Go to content

News and Archive

Global South Lecture Series | Johannes Bohle (Flensburg) - 'Follow-the-Hurricane-Geographies': Geographische Impulse für Area Studies am Beispiel der Karibik

10.06.2021, 18:15-19:45

Johannes Bohle  (Department of Geography, Europa-Universität Flensburg)
'Follow-the-Hurricane-Geographies': Geographische Impulse für Area Studies am Beispiel der Karibik

This lecture will be held in German

Follow-the-Hurricane Geographies: Geographic impulses for Area Studies based on the Caribbean

This lecture explores theory and knowledge production in social and cultural geography in the context of regional studies and in the context of the relations between disciplinary and interdisciplinary area studies. Drawing on the empirical example of follow-the-hurricane geographies as analyses of governmentality, I outline here selected spatial theories and conceptual ideas that could aid the reorientation of area studies.

Two observations are central to this lecture:

  1. As a discipline, geography contributes relatively little to conceptual debates taking place in area studies. At first sight, this seems strange because expertise in regional geography and conceptual debates on “space” are fundamental to the discipline, shaping its development. Turning to a history of the discipline to illustrate debates on theory-making, it is possible to develop illuminating insights for area studies.
  2. Here the Caribbean is located in the context of ongoing developments in regional studies as a region located between the poles of marginalization and overemphasis. On the one hand, the Caribbean is given marginal attention, in particular in the framework of Latin American studies. On the other hand, however, many studies have depicted the region as the primary location and magnifying glass of Modernity precisely because the capitalist world system, with its glocal entanglements, manifests itself in the Caribbean in particular ways. It is within these tensions that the issue of knowledge production in and on the Caribbean becomes particularly evident.

Drawing on empirical examples related to the risk factors of hurricanes in the Caribbean, this lecture also outlines methodologies, spatial theories and conceptual ideas that could offer fruitful ways of approaching the region’s particularities without contributing to the reification of spaces or naturalization of social processes.