Of those of us engaged in the project of GeoCritique, some are graduate students. Others are early career academics. All of us confront a disorienting set of neoliberal expectations and metrics, which purport to indicate our value as thinkers. And though each of us navigates this terrain in different ways, none of us is particularly content to accept it as ‘home’.
Whether being advised to ‘wait until tenure’ to establish a politicized web presence, or encouraged to check a growing multiplicity of professionalized boxes, expanding academic commitments undermine the time and labor required to maintain extra-academic commitments – organizing, fighting, loving. It is often easy (and sometimes necessary) to allow neoliberal institutional logics determine the content of our lives. These expectations and metrics pose challenges to projects such as GeoCritique, and certainly beyond.
Recently, at the San Francisco AAG meeting, GeoCritique member Elizabeth Johnson expressed concern over the growing distance between the commitment to building other futures and the spaces of academia, whose internal dynamics often seem antithetical to radical change. In this ostensible gap, some questions echo: What becomes of our commitments when they are filtered through professionalism? What happens when political engagement only takes hold amidst the occasional gaps in our schedules?
I’ll see to revolution after I grade these midterms, after I’ve submitted my Annual Activity Report, after this meeting, after…after…after…
And, yet, the ideas and the futures to which we’re committed remain. They smolder just under the surface of routine, subtly warping the ground we inhabit. And, if anything, as time is stolen (yes, stolen), our sense of urgency only increases. Even in dormancy, we build the potential to erupt.
And, so after being buried for sometime, we’re re-launching GeoCritique with the continued aim of providing a space for critical and experimental thought on collective futures, political ecologies, and productions of knowledge. We offer this space and content to re-energize our commitments to non-capitalist futures, and to the ends of racist, imperialist, and ecologically deranged institutions. We welcome your ideas, contributions, and strategies.
To kick this off, Anja Kanngieser and Angela Last offer their Five Propositions | Critiques for the Anthropocene.
In solidarity and toward other futures,