Category Archives: Academic Conferences

AAG 2013: Paper Presentation on The Geography of Immigration Policy

I’m immensely lucky to have my dear friend, Marisol Ramos, presenting a paper on our behalf at the American Association of Geographers Conference in Los Angeles, California this week..

Marisol and I originally met over Twitter in 2008, when she invited me to the United We Dream convening in Washington D.C. Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.33.31 AMAt that time, social media was not widely used by undocumented youth to “come out” and tell their stories, or even to organize. This paper is about the many rich, uneven and multi-varied geographies that undocumented youth have used to create movements for change. And who better to write and present than people who have been involved in bringing about some of the changes.

Undocumented and Unafraid: Re-casting undocumented youth through activist spaces is part of the Paper Session: The Geography of Immigration Policy / Contentious Politics in the Obama Years, A Critical Assessment I

scheduled on Tuesday, 4/9/2013 at 8:00 AM. 

Author(s): Marisol Ramos* – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Prerna Lal – George Washington University Law

Abstract: Since the first introduction of the federal Dream Act in 2001, undocumented youth have organized at the “grassroots” level throughout the U.S. While the “Dream Act” has failed to pass, the federated and statewide legal geographies have become more complex leading to often restrictive political effects. This paper charts multi-dimensional geography of resistance displayed by undocumented youth in the United States, in their quest for immigration status. Over the past decade, undocumented youth have organized locally and nationally by coming out of the shadows, occupying hegemonic spaces such as political offices and detention centers, and taken to social media to not just share their narratives, but also organize a movement. By mapping this geography of resistance, and describing the geographical factors that influence local organizing efforts, we are better able to identify spaces for the empowerment of a disenfranchised population and spaces that allow for intervention in the hegemonic narrative of the nation-state.

I chose to go to law school over finishing a PhD program in Geography. I do not regret it as my work helps so many people, but I’ve certainly missed out on a richer, more intellectual environment that is probably more suitable for my introverted personality.

That’s all I can write for now. It is last week of law school classes and I have five other papers to write before May 1.

All the best Marisol!

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Critical Race Studies Symposium

Where Am I –

For several decades, racial discourse in both law and politics has arguably been dominated by the call for colorblindness, that we should aspire to “get  beyond race” and “see people as people not as skin color.”  While liberals and conservatives have differed sharply about whether particular race conscious policies are justified (e.g. affirmative action, magnet schools, minority districting), across the political spectrum, colorblindness has been advanced as the prevailing racial norm around which we should organize.  Some contend that we must take account of race on the way to a colorblind ideal; others dispute this trajectory and assert that colorblindness tomorrow can only be achieved by implementing colorblindness now.  Still others who eschew normative arguments in favor of empirically based claims argue that eliminating race from public policy decisions actually produces better social decisions.  In some instances colorblindness has even become formal state policy through legislative initiatives such as Proposition 209 in California and Proposal 2 in Michigan.

This debate has largely overlooked the particular phenomenon that is at the center of the 2009 CRS Symposium: the persistence of race and racial dynamics in spaces that have been rendered formally colorblind.   Notwithstanding the general recognition that context shapes how race is experienced, there has been little attempt to assess how the specific context of formal colorblindness affects the experience of race.  Our plan is to do so by convening legal and social science scholars to undertake interdisciplinary examinations of how race functions in environments that are formally colorblind.

The world wide web is making the globe quite borderless so anyone can watch this symposium online.

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URPE – Allied Social Sciences Association Meeting in San Francisco Jan 3-Jan 5

I’ll be attending as a member of URPE, the AEA conference in San Francisco from Jan 2 to Jan 5. The following panels are the ones that I am particularly interested in attending:

Jan. 3, 8:00 am
International Migration and Remittances: Innovations in Survey and Experimental Work (O1)

Presiding: DEAN YANG, University of Michigan
DEAN KARLAN, Yale University, and SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN, Harvard University–Remittance Set
Asides: A Field Experiment in Mexico
DEAN YANG, University of Michigan, DIEGO AYCINENA, Francisco Marroquin University, NAVA
ASHRAF, Harvard University, and CLAUDIA MARTINEZ, University of Chile–Remittances and the
Problem of Control: A Field Experiment Among Migrants from El Salvador
MICHAEL CLEMENS, Center for Global Development, and LANT PRITCHETT, Harvard University–
Income per natural: Measuring development as if people mattered more than places
DAVID MCKENZIE, World Bank, and JOHN GIBSON, University of Waikato–Evaluating the Impact of a
New Seasonal Migration Policy in the Pacific
Discussants: JOOST DE LAAT, University of Montreal
LORI BEAMAN, University of California-Berkeley
UNA OSILI, Indiana University
Gero Carletto, World Bank

Jan. 3, 8:00 am
Gender and Migration (F2)

