Other geographies: Thinking space, from somewhere

03/29/2019 - 3:30pm
Patterson Office Tower 18th floor, West End Room
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Natalie Oswin
Dominant histories of geographic thought confine the ‘cultural turn’ -which brought geographers into conversation with alternative epistemologies like critical race, postcolonial, Indigenous, feminist, and queer theories- to the 1990s/early 2000s. These theories may indeed have reached peak saturation in Geography then. But while significant parts of the discipline see the cultural turn as a thing of the past, it is ongoing. And there is thus now a wealth of scholarship that shows us how social difference works in and through space and place. Yet this work is still on the margins in Geography. For, despite widespread good intentions, there is considerable resistance to the epistemological and embodied challenges that come along with these alternative theorizations. Dismissals, erasures, and devaluings are enacted through acts of micro- and micro-aggressions, non-/tokenistic citation, canonical gatekeeping and more - all to the detriment of individuals on the margins and of efforts to advance a collective critical project in these deeply troubling times. In this talk, I argue for a new turn/revolution, one focused on building relationships with each ‘other’. I argue that though we have considerable evidence that we, as ‘others’ & allies, are not heard, we can build new centres, ones that extend what we know to be true because we live it in our bodies and on our skin; that is, that differential embodiment is the most consequential element in determining life chances in our world, and that this fact ought not be treated as a sideshow but as a main event
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