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Reading Claude Raffestin: pathways for a critical biography

Published in Environment and Planning. D, Society and Space. 2012, vol. 30, p. 173–189
Abstract This paper suggests fleshing out and making material the authorial voice, exploring pathways for writing a critical biography of Claude Raffestin, a Swiss geographer writing from the late Nineteen Seventies to the present day. In exploring his life and contribution as part of the wider Francophone tradition of social and political geography, it aims to engage further with the debate on the circulation of knowledge, and the alleged hegemony of the English language within geography. In doing this, I suggest that the term ‘disciplinary Orientalism' might help to think through some of the contradictions in geography of both drawing heavily from foreign critical thinkers, often removed from the spaces and contexts of debate they are/were writing in, while simultaneously ignoring foreign geographical traditions and contributions. Building on Raffestin's work, and drawing from diverse sources including his writings, reviews of his work and new interview material, I explore how his geographies might make sense here and now, to the extent that here is inevitably an uncertain place, not only in where this paper is written and read, but also because reading always takes place in-between contexts. Through this example, this paper explores how scholars are embodied and located in uncertain places, pointing to the multiple circulations and non-circulations of theory and praxis within geography.
Keywords Claude RaffestinFrench geographyTranslationCirculation of knowledgeBiographyPolitical geographyHistorical geography
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FALL, Juliet Jane. Reading Claude Raffestin: pathways for a critical biography. In: Environment and Planning. D, Society and Space, 2012, vol. 30, p. 173–189. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:19265

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Deposited on : 2012-03-28

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