege. So what, then, might it look and feel like to attempt to practice decoloniality about the city, from the site of university-based scholarship in settler-colonial contexts?


This session aims to open up a conversation about practicing decolonial scholarship, and the uncomfortable paradoxes and politics that inevitably unfold.


Papers are sought that engage with the following kinds of questions:

-       What might it mean to practice decolonial urban geographical scholarship?

-       What is the status of existing colonial structures, like universities, in the work of decolonising urban geographical knowledges?

-       Where do people find spaces within universities to practice community-based, justice-oriented, activist scholarship?

-       What difference does the urban make to the question of decolonisation?

-       What might be the ethics, politics and practices that can transform urban geographical scholarship in settler-colonies?

-       What can we learn from the practices and politics of alliance formation between scholars in universities and indigenous groups and scholars who are seeking to decolonise urban geographical knowledges?


Abstracts of no more than 250 words to be sent to libby.porter@rmit.edu.au by Monday 13 February



Libby and Tod


Associate Professor and VC's Principal Research Fellow
Centre for Urban Research
RMIT University
GPO Box 2476
Melbourne Vic 3001
p: 03 9925 3585
twitter: libbyjporter

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

Things I'm interested in that you might be too:
Planners Network - www.plannersnetwork.org and Planners Network UK - www.pnuk.org.uk