Education: Forming and Deforming the Premodern Mind – Mapping the Premodern: Selected Proceedings of the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, 27th Annual Graduate Student Conference, January 23 (2009)
The field of feminist geography emerged and developed in the 1970s and 80s in response to the 2 near exclusion of women from the geographic profession and from geographic inquiry. Like all branches of feminist research, feminist geography problematizes gendered power relations traditionally regarded as value-neutral and asserts the authority of women’s lived experiences as essential to the production of knowledge and to confronting and eliminating gender inequality. At both the macro and micro levels, feminist geography explores and critiques the ways that traditional geography and its gendered political and cartographic discourses both produce and are products of masculinist misprision of women’s desire for autonomy and geographic motility as potential transgressions of male prerogative; this misprision manifests as the impulse to control and oppress women. Moreover, this new geographic field understands traditional academic geography as an instrument of expansion and exploitation that erases women by neglecting the ways women shape and are shaped by their familial, social, economic, political, and cultural conditions. Feminist geography thus oppugns all masculinist-imperialist geographic ideologies, practices, and discourses, including that which the geographer Gillian Rose identifies as the “trope of discovery,” through which old but newly discovered places, cultures, lands, and landscapes are discursively feminized as desirable spaces available for invasion, occupation, and exploitation.