AAG 2019 CFP: Geographies of the Pluriverse
Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2019, Washington D.C., April 3-7, 2019
Alex Huezo, Florida International University
Ulrich Oslender, Florida International University
Stephanie Wakefield, Florida International University
Recent debates in decolonial thinking have engaged the notion of the ‘pluriverse’ to call into question the concept of universality that is said to lie at the heart of Western epistemology and hermeneutics and that has historically underpinned processes of colonial domination and exploitation (Mignolo & Escobar, 2010; Reiter, 2018; Escobar, 2018). The idea of the pluriverse is born out of a decolonial desire to break those bonds of dominance and a call for a co-existence of many worlds as an acknowledgement of the entanglements of diverse cosmologies, of which Western universalism is but one. The notion of the pluriverse, or a world of many worlds, finds resonance with recent theoretical work coming from other domains, such as Bruno Latour’s (2018) notion of earthboundedness, and Giorgio Agamben’s (2016) ongoing investigation of the concept of form-of-life. Each refers in their own way to life as a landscape of situated, singular, autonomous modes of being that cannot be judged according to outside standards and which necessarily encounter questions of friendship and enmity, conflict as well as coexistence, between different ways of being in the world. While much of this literature is highly sophisticated on a conceptual level, it often displays a dearth of ethnographic evidence, which would strengthen its theoretical claims and bring it to life.
This session seeks geographies, ethnographies, and stories of and from the pluriverse: in-depth examinations of what such a pluriverse actually looks like in particular places. We are interested in these stories in their own right, but also in exploring forms of coexistence as well as ontological conflict and war unfolding amongst diverse ways of being in the world. Equally of interest are explorations of design and techniques for inhabiting and extending the pluriverse, for the construction of autonomous and powerful ways of living. While we seek concrete stories and studies, we also welcome theoretical explorations of pluriversality and its transformations today as the structures and frameworks of liberal modernity’s ‘one world world’ fragment and we enter the Anthropocene.
Agamben, G. (2016). The use of bodies. Stanford: Stanford University Press
Escobar, A. (2018). Designs for the pluriverse: radical interdependence, autonomy, and the making of worlds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press
Latour, B. (2018). Down to Earth: Politics in the new climatic regime.Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Mignolo, W. & A. Escobar (eds) (2010), Globalization and the decolonial option, New York: Routledge.
Reiter, B. (Ed). (2018). Constructing the pluriverse: the geopolitics of knowledge. Durham, NC: Duke University Press