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Towards New Feminist Political Ecologies of Urban Infrastructure & Urban Environments 3

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Feminist Geographies Specialty Group, Urban Geography Specialty Group
Organizers: Yaffa Truelove, Aparna Parikh, Rosalind Fredericks
Chairs: Rachael Mattson


Call for Papers
Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers
Denver, CO April 6-10, 2020

Aparna Parikh (Department of Geography, Dartmouth College)
Yaffa Truelove (Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder)
Rosalind Fredericks (Gallatin School, New York University)
Rachael Mattson (Gallatin School, New York University)

Call for Papers
In recent years, there have been significant advances in research situated at the cross-section of feminist political ecology, urban infrastructure and urban environments. Scholarship in feminist and urban political ecology, as well as other cognate literature, has shed light on the criticality of gender in understanding urban environmental change and its multifaceted impacts in cities across the Global North and South. This literature has illustrated the significance of gender to map embodied experiences (Hayes-Conroy and Hayes-Conroy 2013), subject formation (Doshi 2013), and the multi-scalar impact (Shillington 2013) of changing urban environments. In addition, recent interventions that bring a feminist political ecology perspective to urban infrastructure studies reveals the criticality of gendered bodies, discourses, and power relations in shaping infrastructural networks and their uneven consequences in cities (Truelove 2019; Doshi 2016). These insights have extended urban political ecological concerns to include the gendered infrastructures of urban resources (Fredericks 2018; Truelove 2019; Adams et al. 2018), revealed gendered body burdens and toxic exposures (Desai, McFarlane, & Graham, 2015), presented the potential of a feminist-posthuman intersectionality (Hovorka 2012), considered how affect and emotion emerge in relation to changing urban environments (Sultana 2011), and urged the consideration of gender along with other axes of difference (Mollett and Faria 2013). These intersections offer potential for nuanced analysis that bridge differing theoretical frameworks and offer heterodox approaches for solidarity (Heynen 2018) that we believe are crucial in addressing uneven urban development.

We invite papers that work through the intersections between feminist and urban political ecology and/or new work that utilizes feminist political ecology to gender urban infrastructure studies. Our aim is to foster discussions of emerging scholarship, theoretical interventions, and new directions and possibilities in the field that will open up dialogue for thinking through new feminist political ecologies of the urban. We invite papers that may address one or more of the following broad themes:

· Feminist approaches to social and material urban infrastructures, including the gendered dimensions of networks that shape flows of water, waste, energy, and information in cities

· Analyses of the ways gendered and intersectional subjectivities are produced and transgressed in relation to urban environmental transformations

· Feminist political ecology approaches to smart cities and their associated environmental transformations

· The gendered symbolism, discourses, meanings, temporalities, and power relations that produce situated urban political ecologies of the city

· The gendered dimensions of urban environmental and infrastructural governance and state visioning projects

· Analyses of gendered labor, geographies of social reproduction, body burdens, and gendered toxic exposures mobilized by urban infrastructures

· Embodied urban political ecologies of the city, including attention to the ways urban metabolism is connected to affect and emotion, performativity, and gendered political subjectivities

· The gendered dimensions of enchanted infrastructures, (Harvey & Knox, 2012; McEwan, 2008; Schwenkel, 2017), including the spiritual import and differentiated impact of occult forces animated through infrastructure and transformed urban ecologies

Abstracts should be sent to,,, by October 22nd, 2019. We will notify participants within one week.

Adams, E. A., Juran, L., & Ajibade, I. (2018). ‘Spaces of Exclusion’ in community water governance: A Feminist Political Ecology of gender and participation in Malawi’s Urban Water User Associations. Geoforum, 95, 133-142.

Desai, R., McFarlane, C., & Graham, S. (2015). The Politics of Open Defecation: Informality, Body, and Infrastructure in Mumbai. Antipode, 47(1), 98–120.
Doshi, Sapana. (2013). “Resettlement Ecologies: Environmental Subjectivity and Graduated Citizenship in Mumbai.” Ecologies of Urbanism in India: Metropolitan Civility and Sustainability, 225–48.

Doshi, S. (2017). Embodied urban political ecology: five propositions. Area, 49(1), 125-128.

Fredericks, R. (2018). Garbage citizenship: vital infrastructures of labor in Dakar, Senegal. Duke University Press.

Harvey, P., & Knox, H. (2012). The Enchantments of Infrastructure. Mobilities, 7(4), 521–536.
Hayes-Conroy, Jessica, and Allison Hayes-Conroy. (2013.) “Veggies and Visceralities: A Political Ecology of Food and Feeling.” Emotion, Space and Society 6: 81–90.

Heynen, Nik. 2018. “Urban Political Ecology III: The Feminist and Queer Century.” Progress in Human Geography 42 (3): 446–452.

Hovorka, Alice J. 2012. “Women/Chickens vs. Men/Cattle: Insights on Gender–Species Intersectionality.” Geoforum 43 (4): 875–884.

McEwan, C. (2008). A very modern ghost: postcolonialism and the politics of enchantment. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 26, 29-46.
Mollett, Sharlene, and Caroline Faria. 2013. “Messing with Gender in Feminist Political Ecology.” Geoforum 45: 116–125.

Schwenkel, C. (2017). Haunted Infrastructure: Religious Ruins and Urban Obstruction in Vietnam. City and Society, 29(3), 413–434.
Shillington, Laura J. (2013). “Right to Food, Right to the City: Household Urban Agriculture, and Socionatural Metabolism in Managua, Nicaragua.” Geoforum 44: 103–111.

Sultana, F. (2011). Suffering for water, suffering from water: emotional geographies of resource access, control and conflict. Geoforum, 42, 163-172.
Thompson, J. A., Gaskin, S. J., & Agbor, M. (2017). Embodied intersections: Gender, water and sanitation in Cameroon. Agenda, 31(1), 140-155.

Truelove, Y. (2019). Gray zones: The everyday practices and governance of water beyond the network. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 1-17.

Truelove, Y. (2019). Rethinking water insecurity, inequality and infrastructure through an embodied urban political ecology." Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 6, no. 3: e1342.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Yaffa Truelove*, University of Colorado, Gendered Socio-Technical Assemblages of Water and Liminal Infrastructural Space in Delhi’s Unauthorized Colonies 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Aparna Parikh*, Dartmouth College, Journeys with Fish: Fisherwomen’s Social Reproduction, Urban Life and World-Making in Mumbai 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Manisha Anantharaman*, Saint Mary's College of California, Included, but at what cost? Gendered labor in DIY infrastructures 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Sanjay Srivastava, Professor of Sociology, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, India, Shilpa Dahake*, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, Srilata Sircar, University College London, “Godavari is our mother”: Problematizing the River as a Gendered Site of Urban Politics 15 12:00 AM

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