The Emergence of Radical/Critical Geography within North America

  • Linda Peake Urban Studies Program, Department of Social Science York University
  • Eric Sheppard Department of Geography University of California, Los Angeles
Keywords: Anglophone, radical geography, critical geography, Anglophone human geography, knowledge production, social change


In this paper we aim to provide a historical account of the evolution of Anglophone radical/critical geography in North America. Our account is structured chronologically. First, we examine the spectral presence of radical / critical geography in North America prior to the mid-sixties. Second, we narrate the emergence of both radical and critical geography between 1964 / 1969 until the mid-1980s, when key decisions were taken that moved radical / critical geography into the mainstream of the discipline. Third, we examine events since the mid- 1980s, as radical geography merged into critical geography, becoming in the process something of a canon in mainstream Anglophone human geography. We conclude that while radical / critical geography has succeeded in its aim of advancing critical geographic theory, it has been less successful in its aim of increasing access to the means of knowledge production to become a peoples’ geography that is grounded in a desire for working towards social change.
How to Cite
Peake, L., & Sheppard, E. (1). The Emergence of Radical/Critical Geography within North America. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 13(2), 305-327. Retrieved from