CFP: Mapping Urban In/justice

From Dillon Mahmoudi:

CFP AAG 2018: Mapping Urban In/justice
New Orleans, LA / April 10-14, 2018

Organizers: Taylor Shelton (Mississippi State University) and Dillon Mahmoudi (University of Maryland Baltimore County)

How can mapping reveal previously unseen urban injustices or misunderstood phenomenon?

In 1973, David Harvey remarked that “mapping even more evidence of man’s patent inhumanity to man is counter-revolutionary in the sense that it allows the bleeding-heart liberal in us to pretend we are contributing to a solution when in fact we are not.” But rather than simply documenting these inhumanities, examples abound of mapping and data being used to actively challenge entrenched forms of inequality and the processes that produce them. Building on the power imbued in maps and data by powerful institutions, mapping is increasingly leveraged as a key means of drawing attention to, and developing new understandings of, urban inequality. While there is a persistent challenge in ensuring that cartographic visualization and quantitative data analysis do more than just “expiate guilt without our ever being forced to face the fundamental issues,” these tools and methods have just as much potential to advance a substantive, radical critique of the status quo as any other approach.

This session seeks papers that demonstrate the utility of not only thinking critically about the intersections of mapping and urban inequality, but actually doing mapping and data analysis in order to reveal and better understand the variety of social and spatial forms these injustices take in contemporary cities. While the utility of maps and data to bring attention to urban injustices is powerful in its own right, these kinds of representations can not only help to prove that such injustices exist, but also allow us to develop new ways of conceptualizing and addressing them.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
  • Use of novel datasets or visualization techniques to understand urban injustices
  • Inequalities in housing, transportation, infrastructure, etc.
  • Counter-mapping as an activist strategy
  • Participatory and community-based mapping
  • Mixed-methods mapping (e.g., mental and cognitive mapping, qualitative GIS)
  • Mapping that redraws boundaries
  • Power and il/legibility in mapping

Interested participants should send abstracts of 250 words or less to Taylor Shelton ( and Dillon Mahmoudi ( by October 11.

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