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Conference themes

This year, the conference calls for papers that broadly encapsulate and interrogate critical geographies research, with an emphasis on three themes and their intersections:

  • 1) Critical Race and Subaltern Geographies,
  • 2) Digital Geographies, and
  • 3) Critical Physical Geography. 

We have confirmed keynotes by three scholars doing exciting and inspiring work at the intersections of these themes:

  • Laura Pulido (University of Oregon),
  • Emma Slager (University of Washington, Tacoma), and
  • Nathan McClintock (Portland State University).

Read more about our keynote speakers

View the Program schedule

1) Critical Race and Subaltern Geographies
Recognizing that when forms of knowledge are derived in the Global North they represent the very power of the institutions from which they are conceived by character of their “preexisting concepts, categories, institutions and practices” (Lawhon et al., 2014, pg. 505), we seek critical race and subaltern geographies research that illuminates “the elitism of historiography” through spaces of difference while remaining cognizant of the heterogeneity of Southern contexts (Roy, 2011, pg. 226).

2) Digital Geographies
Our second theme calls for feminist, decolonizing, black, indigenous, and queer theorizations of digital geographies that advance Elwood and Leszczynski’s(2018) call for “emancipatory, unruly, and transformative digital practices”. If we take as true the claim that “radical technologies” like the smartphone have now “successfully colonized everyday life” (Greenfield, 2018), our call is for papers that provide geographical ways of thinking how we can use digital technologies that enable the marginalized and resist the hegemonic.

3) Critical Physical Geography
We also seek papers that contribute to critical physical geography literature by investigating biophysical science, social dynamics, and knowledge politics together, as they co-constitute each other (Lave et al., 2014). Recognizing today’s world is an eco-social hybrid shaped by intermingled social and physical processes, critical physical geography demands our research must incorporate both of these elements while also proposing transformations for more just geographies.

Most importantly, we call for papers that more generally question what it means to be critical in geography and related disciplines. The conference will combine paper presentations with keynotes and interactive discussion sessions, as well as communal meals and breaks. Taken together, we hope that a collective sharing of our ideas and research around these themes will help collectively cultivate insights on how different ‘silos’ within geography can become more critical through discussion with each other.

Meet the keynote speakers

View the Program schedule

Conference Home


Elwood, S., Leszczynski, A., 2018. Feminist digital geographies. Gender, Place & Culture 25, 629–644.

Greenfield, A. 2018. Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life. Brooklyn, NY: Verso.

Lave, R., Wilson, M.W., Barron, E.S., Biermann, C., Carey, M.A., Duvall, C.S., Johnson, L., 

Lane, K.M., McClintock, N., Munroe, D., Pain, R., Proctor, J., Rhoads, B.L., Robertson, M.M., Rossi, J., Sayre, N.F., Simon, G., Tadaki, M., Van Dyke, C., 2014. Intervention: Critical physical geography. The Canadian Geographer / Le Géographecanadien 58, 1–10.

Lawhon, Mary, Henrik Ernstson, and Jonathan Silver. 2014. “Provincializing Urban Political Ecology: Towards a Situated UPE Through African Urbanism.” Antipode 46 (2): 497–516.

Roy, Ananya. 2011. “Slumdog Cities: Rethinking Subaltern Urbanism: Rethinking Subaltern Urbanism.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35 (2): 223–38.