Seminar: Protest Camps

Protest Camps and Beyond: Temporality, Informality, Memory and Care

Camps offer an increasingly visible form of housing and shelter in the contemporary world. Notionally temporary, camps seem to form a permanent social reality reflecting an increasingly permanent state of crisis of social reproduction globally. We witness, on the one hand, state and supra-state agencies employing camps as attempts to manage flows of migration and refuge, or in responses to natural disasters. On the other hand, camps emerge more autonomously, in defiance of the control associated with the managerial provision of care, and in response to the limits of state and supra-state care provision. Finally camps have become an ever more present social movement tactic, often explicitly addressing concerns of social reproduction.

Following Hailey’s (2009) typology camps can be cast as expressions of necessity, control and autonomy. In the context of the contemporary proliferation of camp architectures, it seems evidence that those three types of camps increasingly overlap. Protest camps, cast as autonomous expressions of political questionings of the status quo (Feigenbaum, Frenzel, & McCurdy, 2013) express concerns about a crisis of social reproduction. In recent years new protest camps have often focused on issues such as housing, but also addressed specifically the threats to life emerging from the continuous exploitation of natural resources. Protest camps form a site of contestation, but they also provide places in which sustainable and resilient alternatives are experimented with, created, and practiced. A key feature uniting many protest camps and other place-based protests is the politicisation of care. To the extent that camps produce forms of shelter and care, they also have to grapple with the challenges and contradictions of autonomous care provision.

In this one day seminar we want to approach the theme from three thematic angles:

1) Informality and Temporality

2) Memory-Visibility

3) Care as resilience and resistance

We will have inputs and provocations followed by discussions on each of the themes, attempting to avoid the classical academic formats in order to achieve some productive movements and explore options for collaboration. We finish the day with a book launch and celebration of the recently published Protest Camps In International Context edited by Gavin Brown, Anna Feigenbaum, Fabian Frenzel and Patrick McCurdy.


10:00 Gathering (Refreshments available)

10:30 Informality and Temporality

12:00 Lunch

13:30 Memory and Visibility

15:00 Coffee

15:30 Care as Resilience and Resistance

17:00 Book Launch Celebration for Protest Camps in International Context

The seminar is free to attend but places are limited. Please register here.

Some travel busaries are available to participants. To apply pleased send an email to Fabian Frenzel ,Anna Feigenbaum or Gavin Brown explaining your interest in the seminar and possible contributions on the day. This could be, for example, a provocation (5 mins) based on research project or and proposal for a collaborative project.


Feigenbaum, A., Frenzel, F., & McCurdy, P. (2013). Protest Camps. London: Zed Books.

Hailey, C. (2009). Camps : a guide to 21st-century space. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press.


Focaal Special Issue: Non-Recording States

Berghahn Journals is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology has been published.

In a special section titled “nonrecording states,”contributors explore why and when states knowingly refrain from recording people and their activities. This issue also features a general articles section and concludes with a forum and review article.

Please visit the Berghahn website for more information about the journal:

THEME SECTION: Nonrecording states
Guest Editors: Barak Kalir and Willem van Schendel

Nonrecording states between legibility and looking away
Barak Kalir and Willem van Schendel

The sanctioning state: Official permissiveness and prohibition in India
Ajay Gandhi

Non- and dedocumenting citizens in Romania: Nonrecording as a civil boundary
Ioana Vrăbiescu

Nonrecording the “European refugee crisis” in Greece: Navigating through irregular bureaucracy
Katerina Rozakou

“China gives and China takes”: African traders and the nondocumenting states
Shanshan Lan

State desertion and “out-of-procedure” asylum seekers in the Netherlands
Barak Kalir

Interiority and government of the child: Transparency, risk, and good governance in Indonesia
Jan Newberry

Neutrality in foreign aid: Shifting contexts, shifting meanings-examples from South Sudan
Elzbieta Drązkiewicz

Anthropology at the dawn of apartheid: Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski’s South African engagements, 1919-1934 Isak Niehaus
Isak Niehaus

Review Article
Race, space, secularism, and the writing of history
Ashley Lebner

Recommend Focaal to your library
A form for this purpose is provided on the Focaal website:

Free Sample Issue


Spatial Justice and Indigenous Rights

Just out: the latest issue of Justice Spatiale/Spatial Justice, guest edited by Béatrice Collignon and Irène Hirt, on Spatial Justice and Indigenous People.

