“Queer/trans ecologies: methodological considerations for critical geographical research”
Panel Session, AAG 2023, Denver
Conveners: Sage Brice (Durham University), Cleo Wölfle Hazard (University of Washington),
Austin Read (University of Bristol)
Keywords: Politics of Nature, Queer theory, Trans studies, Post-humanism
We welcome expressions of interest for a panel on Queer/Trans Ecologies at the AAG 2023 in
“Trans-corporeality refers to the idea that our bodies are porous and perennially intermeshed with
the nonhuman, meaning that we are never ‘separate’ from the environment in which we live and are always more-than-human” (Parker, 2020)
This panel will examine geographical applications and implications of new critical and
methodological approaches emerging under the broad umbrella of queer/trans ecologies.
Queer ecology has been described as “a loose, interdisciplinary constellation of practices that aim, in
different ways, to disrupt prevailing heterosexist discursive and institutional articulations of sexuality
and nature, and also to reimagine evolutionary processes, ecological interactions, and
environmental politics in light of queer theory” (Sandilands, 2016).
In recent years, queer and trans scholarship has not confined itself to LGBT+ subjects and
communities as a ‘proper object’ of study (Beauchamp, 2019), but seeks instead to think critically
about what queer and trans sensibilities and perspectives – along with a study of the social
mechanisms that regulate and produce sex, gender, and sexuality – can teach us about broader
societal questions regarding the nature of subjectivity and subject-formation. Queer/Trans ecologies
are thus not limited to the study of queer and/or trans bodies in green spaces (e.g. Gandy 2012;
Ensor 2017), but constitute a broader call to examine the construction of certain bodies,
orientations, and identities as ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’, and the construction of ‘nature’ along the
lines of normative hetero-reproductive logics and values (Byrd, 2020). Increasingly, too, critical
biological and environmental scientists are engaging with queer approaches to address questions of
cross-boundary and other-than-human kinship and interdependence and to disrupt settler-colonial
practices in environmental governance by centering values of justice, sovereignty, and dynamism
(Liboiron 2021, Hazard 2022). Importantly, this impetus emerges out of a desire to build
relationships across movements for social and ecological justice, including indigenous, racialised,
disabled, and abolitionist ecologies (Heynen, 2018; Clare, 2017). Queer/trans ecologies are therefore
focused on grounded considerations of method, fieldwork, and empirics.
In their dissolution of taxonomic and normative boundaries, queer/trans ecologies provoke us to
think the social as operating and moving through and across seemingly bounded bodies, identities,
and categories. Recognising this permeability of individual lives requires what Braidotti (2019) has
called an “enlarged, distributed, and transversal concept of what a subject is and of how it deploys
its relational capacities.” This panel will bring together scholars working in a queer/trans ecological
mode in a facilitated conversation, with an aim to compiling a themed special issue to assist in
developing and refining just such a transversal geographical sensibility.
To be considered for this panel please send a short statement of interest (250 words) outlining
relevant research projects and areas of interest. Expressions of interest are also invited from those
who wish to contribute in a facilitative role, for example as introducer or discussant. These and any
questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 25 October 2022.
Topics and themes may include, but are not limited to:
• Queer and trans ecologies as method in sciences, social science and humanities
• On-the-ground engagements with land/Land and species
• Abolition ecologies
• Black, Indigenous and PoC perspectives on gender and nature/culture
• Posthumanist theories of subjectivity and subject-formation
• Queer/trans ecological temporalities and landscape as archive
• Trans-gressions, trans-formations and trans-corporealities
• Critical ontologies and epistemologies of ‘nature’
• Queer/trans interventions in Western environmental and life sciences
• Kinship, reciprocity, consent, and collective action
• More-than-human intimacies
• Normativity in ecological politics
• Queer / trans strategies for imagining and cultivating freedom in the face of climate
and environmental crises
Beauchamp, T. (2019) Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices, Durham
NC, Duke University Press Books.
Braidotti, R. (2019) Posthuman Knowledge, Medford, MA, Polity Press.
Byrd, J. (2020) “What’s Normative Got to Do with It?Toward Indigenous Queer Relationality.” Social
Text 38, no. 4 (145): 105–23. https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-8680466.
Clare, E. (2017) Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure, Durham, Duke University Press Books.
