GGRB28H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Feminist Theory, Dry Sex, Susan Sontag

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10 Dec 2010

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GGRB28 – Lecture 3
Geographies of Blame: Geographical Imaginations and Disease
AIDS make orphans
Orphanage doesn’t necessarily mean that the children left are left poor and vulnerable—
they’re not directly correlated
One reason could be that various family members step in and provide a better standard of
Introducing geographical imaginations
A term associated with geography and particularly Derek Gregory’s book of the title
He draws from post—colonial and feminist theory to deconstruct colonial views of the
The idea of geographical imagination is to suggest that all or most ideas we have of the
world have a geography associated to it (ex. AIDS in Africa, Terrorism in Iraq or
Said on Orientalism
Emphasizes the power the West has over the world extends beyond military and economic
power to the stereotypes it has about the East
West/occident East/orient
Masculine Feminine
Rational Irrational
Democratic Despotic
Progressive Timeless
Gender is used to suggest the backwardness of Eastern countries
West is viewed as a collective, equality-based country while the East is viewed as out of
These geographical stereotypes have real power—America’s policy towards the Middle
East would be very different if the stereotypes were different
Arabic regions are defined by their Arabic language than by geography (as opposed to the
remaining groups) – how can you define a region by a language?
There are numerous other states/countries speaking Arabic such as those in Sub Saharan
Africa – is it an Arabic state or apart of Sub Saharan Africa?
These definitions have consequences
Afghanistan and Pakistan were once categorized as part of South Asia, however, now that
the war on terrorism has occurred, Afghanistan and Pakistan are being seen as part of the
Middle East
Disease and Metaphors
Diseases are also social and cultural – for example, the way we think about Cancer affects
the way Cancer is experience; AIDS stereotypes such as promiscuity and homosexuality
also affect an AIDS victims’ experience
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