Geography Speaks is an investigation of how geography is informed by speech act theory and performativity. Starting with a critical analysis of how J.L. Austin's speech act theory probed the permeability between fact and fiction, it then assesses oppositional interpretations by John Searle and Jacques Derrida, and in doing so, it explores the fictional aspects within scientific knowledge. The book then focuses on five key aspects of the geographical discipline and analyses them using the theories of speech acts and performance: the performative aspects of the creation of place; speech act performances and geopolitics; acts of cartographical construction as variations of speech act performance; the performative aspects of the creation of public and private space, and, finally; the history of the discipline as a sequence of performative acts that attempt to establish geography as being constitutive of this or that type of disciplinary method or scientific viewpoint. Geography Speaks is an interdisciplinary text with a distinct and clear focus on cultural geography while also synthesizing into geography ideas germane to historiography, the philosophy of language, the history of science, and comparative literature.
Dr, Rob Sullivan, Department of Geography, UCLA, USA
'Sullivan’s book is a very thought provoking and intriguing... Sullivan’s diverse, rich accounts of performatives can be a stimulating reading for a broad range of readers in geography.' Journal of Regional Science