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Geographies of Embodiment

Geographies of Embodiment
Critical Phenomenology and the World of Strangers

February 2020 | 168 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Geographies of Embodiment provides a critical discussion of the literatures on the body and embodiment, and humanism and post-humanism, and develops arguments about “otherness” and “encounter” which have become key ideas in urban studies, and studies of the city. It situates these arguments in a wider political context, looking at power-relations through case studies at urban, national and transnational scales.

These arguments are situated across disciplinary boundaries, at the borderline between between philosophy and social science that is associated to critical phenomenology, and reaches across Human Geography, Sociology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Cultural Studies and Urban Studies. 


Chapter 1. Figuring the ground
a. What is critical phenomenology

b. Critical phenomenology as a ‘New Humanism’

Chapter 2. Bodies and embodiment
a. Thinking the body

b. Embodied Identities

c. The temporality and spatiality of the body (including case ‘(re)scaling identities)

d. Affectivity and emotions

Chapter 3. Encountering the Other
a. The concept of encounter

b. Different modes of encounter

c. Collective planned encounters

d. Encounters with authorities

e. Banal everyday encounters

Chapter 4. Urban Perspectives
a. The Flesh of the urban

b. The urban as a world of strangers

c. From invisibility to visibility: Opening of a purpose-built mosque in Copenhagen

Chapter 5: Political Perspectives
a. Everyday politics

b. Everyday nationalism

e. Politics of hospitality


Geographies of Embodiment by Koefoed and Simonsen presents articulate and sophisticated insights into issues about encounters, space and bodies through a practice-orientated reading of phenomenology. The book draws upon four projects over the last fifteen years about cities, encounters and nationalism to offer critical and engaging readings of encounters, embodiment, and the politics of urban life. This is an important text for critical and engaged scholars working in human geography, urban studies and racial and ethnic studies.


Peter Hopkins, Professor of Social Geography, Newcastle University

Peter Hopkins
Professor of Social Geography, Newcastle University

Rarely do I think that any book is a ‘must-read’, but that is surely the case with Geographies of Embodiment: Phenomenology and Strangers.  Located on the border between philosophy and social science, this is a deeply theoretical book that is anchored by significant empirical research.  Koefoed and Simonsen have written a powerful argument for a new humanism, one that is rooted in complex critical theories and phenomenological philosophies, yet is supported by important empirical work on the geographies of embodiment, practice and difference.  The result is a book that makes us rethink present understandings of humanism, especially as the ‘human’ in humanism is (re)made in embodied spatial practice. 


Lawrence D. Berg is Professor in Critical Geography at the University of British Columbia

Lawrence D. Berg
University of British Columbia

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