Ensor, S. (2017) “Queer Fallout: Samuel R. Delany and the Ecology of Cruising.” Environmental
Humanities 9(1): 149–66. https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-3829172.
Gandy, Matthew. “Queer Ecology: Nature, Sexuality, and Heterotopic Alliances.” Environment and
Planning D: Society and Space 30, no. 4 (2012): 727–47. https://doi.org/10.1068/d10511.
Hazard, C. W. (2022) Underflows: Queer Trans Ecologies and River Justice, Seattle, University of
Heynen, N. (2018) ‘Toward an Abolition Ecology’, Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics, no. 1, pp.
Liboiron, M. (2021) Pollution is Colonialism, Durham and London, Duke University Press.
Parker, E. (2020) ‘The bog is in me’, in Vakoch, D. A. (ed), Transecology: Transgender Perspectives on
Environment and Nature, Routledge, pp. 17–30.
Sandilands, C. (2016) ‘Queer Ecology’, in Adamson, J., Gleason, W. A., and Pellow, D. N. (eds),
Keywords for Environmental Studies, New York University Press, pp. 169–71.
“Drawing as Critical Geographical Method”
Panel Session, AAG 2023, Denver
Keywords: Observational drawing, Creative methods, Qualitative research, Graphic geographies, Trans-disciplinary methods
Convenors: Chan Arun-Pina, Sage Brice, Karen Paiva Henrique and Aparna Parikh
““Drawing is the opening of form. This can be thought in two ways: opening in the sense of a beginning, departure, origin, dispatch, impetus, or sketching out, and opening in the sense of an availability or inherent capacity. According to the first sense, drawing evokes more the gesture of drawing than the traced figure. According to the second, it indicates the figure’s essential incompleteness, a non-closure or non-totalizing of form” (Nancy, 2013)
We welcome expressions of interest for a panel on Drawing as Geographical Method at the AAG 2023 in Denver. Building on new and recent experimentation in the discipline, this panel brings together practitioners at the intersection of drawing with geographical enquiry to discuss the potentials and pitfalls of this emerging area of practice. How can drawing expand, deepen, and/or redirect current modes of critical geographical inquiry? How is drawing positioned in relation to text and writing? How can the discipline best integrate drawing’s non-binaristic creative-intellectual potential?
While observation and schematic drawing have historically been significant as methods of surveillance and illustration within physical geography (Sackett, 2006), and solicited or guided drawing have become well established as participatory ethnographic methods in human geography and the social sciences (Literat, 2013), relatively little attention has been paid to the possibilities of drawing as an integrated method for first-hand observation, reflection and analysis in geographical fieldwork that treats the “image as an integral component of the inquiry process” (De Cosson and Irwin, 2004). This panel will bring together scholars at the forefront of current methodological innovation, with an view to compiling a themed special issue that will help ground and orientate future use of drawing in human geography and beyond.
To be considered for this panel please send a short statement of interest (250 words) outlining relevant research projects and areas of interest. These and any questions should be directed to email@example.com, with the subject line “Drawing as Critical Geographical Method”, by October 7, 2022.
Contributions will reflect critically on the role of drawing in relation to various aspects of geographical fieldwork and research, including but not limited to the following:
- Observation and fieldwork encounters
- Embedeness, exploration, and discovery
- Researcher positionality and critical reflexivity
- Integration of artistic practice and methodologies
- Vulnerability and knowledge co-production
- Embodied, sensory, and psycho- geographies
- Power and spatial inequality
- Identity and subject-formation
- Speculative methods and futurities
- Process ontologies and non-representational theory
- Posthumanist and decolonial methods
- Graphic methods, comics, and cartoons
- Field and research journaling
- Re-drawing, tracing, and diagramming as analysis
Literat, I. (2013) ‘“A Pencil for your Thoughts”: Participatory Drawing as a Visual Research Method with Children and Youth’, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 84–98 [Online]. DOI: 10.1177/160940691301200143.
Nancy, J.-L. (2013) The Pleasure in Drawing (trans. P. Armstrong), New York, Fordham University Press.
Sackett, C. (ed.) (2006)The True Line: The Landscape Diagrams of Geoffrey Hutchings, Axminster, Devon, Colin Sackett.
De Cosson, & Irwin, R. L. (2004). A/r/tography : rendering self through arts-based living inquiry. Pacific Educational Press.