On Problematization 3: Panel Discussion

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Bonaparte, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Tom Roberts, John-David Dewsbury, Scott Sharpe
Chairs: John-David Dewsbury


The notion of ‘problematization’ turns around a central question of pressing concern for geographers today, namely: what capacities for thinking and doing social research are lost when we make do with problems that are themselves preconceived? In an intellectual milieu that often privileges doom-laden narratives, there is a need to address an insidious conservatism when identifying the kinds of problems that geographical research might inhabit. This task is, we feel, rendered all the more critical in a time increasingly dominated by the sad encounters of fear and the forces of ressentiment, the effect of which is to reduce our powers of thinking and acting to an instrumental logic of problem-solving. This session seeks to mobilize debate around the notion of problematization, which we present as a provocation to refuse the comforting conservatism of ready-made problems in contemporary geographical research. Problems, we contend, always have the solutions they deserve, which makes the articulation of a problem – that is, the process of problematization – a matter of invention. It is precisely this inventive, generative, and indeed disruptive force of problematization that we wish to explore here, whether in relation to the micropolitics of articulating new conceptual problems, the ethics of producing subjectivities through problematizing processes, or, indeed, the inherence of material forces that make of life a problematic process in itself.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Tom Roberts UNSW Canberra 15
Panelist Marcus Doel University of Wales, Swansea 15
Panelist Scott Sharpe University of New South Wales at Canberra 15
Panelist Tariq Jazeel University College London 15
Panelist Punam Khosla York University 15
Panelist John-David Dewsbury University Of Bristol 15

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