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CFP: Liveable Lives, RGS-IBG Annual Conference, University of Exeter, 2nd-4th September 2015.

liveable lives

Call for Papers: Liveable Lives

RGS-IBG Annual Conference, University of Exeter, 2nd-4th September 2015

Session Convenors: Kath Browne (, University of Brighton; Niharika Banerjea (, University of Southern Indiana and Nick McGlynn (, University of Brighton.

This session will explore what makes lives liveable in the broadest sense. Whilst livability/liveability has been discussed in philosophy and particularly the work of Judith Butler, it has yet to be fully engaged with in geographies. Addressing this concept may help to further our understandings of, and engagements with, social justice, social exclusions/inclusions and equalities.

This session will not start by defining liveability, leaving each paper to grapple with and develop this concept. However,  papers may wish to consider Butler’s conception of liveability in terms of how we normatively construct the idea of who is a human and who is not; what lives are rendered liveable or unliveable; or what lives are rendered intelligible or unintelligible. Critiquing how normative liveabilities and intelligibilities are created could therefore be one point of departure for papers in this session.

Reconsidering liveability may on the other hand offer different, more utopian, explorations.   In Butler’s terms liveable lives are lives that are more than bearable, more than survival.  A liveable life is a life that is “possible”, with possibility understood in terms of a hope for equitable distribution, of different ways of being human. Relational aspects of liveability seem key to these utopian conceptualisations, making geographers well placed to explore such possibilities.

Papers are invited to address any questions that explore the concepts of liveability.  These may include but not limited to:

  • In what ways are normatively defined liveabilities manifest in everyday spaces?
  • What makes place liveable or unliveable?
  • How can liveability be conceived differently in different space-times, as well as between different people?
  • How are, and might, marginalized groups shape the idea of liveability?
  • How might we think about liveability beyond juridico-political reform?
  • How is livability being shaped within and by different institutional contexts?
  • What might queer/feminist and other claims to liveability be?
  • What might utopian visions of liveability entail?
  • How does liveability pertain to questions of intersectionalities and/or assemblages?
  • What are the possibilities and limitations of liveability as a concept, as a utopian dream, as a political project?

If you would like to submit a paper please send a short abstract (200 words) to the session organisers by FRIDAY 6th FEBRUARY 2015.

Fuente: Paulo Jorge Vieira.

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