Social spatiality: some rudimentary thoughts on the epistemology of Benno Werlen
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Strohmayer, U. (2014) 'Social spatiality: some rudimentary thoughts on the epistemology of Benno Werlen'. Geographica Helvetica, 69 :139-143.
Benno Werlen requires no introduction to readers of Geographica Helvetica: arguably the most internationally resonating of names amongst Swiss human geographers writing today, the Jena-based social geographer has not only published prolifically over the course of the last three decades (with arguably one of his first position-embracing papers published in the pages of this journal; see Werlen, 1986), he has furthermore left a considerable imprint on the next generation of theoretically aware human geographers expressing their ideas through the medium of German today. Significantly, this influence extends beyond the often ritualistic invocation of a name and makes itself felt in the tacit acceptance of basic premises, academic tactics and research programmes. Since 2005, much of the ensuing research has found a home in the Sozialgeographische Bibliothek, a series of books edited by Werlen for the Franz Steiner Verlag, which both expresses and solidifies the grasp of his influence within German-speaking human geography today. And while it would be premature to speak of pilgrimages that mount the lofty heights towards Werlen’s apartment in the centre of one of Germany’s oldest university towns, I gladly admit to being no stranger to Werlen’s famous hospitality in Jena myself. Thankfully though, the gregariousness encountered when meeting Benno Werlen is matched by an ever-present invitation to discuss, debate and challenge whichever idea is accorded centre stage on the day. The present contribution to the Interfaces section of Geographica Helvetica was written as an homage to this invitation.
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