Emotional Knowing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Traditionally, geographers have assumed that emotion lies outside the purview of knowledge. However, recent interest in emotion has helped to draw attention to ways in which knowledge of emotions and the acquisition of knowledge via emotions are already present within long-standing geographical traditions, including, for example, humanistic geography. Knowing about emotion and approaching emotion as a way of knowing are intertwined themes, which have recently been taken up by a diverse range of geographers. Feminist geographers have been among the first to insist on the salience of emotion as a theme through which to understand the embodied geographies of everyday life, and to call into question the treatment of emotion and reason as a mutually exclusive opposition. Methodologically, feminist geographers have advanced ways of making available the emotional knowledge of marginalized groups. Nonrepresentational approaches have argued that emotional knowing is nondiscursive, noncognitive, transhuman, as well as embodied. Work from this perspective has sought to honor the ineffable and the limits of representational knowledge. Psychoanalysis focuses on unconscious relational registers and dynamics. Emotions are understood as movements that simultaneously define and rework subjective boundaries, and within which researchers are necessarily immersed. These different perspectives are characterized by points of tension and conflict, and by areas of convergence and overlap.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
EditorsRob Kitchin, Nigel Thrift
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-044911-1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Affect
  • Embodiment
  • Emotion
  • Feeling
  • Feminism
  • Knowledge
  • Narration
  • Noncognitive
  • Nonrepresentational
  • Performative
  • Practice
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Subjectivity
  • Unconscious


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