A Praxis Perspective
Edited by George Henderson, Marvin Waterstone
Routledge – 2009 – 400 pages
Without social movements and wider struggles for progressive social change, the field of Geography would lack much of its contemporary relevance and vibrancy. Moreover, these struggles and the geographical scholarship that engages with them have changed the philosophical underpinnings of the discipline and have inflected the quest for geographical knowledge with a sense not only of urgency but also hope. This reader, intended for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate courses in Geographic Thought, is at once an analysis of Geography’s theoretical and practical concerns and an encounter with grounded political struggles.
This reader offers a fresh approach to learning about Geographic Thought by showing, through concrete examples and detailed editorial essays, how the discipline has been forever altered by the rise of progressive social struggles. Structured to aid student understanding, the anthology presents substantive main and part introductory essays and features more than two dozen unabridged published works by leading scholars that emphatically articulate geographic thought to progressive social change. Each section is introduced with an explanation of how the following pieces fit into the broader context of geographic work amidst the socially progressive struggles that have altered social relations in various parts of the world over the last half-century or so. Doubly, it places this work in the context of the larger goals of social struggles to frame or reframe rights, justice, and ethics. Geographic Thought provides readers with insights into the encounters between scholarship and practice and aims to prompt debates over how social and geographical knowledges arise from the context of social struggles and how these knowledges might be redirected at those contexts in constructive, evaluative ways.
The reader is unique not only in knowing Geographic Thought through its progressive political attachments, instead of through a series of abstract "isms", but in gathering together salient works by geographers as well as scholars in cognate fields, such as Nancy Fraser, Chantal Mouffe, Iris Marion Young, and Jack Kloppenberg, whose own engagements have proved lasting and influential. For researchers and students interested in the connections between theoretically informed work and the possibilities for bettering people’s everyday lives, this book provides an innovative and compelling argument for why Geographic Thought is valuable and necessary.
Section 1: The Politics of Geographic Thought Introduction: Why is Geographic Thought Always Political? 1. Revolutionary and Counter-revolutionary Theory in Geography and the Problem of Ghetto Formation (DAVID HARVEY) 2. Geographic Models of Imperialism (JAMES BLAUT) 3. On Not Excluding Half of the Human in Human Geography (JANICE MONK and SUSAN HANSON) Section 2: Staking Claims Introduction: Moral Knowledge, Geographical Knowledge: What Does it Mean to Claim Moral Ground, or How is Oppression to be Recognized? Part One: Characterizing Oppressions and Recognizing Injustice Introduction 4. Five Faces of Oppression (IRIS MARION YOUNG) 5. Social Justice in the Age of Identity Politics: Redistribution, Recognition, and Participation (NANCY FRASER) Part Two: Making Justice Spatial Introduction 6. Moral Progress in Human Geography: Transcending the Place of Good Fortune (DAVID SMITH) 7. Dissecting the Autonomous Self: Hybrid Cartographies For A Relational Ethics (SARAH WHATMORE) Part Three: Practicing Politicized Geographic Thought Introduction 8. Maps, Knowledge, and Power (J. BRIAN HARLEY) 9. Collaboration Across Borders: Moving Beyond Positionality (RICHA NAGAR, with FARAH ALI) 10. Research, Pedagogy, and Instrumental Geography (RICH HEYMAN) 11. Situated Knowledge Through Exploration: Reflections on Bunge’s ‘Geographic Expeditions’ (ANDY MERRIFIELD) Section 3: Goals and Arenas of Struggle: What is to be gained and How? Introduction: The Embeddedness of Intentions, Tactics, and Strategies in Rights-, Justice-, and Ethics-based Worldviews Part One: Rights-based Goals Introduction 12. Mobility, Empowerment and the Rights Revolution (NICHOLAS BLOMLEY) 13. Human Rights and Development in Africa: Moral Intrusion or Empowering Opportunity? (GILES MOHAN and JEREMY HOLLAND) 14. New World Warriors: ‘nation’ and ‘state’ in the Politics of Zapatista and US Patriot Movements (CAROLYN GALLAHER and OLIVER FROEHLING) 15. Social Theory and the De/reconstruction of Agricultural Science: Local Knowledge for an Alternative Agriculture (JACK KLOPPENBERG, JR.) Part Two: Justice-based Goals Introduction 16. Restructuring the Contraction and Expansion of Environmental Rights in the United States (LAURA PULIDO) 17. Environmental Justice and American Indian Tribal Sovereignty: Case Study of a Land-use Conflict in Skull Valley, Utah (NORIKO ISHIYAMA) 18. Structural Power, Agency, and National Liberation: The Case of East Timor (JAMES GLASSMAN) Part Three: Ethics-based Goals Introduction 19. Post-Marxism: Democracy and Identity (CHANTAL MOUFFE) 20. U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of the Oppositional Consciousness in the Postmodern World (CHELA SANDOVAL) 21. An Ethics of the Local (J. K. GIBSON-GRAHAM)
George Henderson is a human geographer who teaches and writes about the political economy of American capitalism. He is the author of the book California and the Fictions of Capital (Temple University Press paperback, 2003) and is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota.
Marv Waterstone is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Arizona. He was also the Director of the University of Arizona's Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies. His current teaching includes History of Geographic Thought, Risk and Society, Radical Geography, Geography and Social Justice, Environmental and Resource Geography, and Governing Science and Technology.