What has often been characterized as “post-socialist” political geographies exhibit characteristics that frequently challenge modern Eurocentric conceptions of spatial relations of power. Extracting particular post-socialist conditions from vanishing and emerging geographies has generated much work in the past three decades, including exploration of political futures and identity (Young & Light, 2001), informal territorial contestations and resource extraction (Swann-Quinn, 2019), symbolic landscapes of domination and aspiration (Tasch, forthcoming), and nationalist ambitions in urban planning (Diener & Hagen, 2013), all of which have escaped the silos of post-socialist area studies and Anglo-orientalizing. The aspiration to move beyond the “post-socialist” condition as descriptive of a specific location or a linear transition to capitalism opens up the potential for wider explorations that avoid the territorial trap and unreflective labeling (Müller 2019). Some scholars have found the “post-socialist” compatible with the postcolonial, yet others have rejected it as an overused and undertheorized concept (Chari & Verdery, 2009; Muller, 2019; Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008). The plurality of spatial manifestations that these “post-socialist” geographies have to offer and yet often fail to deliver to the Anglophone reader calls us to explore their specific global contributions in more detail.
Consequently, we ask whether we can think about political geographies through a critique of post-socialism, and if so, how alternative political geographies can inform theorizing beyond “post-socialist” geographic borders. These and other questions underlie our session, as we invite both case study-based investigations and theoretical inquiries across and beyond the following topics:
• National identities and political futures;
• Border disputes and remaking borders;
• Property relations and urban form;
• Land enclosure and spatialities;
• Political ecologies of resource extraction;
• Indigenous territories and reclaiming histories;
• Peasant agrarian practices;
• Colonizing infrastructures and the infrastructures of colonization.
|Introduction||Vera Smirnova Higher School of Economics||15||9:35 AM|
|Presenter||Alexandra Novitskaya*, Stony Brook University, De-territorialized infrastructures of post-socialist queer migration||15||9:50 AM|
|Presenter||Edward Holland*, University of Arkansas, IDP returns to Nagorno-Karabakh: A population geography||15||10:05 AM|
|Presenter||Evelina Gambino*, University College London, Reimagining post-socialist political geographies through a logistical gaze||15||10:20 AM|
|Presenter||Jeremy Tasch*, Towson University, Bridgework: Russia's Metaphorical, Emotive, and Material Pivot to Asia||15||10:35 AM|
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