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“Geographies of Resistance” – the Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Conference 2019

May 27 - May 31

At the limits of migrant justice, resistance, and solidarity

Session organisers: Leah Montange (University of Toronto) & Sarah M. Hughes (Durham University, UK).

Please see below for a CFP for the Canadian Association of Geographers annual conference in Winnipeg 27-29 May 2019.

The political acts, subjectivities, and contestations of migrating or border crossing people has become an increasingly pervasive theme within and beyond Political Geography.  Scholars have attended to how migrants without formal citizenship are able to demand rights (see McNevin 2011; Sigvardsdotter 2013; Mountz et al. 2013); make their political voices heard through, for example, protests and the occupation of buildings (see Walters 2010; Nyers 2008); and enact themselves as citizens (see Isin and Nielsen 2008; Anderson et al. 2011). There is however, often a tension present in this literature concerning whether migrating people are enacting a form of citizenship and/or a mode of political subjectivity that is beyond or beside citizenship (see Squire 2015; Erensu 2016). Further, literatures from ethnic and migration studies offer yet another frame for interpreting the ways that border crossing people interact with power structures that seek to shape, their geographic mobilities (see Menjívar 2006; Chauvin and Garcés-Mascreñas 2014). This literature especially attends to how various forms of legality, illegality, and racialization (also varied) impact upon the way people are read, and the hierarchization of life chances. One key focus here has been migrant peoples’ navigation of legal (and illegal) violence and the negotiation of racial regimes (see Menjívar and Abrego 2012; Ybarra 2018).

These frameworks for reading the politics of migrant and border crossing life give us an angle and language for understanding the politics of migration and border crossing activity. We ask in this session what do such terms as ‘acts’, ‘justice’, ‘resistance’ or ‘solidarity’ do in our research? What might be the limits of these categories? And what might be the political implications of deploying them? Our session therefore seeks to critically engage with these debates around the politics of migration, through empirically based geographical research.  We are particularly interested in work that:

-topically ranges anywhere from collective struggles of border crossing or migrating people to everyday practices of navigating state violence

-addresses strategies around and navigations of border enforcement, and the relationship of these strategies with what comes to be termed ‘resistance’

-addresses contexts within and beyond the Global North

-considers border crossers’ or migrants’ oppressions and obstacles alongside those of marginalized or racialized citizens

– problematizes an emphasis on migrants’ resistance and agency, or that challenges the romanticization of experiences that are precarious

– considers the weight of retaliation and risk in the actions and resistance of border crossers or migrants

– considers solidarity or allyship (including the limits of solidarity or allyship) on the part of citizens

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Leah Montange (leah.montange@mail.utoronto.ca) and Sarah M. Hughes (s.m.hughes@durham.ac.uk) by the 9thth February 2019.


May 27
May 31


The University of Winnipeg