RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2020


The politics of terminology within resistance geographies: Revisiting Cindi Katz’ distinctions between resistance, resilience and reworking

Research Group Affiliation(s)
Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group
Cindi Katz’ (2004) distinctions between resistance, reworking or resilience have had significant traction and influence upon thinking within geographies of resistance. For Katz, resistance is that which draws upon an ‘oppositional consciousness’ and brings about ‘emancipatory change’, often through forms of explicit opposition (Katz 2004, 251). Reworking are those actions that ‘alter the conditions of people’s existence’ by calling for more equitable relations and resource distributions within existing relations and systems of power (Katz 2004, 247). Reworking, then, alters ‘the organization but not the polarization of power relations’ (qtd. in Sparke 2008: 424). Resilience refers to the endurance, persistence and agency of individuals to take actions (albeit non-transformative) in order to withstand situations of domination or marginalisation—or what Katz calls their ‘increasingly mean-spirited circumstances’ (Katz 2004, 244).
In this session we seek to revisit and (re)consider the conceptual boundaries between these commonly used (and sometimes even conflated) terms within geographical approaches to the study of ‘entanglements of power’ (Sharp, Routledge, Philo and Paddison 2000), dissent, social movements and/or ‘everyday’ or quiet(er) forms of resistance. What is the political and/or analytical purchase of the distinctions between these terms in contemporary geographical scholarship?

We invite the submission of conceptually and empirically grounded papers that engage with and interrogate the intersections between various geographies of dissent, resistance, mobilisation. These might include:
• Identifying the borders between resistance, resilience and/or reworking in ‘the field’ (Katz 2004), including the translation of these categories into practice and/or the limits and opportunities provided by the distinctions between these terms
• Considerations of collective action when organised protest by marginalised communities is unlawful, dangerous, stigmatised/dismissed (Elliott-Cooper 2019) or socio-economically prohibitive
• Diverse venues (the workplace, the home, the street, agrarian-based) and forms of struggle, including those forms of ‘everyday’ resistance (Scott 1985) that may be ‘hidden’ (Scott 1990), indirect (Bayat 2010), ‘slow’ (Murrey 2016), ‘emergent’ (Hughes 2019) or based on escape or non-compliance rather than more overt or organised forms of struggle

Papers from early career academics are particularly welcomed.
Instructions for Authors
Please send abstracts of no more that 250 words to Amber Murrey (amber.murrey-ndewa@ouce.ox.ac.uk) and Sarah Hughes (sarah.m.hughes@northumbria.ac.uk) by 7 February 2020.
Call For Papers Deadline
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