Desirable Futures: Write Me a Letter


  • Mabel Gergan Department of Asian Studies, Vanderbilt University
  • Pallavi Gupta Department of Geography and Environment, University of Hawai'i-Manoa
  • Lara Lookabaugh Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Vanderbilt University
  • Caitilin McMillan Department of Geography and Environment, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Sara Smith Department of Geography and Environment, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Pavithra Vasudevan Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Texas at Austin


anticolonial praxis, feminist methods, world building futurists, temporality, letters, futures


In this special issue, we propose the letter as a form with geographic potential. Building on prior work on letters in geography, Black feminism, and Indigenous studies, we draw on a collection of sixteen letters in the section to build a case for letters as time travel, anticolonial epistemology, feminist geographic method, and worldmaking praxis. We bring together letter writers who speak to their ancestors known and unknown, to future generations, to ideas, to activists, to places, and to strangers—and weave them into a messy and generative conversation on the kinds of spaces that letters make between and among us. Our intention is to build on recent work in geography to experiment with what the letter makes possible for us as geographers.



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Belcourt, Billy-Ray. 2016. “A Poltergeist Manifesto.” Feral Feminisms 6: 22–32.

Cisneros, Nora Alba. 2018. “‘To My Relations’: Writing and Refusal toward an Indigenous Epistolary Methodology.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 31 (3): 188–96.

Curley, Andrew. 2021. “Infrastructures as Colonial Beachheads: Arizona’s Temporal Invasion on Diné Lands, Waters, and Resources.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 39 (3): 387–404.

DasGupta, Debanuj, Rae Rosenberg, John Paul Catungal, and Jen Jack Gieseking. 2021. “Pedagogies of Queer and Trans Repair.” ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 20 (5): 491–508.

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Gergan, Mabel, Pallavi Gupta, Lara Lookabaugh, Caitilin McMillan, Carlos Serrano, Sara Smith, and Pavithra Vasudevan. 2024. “Desirable Futures: Desirable futures: Time as possibility, practice, politics.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 42 (1): 1-24.

Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. 2013. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Brooklyn, Ny: Minor Compositions.

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Luk, Sharon. 2018. The Life of Paper: Letters and a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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McKittrick, Katherine. 2006. Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Melonas, Desireé R. 2021. “‘Hey Mama;’ ‘Dear Sister;’ ‘Sister Love’: Black Women’s Healing and Radical Self-Care through Epistolary Work.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 42 (1): 38–57.

Molina Vargas, Hema’ny, Camila Marambio, and Nina Lykke. 2020. “Decolonising Mourning: World-Making with the Selk’nam People of Karokynka/Tierra Del Fuego.” Australian Feminist Studies 35 (104): 186–201.

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How to Cite

Gergan, M., Gupta, P., Lookabaugh, L., McMillan, C., Smith, S., & Vasudevan, P. (2024). Desirable Futures: Write Me a Letter. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 23(2), 91–106. Retrieved from



Special Issue: Desirable Futures