CFP: Rethinking the Commons (and perhaps also gentrification)

Call for Papers: RGS-IBG 30th August to 2nd September 2016, London

Rethinking the commons beyond and against gentrification

Convenors: Alessandro Froldi (Loughborough University), Penny Travlou (University of Edinburgh), Angela McClanahan (Edinburgh College of Art)

The panel seeks to address the categories of gentrification and commoning as two different, but not necessarily opposite attitudes toward the reconfiguration of neoliberal power in Europe and beyond. In doing so, we seek to discuss how post-capitalist imagination is seen to emerge from practices of self-organisation, DIY resistance or community based groups and collectives. We are interested in approaches engaging anti-austerity movements as agents of new political imagination, but which remain aware of the risks of co-option and de-politicisation promoted by neoliberal institutions and organisations on the ground, often associated with the phenomena of gentrification and neoliberal economies. The panel aims to discuss papers bringing together a geographical focus based on, but not limited to, the socio-historical configuration of power within the context of European urban peripheries as well as the peripheries of Europe. With this we include both the margins of European cities as well as the margins of Europe itself, aiming to promote forms of comparative connections between North and South, East and West. We are particularly interested in how, in different European contexts, institutional politics and social movements redefined the struggle against neoliberal austerity politics.

We accept papers on (but not limited to):
– Responses to the austerity crisis in the peripheries of both Southern and Northern Europe
– Analysis of processes of gentrification in European cities
– Studies of processes of marginalisation in the European peripheries
– Limits and challenges of activists scholarship with urban social movements
– Ethnographies of neoliberal planning and architecture
– Case studies addressing spatialized practices of post-capitalism
– Practices of urban commoning with a focus on sharing, collaborative and solidarity networks in the European city.

We welcome presentations of any style, including both traditional and innovative methods, particularly those that embrace and embody a visual approach. We particularly welcome proposals adopting interdisciplinary approaches, as well as contributions from activists, architects, photographers and ethnographers. Papers/presentations should be 20 minutes (15 minutes each, followed by 5 mins for questions).

Deadline for submitting abstracts is Wednesday 10th February 2016

Please send abstracts up to a maximum of 250 words and proposed titles (clearly stating name, institution, and contact details) to Alessandro Froldi (, Penny Travlou ( and Angela McClanahan (

Dates: 30 August – 2 September 2016: Location: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Imperial College London

Further details about the conference at:


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