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Methods in Legal Geography I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Legal Geography Specialty Group
Organizers: Brandon Derman, Tiffany Grobelski
Chairs: Brandon Derman


Law is lived, as socio-legal scholars have shown. That is, the legal is both constructed and made impactful through practice, performance, and experience. Legal geographers, particularly, have demonstrated how such social processes are grounded in and generative of specific materialities and spatialities. Such work suggests that robust studies of the legal can seldom be conducted through textual analysis alone, since many legalities are unwritten, unmapped, or unmappable. Indeed, they may be intentionally hidden from view.

This paper session will gather scholars to reflect on method and/or methodology in legal geography, including how elusive, affective, material, or embodied legalities have been or could be known, and what specific dimensions of the legal may be illuminated by different ways of doing scholarship. We seek, thereby, to continue and deepen prior and ongoing conversations about methods and the possibility of a “methodological turn” (Braverman 2014) in legal geography.

Bennett, L., & Layard, A. (2015). Legal Geography: Becoming Spatial Detectives. Geography Compass, 9(7), 406–422.
Braverman, I. (2014). Who’s afraid of methodology? Advocating a methodological turn in legal geography. In Braverman, Irus, N. Blomley, D. Delaney, & A. Kedar (Eds.), The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Greography (pp. 120–141). Stanford University Press.
Delaney, D. (2010). The spatial, the legal and the pragmatics of world-making: Nomospheric investigations. Retrieved from
Derman, Brandon B. (2019). Legal Geographies. In A. Kobayashi (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (2nd ed.). Elsevier.
Jeffrey, A. (2019). Legal geography 1: Court materiality. Progress in Human Geography, 43(3), 565–573.
Moore, S. A. & Kleinfeld, M. (2015, April 22nd). Methods in Legal Geography. Paper Session, Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, Chicago.
O’Donnell, T., Robinson, D. F., Gillespie, J., Robinson, D. F., & Gillespie, J. (2019). Legal Geography: Perspectives and Methods.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Julie Urbanik*, , Applied Legal Geography: Using Geonarrative Media for Mitigation 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Jocelyn Evans, University of West Florida, John Morgan*, University of West Florida, Elizabeth Barrett, University of West Florida, Flip flop territoriality: A participatory exploration of property rights tension across Florida's beaches 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Brandon Derman*, University of Illinois - Springfield, IL, Exposing the multi-dimensional legalities of global governance: field inquiry at climate negotiations 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Tiffany Grobelski*, Gustavus Adolphus College, Practitioners, Positionality, and Praxis: Methods in Legal Geography 15 12:00 AM
Discussant Austin Kocher Syracuse University 10 12:00 AM

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