Racial Capitalism: A Methodological Discussion 3

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group, Urban Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Embassy Room, Omni, East
Organizers: Benjamin Teresa, Caroline Ponder, Kelsey Johnson
Chairs: Malini Ranganathan


Against the historical backdrop of geography as a “white discipline” (Pulido 2002, Derickson 2016), geographers have recently engaged in theory-building and research agendas focused on racial capitalism, or the notion that capitalism depends upon the social construction of race to produce and extract value. Among other areas, geographers have examined political ecologies of racial capitalism (Heynen 2016, Ranganathan 2016), racial capitalism and social reproduction (Bhattacharya 2018), and financialization (Bonds 2018). Notably, junior scholars in particular have circulated increasing numbers of racial capitalism reading lists and created syllabi centered on Melamed’s assertion that “capitalism is racial capitalism” (2015: 77). Yet there are also those who claim that the concept remains undertheorized and less than ubiquitous.

The panel is intended to bring together scholars working in literatures across economic, urban, labor, queer, Black, Indigenous and/or feminist geographies, and we are particularly interested in papers that engage with questions of method in the context of racial capitalism and that make epistemological connections between knowledge production and positionality. Other contributions might focus on the operationalization of racial capitalism itself: how is racialized value made? (Pulido 2017), and how can geographical theory illuminate the historical and contemporary socio-spatial processes through which racial difference is made to matter in the production of value?


Type Details Minutes
Panelist John Paul Catungal University of British Columbia 20
Panelist Kate Derickson University of Minnesota 20
Discussant Akira Rodriguez PennDesign 20
Discussant Jovan Lewis University of California - Berkeley 20

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