It is freely accessible (and fully bilingual) here:


Philippe GERVAIS-LAMBONY | Frédéric DUFAUX | Aurélie QUENTIN

1. Claiming Space to Claim for Justice: the Indigenous Peoples‘ Geographical Agenda
Béatrice Collignon | Irène Hirt

2. Urban Protected Areas: Forces of justice or injustice for Indigenous popula-tions? The cases of Xochimilco and the national parks of Mumbai and Cape Town
Frédéric Landy | Nadia Belaidi | Karl-Heinz Gaudry Sada

3. Right to and on the City. The case of the American Indians of the San Francisco Bay Area
Benjamin Leclère

4. Spatial Justice and Indigenous Peoples’ Protection of Sacred Places: Adding Indigenous Dimensions to the Conversation
June Lorenzo

5. Land and indigenous territories in the Bolivian Amazon: full but imperfect spatial justice?
Laetitia Perrier Bruslé

6. Towards integrating Indigenous culture in urban form
Kara Puketapu-Dentice | Sean Connelly | Michelle Thompson-Fawcett

7. The indefensible in-betweenness or the spatio-legal arbitrariness of the Métis fact in Quebec
Etienne Rivard

1. From the Innu of Quebec to the United Nations, via the Yanomami of Brazil: an eventful journey of collaboration
Pierrette Birraux

2. The Right to the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation’s Territory
Irène Hirt | Caroline Desbiens

3. Indigenous Peoples and Spatial Justice. An Interview with Renee LOUIS PUALANI.
Beatrice Collignon | Irene Hirt

More on Creative Democracy

I recently tweeted a link to my article that is just out in Urban Geography. That piece is a commentary on Bob Lake’s plenary paper on Dewey and creative democracy at the AAG in San Francisco last year, and it is in a special issue/section of UG that also includes Bob’s paper on Dewey, Katherine Hankins’ excellent commentary on Bob’s paper, and then Bob’s response to the commentaries.

Free Download: Digital Rights to the City

Published Today: Our Digital Rights to the City

Free to download (pdf, epub, mobi):


‘Our Digital Rights to the City’ is a small collection of articles about digital technology, data and the city. It covers a range of topics relating to the political and economic power of technologies that are now almost inescapable within the urban environment. This includes discussions surrounding security, mapping, real estate, smartphone applications and the broader idea of a ‘right to the city’ in a post-digital world.

The collection is edited by Joe Shaw and Mark Graham and its contributing authors are Jathan Sadowski, Valentina Carraro, Bart Wissink, Desiree Fields, Kurt Iveson, Taylor Shelton, Sophia Drakopoulou and Mark Purcell.

Please follow us @meatspacepress

Join our mailing list at

‘Our Digital Rights to the City’ also available free at:

* Free to download (epub, most e-readers): epub

* Free to download (pdf): pdf

* Free to download (mobi, for Kindle): mobi

* Free to read (pdf): Here

Nietzsche +1

Gay Science, 321:

New caution.–Let us stop thinking so much about punishing, reproaching, and improving others! We rarely change an individual, and if we should succeed for once, something may also have been accomplished, unnoticed: we may have been changed by him. Let us rather see to it that our own influence on all that is yet to come balances and outweighs his influence. Let us not contend in a direct fight — and that is what all reproaching, punishing, and attempts to improve others amount to. Let us rather raise ourselves that much higher. Let us color our own example ever more brilliantly. Let our brilliance make them look dark. No, let us not become darker ourselves on their account, like all those who punish others and feel dissatisfied. Let us sooner step aside. Let us look away.

Nietzsche: become a Yes-sayer

I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

–Nietzsche, Gay Science, 276.

As someone who has spent some time accusing those who accuse, and feeling funny about the irony, I am glad to have this reminder. In the chapter linked above, I complain that:

As theorists of neoliberalism, we can only sing in the key of critique. We meticulously record and discuss its crimes and contradictions. When we imagine the world we want instead, we can only speak in terms of not-neoliberalism, of canceling out the current political-economic regime. When we act, we can only act in the register of protest, resistance, contestation, and refusal—of struggle against neoliberalism. We turn our faces and our bodies toward neoliberalism, it occupies the entirety of our vision and our imagination, we bathe in its dark light, and we can think only of blocking it, disrupting it, and, one day, in our fondest dreams, causing it to collapse.

I think that’s all true, and I do think we need to stop singing in the key of critique. But at the same time, in that passage I am complaining, accusing those who accuse. What would it mean to stop complaining altogether, to start “looking away,” to learn to focus on and say “Yes” to what we desire? How can we become, some day, “only a Yes-sayer”?

