Jamie Peck Amongst the Dinosaurs (at the 4th GCEG)!


Jamie Peck gave the plenary address at the 4th Global Conference on Economic Geography in Oxford in August, in the spectacular—if acoustically challenging—setting of the Museum of Natural History. (For reasons that were never properly explained, but which were the subject of some speculation, the organizers chose to place him in the path of the museum’s Tyrannosaurus rex.) Some 700 economic geographers from around the world were in attendance at the conference, which began in this storied setting of the 1860 debate on evolution between Thomas Huxley, an ardent follower of Darwin, and Samuel Wilberforce, the Bishop of Oxford. The distinction between the so-called lumpers and splitters, established by the ‘geographical botanists’ of the mid-19th Century, was the theme of Jamie’s lecture. An exploration of heterodox theory-cultures in economic geography, this (re)presented the field as one shaped by an unending dialogue between the refiners and the deconstructors of generalized categories of analysis. With Darwin (1857), Jamie was able to conclude that, for economic geography too, “It is good to have hair-splitters and lumpers.”

Submitted by Professor Jamie Peck
Photo by S3 Platform