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Black Geographies: Methods and Methodologies


Methods: Black Geographies is a capacious field that engages various tools used across the social sciences and humanities. Common forms of research methods include: ethnography, archival research, oral history, literary analysis, cartography, visual studies, soundwalking, and rhetoric and discursive analysis among many others.

Methodologies: The texts on this page offer some entryways into how scholars in the field and adjacent disciplines have combined, rearranged, and invented new methods to answer research questions around Blackness, colonialism, gender, representation, spatialization, and placemaking. A hallmark of the field is the merger of 'material' concerns that focus on political economic and ecological issues with attention towards the expressive, poetic forms of the African Diaspora that push the boundaries of "traditional knowledge" in geography (oftentimes termed "epistemology").


Journal and Popular Articles

"Methodological Reflections On Geographies of Blackness" by Adam Bledsoe 

"When We Come to Anthropology, Elsewhere Comes with Us" by Ashante Reese 

"Black Feminist Thought as Methodology: Examining Intergenerational Lived Experiences of Black Women" by Ashley Patterson; Valerie Kinloch; Tanja Burkhard; Ryann Randall; Arianna Howard

"Beauty Is a Method" by Christina Sharpe 

"The Theory of Plantation Economic and Society: A Methodological Critique" by Denis M. Benn

"Kitchen Table Reflexivity: Negotiating Positionality Through Everyday Talk" by Ellen Kohl and Priscilla McCutcheon

"Talk that Talk: Storytelling and Analysis Rooted in African American Oral Tradition" by JoAnne Banks-Wallace

"An Ethnographic Filmflam: Giving Gifts, Doing Research, and Videotaping the Native Subject/Object" by John L. Jackson Jr. 

"Releasing A Tradition: Diasporic Epistemology and the Decolonized Curriculum" by Jovan Scott Lewis 

"A Methodology For Black Geographies" by Karlyn Harris 

"Black Epistemologies and Blues Methodology: Engaging Liminal Ontological Space in Qualitative Research" by Melissa Speight Vaughn

"Venus in Two Acts" by Saidiya Hartman

"Roads, Routes, And Roots: The (Im)Possible Spatial Mnemonics Of Black Infrastructure" by Symon James-Wilson

"Women in the Documents: Thoughts On Uncovering the Personal, Political, and Professional" by Ula Taylor 

"‘Developing Diaspora Literacy and Marasa Consciousness" by VèVè A. Clark

"Black Ethnography, Black (Female) Aesthetics: Thinking/Writing/Saying/Sounding Black Political Life" by Zenzele Isoke