Pragmatism Conference, Queen Mary

Queen Mary, University of London is pleased to be hosting an international conference on Human Geography and the Pragmatic Tradition: May 23 and 24 2017

This international conference examines the potential for philosophical pragmatism to augment scholarship in the discipline of human geography. It is some time since geographers created the space needed to foster collective reflection about the potential contribution of this tradition of thought for the discipline. Previous efforts to do this have generated a strong legacy for renewing debate (see, e.g., the special issue of Geoforum, edited by Smith and Wood, 2008). We seek to move this conversation forward through an incisive engagement with pragmatist understandings and their application in the discipline of human geography today. The first day will end with a public lecture, given by QMUL’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Professor Robert Lake (Rutgers University, USA) on the theme of Hope for democracy: Pragmatism Between Populism and Expertise.

The preliminary schedule is copied below as I can’t attach it. Spaces are limited and need to be booked via Eventbrite here:

Any queries, please get in touch. Many thanks.



23-24 May 2017 at Queen Mary University of London, Graduate Centre Room 601

TUESDAY 23rd MAY 2017

9:00 – 9:30 Welcome and Introductions

9:30 – 11:00 Session 1. Pragmatist Ontologies

Gary Bridge, Geography & Planning, Cardiff University, UK

“Situating spatial transitions: Dewey and the uncertainties of life”

Ihnjinette Jon, Urban Planning & Design, University of Washington, US

“Seeking for a ‘moment,’ not the truth: Pragmatism and contemporary planning theory”

Meg Holden, Urban Studies & Geography, Simon Fraser University, CA

“Why the cash value of contemporary pragmatism for geography depends on more than its materialism”

11:00 – 11:10 Coffee

11:10 – 12:40 Session 2. Pragmatist Processes

Owain Jones, Bath Spa University, UK

“Pragmatism and local methods for creative (geographical) inquiry”

Klaus Geiselhart, Institut for Geographie, Friedrich-Alexander Universitat, Germany

“Social criticism? Sure, but how? Opposition and mediation as socio-political attitudes”

Trevor Barnes, Geography, University of British Columbia, CA

“What geographers talk about when they talk about talk”

12:40 – 1:30 Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 Session 3. Pragmatism and Feminism/Rights

Susan Saegert, Geography & Environmental Psychology, CUNY, US

“Embodied inequalities: Can we go beyond the geographies and epistemologies of ignorance?”

Nichola Wood, Geography, University of Leeds, UK

“Pragmatism and feminism: The women of Hull House”

Joe Hoover, Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, UK

“Performative rights and situationist ethics”

3:00 – 3:10 Tea

3:10 – 5:10 Session 4. Pragmatism and Democracy

Malcolm Cutchin, Health Care Sciences, Wayne State University, US

“Habits of social inquiry and reconstruction: A Deweyan vision of democracy, imagination, and human geography”

Jane Wills and Liam Harney, Geography, Queen Mary University of London, UK

“Pragmatism, place, publics, and people”

Laura Cesafsky, Geography, Environment & Society, University of Minnesota, US

“Of footholds and stages: Democratic subjectification in Dewey and Ranciere”

Crispian Fuller, Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, UK

“Mead, urban political theory and the political subject”

6:00 – 8:00 Public Lecture

Robert Lake, Geography and Urban Planning, Rutgers University, US

“Hope for Democracy: Pragmatism between populism and expertise”


9:30 – 11:00 Session 5. Pragmatism and Political Economy

Jamie Gough, Urban Studies & Planning, University of Sheffield, UK

“Political economy and pragmatism: Brexit, xenophobia, and left strategy”

Alireza Farahani, Geography, Clark University, US

“Exploring possibilities for a new encounter in the grounds of development”

Patrick Heidkamp, Southern Connecticut State University, US

“Toward a critical pragmatist approach to an (environmental) economic geography”

11:00 – 11:10 Coffee

11:10 – 12:40 Session 6. Pragmatism, Geography, and Justice

Daniel Esser, School of International Service, American University, US

“Disembedding Dewey: Pragmatism beyond modernity?

Alice Huff, Geography, UCLA, US

“Conflict and moral inquiry: Negotiating difference in New Orleans neighborhood schooling struggles”

Richard Nunes, Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading, UK

“Pragmatism and justice: From critical pragmatism to transformative pragmatism”

12:40 – 2:00 Lunch, Conference Review and Discussion of Next Steps