Language, international communication and the practice of economic geography




In reference to their research and professional activities, panelists will comment on the bridges and barriers to communication across linguistic and political contexts. Are the translations that economic geographers perform mundane, or are they of a more complex nature? What are the experiences of geographers whose first language is not English? Conversely, are Anglo-American geographers (dis)advantaged by their situation? What variables facilitate the successful translation of our international field work? Where are the bottlenecks to representing research findings to our international peers? What do these issues of language and communication reveal about the constitution of our discipline?



Tim Reiffenstein Mount Allison University




Harald Bathelt University of Toronto

Karen Lai University of Nottingham

Fujio Mizuoka Hitotsubashi University

Michael Samers University of Kentucky

Sarah Turner McGill University




I envision this session unfolding as an informal oral presentation/discussion. Each participant will be given the opportunity to speak on their interpretation and experience of the topic. These ideas may be prepared in advance or they may be improvised. I do want every speaker to have their turn and, after everyone has spoken, an opportunity to comment on what other panelists have said.  Questions/comments from the floor will then be invited. I anticipate a wide-ranging discussion from an eclectic set of presenters whose work I admire for different reasons. Panelists do different types of economic geography and are at various stages in their career. I am truly curious to see what will transpire.