The field of area studies (AS) as traditionally conceptualised, organised and taught at universities has long been subject to worldwide debates, especially since the end of the Cold War. Conventional approaches to AS have been criticised for ethnocentrism and methodological obsoletism, creating fixed geographical ‘areas’, and solidifying regimes of (Western) power and hegemony. Consequently, AS have been described as unsuitable for the study of the modern world, processes related to globalisation, and the increasing (im-)mobility of people, goods and ideas.
• conceptualisations for mapping the spatial complexity of social and non-human interactions in the Anthropocene, as highlighted by climate change or digitalisation,
»including the multidimensionality of space and flows (figurations, entanglements, frictions, assemblages, networks, scapes, etc.);
• methodological and theoretical intersections between AS, post-colonial studies, future studies, gender and women’s studies, queer studies, and other critical approaches; and
• positionality, power constellations and hegemonies of knowledge in AS research.
We invite scholars from AS and all other disciplines within the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, etc. to submit proposals for conference contributions. The conference will include panels, roundtables and smaller, more interactive discussion groups. Alternative forms of expression around the proposed topics are also welcome. Please send an abstract (max. 300 words) and a one-page CV to crossroads(at)uni-bonn.de by March 31, 2016. The conference is free for all participants; limited funds are available to sponsor the travel of selected presenters. If you wish to be considered for sponsorship, please let us know and briefly explain your case.