February Food for Thought: On Fear, Race, Change and Borders

On fear: Focus on believing in yourself. Everything else falls into place.

When you give people the power to set time-lines on your life, you lose.

Fear isn’t a sign of defeat necessarily. But having that fear dictate your actions or inaction is certainly defeat.

On race: Yay for Black History Month. Isn’t it so great that all the minorities get their own month here? Nothing like a month to make us feel equal.

We can give away months to minorities, but whitey still owns the calendar!

On change through new media: Most social change is the not-so-novel idea of one person fueled by the actions of many in various mediums.

On borders: Borders are human-made, geo-political constructions that should neither necessitate the deprivation of basic human rights nor cast people as outsiders. In our world, they function as a specific form of colonial domination that necessitates the delineation of an inside and outside, the marking and categorizing of certain bodies as alien and foreign for specific political purposes such as the “national security” project.

No Borders – Open Borders Network – Links

Compiled a list of No Borders / Open Borders advocacy around the world, ranging from the intellectuals to actual organizations and action groups. The no borders denotes freedom of migration and alternatives to detention/deportation NOT open borders for capital.

Just a start. Feel free to add.

Check out this fascinating site – MigMap Europe.

“We are just private individuals here, with no other grounds for speaking, or for speaking together, than a certain shared difficulty in enduring what is taking place. … there’s not much we can do about the reasons why some men and women would rather leave their country than live in it. The fact is beyond our reach. Who appointed us, then? No one. And that is precisely what constitutes our right.”

– Michel Foucault

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 cjj3@u.washington.edu 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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