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The chair’s theme for the 2017 Annual Conference is Decolonizing geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world. We welcome sessions and papers which engage directly with this theme, as well as others focusing on all areas of geography.
Decolonizing geographical knowledges aims to query implicitly universal claims to knowledges associated with the west, and further interrogate how such knowledges continue to marginalize and discount places, people and knowledges across the world. Debates around decolonizing geographical knowledges have become increasingly important during the past decade among teachers, activists and academics, and draw upon postcolonial, indigenous studies and other critical perspectives. The challenge is to re-think scholarly epistemic and institutional forms of knowledge production that privilege predominantly western over ‘southern’ knowledges and ways of seeing. Such debates in turn influence how geographers and geographical knowledge engage with schools, students, policy-makers and third sector organisations. The 2017 Annual Conference offers an opportunity to take these debates forward in the context of research on socio-natures, the Anthropocene, and multi-scalar inequalities but also, more widely, by demonstrating the power of decolonial geographical thinking to work relationally across disciplinary boundaries and to expand the scope of decolonial practice in research. The conference aims to encourage debate about these issues including potential contributions from decolonizing geographical knowledges to existing approaches and methodologies in human and physical geography.