Geographies of Slow Violence; CFP AAG 2017

Via Crit Geog Forum

Another great AAG  CFP

Call for papers (Boston AAG April 5-9 2017)

Geographies of Slow Violence

Convenors:  Rachel Pain (Durham University), Caitlin Cahill (Pratt Institute, New York)

‘A violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all’ (Nixon, 2).

Rob Nixon’s (2011) book Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor highlights the ‘attritional lethality’ of many contemporary effects of globalisation. While his focus is environmental destruction and associated human rights issues, he notes that the processes involved in this form of structural violence have wider reach. To understand and act on contemporary global crises, Nixon cautions against being led by the spectacle-hungry 21st century media (see also Pain 2014).  Rather, slow violence is marked by invisibility, long term malaise and harm that have just as great, if not greater, toll on humanity: “the long dyings – the staggered and staggeringly discounted casualties, both human and ecological – that result from war’s toxic aftermaths or climate change’ (Nixon, 2-3).

Beyond the effects of environmental catastrophe, geographers have found utility in the concept of slow violence in other areas of inquiry (e.g. Cahill et al 2016; De Leuuw 2016). It may be especially relevant to understanding how ‘ordinary’ and ongoing processes of colonial and racial capitalism take shape in concurrent structural/everyday violence, not as one-off spectacular events, but as continual, incremental discriminatory dispossessions of the state and capital at the intersections of gender, class, race and place.

This session aims to extend spatial accounts of slow violence, by bringing into dialogue analyses of the slow violences of global restructuring, neoliberalism and racial capitalism across sub-fields of our discipline. We welcome papers that further understandings of the geographies of slow violence. Papers might engage feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and other critical perspectives to slow violence as it connects to environmental justice, policing, state-sanctioned intimate and/or geopolitical violence, collective trauma, housing injustices, migration and displacement, labour struggles, financial crises including austerity, and other examples. We especially welcome papers that reveal and/or contribute to the multi-sited resistances that contest slow violence.


Please email abstracts to and by October 15th. Accepted submissions will be contacted by 20th October 2016 and will be expected to register, pay conference fees, and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by 27th October 2016.


Rachel Pain

Professor of Human Geography

Department of Geography

Lower Mountjoy

Durham University


+44 (0)191 3341876


Co-Director, Participatory Research Hub – register now for free events, training and networking with academic and community researchers:

Co-Director, Centre for Social Justice and Community Action

Director of Education, Geography Programmes

About Owain Jones

I work at Bath Spa University as a Professor of Environmental Humanities, and I am Director of the University's Environmental Humanities Research Centre
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