AAA Panel Proposal, Chicago, November 20-24, 2013
Panel Title: "Boundary Work: Scripting Property in Neoliberal Environments"
Panel Organizer: Prof. Shubhra Gururani, York University
The language of environmentalism often presents "nature" as a kind of
commons or patrimony. In contemporary capitalism, however, sites that
are sedimented in the ambiguous and contested language of customary
claims, commons, or communal use, represent, what Carol Rose has argued,
spaces of "violence and danger" or even anti-property. The ambiguous
prose of property associated with such spaces always poses a political
challenge, which is amplified in the neoliberal moment in which private
property increasingly stands as the sole foundation for individual
self-interest and optimal social good. Increasingly, therefore, the
protection of private property and the extension of property regimes
into new domains, both intimate and public, has become a central policy
and policing mandate in neoliberal environmentalism as well as a central
site of emergent conflicts between environmental policy and other
processes for territorializing capital accumulation. Focusing on
different social geographies of nature, the papers in this panel explore
the critical question of how land and other goods are accessed, claimed,
acquired, and enclosed through practices of property-making in diverse
environmental conflicts. To further our understanding of the changing
contours of the politics of nature, populism, and consensus, the panel
draws on case studies from urban, suburban, and pastoral landscapes and
explores the multiple articulations and intersections that reconfigure
relations of property at different scales and sites of contemporary
We currently have three confirmed participants and are looking for one
or two additional papers to complete the panel. Please email me your
abstracts at email@example.com by Tuesday April 9, 2013
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