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Revista da Abordagem Gestáltica

versão impressa ISSN 1809-6867

Rev. abordagem gestalt. vol.22 no.2 Goiânia dez. 2016





This Phenomenological Studies journal number brings an unpublished dossier about Phenomenology and Geography: spaces, places and landscapes. Therefore, we would like to briefly describe to the reader a historical summary of the encounter of Geography and Phenomenology. The outset of this history began with the "Humanist Cultural Geography", in other words, from a movement within Geography that emerged in United States and Canada around the decades of 1960 and 1970, as a counter-cultural and humanist reaction to the scientific Geography. The geographers David Lowenthal and Yi-Fu Tuan, precursors of the movement, defended the idea that the geographical studies shouldn't consider only nature and real physical environment, but fundamentally the human being, how they behaved and changed nature. Thus, we can say that Geography has required several "humanistic approaches", as Holzer (2008) comments.

Another important reference that influenced the humanist movement as well was the work "L'Homme et la Terre: nature de la réalité géographique", from French geographer Eric Dardel, originally published in French in 1952, however belatedly recognized as the first work of a Phenomenological Geography. In the 70's, it appeared an article entitled "An inquiry into the relations between phenomenology and geography", published by Edward Relph, that pointed out decisively the conditions and possibilities of the Phenomenology as the epistemological-methodological foundation of the cultural humanistic Geography at the time. A 1976 text, "Place and Placelessness", affirms that "the foundations of geographical knowledge reside in the direct experiences and consciousness we have of the world we live in" (Relph, 1976, p. 5). These are some initial marks of the Phenomenology and Geography approach, approaches that created more studies and researches during these 30, 40 years.

In Brazil, as Marandola Jr (2013) highlights, the humanist movement didn't start as well organized; specific influences of thematic humanist movement were only received in the 70's, especially in the Universidade Estadual Paulista group (UNESP) of Rio Claro (SP), led by teachers Livia de Oliveira and Lucy Marion P. Machado. This happened due to translations of the movement's texts and authors, such as: Yi-Fu Tuan, Edward Relph, Nicholas Entrikin, Jean Gallais, among others. Although it has estimulated and generated a new generation of geographers in Brazil, Phenomenology and its importance in the field of Geography were not yet clear.

It was only in 2000, as according to Marandola Jr (2008), that in a scientific meeting the formation of a research group would take place around the theme Phenomenology and Humanistic Geography. From that moment on, studies were consolidated until the foundation and organization of the Grupo de Pesquisa Geografia Humanista Cultural (GHUM) in 2008, coordinated by Professor Werther Holzer and based at the School of Architecture and Urbanism at Universidade Federal Fluminense. Today the group is related to other research groups from other universities, which aim to research the theoretical and conceptual contributions of cultural humanistic Geography, with emphasis on Phenomenology, highlighting the study of the life-world. Also, as described by the group, there is a dedication to "different research topics, from the relationship with the Arts, Philosophy, Humanities and Social Sciences, symbolic and cultural dimensions of everyday experience, to the sense of places, landscapes and territories, in view of the research, but also the action in the public policy and planning fields, academia and education".

The dossier we have here, brings several contributions from members of different universities in the country, who gather today in various Phenomenology and Geography research groups. Thus, in addition to presenting contributions of this relationship, this number is also the result of the concrete experience of authors who recognize the value imbued with the efforts of the multi and interdisciplinary approach to achieving to respond directly to many needs identified in various political-educational Brazilian documents and proposals, nowadays.


Tommy Akira Goto
- Guest editor -



Número finalizado em 26.10.2016

Holzer, W. (1996). A Geografia Humanista: uma revisão. Revista Espaço e Cultura (Rio de Janeiro), n. 3, p. 8-19.         [ Links ]

Marandola Jr., E. (2013). Fenomenologia e pós-fenomenologia: alternâncias e projeções do fazer geográfico humanista na geografia contemporânea. Geograficidade, 3(2),33-48.         [ Links ]

Relph, E. C. (1976). Place and placelessness. Londres: Pion.         [ Links ]

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