A Radical Geography Community
Registered in July 2011, it exists specifically for public benefit and the promotion and improvement of social scientific research, education and scholarship in the field of radical and critical geography. To this end it enables the pursuit and dissemination of valuable new knowledge that advances the field by:
[i] Producing Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Wiley, and its companion website, AntipodeFoundation.org;
[ii] Making grants to: support conferences, workshops and seminar series; and enable collaborations between academics and non-academic activists; and
[iii] Arranging and funding: summer schools and other meetings for doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and recently-appointed faculty; public lectures at international geography conferences; and the translation of academic publications.
The Foundation currently has eight trustees – Noel Castree (University of Manchester), Paul Chatterton (University of Leeds), Vinay Gidwani (University of Minnesota), Nik Heynen (University of Georgia), Wendy Larner (University of Bristol), Jamie Peck (University of British Columbia), Jane Wills (Queen Mary, University of London) and Melissa W. Wright (Pennsylvania State University) – and is managed by its secretary, Andrew Kent (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Achievements and Performance, 2013-14
The 45th volume of Antipode was published in 2013. Its five issues contained, across 1,358 pages, a total of 67 papers, seven interventions and an editorial. Highlights include: an agenda-setting piece on the political implications of climate change, ‘Climate Leviathan’; Lynn Staeheli’s 2011 Antipode AAG lecture, ‘Whose Responsibility Is It?’; a paper by the 2012/13 Graduate Student Scholarship winner; and an intervention by a group who met at the 2011 Institute for the Geographies of Justice (these latter three pieces are open access). All book reviews in our online repository, Wiley Online Library, are now freely available, and from January 2013 we stopped publishing reviews in the journal. They have migrated to AntipodeFoundation.org: this has allowed us to feature not only more reviews (58 in 2013), but also more substantive reviews, more quickly. Reviews are now commissioned and edited by Andrew Kent.
Unfortunately, in March 2014 we had to retract an intervention published in September 2013: the Editorial Collective received a complaint that it was co-authored and had been previously published (the author disclosed neither of these facts when asked at the point of submission). Following the Foundation’s complaints handling policy, the Managing Editor and Foundation secretary turned to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ code of conduct and best practice guidelines and investigated the claims. They were upheld, and a statement was published in Antipode 46:2, retracting the intervention (which was published in Antipode 45:4).
We received a good number of submissions for peer-review in 2013: 291 papers (186 of which were new submissions and 105 were re-submissions). To put this in context, from 2000 to 2003 the journal received approximately 50-60 papers per year; this rose to just over 100 by 2005, approximately 170-180 by 2007, and just under 260 by 2009; in 2010 we received 244 submissions, 240 in 2011 and 242 in 2012. Approximately 26% of all submissions were from the US, 13% from Canada, 22% from the UK, 23% from the rest of Europe, 6% from Australia and New Zealand, 1% from South Africa, 3% from South and East Asia, 2% from Latin America, and 4% from the Middle East. 68 papers were accepted for publication in 2013, giving a healthy rejection rate of 63% (similar to 2011 and 2012).
We’re confident the journal remains popular, and its papers are being read and used in further research. While Antipode’s ‘impact factor’ rose from 2.150 in 2011 to 2.430 in 2012, it fell to 1.885 in 2013. This means a move down the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports ranking of geography journals from 7th of 72 to 11th of 76. The impact factor has been higher, but it has also been lower (1.284 in 2010; 1.434 in 2009). What’s more, it isn’t the only metric that matters to authors: we have an efficient and effective peer-review process, and the time from acceptance of a paper to publication in an issue of the journal is currently a respectable nine months (papers appear online first within a month or two). The journal’s online presence strengthened further in 2013, with downloads of Antipode papers from Wiley Online Library increasing from around 262,000 in 2012 to around 292,500 in 2013. And 97% of 2012’s subscriptions were renewed for 2013.
There are currently six titles in development for the Antipode Book Series: Rachel Colls and Bethan Evans’ Fat Bodies, Fat Spaces: Critical Geographies of Obesity; Jessica Dempsey’s Enterprising Nature: Economics, Markets, and Finance in Global Biodiversity Politics; Najeeb Jan’s The Metacolonial State: Pakistan, Critical Ontology, and the Biopolitical Horizons of Political Islam; Matteo Rizzo’s Taken For A Ride: Neoliberalism, Informal Labour, and Public Transport in an African Metropolis; Amy Ross and Liz Oglesby’s The Impunity Machine: Genocide and Justice in Guatemala; and Marion Werner’s Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The four books published in 2012/13 sold well in 2013/14.
