The Commons, Commoning and Co-becomings I: Commoning the Basics of Life

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Iris, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Organizers: Ursula Lang, Gustavo Garcia-Lopez, Neera Singh
Chairs: Neera Singh


The Commons, Commoning and Co-becomings: Enacting Postcapitalist Futures and Nurturing Life in Common; Session I: Commoning the Basics of Life

There has been an explosion of interest in the commons not just as a viable model for environmental governance, but also as nurturing grounds for postcapitalist politics. Scholars working on the commons in common-pool resources theory in the Ostrom tradition have traditionally focused on the commons as shared natural resources, highlighting “rules-in-use” and institutional arrangements. However, recent work in autonomous Marxist tradition focuses on the shared commonwealth of humanity and the role of the commons in nurturing postcapitalist subjectivities, alternate forms of production and provisioning, and ways of relating and valuing life in common (Caffentzis and Federici 2014, Linebaugh 2009, Bollier and Helfrich 2014).

Geographers have contributed and responded to growing scholarship and praxis on the commons, where the commons and commoning are seen as advancing other-than-capitalist community economies (Gibson-Graham, 2006); counter hegemonic common senses (Garcia Lopez et al 2017); challenging enclosure and accumulation by dispossession (Jeffrey et al 2012, Hodkinson 2012, Paudel 2016,); as nurturing grounds for collective subjectivity (Singh, 2017); and as creation of new urban commons and hybrid forms of governance (Chatterton 2010, Baviskar and Gidwani 2011, Eizenberg 2012, Lang 2014, Turner 2016). We are especially drawn to scholarship that views the commons and commoning as practices for fostering postcapitalist subjectivity and life in common.

In this session, we invite empirical and conceptual papers that examine the role of the commons in fostering other-than-capitalist ways of being and relating to the more-than-human world – of nurturing subjectivities of ‘being-in-common’ with the rest of the world. We seek to connect lived practices with emerging academic attention on affective and relational ecologies of living and being in common.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Ursula Lang Rhode Island School of Design 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Eleanor Stephenson*, McGill University, Valuing country food: Commons, social economy, and food security in Arctic Canada 20 1:40 PM
Presenter Siri Kjellberg*, Lund University, Community land trusts as commoning: Resisting housing land grabs through post-capitalist strategies 20 2:00 PM
Presenter Heidi Hausermann*, Rutgers University, Buruli ulcer and constellations of care in rural Ghana 20 2:20 PM
Discussant Katharine Rankin University of Toronto 20 2:40 PM

To access contact information login