Presiding: FARIDA KHAN, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
MARY C. KING, LEOPOLDO RODRIGUEZ, and CARRIE COBB, Portland State University–Semi-
Formal: Understanding the Institutional Nature of the Labor Market for Mexican Immigrant Workers in the US
LAURA J. TEMPLETON, University of Alberta–The Economic Welfare of University-Educated Immigrant
Women in Canada: Impact of the Domestic Household
ELKE HOLST, DIW Berlin/SOEP and University of Flensburg, ANDREA SCHAEFER, DIW Berlin and
Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, and MECHTHILD SCHROOTEN, University of
Applied Science Bremen and DIW Berlin–Gender, Migration, Remittances: Evidence from Germany
ALEX JULCA, United Nations – International Labour Migration and Reproduction of Inequalities: the Latin American Case
Discussants: FARIDA KHAN, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
ARPITA BANERJEE CHAKRABORTY, University of New Hampshire

Jan. 3, 10:15 am
Sraffa’s Unpublished Papers and Marxian Political Economy (B2)

Presiding: AJIT ZACHARIAS, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
RICCARDO BELLOFIORE, University of Bergamo–Sraffa, the New Interpretation and Marx: A First
Exploration into a Continent Which is Not Yet Explored
SCOTT CARTER, University of Tulsa–Sraffa-New Interpretation Nexus and the Theory of Exploitation
GARY MONGIOVI, St. John’s University–Sraffa and Wittgenstein on Language and Method
HEINZ KURZ, University of Graz–Ricardo, Marx, and Sraffa
Discussants: PIERANGELO GAREGNANI, Centro Sraffa
JOHN EATWELL, New School for Social Research
CRISTINA MARCUZZO, University of Rome-La Sapienza

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American Association of Geographers – Call for Papers

After these god-awful, life-stopping exams, I have to get down to several pending journal articles. One of them is for an Australian-based journal called Still. There are several AAG Call for Papers that seem to go with the topic and other half-completed works, so I may attend AAG in Las Vegas again next year.

Q: What kind of potential and current law school students will you find at the American Association of Geographers?

A: The ones doing Marine and Navigation Law

Ok, I admit, that was a bad one.


Call for Papers for the 2009 Association of American Geographers Annual
Meeting, March 22-27, Las Vegas


Craig Jeffrey, University of Washington
Geraldine Pratt, University of British Columbia

We all wait. As Henri Lefebvre argued, waiting is a prominent feature of modern everyday life. In the second half of the twentieth century, in particular, the increasing regimentation and bureaucratization of time in the West, combined with the growing reach of the state created multiple settings – such as bus stands, clinics and offices – in which people were compelled to wait (Moran 2008). Papers in this proposed session might examine these everyday spaces of waiting, including the politics that emerges in places such as the queue (Corbridge 2003). We are also interested in papers that consider the apparent proliferation of contexts in which
people wait for years or whole lifetimes. Of course, there is nothing new about prolonged waiting. But Bayart (2007) has persuasively argued that varied populations are increasingly being forced to live in limbo. Papers in this session might discuss elite, subaltern or middle class experiences of chronic waiting; the causes of prolonged waiting; pathways out of limbo; vernacular conceptualizations of waiting; and spatialized cultural, social and political projects that emerge within communities in wait.

These foci should not be seen as restrictive, and we welcome papers from scholars who approach waiting from other perspectives and contributions from people who had not previously thought of their research in terms of waiting but who are interested in shared discussion around this idea. For example, papers might also investigate how waiting might be theorized within geography and related disciplines (e.g. Bissell 2007), the limits of waiting
as a basis for reflecting on politics and subjectivity formation, historical geographies of waiting, waiting as a methodology, architectures of waiting, or waiting and academic professional practice (Bourdieu 2000).

Please send a title and if possible also a short abstract to Craig Jeffrey at by October 4th if you are interested in this topic,
and please forward this message to others who might be interested.

Dr. Craig Jeffrey
Associate Professor in Geography and International Studies
University of Washington
Department of Geography Box 353550
Seattle, WA 98195

11.8 million and waiting, confined in a certain space and territory.
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Ontology, Space and Radical Politics

The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space Research Network invites you to:

Ontology, Space & Radical Politics, 4-5 August 2008

August 4th: Radical Politics Today, Community Forum

Long Beach Public Library, 101 Pacific Avenue, Civic Center Plaza, Long

Beach, 90822, 6-8pm

Panelists: Gilda Haas | Strategic Action for a Just Economy, Los Angeles; Laura Pulido | American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California; Goetz Wolff | Harry Bridges Institute, San Pedro & University of California, Los Angeles

Moderator: Jon Pugh| Director, The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space Network & Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle

August 5th: Ontology, Space & Radical Politics, Workshop

Karl Anatol Center, California State University, Long Beach, 9am-430pm

Speakers: Nigel Thrift | Vice-Chancellor, Warwick University; Edward Soja | Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles; Lawrence Berg | Geography,

University of British Columbia; John Paul Jones III | Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona; Sallie Marston | Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona; Keith Woodward | Geography, University of Exeter; Liz Philipose | Women’s Studies, California State University, Long Beach; Mary Thomas | Women’s Studies & Geography, Ohio State University

Moderator: Deborah Thien| Node Director, The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space Network & Geography, California State University, Long Beach

For further information about these events, or to reserve workshop space, please contact Deborah Thien at

Flyer available in PDF format here:

or here:

Please circulate widely, with thanks.

