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“Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones”: A Personal Geography of Harassment

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Over recent months I have received silent phone calls and malicious homophobic mail that has referred to my sexual identity, my research, my teaching, and my position within the discipline of Geography, and I have been “outed” as a lesbian to my parents. This paper attempts to unpack these experiences: first, by examining the different processes (all of which play upon the mutual constitution of my academic self and sexual self) through which my harasser has sought to exclude me from the discipline of Geography; second, by exploring the geography of this harassment—focusing on how malicious letters/calls can disrupt meanings of place, particularly the way that personal geographies can be taken for granted until they are transgressed; third, by considering geographies of the law. Finally, the paper reflects onthe mutual constitution of my sexual identity, geographical research and writing, academic identity as a geographer, and the discipline of Geography itself.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England

Publication date: October 1, 1998


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