Conference: Shopping to Save the World?

Here is a call for papers of the annual meeting of the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in Seattle:

Shopping to Save the World?  Ethical consumption, development and environment

This paper session will explore the various material and symbolic connections between people, places and natures that are highlighted and hidden through ethical consumption initiatives.

If consumption is becoming a new front line in development or environmental interventions and the market is being re-inscribed as the place for political and moral action, then what are the consequences of this in terms of environments, subject formation and networks of collaboration or oppression across spaces?  What actors, processes and power dynamics are involved in framing ethical consumption as a viable ‘solution’ to global social and environmental problems?  How do consumers embody this new form of ‘responsibility’? And how does this process result in new forms or understandings of caring across distance, solidarity, philanthropy, economies and/or nature?

Inspired by the vast amount of work in geography exploring the material and symbolic aspects of ethical consumption, questioning the meaning of ethical consumption and investigating the ways in which discourses of ethical consumption function, this session encourages participants to expand on this rich array of work by drawing on theories such as feminist geography, critical race theory, political ecology, neoliberalized natures and development geographies (for example); in order to further explore the ways in which ethical consumption can be approached and understood within the discipline.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

–       fair trade, sustainable, local, organic, ethical, developmental consumption

–       anti-consumerist, simplicity movements

–       ethical consumption discourses and subject formation

–       the symbolic and material connections through ethical consumption networks

–       North-South dynamics, development and consumption

–       the geographical imaginaries of consumption

–       commodity fetishism

–       local-global power dynamics, scales and consumption networks

–       feminist or critical race analyzes of ethical consumption

Titles and abstracts (250 words) of proposed papers should be sent to Roberta Hawkins (rohawkins(at) by October 10th, 2010.

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