CfP AAG 2023: “Drawing as Critical Geographical Method”

Panel Session, AAG 2023, Denver – deadline for expressions of interest October 7 2022

“Drawing as Critical Geographical Method”
Observational drawing, Creative methods, Qualitative research, Graphic geographies, Trans-disciplinary methods

Cultural Geography Specialty Group, Qualitative Research Specialty Group

Chan Arun-Pina, Sage Brice, Karen Paiva Henrique and Aparna Parikh

““Drawing is the opening of form. This can be thought in two ways: opening in the sense of a beginning, departure, origin, dispatch, impetus, or sketching out, and opening in the sense of an availability or inherent capacity. According to the first sense, drawing evokes more the gesture of drawing than the traced figure. According to the second, it indicates the figure’s essential incompleteness, a non-closure or non-totalizing of form”(Nancy, 2013)

We welcome expressions of interest for a panel on Drawing as Geographical Method at the AAG 2023 in Denver. Building on new and recent experimentation in the discipline, this panel brings together practitioners at the intersection of drawing with geographical enquiry to discuss the potentials and pitfalls of this emerging area of practice. How can drawing expand, deepen, and/or redirect current modes of critical geographical inquiry? How is drawing positioned in relation to text and writing? How can the discipline best integrate drawing’s non-binaristic creative-intellectual potential?

While observation and schematic drawing have historically been significant as methods of surveillance and illustration within physical geography (Sackett, 2006), and solicited or guided drawing have become well established as participatory ethnographic methods in human geography and the social sciences (Literat, 2013), relatively little attention has been paid to the possibilities of drawing as an integrated method for first-hand observation, reflection and analysis in geographical fieldwork that treats the “image as an integral component of the inquiry process” (De Cosson and Irwin, 2004). This panel will bring together scholars at the forefront of current methodological innovation, with a view to compiling a themed special issue that will help ground and orientate future use of drawing in human geography and beyond.

To be considered for this panel please send a short statement of interest (250 words) outlining relevant research projects and areas of interest. These and any questions should be directed to, with the subject line “Drawing as Critical Geographical Method”, by October 7, 2022.

Contributions will reflect critically on the role of drawing in relation to various aspects of geographical fieldwork and research, including but not limited to the following:

  • Re-drawing, tracing, and diagramming as analysis
  • Observation and fieldwork encounters
  • Embedeness, exploration, and discovery
  • Researcher positionality and critical reflexivity
  • Integration of artistic practice and methodologies
  • Vulnerability and knowledge co-production
  • Embodied, sensory, and psycho- geographies
  • Power and spatial inequality
  • Identity and subject-formation
  • Speculative methods and futurities
  • Process ontologies and non-representational theory
  • Posthumanist and decolonial methods
  • Graphic methods, comics, and cartoons
  • Field and research journaling

Works cited:
Literat, I. (2013) ‘“A Pencil for your Thoughts”: Participatory Drawing as a Visual Research Method with Children and Youth’, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 84–98 [Online]. DOI: 10.1177/160940691301200143.

Nancy, J.-L. (2013) The Pleasure in Drawing (trans. P. Armstrong), New York, Fordham University Press.

Sackett, C. (ed.) (2006)The True Line: The Landscape Diagrams of Geoffrey Hutchings, Axminster, Devon, Colin Sackett.

De Cosson, & Irwin, R. L. (2004). A/r/tography : rendering self through arts-based living inquiry. Pacific Educational Press.