Space is not stagnant, but rather alive and occupied by a million stories—ones that have come, are, and yet to be. The 12th Annual Anthropology in Transit Graduate Student Conference at the University of California, Irvine invites submissions from graduate students across disciplines who work with and think about space and place. By centering space and place as critical fields of inquiry, we hope to rethink how space has been theorized within anthropology, as well as stimulate conversation about ways that theory and methods from critical cartography can be brought into our research practices. From critical engagement with logistics and infrastructure (Cowen 2014) to feminist analysis of the structuring of settler colonial nation-states into rigid spatial categories (Goeman 2014), a spatial lens invites new ways of conceptualizing how space is constituted through movement, as well as new interventions for remapping how space and territory are imagined, remembered, and narrativized. Inspired by the declaration that “for the future to be open, space must be open too” (Massey 2005), this conference will explore circulatory space, spatial margins and centers, placemaking, and practices of spatial justice and resistance.
Some broad questions that inform our focus on space and place include: How is the experience of space mapped onto the body and memory? How can we theorize and imagine spatial in/justice? What methods, ethnographic and otherwise, can we use for working with and theorizing space? How might these methods create possibilities for more collaborative and just research practices? How does our vernacular both structure and limit how space can be seen and narrated? What makes a good spatial story and how can we cultivate them?
We will organize a series of roundtables organized around the themes of your submitted work. For example, some themes may include, but are not limited to: nature and wildness; migration and refuge; virtual and digital spaces; scales and spaces beyond Earth; infrastructure and logistics; the oceanic and the archipelagic; ruination and nonplaces; toxicity and chemical geographies; intimate spaces; poetics of landscape; everyday militarism; utopia; spaces beyond the living and the dead; disappearance, trace, and haunting; rights and mobility; and feminist geography and mapping practices. We welcome cross- and interdisciplinary works not limited to the questions listed here that explore space and place in their various forms.
Additionally, we plan to build a digital exhibition space for the conference where interested participants can showcase their work. We have been invited to do this in a digital workspace hosted by the Center for Ethnography, an instance of the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography (PECE).
Abstract submission of no more than 300 words should be submitted by December 4, 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, affiliation, 3-5 keywords, a concise description of your work, and a short biosketch. We welcome submissions from Masters and PhD students at all stages of their graduate careers. Conference activities begin the morning of Friday, February 7, 2020 and end the afternoon of February 8, 2020. Events will be held on the UC Irvine campus. Accommodations with UC Irvine graduate students and on-campus parking will be available. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by December 18, 2019.