New Tradition-Minded Academic Geographers Subgroup

Jim Norwine

Academic geography became more “humanistic” over the past generation or two, a shift that may be seen as part of the larger culture-shift away from the assumptions, values and conceits of modernity to the assumptions, values and conceits of postmodernity. While this was an understandable and even healthy reaction to the excessive positivism of the previous era, the result has not been a balanced middle ground, but a radical and near universal shift to politicized leftist "scholarship." Advocacy replaced inquiry, and not, as one might have hoped, advocacy of the whole range of human values, including individual liberty or the benefits of tradition. Rather, for many human geographers the discipline’s reason-to-be has become dogmatic advocacy of a compulsory program of "social justice" and "environment integrity." Jim Norwine, Regents Professor of Geography at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, proposes the formation of a working group of “tradition-minded” academic geographers, the first goal of which would be to discuss possible alternative approaches to the praxis of 21st century geography. Such alternatives might range from Christian scholarship to the old “noble” (Roger Scruton) or positive form of humanism. Interested NAS members are urged to contact Jim at [email protected].


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March 23, 2011


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