This looks like it will be a terrific conference! Hopefully I’ll be able to attend, as I’d love to work out some of my thoughts on topological network geographies. We’ll see. Unfortunately I’ve used up most of my conference funding at this point, though this conference looks like it would be worth digging into my pocket.

via Progressive Geographies:

Call for Papers: The Difference of Things

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 12-16th April 2011, Seattle, USA.

Session organised by Deborah Dixon, JP Jones, Sallie Marston and Keith Woodward

If difference in the world is not a remainder from or a bad copy of Identity, Ideas or Essences, but is rather the immanent force characterizing all materialities, including words and meanings, affects and perceptions, things and thoughts, then how do we go forth in the world to think and speak in terms of things and their qualities?

In this session we wish to bring together those interested in working though what is being loosely termed ‘object-oriented philosophy,’ or ‘object-oriented ontology’, in emerging areas such as ‘speculative realism.’ Whilst geographers have long sought to ‘ground’ their objects of inquiry in the validating power of the Subject-perceiver-expert, recent years have seen a concerted effort to ask object-orientated questions in ways that neither presuppose such a subject nor presume that ‘things’ conform to the conditions or constraints of human perception or understanding. In the process, such reflections have engendered sympathetic but also at times difficult relations with, for example, Badiou’s subjectless objects, Deleuze and Guattari’s assemblages (agencements), Serres’ Angels and quasi-objects, Simondon’s pre-individual fields and singularities, Harman’s Object-Oriented Philosophy and Bryant’s ‘onticology’, Latour’s ‘democracy of things’, Bennett’s ‘vibrant matter’, Heidegger’s tools, and things ‘in-themselves’ existing before, beyond or beside the metaphysical solipsism of Kant’s ‘Copernican Turn.’

We are especially interested in how geographic terms such as space, place, distance, proximity, differentiation, localization, mobility, and stillness might be re-imagined in this work. What are the implications for technical objects, objets d’art, and ‘assemblages’? How do we attend to and account for the difference of ‘natural’ objects or things-in-themselves? What do notions such as ‘ecology’ mean for object-oriented approaches? What is the refined role of the senses and/or cognition in an approach that seeks to comprehend the mind-independent status of objects? And, how does such an enquiry change or challenge the stakes for theories of emergence?

Thematic objects may include, but are not limited to:

The arche-fossil
Vicarious causation
The democracy of objects
Distinctions between Objects and Things-in-themselves
The changing statuses of the commodity and the money form
New treatments of phenomena and understanding
The return of the transcendental

Abstracts should be sent to both Deborah Dixon ( and Keith Woodward (kwoodward@wisc.ed) by October 15, 2010.

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