2016 Symposium CfP: “Spatializing Sovereignty”

We are pleased to announce the theme of our 2016 symposium, “Spatializing Sovereignty,” which will be held at Mills College on Friday, March 4, 2016 and feature keynote addresses by Dr. Mishuana Goeman, Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Gender Studies at UCLA, and Gelare Khoshgozaran, writer and multi-disciplinary artist. Please find our call for papers and presentations below!

2016 Symposium CFP: “Spatializing Sovereignty”
Featuring keynote addresses by:
Dr. Mishuana Goeman, Professor of American Indian Studies and Gender Studies, UCLA
and Gelare Khoshgozaran, Writer and Multi-disciplinary Artist
Mills College
March 4, 2016

While sovereignty is often defined in terms of the bounded nation-state, this symposium convenes to examine competing, overlapping, and “nested sovereignties” (Simpson 2014). How is the spatiality of sovereignty felt, practiced, embodied, inhabited, or imposed at various scales? We might consider how the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada and the U.S. lay bare logics of patriarchal white settler sovereignty, while ongoing state-sanctioned violence reveals that anti-Blackness is also constitutive of and central to securing the nation state. What might the controlling and blocking of Syrian refugee movement say about state sovereignty in this moment? Furthermore, transnational feminist scholars have continuously interrogated the relationship between regimes of debt and modes of sovereignty in the Global South. Movements resisting these forms of violence in turn show how the gendered and racialized body becomes a site at which sovereignty can be (re)articulated.

This symposium seeks explorations of how sovereignty is spatialized at all levels, from the power of mapping, to the affects and “erotics of sovereignty” (Rifkin 2012), to the praxis of sovereign polities. How do variously defined geographies determine the limitations and possibilities of sovereignty as concept, as process, and as discursive and political strategy?

Possible topics can include but are not limited to:

  •        Indigenous sovereignty and spatial justice
  •        Geographies of race and racialization
  •        Spatialization of affect and affective sovereignty
  •        Corporeal sovereignty and biopolitics
  •        Sovereignty, space, and disability
  •        Sovereignty in and through artistic, literary, and expressive cultures
  •        Transnational feminist theory and the sovereign
  •        Critical feminist, queer, and trans readings of sovereignty
  •        Bordering and colonialisms
  •        Neoliberal governance and state sovereignty
  •        Sovereignty and carceral power
  •        Sovereignty and sexuality, desire, and the erotic
  •        Climate justice, ecologies of space, and the anthropocene
  •        Urban regimes and the right to the city

Though we welcome submissions that deal generally with spatial theory, special consideration will be given to abstracts that engage this year’s theme. We encourage abstracts from activists, artists, and academics at all stages of research, and will consider proposals of any format for 20-minute presentations (including conference papers, artist talks, art interventions, short film screenings, and activist report-backs). This symposium is committed to producing sustained conversations and a collaborative environment for scholars, artists, and activists whose work engages our society’s interests in radical geography, spatial theory, and everyday life. Those interested may submit proposals of no more than 500 words to radicalspaces@gmail.com by November 20, 2015. Presenters will be notified of their acceptance by December 15, 2015.

This year’s symposium will be held at Mills College on March 4, 2016 featuring two keynote addresses: Dr. Mishuana Goeman, associate professor of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies at UCLA, and Gelare Khoshgozaran, writer and multi-disciplinary artist.

For more information on the symposium and the Society for Radical Geography, Spatial Theory, and Everyday Life, see our website at https://radicalspacesblog.wordpress.com/ and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/radicalspaces.


Rifkin, Mark. (2012). The Erotics of Sovereignty: Queer Native Writing in the Era of Self-Determination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Simpson, Audra. (2014). Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States. Durham: Duke University Press.


2 thoughts on “2016 Symposium CfP: “Spatializing Sovereignty”

  1. Pingback: Have You Applied to “Spatializing Sovereignty” Yet? | Society for Radical Geography, Spatial Theory, and Everyday Life

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