At the May 2013 AGM the trustees resolved to make available funds for an Editorial Collective meeting or ‘retreat’, enabling Nik Theodore, Sharad Chari, Katherine McKittrick and Jenny Pickerill to meet face-to-face and discuss publishing policies and practices. Andy arranged a meeting in London in February 2014, and over two enjoyable and productive days the Editorial Collective considered what is and isn’t working well and identified a number of loose ends to be tied up. Among other things, they: prepared a statement on the publication of special issues and symposia in the journal; appointed a new International Advisory Board (making explicit duties and expectations); talked about best editing practices; met Wiley’s team; and made plans for the 2014 RGS-IBG and 2015 AAG lectures.
Finally, the trustees believe strong peer reviewing is perhaps the single most important element in ensuring the quality and relevance of papers in Antipode. Our commitment to publishing the best possible papers–writing that is politically-engaged, timely and passionate, and done with theoretical and empirical rigour–would falter were it not for the voluntary labour of our reviewers; mutuality is the lifeblood of journals such as ours. We would like to thank the referees (more than 400 of them!) who gave their time and energy generously, offering insights and expertise to comment on one or more papers in 2013/14.
International Workshop Awards
Calls for applications for the International Workshop Awards were launched in June 2013 on the Foundation’s website and a number of electronic mailing lists used by radical/critical geographers. Applicants were asked to describe prospective events (location and date, participants, planned activities, rationale, etc.); explain their ambitions (that is, how their events will contribute to radical geographic scholarship and practice); and outline plans for outcomes, dissemination and legacies. The deadline for applications was the end of March 2014, by which point the Foundation’s secretary had received 55 applications (62 in 2012/13; two came from institutions in countries classified ‘lower-middle-income’ by the World Bank, four came from countries classified ‘upper-middle-income’ and the rest came from institutions in countries classified ‘high-income’; to put this differently, 19 came from North America, 17 from Europe, 12 from the UK, four from Latin America, and one each from the Antipodes, Asia, and Africa.). Decisions were made in April at the AGM and all applicants informed in early May.
Vinay Gidwani, Wendy Larner, Jamie Peck and Melissa Wright assessed the applications. As per the Foundation’s grantmaking policies, the trustees were prepared to recuse themselves if they stood to benefit from a decision or their duty to the charity competed with a duty or loyalty to another organisation or person; Vinay didn’t assess Bruce Braun’s application because they are both based at the University of Minnesota. The applications were given a single score between 1 and 10 by each trustee and then ranked by average score. The top 16 applications were then subject to some debate at the AGM (neither Vinay nor Melissa could attend, so with their permission Wendy and Jamie presented a shortlist to those present and this was discussed further), and six emerged that the trustees wished to support. The following applicants were informed that they’d been successful:
‘Grounding the Anthropocene: Sites, subjects, and struggle in the Bakken Oil Fields’
Bruce Braun (University of Minnesota, USA), Mathew Coleman (Ohio State University), Mary Thomas (Ohio State University) and Kathryn Yusoff (Queen Mary, University of London, UK)
‘Squatting houses, social centres, and workplaces: A workshop on self-managed alternatives’
Claudio Cattaneo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) and Miguel A. Martínez López (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR)
‘Politicizing African urban ecologies: Enabling radical geographical research practices for African scholars’
Mary Lawhon (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Henrik Ernstson (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Jonathan Silver (Durham University, UK) and Joseph Pierce (Florida State University, USA)
‘Re-thinking Latin America development beyond neoliberalism: Toward a rediscovering/recreation of the Latino American thought on development’
Sergio Ordóñez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico), Victor R. Fernandez (Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina) and Carlos Brandão (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
‘Queer worldings: A transnational queer studies workshop’
Natalie Oswin (McGill University, Canada) and Bobby Benedicto (McGill University, Canada)
‘Encounter IV: Integration of Latin America (Abya Yala), from the bottom up’
Gustavo Soto (Centro de Estudios Aplicados a los Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales/CEADESC, Bolivia), Juan Carlos La Rosa Velasco (WAINJIRAWA, Venezuala), Carlos Walter Porto Goncalvez (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil), Juan Pablo Cortes Almonacid (Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, Chile), Raul Zibechi (Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina, Uruguay)
Unsuccessful applicants were also contacted by e-mail, and the results were made available online. Unfortunately, the trustees were unable to give detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants (this was made clear prior to application). The first of the grants was made in July 2014. It is a policy of the Foundation not to pay university overheads and indirect costs, or university staff salaries and oncosts: there is an established convention in the UK and elsewhere that research grants paid by charities cover only a proportion of the work to be done, with institutions finding the remainder from other funding sources. None of the institutions holding and administering the grants have levied such charges thus far.
