Applying the Geohumanities

Applying the Geohumanities

Eric Magrane (New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJAGR.2019040103

Abstract

In recent years, geography has taken up a renewed engagement with humanities approaches to place, space, and environment. These approaches offer new possibilities for relevant, publicly engaged research and teaching; applying the geohumanities expands the techniques that geographers can employ to do engaged work in the face of great social and environmental challenges. This article describes two examples of applied geohumanities projects: a community course on climate change and poetry and a creative approach to a citizen science bioblitz. Building on these examples, four questions for future work in applied geohumanities are posed.
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Public Geohumanities/Doing The Geohumanities

In recent years the discipline of geography has taken up a renewed engagement with humanities approaches, such as studies and/or practices of literature, art, and environmental history, to the core concerns of place, space, and environment at the heart of geographic inquiry. From edited collections (Daniels, DeLyser, Entrikin, & Richardson, 2011; Dear, Ketchum, Luria, & Richardson, 2011), to AAG’s new flagship GeoHumanities journal (Cresswell & Dixon, 2015), to the “spatial turn” in cognate interdisciplinary endeavors such as the “environmental humanities” (Rose, van Dooren, Chrulew, Cooke, Kearnes, & O’Gorman, 2012) and “digital humanities” (Crang, 2015; Bauch, 2017), some have argued that the geohumanities open up opportunities for engaging new practices and reaching new publics (Kitchin, 2013; Wilson, 2013; Hawkins et al., 2015; Magrane, 2015).

In an article that gathers together seven geohumanities scholars and practitioners, Hawkins (2015) asks “What, then, might GeoHumanities do, and what might it mean to do the GeoHumanities?” (p. 216). One of the themes that Hawkins draws together in introducing the seven contributors in the piece is the ability for geohumanities practices to engage multiple publics. Indeed, geographers have noted the possibilities afforded to the discipline when its practitioners produce writing that reaches audiences outside the academy (Kitchin, 2013; Wilson, 2013; Magrane, 2015). This ability to reach new or different audiences is one way in which geohumanities approaches—that may produce work in “art-science” literary or artistic forms as well as in academic forms (Magrane & Johnson, 2017)—can be an applied approach.

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