Theorising space & spatiality – Dialogues in Human Geography

In a recent issue of  the journal Dialogues in Human Geography there is a fascinating edited transcript of a panel session (from the 2010 AAG conference) with a fairly stellar group of speakers offering their reflections on the theorisation of space and spatiality. The contributions are from Gunnar Olsson, Eric Sheppard, Nigel Thrift and Yi-Fu Tuan. The article and the conference session from which it originates were put together by Martin Jones and Peter Merriman, from Aberystwyth. This is something like compulsory reading for students of geography, at all stages of career! I’ve copied below the abstract. Unfortunately the article requires a subscription to be accessed.

This article is an edited transcript of a panel discussion on ‘Space and Spatiality in Theory’ which was held at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Washington, DC, April 2010. In the article, the panel map out some of the challenges for thinking, writing and performing spaces in the 21st century, reflecting upon the emergence of new ways of theorizing space and spatiality, the relationship between writing, action and spacing, and the emergence of distinctive spatialized ontologies (e.g. ‘movement-space’) which appear to reflect epistemological and technological shifts in how our worlds are thought, produced and inhabited. The panellists stress the importance of recognizing the partial nature of Anglophone theoretical approaches, and they argue for more situated and modest theories. They also reflect upon the importance of a wide range of disciplinary knowledges and practices to their thinking on the spatialities of the world, from philosophy and the natural sciences to art and poetry.

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