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Federico Ferretti

Professore ordinario

Dipartimento di Scienze Dell'Educazione "Giovanni Maria Bertin"

Settore scientifico disciplinare: M-GGR/01 GEOGRAFIA

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Call for papers: Other critical geographies - Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers, Annual International Conference 2023, London, 30th August – 1st September Convenors: Federico Ferretti and Archie Davies

In the last few years, a growing interest in the histories and spatialities of critical and radical geographies has been shown by historians of geography and other scholars. While former efforts to rediscover ‘noble ancestors’ for radicals in the discipline have mostly addressed early anarchist geographers such as Reclus and Kropotkin (Springer 2016), recent contributions increasingly focus on histories of critical and radical geographies of the second half of the twentieth century (Barnes and Sheppard 2019), including geographies of decolonisation (Clayton 2020). Several scholars are also stressing the need to enlarge the focus to include geographies produced outside the Anglo-American and ‘Northern’ ‘cores’ of the discipline, and to extend and explode disciplinary boundaries. This means dealing with people, places, cultures and languages in the production of geography’s knowledges and practices that have been variously excluded or marginalised for reasons such as gender, race, class, politics, positionality and ‘fit’ with canons and paradigms that periodically dominate academic geography (Berg et al. 2021; Craggs and Neate 2020; Jöns, Monk and Keighren 2017; Melgaço 2017). Recently, ideas on diversifying archives, languages and methodologies (Hodder, Heffernan and Legg 2021) have favoured the rediscovery of more or less ‘eminent’ figures of geographers from ‘peripheral’ locations such as Latin America (Davies 2023; Ferretti 2019), and the translation into English of key contributions such as Milton Santos’ books (Santos 2017, 2021a and 2021b).

While these commendable efforts are progressively showing that there is much more variety in ‘subversive’ or ‘subaltern’ geographical traditions than was commonly believed, much work remains to do toward the inclusion and rediscovery of more and diverse stories and histories in and around our discipline.

Firmly believing that this work is a relevant task for decolonising geography, theory and praxis, we call for further rediscoveries of ‘other’ (radical, critical, feminist, queer, anticolonial, decolonial, anarchist, Marxist, anti-racist, antifascist and more …) geographical traditions coming from politically, epistemologically or geographically overlooked places.

We are especially (although not exclusively) interested in putting an emphasis on individuals rather than categories or ‘schools’, and on dissidences and exceptions rather than norms, paradigms and canons.

We invite contributions especially focusing on (but not limited to):

  • Critical/radical geographies from outside the Anglosphere
  • Critical/radical geographies from outside the ‘Global North(s)’
  • Feminist historiographies of geography and geographical ideas
  • Critical/radical geographies from non-academic, non-canonized or academically/politically marginalized authors
  • Histories of critical/radical geographical thinking from beyond Geography and outside universities
  • Undisciplined critical/radical geographies: critical approaches to spaces and places across and outside disciplinary boundaries and established periodizations
  • Diversifying archives and sources for decolonizing geographical histories
  • Issues with monolingualisms and cultural imperialisms – far from limited to the ‘Anglo’ ones
  • Issues with multilingualism and translation
  • Plural and contested definitions of what is ‘radical’ or ‘critical’
  • Critiques and reflections on geographical disciplinarity
  • What if the radical/critical/alternative becomes mainstream?

Format: one or two presentations slot(s), in-person

Please send your title and abstract (maximum 200 words) to [] and [] by 6th March 2023.


Barnes T. and E Sheppard (eds) (2019) Spatial histories of radical geography. Oxford: Wiley.

Berg L, Best U, Gilmartin M and Larsen HG (eds.) (2021) Placing critical geographies: Historical geographies of critical geography. London: Routledge.

Clayton D (2020) The passing of ‘Geography’s Empire’ and question of geography in decolonization, 1945–1980. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 110: 1540-1558

Craggs R and Neate H (2020) What happens if we start from Nigeria? Diversifying histories of geography Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 110: 899-916. 1540-1558

Davies A (2023) A world without hunger, Josué de Castro and the history of geography. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Ferretti F (2019) Rediscovering other geographical traditions. Geography Compass 13(3):e12421. doi: 10.1111/gec3.12421.

Hodder J, Heffernan M and Legg S (2021) The archival geographies of twentieth-century internationalism: nation, empire and race. Journal of Historical Geography, 71, 1–11.

Jöns H, Monk J, Keighren IM (2017) Introduction: toward more inclusive and comparative perspectives in the histories of geographical knowledge. The Professional Geographer 69(4):655-660.

Melgaço L (2017) Thinking outside the bubble of the Global North: introducing Milton Santos and “the active role of geography”. Antipode 49(4):946–951.

Santos M (2017) Towards another globalization. Cham: Springer.

Santos M (2021a) The nature of space. Durham: Duke University Press

Santos M (2022b) For a new geography. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press

Springer S (2016) The anarchist roots of geography: toward spatial emancipation. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

Best wishes

Archie & Federico