Call for papers AAG Washington DC 3-7 April 2019
Throwntogetherness in turbulent times: Diversity, Migration and the City
Organisers: Carlos Estrada-Grajales (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Anna Gawlewicz (University of Glasgow, UK)
We are currently witnessing a profound global change associated with austerity, accelerated population movement, and the rise of populist and nationalist sentiments. A reflection of this is a political and policy shift towards the so called ‘hostile environment’: a condition of uncertainty increasingly penetrating different aspects of everyday life (e.g. European migration crisis, forced displacements in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia, Brexit in the UK, Trump in the US, ‘stop the boats’ and revival of ‘white Australia’ policies). How do authorities, policy-makers and diverse communities respond to these shifts in urban contexts? How do newcomers (e.g. migrants, refugees) and the long-settled population ‘live together’ and ‘come together’ in the city? Doreen Massey (2005) famously spoke of ‘throwntogetherness’ to refer to spaces where people who are different from each other in terms of ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, gender, age and disability are ‘thrown together’. How is throwntogetherness embodied, enacted, claimed, denied and dismissed as hostile policies creep into our everyday lives?
In response, this session seeks to explore the connections between discourses and practices of top-down multiculturalism promulgated and facilitated (or not) by government agencies, city authorities and other ‘decision-making’ institutions, and/or bottom-up responses executed by urban dwellers and community organizations. This session expects to open a discussion about the generation of radical political imaginaries, following Hage (2015) from the perspective offered by minorities, often pushed to the limits of exclusion in modern cities. We are interested in the opportunities and challenges that cities face in turbulent times and that diverse communities (including migrants, minority ethnic population, activist organisations, etc.) experience in the city in the context of this ‘hostile environment’. We ask for theoretical provocations, as well for empirically and methodologically-minded papers critically engaging with concepts such as ‘urban citizenship’, ‘right to the city’, ‘politics of representation’, ‘superdiversity’, ‘conviviality’ and ‘pluralism’ as examples of new dominant buzzwords in official discourses in current cities. Our objective is to unpack the power relations behind not only new scenarios generated by nationalist and exclusionary social policies in cities, but also the responses articulated by those who get excluded or have a small veneer of political representation.
Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
– Living together/conviviality/intergroup contact in diverse urban settings
– Experiences of discrimination and exclusion in the urban context
– Counteracting discrimination and the vindicating narratives of everyday throwntogetherness
– Solidarity networks and dignifying agents in local and global scales
– Migrant-‘host’ encounters in the city
– The ‘host’ population responses to increased ‘visibility’ of migrants in the city
– Migrant/diasporic right to the city, the figure of migrant as city-maker and/or agent of change
– Imagined geographies of cultural minorities in urban environments
– Geographies of sociospatial exclusion within disadvantaged communities
– Alternative and unexpected spaces for/of throwntogetherness
– Community organisations and grassroots responses to multicultural ‘hostility’
– Cultural institutions and the (re)production of multicultural imaginaries
– Media and the normalisation of racism and nationalistic rethorics
– The policy implications of throwntogetherness
– Discursive and policy-related uses of multiculturalism in electorate politics
– Challenges for political participation and representation of culturally diverse communities
– Art, design and cultural expressions as vehicles for claiming human and political rights
– Radical imaginaries and alter-politics from a multicultural perspective
– New and/or alternative methodological approaches to explore throwntogetherness in the city
Interested participants are invited to send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Carlos Estrada-Grajales (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Anna Gawlewicz (Anna.Gawlewicz@glasgow.ac.uk) by 12 October 2018. They will be notified by 19 October if their paper has been accepted for the session. They will then need to submit their abstract through the AAG website and provide their PIN to the organisers by 25 October to meet the AAG deadline.
Hage, G. (2015). Alter-Politics: Critical Anthropology and the Radical Imagination. Melbourne University Publishing.
Massey, D. (2005). For Space. SAGE.