CFP – Contemporary Countercultural Communities and Geographies of Sustainability.

Apologies for cross-posting

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference: London, August 29 – September 1

CFP – Contemporary Countercultural Communities and Geographies of Sustainability.

Session sponsor: Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG)

Session convener: Dr. Michael O’ Regan (Glasgow Caledonian University)

As COVID-19, the cost of living crisis, the climate crisis, and conflicts around the globe, combine to create a sense of permacrisis and/or polycrisis, there are profound impacts on social, political, economic, and cultural landscapes. As individuals face living with greater complexity, risk, hazard, and therefore embodied uncertainties, increasing numbers have been inspired by recontextualised and recirculating countercultural imaginaries.

While escape into these worlds is not always a radical societal rejection, it can provide a literal breathing space and a learning opportunity to cultivate one’s identity, through the acceptance of values, views and norms of loose countercultural collectives, lifestyles, groups, neo-tribes and communities, As individuals search for enhanced social solidarity, mutual dependency, a means to rediscover the lost potentialities of the self or escape absent futures, they are interacting or developing knowledge systems, dispositions and orientations. The escape from entrenched positions within specific political, socio-cultural and economic contexts, might include Chinese youth escaping the 9-9-6 working culture, those escaping political uncertainty in Hong Kong and post-Brexit Britain, to Russians avoiding the possibility of a draft. Others are escaping formal governance spaces and processes, in order to challenge state-centric approaches to global warming and climate change as well as normative frameworks and visions related to community, family and work. Reimagining mobility, community, belonging and relationships can lead to changed social relations, connections, forms of social organisation, as well as societal transitions and geographies of sustainability.

Little is known about the impulses that push individuals towards self-investment in various countercultural communities and what holds their subjective emotional investment together over time. While often linked to privilege, this session will explore new and underexplored dimensions, and how imaginaries intersect with class, race, education, gender, sexuality, and the state and state power. We invite theoretical work, case studies and empirical research, for the purpose of expanding our understanding of countercultural imaginaries, contemporary mobilities in the Anthropocene and countercultural communities across the world.

Session topics might include:
– Countercultural imaginaries, mobility and the climate crisis;
– Societal reframing as result of climate change;
– Countercultural (im)mobilities in the Anthropocene;
– Intersections with leisure, migration, tourism and exile;
– The Counterculture, activism and protest (capitalism, nuclear power, climate change);
– Embodied Uncertainties and Escape;
– Vanlifers, New Age Travellers, Solar Punk, Steam Punk, the Rainbow Family, anti-border groups, climate activists; Off grid communities, Roadschoolers;
– Social Infrastructure and radical spaces, infrastructural configurations;
– Countercultural literature, zines, music and video;
– Counterculture and ritual practices (hitchhiking, dumpster diving, rhythmic percussion, singing, dancing, ascetic practices, transformational festivals and events);
– Countercultural practices, ideologies and aesthetics (mutual aid, D.I.Y, interdependency, frugality, spirituality and sustainable creativity);
– Exclusion, Colonialism and Racism in Countercultural Communities;

Submission Deadlines and guidelines:

Please send expressions of abstracts (approx. 250 words) with author contact details and affiliation to Michael O’ Regan – by March 17, 2023.

Michael O’Regan  | Glasgow School for Business and Society

E: | T: +44 (0)141 331 3001|  W:
Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 0BA,
Scotland, United Kingdom.