CfP RC21 Athens 08/2022: The role of the spatial in struggles to belong for racialized and ethnicized persons

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Call for papers for the 2022 RC21 conference in Athens:  (

36. The role of the spatial in struggles to belong for racialized and ethnicized persons

Conveners: Christine Barwick, Jean Beaman 

Description: During the past few years, the Black Lives Matter movement, continued police violence and racial profiling, and initiatives to de-colonize cities have put Europe’s relation with its colonial history and its dealing with race at the forefront of public discourse. While the existence, and hence effects, of racism were denied in most European countries, the aforementioned events are just a glimpse of the struggles that racialized and other ethnicized groups engage with on a daily basis. The struggle against violence, against colonial remnants (such as street names), and other forms of material and symbolic racism and other forms of discrimination have a strong urban dimension. While the diverse struggles to belong are primarily mediatized in large cities, they take place in all types of cities, with their specific temporal and spatial reconfigurations and situatedness. The respective city’s history, its population size and diversity, or its geographic location may influence the quest for belonging (and justice). Within cities, specific places (neighborhoods, streets, buildings) can take on particular significance. As Thompson (2020) has shown with the example of Paris, “space and race are related in the context of struggles against racial imagery and representations” and “the spatial plays a crucial role within current black struggles”. 

In the panel, we therefore want to focus on the spatiality of struggles to belong, of racialized persons, as well as other ethnicized and migrant populations – in conjunction with other categories such as gender, class, or age. We thus invite papers that expand urban studies, adding a postcolonial perspective, or insights from critical race theory, and/or critical whiteness studies. While we encourage papers from all methodological angles, we particularly invite papers that also explore new ground methodologically, for example through methodologies that explore the sensory aspects of struggles to belong or processes of racialization/ethnicization.

Categories: CFP