Deborah Thien, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

Book Review Editor, Emotion, Space & Society

Node Director, Spaces of Democracy, Democracy of Space

California State University, Long Beach

Telephone:         (+1) 562-985-7072


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I am back from Boston

And still recovering from the horribly long hours at the conference and straining my hand while lifting heavy luggage. I took some pictures at Charles River and Boston harbor, so have a look. Yea, I was wearing a pink triangle all throughout the conference.

The highlight of the conference was a talk with Noam Chomsky while I finally got a long overdue $45 haircut. People also liked my presentation and asked good questions — I have finally come to an EDUCATED conclusion that academia is a sanctuary sphere of sorts for the undocumented and underprivileged, as well as niches for all sorts of under-represented ideas. There is a lot of sympathy and empathy for a ‘different’ experience or thought and it was reflected by the audience feedback of several presentations otherwise considered too left-field.At the same time however, to really be accepted by the mainstream academic circle, we still need to hide our heterodox, post-modernist, subaltern orientations, especially in the United States. Yet, there are niches and sanctuaries and it feels nice to have that bit of support.

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Still – Call for Papers

All the discussions around “waiting” on the critical geography listserve has led to a “call for papers” interest – On Still and Stillness … What better word to describe our lives? DREAMers are indeed constrained physically and temporally. Songs are also floating around on “waiting” – Do we have any poems from and by DREAMers on this? I haven’t seen any DREAM poetry, come to think of it.

Below is the email and information for submitting your academic papers



A topology of stillness haunts the space of flows. Against a backdrop of increasing research in mobilities and the mobilisation of forces of all kinds, in this issue of M/C Journal we seek submissions that attend to and reflect upon stillness. ‘Still’ might be many things: stillness as descriptor of a particular form of action, behaviour or disposition; stillness in an object sense; or still as in an action – to become still. This multiplicity, in turn, prompts many questions. How much effort is required to remain still or keep other bodies, things or ideas still? What might it be to think through ‘still’ not as a coherent and singular being-in-the-world, but something that is more fluid, diverse, fragmented and splintered? As such, what are some of the various configurations, vocabularies and politics of stillness?

Perhaps this could involve stillness as a strategy, such as to ignore or dissipate the actions of others. In the writings of idlers, or in the actions of those who refuse or cannot move into lives of permanent transit, we can see the actions of still. Here, stillness might emerge as a particular capacity in order to achieve something – where stillness becomes a productive tool rather than apprehended as a weak form of action. Alternatively, there is the still implied by delegation that comes about through trust in objects or various dispositions of delegation. Can we think about still as form of Spinozian pact, or a collective suspension? Stillness might be restorative whereby rest or being still assists with the activities of the day. Is mesmeric, dreamy stillness different from radical stillness? What about stillness that is, paradoxically, active – where it is willed, coerced or designed? What about a more passive stillness that is not willed intentionally by the body? What do these different forms of ‘still’ do to the body? What do they demand from the body? What are some of the bodily shapes and comportments that are associated with different forms of being or doing ‘still’? And since they are not mutually discrete, how are different stills related to each other?

Still in the social sciences has often been a limited antithetical relation with life, animation and ineluctability of perpetual motion: it is the arrest of photography, or the limit of a frame. Perhaps in Walter Benjamin’s phrase the ‘archaic stillness’ of text we see the power of stillness moving through time, but on the whole, still has enduring pejorative associations with passivity, the feminine and notions of negation. In this issue we seek to expand, recuperate and explore further stillness beyond these narrow affiliations. What does an appreciation of still do to our understanding of action and practice? As Paul Harrison claims, perhaps stillness is a necessary and ‘intrinsic rather than contingent aspect of activity’. For instance, contemporary networked infrastructures produce subjectivities and ontologies in which the relation of stillness to movement is not binary or negative but fully integrated into the processes, aesthetics and politics of mobility. Stillness in all its forms is more critical in contemporary life, by virtue of and not despite, increased mobility. And yet stillness remains more or less unexplored. In this issue of M/C Journal we ask what, then, is significant about still?

Article deadline: 16 Jan. 2009
Release date: 11 Mar. 2009
Editors: David Bissell (University of Brighton) and Gillian Fuller (University of New South Wales)
Journal website:

Please send any enquiries, and complete articles of 3000 words, to

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