Call for papers on “Thinking through connections: telecoupled transformations of urban food and energy systems”

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Caerdydd- Cardiff 2018

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group and Energy Geographies Research Group

Different theoretical and epistemic traditions within geography have recently turned to conceptualising the connections between different places to avoid analytical and methodological localism and “cityism” (Angelo & Wachsmuth, 2014). Approaches span the concept of rural-urban teleconnections and telecouplings in land system science (Seto et al. 2012; Friis et al. 2016), global production networks in economic geography (Coe et al. 2008; Coe & Yeung 2014), and translocal assemblages of movements in social geography (McFarlane 2009), and the planetary urbanism framework transcending traditional understandings of urban and regional boundaries (Brenner and Schmid 2015).

Despite substantial advancements in the fields of food and energy geography, attempts to develop translocal and connective perspectives for studying the transformation of urban food and energy systems are sporadic (e.g. Eakin et al. 2017, Bridge 2017, Rutherford and Coutard 2014). The continued localist logic in many studies here risks re-producing accounts that fail to consider the different material and immaterial connections provided by underlying resource flows or food chains. This in turn potentially limits our understanding of how such connections are altered as a result of urban transformations.

We invite contributions that explore the connected spatiality of urban energy and food transformations, embedding these into global contexts and connecting them to local developments with distant places. We look forward to receiving contributions discussing the benefits, assumptions, and limitations of the following or other concept addressing this gap:

  • Teleconnections and telecoupling
  • Planetary urbanization and the imperial mode of living
  • Global Production Networks
  • Political and industrial ecology
  • Translocality and translocal assemblages

We aim for a double paper presentation session with 2×4 presentations of 15min with 5min Q&A per paper, and a plenary discussion of 20min per session. Abstracts of 200 words should be sent to and

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