Call for papers: The Socio-materialities of Settler Colonial Economies (June 18-21, 2017).


Call for Papers for the 7th Nordic Geographers Meeting, Stockholm June 18-21, 2017 

The socio-materialities of settler colonial economies 

Conveners: Rhys Machold (Danish Institute for International Studies) and Sigrid Vertommen (Ghent University)

Scholars have proposed a systematic connection between historical and ongoing forms of settler colonial violence and the growth and entrenchment of the current neoliberal modes of accumulation (Lloyd and Wolfe 2015). Yet, despite the growing recognition about the central role of settler colonial violence in the rise and entrenchment of global (neoliberal) capitalism, literature on settler colonialism still “leans towards the discursive aspects and imaginative geographies of settler colonialism” (Jabary Salamanca 2014:22), negating its material and infrastructural underpinnings. This session attempts to bridge the gap between studies of settler colonial formations and the political economy of capitalism by taking seriously the claim that economies are actively made through material practices and interventions related to access to land and natural resources, labour and property rights (Mitchell 2002: 82). While leading theorists of both settler colonialism and capitalism often tend to focus on the logics and structures behind these socio-historical formations, little consideration has been devoted to the practical failures, disruptions, frictions involved in practices of accumulation through violence and dispossession. This tendency has produced an unhindered picture of settler colonial economies and their resonance with neoliberal capitalism as natural and seamless. We hope to open up discussions about how settler colonial economies operate as globalizing capitalist projects through attention to the messiness of their actual constitution.

We welcome papers that empirically and conceptually address the socio-material constitution of settler economies, both within particular localities and/or across transnational space. Possible topics might include: resource extraction and pipelines, circuits of trade and logistics, development and agricultural production, bio-medical technologies, and the political economies of policing, security and the global weapons trade.

The session seeks to engage with some of the following questions:

  • To what extent is contemporary global capitalism itself informed by specifically settler colonial logics (and vice versa)?
  • How do practices, technologies and strategies of settler colonial control mutate and adapt as they travel geographically and manifest within particular localities?
  • What modes of primitive accumulation and regimes of labour are undergirding settler colonial economies?
  • How might we go about researching the connections and disjunctures between disparate settler colonial projects and to what ends?
  • What can these continuities and discontinuities teach us in the context of political struggles of resistance?
  • What is the relationship between material and the discursive in relation to settler colonial economies, both historical and contemporary?

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Rhys Machold ( and Sigrid Vertommen ( by December 15, 2016

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