CFP – AAG2016 Panel on Journeying Young People

Please consider submitting an abstract to this proposed session on Journeying Young People: Practices, Methods, Experiences, Desires for the 2016 AAG in San Francisco.

AAG 2016 San Francisco 29/03/2016 to 02/04/2016

Co-organisers: Tracey Skelton ( and Amy Donovan ( and Please reply to both of us with any queries and with your abstracts.

1: the act of travelling from one place to another, especially when involving a considerable distance; a trip
2: A distance to be travelled or the time required for a trip.
3: A process or course likened to travelling, such as a series of experiences; a passage

Journeying: To make a journey, to travel, to move over or through, wayfinding, pathways, roving, roaming, peregrinations, jaunts, trips, excursions, mobility

Journeyer: one who journeys

Young people (here defined as teenagers and twenty somethings) are considered to be journeyers in many ways: through transitions, identity mobilities, roving their neighbourhoods, desirous of being somewhere else, forced into moving, dreaming of future travelling adventures, making excursions, finding ways and paths, roaming without direction. We wish to interpret the meanings of young people’s journeying and journeys in multi-layered and polysemic ways. We are interested in where young people go, how do they get there, what happens on arrival? 

In this proposed session we hope to bring together scholars and practitioners working with young people to explore the possibilities of journeying and journeyers as being ‘more-than mobile’.  We are a geography and anthropology pairing and so we welcome trans-disciplinary work and perspectives.

“I want to court across the race, class, attitudes” wrote Essex Hemphill. So too, young people, in transition age, navigate norms and prohibitions, cross geopolitical borders, cope with checkpoints, and venture into new locations propelled by war, economic necessity, desire, and opportunity.  As feminists have underscored, certain groups are not expected to strike out on their own: women, youth, the poor, and their agentive movements are often met with suspicion, criminalization, and policies of containment.  This session puts at the center the first-person perspectives of youth as they describe their journeys through the written word, interview testimony, photography, mapping, illustration, and in discussions among themselves. Answering questions about journeying and navigation, this panel addresses strategy, decision-making, destination locations, choices not taken, transitions and bridges, detours and diversions. Travelling on their own, in twos and threes, and in groups of larger number, young people’s travel/ journey narratives often address danger, fear, anxiety, and the necessity for conformity, silence, and transgression. At the same time, they hold out hope, celebrate passion, and convey a persistent desire for discovery.  Far from uniform, their narratives of mobility express ambivalence and hold important contradictions. They describe encounters with authorities and institutional barriers and offer detailed accounts of conflicts on the road, fissures in relationships, and new friendships forged.  While some youth address structural variables directly, in narrating the course of events, many youth attribute outcomes to good planning, cunning, persuasion, risk-taking, happenstance, fortune, and folly.

We are interested in presentations on young people and their journeying practices that include these topics of interest and beyond:

  • The role journeying experiences play in youthful lives
  • Complexities of travel and desire/ anxiety/ fear
  • Methodological approaches and tools developed to engage with such journeying practices
  • Young people’s agency/ lack of agency in relation to journey making
  • Journeying while staying put through technologies; the thwarting of journeys
  • The role of borders and checkpoints
  • Complex navigations of mobilities
  • Subjectivities and identities of journeying
  • Sites of journeying (stations, bus stops, airports, hitching points, motels etc)
  • Overcoming immobilities
  • Trespassing, displacement, home-making

Please submit abstracts in the following format to both Tracey and Amy:

  1. Title:
  2. Affiliation:
  3. PIN number for the AAG (this will be the same as for previous years or the number you have been given upon registration this year):
  4. Abstract: 200 to 250 words maximum

Deadline for submission: 22nd October

Notification of acceptance for the session: 26th October

All participants will have to register and submit their abstracts on the AAG website by 29thOctober 2015.