Call for papers: RGS Conference 2017 sessions hosted by SpaceLab

SpaceLab will be hosting two sessions at this year’s RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in London. The theme for the conference is Decolonizing geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world.


Call For Papers:

Session: Geographies of subalternity and counterhegemonic globalization


The purpose of this session is to explore alternative circuits of knowledge that (1) provide critical perspectives on established ‘truths’ in the field(s) of geography and (2) explore how subaltern geographies are lived, assembled and mobilized with reference to counterhegemonic globalization. As such, the session approaches the conference theme Decolonizing geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world by looking to repoliticize the realms of where ‘we’ as geographers tread.

Antonio Gramsci invoked the subaltern as a term referring to those subjugated to the operation of dominant groups. Recent work in geography has expanded the notion of the subaltern as a ‘postcolonial strategy’ for eliciting neglected spatialities of geographical research (see Jazeel 2014; Roy, 2011). The subaltern can as such be understood as a theoretical tool for maintaining an ongoing dialogue about ‘the critical edge’ of our discipline.

Counterhegemonic globalization can be understood as attempts at challenging existing global power-geometries by forging alternative global relations (Massey, 2011). The work originates in Polanyi’s conceptualization of the ‘double movement’, understanding the potential for forging alternative global relations through the same relations that produce our present form of globalization.

The session’s focus on alternative circuits of knowledge seeks to explore a research agenda that engages more critically with the relationality of subaltern and hegemonic production.

We welcome contributions relating (but not limited) to the following themes:
– Mobilizing alternative (urban) socio-ecological futures
– Spaces of counterhegemonic politics
– Subaltern urbanism
– Rethinking subaltern agency – critical perspective on actors, groups, networks and their roles, potential and politics of contestation
– Voids: governance, autonomy and informality

Instructions for Authors

Potential contributors to this paper session should submit a maximum 250-word abstract. Abstracts should include a title, and the names, affiliations and email addresses of all authors.

Abstracts should be submitted to or by February 10th.


Session: Reimagining sustainable urban energy futures

Session Convenors: Stefan Bouzarovski (University of Manchester) and Håvard Haarstad (University of Bergen)

Sponsored by the Energy Geographies Research Group


This session seeks to advance alternative thinking on sustainable urban energy futures. Efforts to decarbonise urban energy flows have largely been theorized via frameworks derived from the domain of ‘sustainability transitions’, such as the multi-level perspective. Recent years, however, have seen the emergence of new conceptual sensibilities towards urban energy transformations, informed, inter alia, by experimentation, assemblage, policy mobility and political ecology approaches. The session aims to give a more coherent voice to reimaginings of sustainable urban futures that lie beyond the conceptual mainstream. We highlight the underlying dynamics of power and inequality that underpin energy transformations in cities, particularly in relation to the enclosures and contradictions stemming from the encounter between low carbon transitions and neoliberal capitalism. The session is also geared towards providing a stronger geographical sensibility towards urban energy reconfigurations, by emphasizing the non-linearity of low-carbon urban change, and role of contingencies such as place, scale and territory in this process. We welcome both theoretical and empirically grounded interventions.

Please send abstracts to Stefan Bouzarovski ( or Håvard Haarstad ( no later than the 13th of February 2017.