地理科学进展 ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 312-319.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.03.002

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地理学是一门脆弱的学科吗?——哈佛大学撤销地理系事件及其反思

叶超1(), 尹梁明1, 殷清眉2, 徐建华1   

  1. 1. 华东师范大学地理科学学院,上海 200241
    2. 华东师范大学城市与区域科学学院,上海 200241
  • 收稿日期:2018-05-14 修回日期:2018-12-18 出版日期:2019-03-28 发布日期:2019-03-28
  • 作者简介:

    第一作者简介:叶超(1978— ),男,甘肃武威人,教授,博士生导师,研究方向为城镇化与空间生产、地理学思想与方法、文化地理。E-mail: yeover@163.com

  • 基金资助:
    国家自然科学基金项目(41571138,41871143)

Is geography a vulnerable discipline? Reflections on the elimination of geography at Harvard University

Chao YE1(), Liangming YIN1, Qingmei YIN2, Jianhua XU1   

  1. 1. School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    2. School of Urban & Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China;
  • Received:2018-05-14 Revised:2018-12-18 Online:2019-03-28 Published:2019-03-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41571138 and 41871143.

摘要:

在历史上,中外地理系或地理专业被撤销或改名的事件不断重演,催生出地理学是否为一门脆弱的学科的关键问题。文章选取在地理学思想史上有重大影响的哈佛大学撤销地理系事件作为典型案例,在分析其背景的基础上,根据多种文献资料,深入透视该事件的真相及其后续影响。哈佛大学撤销地理系的原因非常复杂,主要是科学主义盛行的氛围、大学管理者的傲慢、自然与人文的内斗、政治因素、歧视同性恋、大学财政拨款受限、特定的时代背景等。地理学的脆弱性实际上是学科身份认同和如何定位的问题,它主要取决于如何处理地理学与其他学科、社会、政府与管理部门的关系,也就是地理学的科学性、社会性和政治性。作为一门早已独立且历史悠久的交叉学科,地理学与其他学科、社会和政治的密切关联既是其脆弱之处,也是其优势所在。

关键词: 地理学, 思想史, 脆弱性, 哈佛大学撤销地理系事件

Abstract:

The elimination of geography at Harvard University is a big event in the history of geography, which contributed to a key question whether geography is a vulnerable discipline. The elimination of geography at Harvard has a significant influence in the history of geographic thought. This article takes the elimination of geography at Harvard as a typical case and attempts to reveal the truth and the influences of the event based on the analysis of the stories in some references. The present essay is not just a case study of an important event in the history of American geography, but an opportunity for reflection and an invitation to learn from history and to apply these lessons to the present. The article argues that there were six reasons for the elimination of geography at Harvard, including the prevailing atmosphere of science, the arrogance of the university management, infighting between natural sciences and humanistic studies, the political factor of excluding communist influences, discrimination against homosexuals, university financial constraints, and the background of the particular period. The vulnerability of geography is actually a matter of identity, and is how to position the subject. It depends on how geography deals with its own relationship with other disciplines, society, the government, and management, which involves the scientific, social, and political nature of geography. As an independent interdisciplinary field with a long history, geography is closely related to other sciences, society, and politics. This is both a vulnerability and an advantage. The identity of other disciplines and societal issues are important to geography. Geography should adapt and change.

Key words: geography, history of thought, vulnerability, elimination of geography at Harvard University