Mark Jackson (U of Bristol) has alerted me to a terrific-sounding session on the theme of air and materialities to be held at the 2009 meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in Las Vegas.
CFP: ‘Aerographies’: re-thinking unthought elemental and metaphysical assumptions in recent human geographies
AAG 2009, Las Vegas, March 22nd-27th.
“…our concepts have been formed on the model of solids.” (H. Bergson)
“Metaphysics always supposes, in some manner, a solid crust from which to raise a construction.” (L. Irigaray)
The most vital of geography’s concerns are those that materiality opens in thinking the connections between earth and life (Whatmore 2006). The return to materialist concerns in recent cultural, social and political geographies reflects this vitality. Geographies of affect, emotion, performance and performativity, mobilities, non-representation, science and technology, corporeality, everyday life, representation and vision, memory, networks and assemblages, complexity, etc… all premise their engagements through specificities of the material, whose complex, relational dynamics “en-world” us in multiple ways. Yet, while engaged material practices are said to open relational thinking in dynamic ways, “matter”, and what we mean by the term itself, remains under considered. This has implications, for the objects we think with shape our metaphysical and ontological presumptions. As such, how we engage what we mean by matter is shaped by the objects we mobilize and the empirical sites we refract.
As Irigaray and Bergson argue, we moderns privilege “the solid crust” to give our thought shape. But what if Being and thought are not of the same matter? What if we began with the non-solid? What if we began, /in medias res/, as Irigaray insists we must, with air? Is air the forgotten material mediation of our geographical logos?
We are interested to deepen and extend recent efforts to re-think the geographies of material relation (ex. Ingold, 2008; Olwig, 2008), by interrogating the elemental assumptions behind how we engage the conceptual and practical spaces of matter and relation. In particular, we are interested to engage air as an evocative “object” for thinking relational and experiential space. Would beginning with the most ephemeral, and yet the constitutively most important element for life, enable us to reflect relational interaction in exciting and ever more relevant ways? Can ‘thinking with air’ respond with rigor, innovation, and responsibility to contemporary geographical imperatives ? Can it do so within registers perhaps under recognized in our present earth-writing? Can air be an evocative object for extending geographical engagements with relational materiality and space?
Deadline for abstracts: Oct. 10th, 2008
Reply via email with abstract to: <email@example.com>
Organisers: Mark Jackson, Maria Fannin, J-D Dewsbury – U of Bristol.