The annual conference of the American Association of Geographers has become a major forum for theoretical and applied social science engagements with notions of space and place. The 2012 AAG in New York continued the tradition, attracting around 9,000 delegates from all parts of the world and from many disciplines, not just human geography.
This year’s conference featured various special sessions tracks, which excitingly for geographers and other social scientists in the medical humanities included: “a special set of 40 paper or panel sessions exploring new interdisciplinary research and practice taking place at the intersections of geography and a broad range of humanities and arts disciplines.”
In practice, these sessions largely engaged the humanities and arts in relation to environmental and landscape directed themes. Nonetheless, this high profile, high visibility encounter with the humanities and arts speaks of an evident movement within geography towards a renaissance of humanities based research endeavour. Next year’s conference will take place in Los Angeles and we will capitalise on this movement and propose a set of three sessions exploring the ‘GeoHumanities and Health’. Watch our blog for the calls for papers later in the year !
Meanwhile, those involved in pioneering the sessions this year have edited a volume of essays by both academics and artists: GeoHumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place, edited by Michael Dear, Jim Ketchum, Sarah Luria and Douglas Richardson (Abingdon and New York, Routledge, 2011).