Counting on Queer Geography
DOI link for Counting on Queer Geography
Counting on Queer Geography book
The quote in the header above comes from Dr Hester Parr, a critical cultural geographer who has been an outstanding colleague in the field of health and body geographies. Her exclamation was uttered in reaction to an equation on a slide I displayed. It explained how location quotients produced an index of concentration of same-sex couples in Gates and Ost’s (2004) The Gay and Lesbian Atlas. My paper used regional-science techniques to ask whether the maps of same-sex households in the atlas reproduced heteronormativity, and re-closeted certain gays, lesbians and other queer folk in the city (Brown and Knopp 2006). Although my critique was intellectually framed as an extension of Foucault’s increasingly popular concept of governmentality – and thus as extending poststructural geography – she was surprised by my central use of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and by my discussion of the equation used to calculate the statistics for the map. Such artifacts of quantitative geography and spatial science were hardly what she expected from the likes of me, given my theoretical orientations (Brown 1999), my typical use of qualitative methods (Brown 1997), and that my early work was explicitly critical of spatial science (Brown 1995). Had I ‘sold out’? ‘Gone quantoid’? Or, in the terms of my home at the University of Washington, had I become a ‘space cadet’ (Morrill 2002; Barnes 1998)?!