An event of geographical ethics in spaces of affect


Department of Geography, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ email:


This paper contributes to a rethinking of the ethical sensibilities of geographical research in the context of an emerging interest amongst geographers in non-representational registers of thinking and moving. Rather than undermining geographical engagements with questions of the ethical, the paper argues that this emerging interest in questions of the non-representational actually extends the range and repertoire of empirical contexts and conceptual vehicles within and with which such an engagement can take place. The paper argues that attending to and through the relation between affect and ethics is particularly important to this effort. The importance of affect in this regard is illustrated through a series of examples drawn from an 18-month participatory encounter with a specific therapeutic practice, Dance Movement Therapy. Drawing upon such examples, the paper offers some lines of ethical potential that might provide orientation to further geographical research. In doing this, the paper concentrates in particular on the necessity of cultivating a fidelity to the affective event of geographical ethics as much as remaining faithful to the subject or object of an ethical code.