Human geography without time-space

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-27
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Volume37
Issue number1
Early online date07 Jun 2011
DOI
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
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Abstract

In this paper I challenge the obsession of many Anglophone human geographers with time-space and space-time. While acknowledging that spacing and timing are important dimensions of the unfolding of many events, I question the logic of positioning them as the primordial, foundational, a priori measures for thinking about events, position, extension and context, and I suggest that their prioritisation reflects the continuing power of space and time as concepts in both classical and modern science and significant strands of philosophy. The paper traces how space and time have increasingly been thought together by human geographers since the late 1960s, examining how discussions of time-space and space-time have underpinned the writings of thinkers such as Torsten Hägerstrand, Nigel Thrift, Anthony Giddens, David Harvey and Doreen Massey. The paper draws upon strands of processual, poststructuralist and post-phenomenological thinking in an attempt to map out a different way of thinking about the unfolding of events, in which spacing and timing should not be seen a priori to be any more important than other constitutive measures – e.g. movement, rhythm, force, energy, affect or sensation – in the unfolding and turbulence of the world. The paper then describes how certain practices like driving and dancing may be characterised by an apprehension and inhabitation of movement-space rather than space-time.

Keywords

  • space, non-representational theory, movement-space, poststructuralism, time, event