Wiki (link to Wiki)

For a number of years, I asked our Bachelor students, in a framework of a theory course, to develop entries for a Wiki-site on the related theories, and to improve or enhance the already existing entries. Although this course and this assignment is now replaced by another one, the Wiki-site still exists and is regularly consulted by interested scholars. An aspect of using this wiki assignment, which we did not expect in advance, is that a real Wiki-site expects the entries to be focused on the factual and demands that the entries are written in a very neutral encyclopedic style. This implied that students needed to get rid of their ideological prejudices and should avoid too strongly opinionated utterances, or when using them to come up with sufficient evidence.  Of course we also want our students to take position in certain debates and to be engaged with topical societal problems, but this actually also showed to be a very good exercise also in self-critique and relativism. This is as much part of a critical approach, which sometimes is lacking in some of the radical geography schools of thought. It also points at the specific context from which we theorise and criticise, we tend not to be aware of. As such in contrast of what is often thought about fashionable social theories, these are not universal social theories, but rather very contingent and contextual approaches. There is a geography of social theorising. In a book chapter written some years ago, I explicitly addressed exactly that specific aspect in our theorising (Ernste, H. (2008) Critical geography in post-modern times. In:  Hebinck, P., Slootweg, S. & Smith, L. (eds.) Tales of Development. People, Power and Space. pp. 21-32, van Gorkum, Assen).

We had to close the possibility to further contribute to this Wiki-site, because of the danger that it could be hacked and abused. For our current students its still provides an useful database and resource of knowledge on those theories, concepts and approaches.  You can find the Wiki-site here. Maybe in future we will return to this site, and up-date and enhance it.