Scholar-Activist Project Awards
Calls for applications for the Scholar-Activist Project Awards were launched in June 2013 on the Foundation’s website and a number of electronic mailing lists used by radical/critical geographers. Applicants were asked to outline their projects (background, participants, planned activities, and rationale); say something about their ambitions, that is, how the project will contribute to radical geographic scholarship and practice; and sketch out planned outcomes, dissemination and legacies. The deadline for applications was the end of March 2014, by which point the Foundation’s secretary had received 111 applications (105 in 2012/13; one came from an institution in a country classified ‘low-income’ by the World Bank, three from countries classified ‘lower-middle-income’, 13 from countries classified ‘upper-middle-income’, and the rest from countries classified ‘high-income’; to put this differently, 38 came from North America, 26 from Europe, 26 from the UK, eight from Latin America, four from the Middle East, four from Asia, three from the Antipodes, and two from Africa). Decisions were made in April at the AGM and all applicants informed in early May.
Noel Castree, Nik Heynen, Andrew Kent and Jane Wills assessed the applications. Given the large number of applications, the trustees divided them into four sets, ensuring there were no conflicts of interest. The sets were assessed using three criteria: [i] ‘the collaboration–who is involved? what kind of relationship do they have? is there going to be legacy from this project?’; [ii] ‘what are they are doing?–is it about change/impact or is it more abstract? does it include thinking and doing? what is the substantive contribution being made? can it be used as a springboard for more? is this a genuinely exciting project?’; and [iii] ‘how are they doing it?–is there something innovative about the way they are working? does this have wider impact/legacy?’. Each application was given three scores between 1 and 4 (where 4 is ‘outstanding’, 3 ‘good’, 2 ‘OK’ and 1 ‘poor’) and a single, composite score by each trustee. Noel put four forward; Nik five; Andy eight; and Jane four. This shortlist was re/considered by Nik, Andy and Jane at the AGM (Noel wasn’t present; Nik didn’t participate in the discussion of Amy Trauger’s application and Jane didn’t participate in the discussion of Liam Harney’s because they are based at the same universities). Following some debate, which was aided by Wendy and Jamie, four projects were chosen. The following applicants were informed that they’d been successful:
‘Scaling up urban resistance to the new gentrification frontier: Creating a national campaign network to defend traditional retail markets’
Sara Gonzalez (University of Leeds, UK), Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market, Friends of Queens Market and Wards Corner Community Coalition
‘E14 London Geographical Expedition and Institute’
Liam Harney (Queen Mary, University of London, UK) and Sotez Chowdhury (Citizens UK)
‘Radical cartographies: Mapping resistance and presence to decolonize the Wayuu, Añu and Bari peoples territory’
Pablo Mansilla (Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, Chile), Jose Quintero Weyr (Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela), Silverio Lopez (Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela) and Alexander Mercario (Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela)
‘Precarious workmen speaking out: South Asian migrant workmen’s diaries and narratives as safe migration resources’
Sallie Yea (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Debbie Fordyce (Transient Workers Count Too/TWC2, Singapore) and AKM Mohsin (Bangla Kathar Bengali newspaper / Dibashram space for migrant workers, Singapore)
Unsuccessful applicants were also contacted by e-mail, and the results were made available online. Unfortunately, the trustees were unable to give detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants (this was made clear prior to application). The first of the grants was made in June 2014. It is a policy of the Foundation not to pay university overheads and indirect costs, or university staff salaries and oncosts: there is an established convention in the UK and elsewhere that research grants paid by charities cover only a proportion of the work to be done, with institutions finding the remainder from other funding sources. None of the institutions holding and administering the grants have levied such charges thus far.
Translation and Outreach Awards
Two pilot Translation and Outreach Awards had been sketched out at the May 2013 AGM. First, Jamie Peck was to contact Prof. Bae-Gyoon Park (Seoul National University, South Korea) and his colleagues on the East Asian Regional Conference in Alternative Geography steering committee. EARCAG has been working since 1999 to establish an international network of critical geographers in East Asia, aiming, in their words, to reach out and “enrich alternative geography” rather than “merely translating spatial theories developed in the Western context”. At the April 2014 AGM Jamie reported on progress thus far; slowly yet surely plans are coming together for a lecture at an EARCAG meeting (previous meetings have taken place in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan) and the translation of a significant essay or previously published paper into English.
