University of Waterloo professor Daniel Cockayne and Rutgers University professor Carrie Mott co-wrote “Citation matters: Mobilizing the politics of citation toward a practice of ‘conscientious engagement”. They argue that citations can be a way of carrying forward the voices you want heard. “To cite only white men…or to only cite established scholars…does a disservice to researchers and writers who are othered by white heteromasculinism,” they wrote.
The two authors went on to define ‘white heteromasculinism’ as “an intersectional system of oppression describing on-going processes that bolster the status of those who are white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.”
Mott and Cockayne admit that their argument is double-sided, saying that citation can serve as “a feminist and anti-racist technology of resistance” if references are chosen with care in promoting “those authors and voices we want to carry forward.”
The abstract argues that the purpose of the paper is to, “argue for a conscientious engagement with the politics of citation as a geographical practice that is mindful of how citational practices can be a tool for either the reification of, or resistance to, unethical hierarchies of knowledge production,” and, “offer practical and conceptual reasons for carefully thinking through the role of citation as a performative embodiment of the reproduction of geographical thought.”
Speaking to Campus Reform, Mott explained the inspiration behind such a piece:
“White men tend to be cited in much higher numbers than people from other backgrounds…we started looking into research that had been done in other fields about similar topics, and wanted to write something specifically for Geographers to think about the relationship between knowledge production and identity.”
“When it is predominantly white, heteronormative males who are cited, this means that the views and knowledge that are represented do not reflect the experience of people from other backgrounds,” she continued. “When scholars continue to cite only white men on a given topic, they ignore the broader diversity of voices and researchers that are also doing important work on a that topic.”
Mott argued that minorities and women have contributed much to the study of geography. According to the American Association of Geographers, women make up 37 percent of geography professors, and publish 33 percent of the reviewed scholarly work on the subject.
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(H/T: Campus Reform)