During the last 20 years anti-humanist and posthumanist thinking have gained a strong foothold in human geography. This development has indisputable benefits regarding our understanding of the power-knowledge complex, representation and ‘new materialisms’, respectively, but it has also had a troubled relationship to the comprehension of lived experience, notions of agency and politics. This paper aims to explore how a practice-oriented re-reading of phenomenology can contribute to a ‘new humanism’ after anti-/posthumanism. The paper starts from a research study on ‘The Stranger, the city and the nation’, which I have recently completed with my colleague Lasse Koefoed. The purpose is to embed the subsequent philosophical discussions in their consequences for the empirical analysis of social life. The re-reading of phenomenology revolves around three issues: thinking the body as a phenomenal, lived body; orientation and disorientation in the directions and possibilities of social life; and the phenomenological travel along the anti-/posthumanist lane. The paper concludes with a suggestion of a ‘new humanism’ that avoids the rationalist and self-righteous claims of the old ones but maintains elements of the experiential dimension of social life, the acknowledgement of the other and the significance of human agency.
|Journal||Progress in Human Geography|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|