Surviving conflict zones

Peter Adey  Craig Jones and I are organising sessions at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Boston, 5-9 April 2017.


The emergence of critical studies of geographies of war has seen a sustained focus on the conduct of military and paramilitary violence and on the necro-politics of conflict, but comparatively little attention has been paid to the multiple ways in which people — combatants, civilians, reporters, humanitarian actors and others — survive in conflict zones (and sometimes even prosper). What apparatuses and circuits of care – architectural constructions, field supplies and medical equipment, expertise, communication systems, evacuation chains, field hospitals, vehicles, and even insurance products – are making conflict zones more or less survivable? In what ways do the injuries of war – physiological, psychological even social – prove terminal or less than deadly? What forms of violence prove most injurious in conflict and its aftermath?

Such questions have become all the more important as military and paramilitary violence continues to breach the boundaries of any conventional ‘battlefield’, as the distinctions between combatants and non-combatants are increasingly called into question, as yet more actors are drawn closer to the killing fields, as the sources of information vital for survival multiply, and as the definition and meaning of a ‘conflict zone’ are brought increasingly into question, legally, politically and experientially. We seek contributions that address these and related issues in the past or in the present. Possible themes include:

Hospitals and medical care in conflict zones
Systems of casualty evacuation
Food supplies and provisioning in conflict zones
Trauma, grief, stress and survival
Gender relations and sexual violence
Reporting from conflict zones
Local knowledge, information networks and conflict zones
Corpographies of conflict zones
Injury, pain and corporeality
Refugee strategies and experiences
Transport, vehicles and mobility
Slow violence, infrastructural violence, and long term suffering

If you are interested in participating, please send a title and 250-word abstract to Craig at by 20 October 2016.  We know that at this stage your abstract can only be a promissory note – accepted abstracts can be edited online until 23 February 2017.

More information on the conference is here, and on the formal submission of abstracts to the AAG here and here.