Situating the geoweb in/out racial capitalism

Authors: Isaac Javier Rivera*, University of Washington
Topics: Political Geography, Cyberinfrastructure, Economic Geography
Keywords: Digital Geographies, Racial Capitalism, Settler Colonial Studies, Social Movements
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Director's Row J, Sheraton, Plaza Building, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Digital geographies represent a rupture and recognition in how geographic knowledge production is produced “by, of, and through, the digital.” The digital as an object of study engages the “ontics, aesthetics, logics, and discourses” of digitally mediated knowledge politics. From its situatedness in economies and cultures, to platforms and algorithms, and epistemologies and genealogies of rationalization, digital geographies as a form, object, and method of study poses a challenge to the forms of knowledge politics that mediate social and political life. This paper contributes to these debates by proposing an alternative genealogy of the digital trace, the map, by situating the geoweb in racial capitalism. I will argue that situating the geoweb in racial capitalism enables an orientation of critique centered on denaturalizing and spatializing the colonial logics of political economy and its state sanctioned algorithms of dispossession. As such, the analytic of racial capitalism enables digital geographies to attend to the spatial matters of the Black Radical Tradition, Red Power, Latinx geographies, and “subjugated knowledges” more broadly. Moreover, by situating the geoweb within and outside the scientific enterprise of racial capitalism, longer histories of racialization, sexualization, and coloniality can be brought to attend the geoweb’s relationship with the production and regulation of space, bodies, territory, subjectivity, and geographic knowledge itself.

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