I’m very pleased with recent progress on a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Cultural Geography for which I’m serving as a guest editor alongside Weronika Kusek (Kent State University). Weronika and I were fortunate to receive timely and generous support from reviewers, and nearly all of our contributors have submitted their revisions. We expect the last few revised manuscripts to arrive in early January. JCG editor Alyson Greiner (Oklahoma State University) projects a June 2014 publication date. Readers of this blog can expect to see more about this project when all of the manuscripts are finalized and submitted to the publisher. In the meantime, see below, the first paragraph of our introductory essay, “Embracing Dissensus: Reflections on Contemporary Research Strategies in Cultural Geography.”
How is research in cultural geography done? How should it be done? These questions, placed in the context of a long standing lack of consensus on how they should be answered, were the signposts for two sessions that we organized for the 2013 meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Los Angeles. The sessions brought together junior and senior scholars who sought to narrate interventions in how cultural geography is and should be performed. Some presenters argued in favor of or against particular research strategies, guided by concern for the ethical and political stakes of favoring a particular approach. Others examined the limits of a research strategy, reflecting on an experience in the field or during analysis, focusing on what that strategy has proven to make visible or obscure. Still other presenters, and indeed many of the audience members, either implicitly or explicitly addressed a gap between how cultural geographers are “doing” cultural geography in spaces of scholarly production (e.g., the field, the peer-reviewed journal, the conference hall), and how they teach it in their classrooms. All the while our guiding questions remained open, and indeed intentionally so; we never intended to enforce closure.