Second, Melissa Wright was to contact Prof. Blanca Ramírez (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Unidad Xochimilco, Mexico). In February 2014 Blanca submitted an essay on la movilidad (‘mobility’); Dr. Sara Koopman (York University, Canada)–translator and Antipode International Advisory Board member–was commissioned to translate it from Spanish, and delivered a superb first draft in April. Melissa is currently working with Blanca on this, preparing it for publication.
A third possibility was also discussed. An unsolicited proposal for a symposium to be published in Antipode was submitted by Dr. Brenda Baletti (Duke University, USA) and Dr. Alvaro Reyes (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA) in May 2013; in September 2013 the trustees resolved to support this. Entitled ‘Territory and Emancipatory Struggles in Contemporary Latin America’, the symposium will consist of six pieces (three new, the rest previously published) on the development of the concept of ‘territory’ in Latin American scholarship, and the social movements currently contesting (and, indeed, constructing) processes of ‘de-/re-territorialisation’ there. All being well, the symposium should be submitted in September 2014.
The year 2013/14 has seen the Foundation spend over £3,000 sponsoring two lectures:
At the 2013 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) annual international conference in London, 27th-30th August, Bruce Braun–a professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Geography, Environment and Society, USA–presented ‘Vital Materialism and Neoliberal Natures’; and
At the 2014 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Tampa, Florida, 8th-12th April, Rinaldo Walcott–a professor in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto)’s Department of Social Justice Education, Canada–presented ‘Zones of Black Death: Institutions, Knowledges, and States of Being’.
The lectures were well attended with approximately 200 delegates at the 2013 RGS-IBG and an audience of 400 at the 2014 AAG. Videos of both lectures are now available online; as a collection, the Antipode lecture series videos have attracted well over 7,000 viewings to date.
A ‘virtual issue’ of Antipode was produced to mark Bruce Braun’s 2013 RGS-IBG lecture. Entitled ‘Ecologies In, Against and Beyond Capitalism’, this consisted of 20 papers (two authored by Bruce; the others engaging with his work) pulled from the digital archive and made freely available until the end of December 2013. The issue was well received, and has thus far been viewed over 1,000 times. The virtual issue celebrating Rinaldo Walcott’s 2014 AAG lecture has also been popular, attracting over 700 viewings to date; its 17 papers all speak to Rinaldo’s work, and were made freely available for 12 months.
Institute for the Geographies of Justice
The 2013 Institute for the Geographies of Justice took place between 27th May and 1st June 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Calls for applications were made in August 2012 on the Foundation’s website and a number of electronic mailing lists used by radical/critical geographers. Applicants were asked to outline their educational and employment histories; list any publications; describe their research interests and work undertaken thus far; list between three and five essays or books that have influenced them and their work; explain their career plans and ambitions; and state whether they’re requesting a travel bursary from the Foundation (and if so list other possible sources of funding).
By the end of January 2013 the Foundation’s secretary had received 110 applications (six from institutions in World Bank-defined ‘lower-middle-income’ countries, nine from institutions in ‘upper-middle-income’ countries, and 95 from institutions in ‘high-income’ countries). These were assessed by Nik Heynen, Wendy Larner, Andrew Kent, and an ‘external’ reader in February (each suggested a shortlist of 25 applicants plus ten applicants to be put on a waiting list and consensus was sought) and all applicants were notified of the outcome in March. The 25 successful applicants paid their participation fees in either March or April (these came to £3,523), and the 17 awarded travel bursaries received these shortly after (they shared £13,550; the eight not in receipt of travel bursaries had indicated that other funds were available to them).
Nik couldn’t be there, but Wendy was joined in Durban by co-organiser Patrick Bond (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa), Antipode editors Nik Theodore and Sharad Chari, Gillian Hart (University of California Berkeley, USA), Jennifer Robinson (University College London, UK), Meshack Khosa (who has a PhD from the University of Oxford and now works in South Africa) and Brij Maharaj (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa). With the delegates, these academic guests took part in discussion groups, debates and panels, and training and skills development modules, and they presented plenary lectures. Though based in Bluff, the group travelled around the Durban area, and engaged with local scholars, activists, social movements and other institutions. The Foundation covered all ground transport, academic guests’ flights, breakfasts and lunches, two group meals, and all accommodation (total Foundation spending came to £25,027, and the delegates contributed £3,523).