The role of philanthropy in diverse humanitarian contexts continues to rise alongside massive inequality in wealth. Corollary to neoliberal state disinvestment, corporate-backed philanthropic investments shape human experiences of risks, opportunities, and access to resources. Ananya Roy (2016) underscores philanthropy’s temporal dynamic: funders mobilize resources in response to crises, under the premise that their interventions will be brief, non-structural, and “solve” the problems at hand. Roy contrasts this to a “temporality of endless waiting” experienced by those who must rely on philanthrocapitalism’s erratic interventions.
Philanthropic investments impose investors’ spatial logics along with temporal ones (Bain 2019). From global entities like the Rockafeller Foundation to charities operating on local or regional scales, philanthropic charities influence land use planning through the projects they choose to fund, the influence they exert over those projects, and primary commitment to fiscal solvency. We ask for papers that will help us think through what political ecological thinking might bring to the consideration of philanthropy? How does philanthropy produce and reproduce spaces, particularly in thinking about the land (parks, public lands, memorial spaces, housing, tourist infrastructure, speculative real estate, etcetera)? What do the kind of investments that are made tell us about the aims of philanthropic investment and the social/ecological context in which they are imagined and deployed?
We invite contributions from scholars, activists, and anyone considering these topics. In addition to traditional papers, we welcome presentations in other formats which could include video, interview, or performance. To reach out with any questions or send a proposal of no more than 250 words by November 20, please email Theo Hilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jeanne Firth (email@example.com).