CFP - Geographical Review Special Issue: Creating Memories in Community

Chris Post Discussion

Sending on behalf of Amy Potter (Georgia Southern) and Steve Hanna (University of Mary Washington)


Happy Summer! 

Call for Papers - Creating Memories in Community

Increasingly, geographers are working in collaboration with community organizations and public scholars to co-produce knowledge to address an array of social problems.  This special issue of the Geographical Review, edited by Stephen Hanna and Amy Potter, will extend community-engaged and place-based research to the realms of memory and history.  More specifically, this issue will consist of articles emerging from efforts to make the histories of marginalized communities both visible and practiced in the landscape through the creation of walking tours, museums, and heritage trails.


Public scholars, academics, and other social actors engaging in collaborative, mutually-beneficial investigations into a place’s diverse histories help  communities recover and take ownership of their histories. When realized through such partnerships, walking tours, trails, or other commemorative geographies are intentional spatial interventions that enable new bodily, affective, and/or representational practices that can disrupt hegemonic forms of commemoration and the histories used to maintain social and spatial hierarchies and power structures. 


Topics for articles included in this special issue may include, but are not limited to, efforts to recover and/or make visible the historical geographies of people who identify as members of communities defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, or class. Examples may include:

  • Installing, modifying, or removing monuments, historical markers, or wayside exhibits;

  • Creating new historically-themed walking or driving tours or trails;

  • Changing the narratives or routes of existing historically-themed tours or trails;

  • Establishing, maintaining, or augmenting a center, museum, or other space a community uses to explore and/or express their shared memories;

  • Creating, maintaining, or altering websites, story maps, or other virtual ways to represent and explore place-based histories


Papers may focus on the process or methods employed to form equitable partnerships, on the mutually beneficial results of the partnerships, or on the challenges encountered or limitations of community-engaged commemorative research. Submissions from scholars outside the United States, early career scholars, non-geographers, and advanced graduate students are encouraged.


As authors frame their papers, they may find the following article helpful:

  • Shannon, J., et al 2021. Community geography: Toward a disciplinary framework. Progress in Human Geography 45(5): 1147-1168.


The issue’s editors will be submitting papers based on their experiences working with communities to create trails dedicated to Black historical geographies. We hope the brief summaries below provide useful examples:


Amy Potter and her former undergraduate student Joyah Mitchell at Georgia Southern University worked alongside Tybee MLK Human Rights Organization and the Tybee Historical Society to collect oral histories and archival photos necessary to build the Tybee Island, Georgia's Black History Trail. The trail consists of a virtual StoryMap, a paper handout, and will eventually consist of physical storyboards located throughout the island.  


Stephen Hanna and his co-authors, Christopher Williams (James Farmer Multicultural Center) and Victoria Matthews (City of Fredericksburg, Virginia), established partnerships between members of Fredericksburg’s Black community, the city government, and the University of Mary Washington to launch Freedom, a Work in Progress, a two-part Civil Rights trail designed to change how residents and tourists practice commemoration in a small city best known as the site of a U.S. Civil War battle.


Timeline of the special issue:

This call for paper proposals was posted on June 15, 2023 and is open through August 11, 2023.


Proposals should include a preliminary title, 500 word abstract or summary of the idea for a manuscript, and brief author bios. Please submit your proposal using the link below:


Authors will be notified whether or not their paper proposal is accepted as soon as possible after they are received by the editors. All decisions will be made by September 1, 2023.


Manuscripts should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words (inclusive of the abstract, tables, references, figure captions, and endnotes) and must:

  • Contain evidence of collaboration between author(s) and other social actors;

  • Describe histories/memories revealed through the research process; and

  • Address the spatial or geographic interventions realized, or intended to be realized, through community-engaged efforts to recover and/or make visible a community’s diverse histories, collective memories, and/or pasts.


Manuscripts will be submitted via the Geographical Review portal by February 1, 2024. All manuscripts will undergo the full peer-review process. 


Revisions called for by reviewers will be due by approximately June 1, 2024 


If these deadlines are met, we hope that the issue will go into production in Fall 2024 and the full issue will be published in 2025 (Volume 115).


When preparing your manuscript, please review the Geographical Review’s instructions for authors:


Please reach out if you have any additional questions: 


Dr. Steve Hanna

Dr. Amy Potter


Chris Post