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Incorporating Geography into Applied Civic Studies: Geospatial Competencies and Community Engagement

Authors: Anne Mosher*, Syracuse University, Anna Poe, Syracuse University
Topics: Urban Geography, Applied Geography, Geography Education
Keywords: civic studies, public pedagogy, community geography, geography education
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 4:35 PM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This poster presents research that has been inspired by the Summer Institute of Civic Studies and the growing interdisciplinary cadre of scholars who have developed and refined a heuristic framework for applied research on and collaborative activism within civic life. Blending quantitative social science, qualitative humanities, and action, the framework--which highlights the materiality of the Commons, discourse in the Public Sphere, and collective strategizing within Social Movements, cries out for spatialization and grounding in the geographical concepts of space and place. It serves as a basis for the articulation of five geospatial competencies of civic life that can be evaluated through an examination of community-based participatory work. As a testbed, we use the framework and the accompanying five competencies to evaluate several civic and community engagement projects in Upstate New York, including an attempt to implement a sustainable holistic planning system in the small town of Gouverneur. From this work, not only do we better understand Civic Studies' potential as an academic field, but we can evaluate the roles that professional and lay practices of geography play in shaping the Commons, Public Sphere, Social Movements, Civic Agency and Civic Life. What might be the implications of this concern for geography for Civic Studies and Civic Education, and the emphasis on civics on Community Geography and Geography Education?

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