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Affecting Geospatial Technologies: Toward a Feminist Politics of Emotion


  • *Earlier versions of this article were presented in the University of Minnesota Department of Geography's speaker series “Feminism and Social Theory in Geography,” 15 October 2004, and at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Denver, 5–9 April 2005. I thank the audiences of these presentations, and Karen Dias, Jennifer Blecha, and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


Building on earlier contributions to feminist understanding of geospatial technologies (GT), I seek to further develop feminist perspectives on GT along new directions. I argue that an attention to the importance of affect (feelings and emotions) and the performative nature of GT practices offers a distinctive critical edge to feminist work on GT. I emphasize the need for GT practitioners to contest the dominant meanings and uses of GT, and to participate in struggles against the oppressive or violent effects of these technologies. I argue that only when emotions, feelings, values, and ethics become an integral part of our geospatial practices can we hope that the use of GT will lead to a less violent and more just world.