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Feminism, bodily difference and non‐representational geographies

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Abstract:

Over the past 10 years, a body of work, collectively known as non‐representational geographies, has emerged within human geography. Broad in its empirical and theoretical emphasis, its main ethos is to develop a mode of engaging with and presenting the world that emphasises the taking‐place of practices and what humans and non‐humans do. However, there have been a number of critiques of this work. Some of these have been made by feminist geographers who are particularly concerned with non‐representational geographies’ reproduction of an undifferentiated body‐subject. This article engages explicitly with this critique by suggesting the possibility of useful engagements between feminism and non‐representational geographies. This is done first by suggesting that feminist geographers might adopt a ‘nomadic consciousness’ that both remains critical of the gender‐blindness of much poststructuralist theory while also being open to the potential that it offers for feminist accounts of the subject. This is demonstrated by drawing on feminist theoretical work that seeks to rethink corporeal specificity. Second, the article presents an account of sexual difference as force in order to demonstrate how difference can be conceptualised drawing on some of the tenets and theoretical underpinnings of non‐representational geographies. The article concludes by reflecting on how to harbour generous and generative relationships between feminist geographies, sexual difference theories and non‐representational geographies.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00477.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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