CFP: Youth, the Borderlands, and the Spaces In-Between

From American Studies H-Net list. Hat tip, Jeff Shepherd.

Youth, the Borderlands, and the Spaces In-Between

*Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Los Angeles, CA
(9-13 April, 2013) *

Conveners: Denise Goerisch (Department of Geography, San Diego State University and UC Santa Barbara) and Blake Hawkins (Department of First Nation Studies and Geography, University of Northern British Columbia)

*Nepantla* is a Nahuatl word meaning, ‘in-between state.’ Gloria Anzaldua uses this word to describe the transition between identities: whether it is shifting from one particular class, race, or sexual position to another.  Young people are often caught within these liminal spaces between childhood and adulthood. Liminality has been used by geographers to not only conceptualize the in-between spaces of youth, but is also central to theorizing how young people construct a sense of self. Indeed, young people are often depicted as ‘adults in the making’ located on the precipice between childhood and adulthood rather than as actors in their own right.  However, many are situated in between multiple spaces of being, whether it is travelling across national borders, coming out as gay or lesbian, finding a space of their own in dual cultural spaces or making the transition from school to work.  Youth positioned in these borderlands, spaces wherein two or more cultural identities or subjectivities converge, can seemingly occupy all spaces but yet belong to none. Therefore, the borderlands in which youth inhabit are highly contested and complex spaces.

This session seeks to explore the multiple in-between spaces young people inhabit and aims to create dialogue pertinent to multiple questions:  How do young people negotiate identity in the borderlands? What identities or subjectivities (based on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality, class or ability) emerge from the in-between spaces of the borderlands?
What are the boundaries (if they exist) of these liminal spaces for young people? How are these borderlands reproduced in both public and private spaces? How do youth live in two cultural spaces (such as Indigenous or religious youth) simultaneously?

Possible paper topics which could take part, but are not limited to, include the following topics:

*        Youth in Transition (transnationalism, mobility, migration, etc.)

*        Education and the spaces in-between

*        Emotional geographies of liminality

*        Inclusiveness and Exclusiveness: Spaces of Belonging

*        The politics between the public and the private

*        Dual cultural spaces

*        The spaces of ‘Coming out’ as LGBT Youth

*        Performing and resisting ‘norms’ in spaces of ‘difference’

If you would like to participate please send a 250 word abstract to both goerisch@mail.sdsu.edu and hawkin2@unbc.ca by September 28th, 2012.

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