Tag Archives: William Bunge

Myths, Cults, Memories, and Revisions in Radical Geographic History

Warren, G. C., Katz, C., & Heynen, N. (2019). Myths, cults, memories, and revisions in radical geographic history: revisiting the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute. Spatial Histories of Radical Geography: North America and Beyond, 59-85.

The power of myth to take on important political meaning while at the same time obscuring embodied historical geographies lurks everywhere. The mythic status of John Henry, when mobilized by Pete Seeger for instance, was used as a symbol for labor struggles across the U.S. Given the positive portrayal of his racialized might and power, so rarely valorized in mainstream U.S. culture, John Henry’s strength and perseverance were mobilized symbolically in the freedom marches of the civil rights movement. This chapter shows how myths about radical praxis can play tricks with history and geography, wherein some people and places acquire cultish status while others are eclipsed with profound impacts on our understanding of the discipline and its community engagements. It focuses on the basics of the popular, mythological, version of the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute and Fitzgerald as has been articulated within radical history. The DGEI.

Marginalia of a Revolution: Naming Popular Ethnography and Republishing William W. Bunge’s Fitzgerald

I have been interested, as long as I have known what geography is, in the work of Bill Bunge.  After I told some folks at one of Antipode’s Institute for the Geographies of Justice (IGJ) about my  interactions with Bunge, I was invited to write this paper that was just published in Social and Cultural Geography.  It is part of a special issue on “Marginalia” that Christian Anderson and Scott Larson special guest edited.  In addition to essays by our fantastic (and very patient) co-editors, the special issue also includes essays from  Brett Story, Cindi Katz, Vinay Gidwani, and Trevor Barnes.

Below I have also included a 2011 essay Trevor and I wrote in Progress in Human Geography as well as the new preface Trevor and I  co-authored for the 2011 edition of Bunge’s Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution

Heynen, N. (2013). “Marginalia of a Revolution: Naming Popular Ethnography and Republishing William W. Bunge’s Fitzgerald.” Social and Cultural Geography. 14 (7): 744–751.


Having recently been writing about the geographies of survival, here in this brief essay I
extrapolate a methodological and ethico-political sensibility from the scattered fragments
of my personal interactions with foundational radical geographer William W. Bunge. This
essay is intended to reconcile the marginalization that Bunge experienced, and
experiences today, within geography, with the methodological approach he pioneered,
even as he is often not recognized for doing so. An exploration through a pile of notes,
electronic voice files, and faxes helped me to think through lived forms of intellectual
marginalia via the life and methods of William Bunge and possibilities that exist for
recovering his method of ‘popular ethnography’.

Barnes, T. and N. Heynen, 2011. A classic in human geography: William Bunge’s (1971) Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution, Progress in Human Geography. 35(5): 712–720.

Heynen, N. and T. Barnes , 2011. Fitzgerald Then and Now. New Preface for the Second Edition of William W. Bunge’s Fitzgerald: Geography of Revolution. University of Georgia Press.