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Other radical geographies: tropicality and decolonisation in twentieth-century French geography

Federico Ferretti 1, 2
GC (UMR_8504) - Géographie-cités
Abstract : This paper analyses the anti-colonialist commitment of a circuit of French geographers who variously criticised French colonialism or directly contributed to decolonisation movements in Africa in the central decades of the twentieth century. Based on the analysis of works and unpublished archives of these scholars and activists, I argue that their work can be considered as a specific French contribution to early critical and radical geographies, exposing the complexity and diversity which constitutes the plurality of geographical traditions, to be understood through their stories of political dissidence. I extend current scholarship analysing histories and theories around the movement of 'radical geography' as well as geographers' works on decolonisation, postcolonialism, and anticolonialism, stressing the need for diversifying geographical research's standpoints beyond Western canons. I especially call for rediscovering other critical and radical geographical traditions from outside the Anglosphere, eventually French anti-colonialist geographies, whose exponents directly collaborated with colleagues from the South, especially the Maghreb and Western Africa. Studying these traditions is indispensable to decolonise geography and make it more international, cosmopolite, and activist. This paper also extends recent contributions demonstrating that, in imperial ages, geography showed more potentiality for inspiring political dissidence than what was commonly believed.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 5:42:54 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 3:08:19 PM


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Federico Ferretti. Other radical geographies: tropicality and decolonisation in twentieth-century French geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Wiley, 2021, ⟨10.1111/tran.12438⟩. ⟨hal-03146084⟩



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