Monday, March 31, 2014

The Geographer of the Second Half of the 20th Century, Harm de Blij, is Dead


Geography@About.com has posted the sad news of the passing of Harm de Blij.  de Blij was one of the last voices arguing for a politics-free geography focused on the traditional ways of examining the world.  Today the field is stuck in a fever swamp which lacks direction and focuses on non-geographical subjects.

We interviewed Harm for the blog and greatly admired his work.  A 2005 speech he gave at National Geographic in fact was responsible for a series of guest post which later spun off to form this very blog.  He will be missed.

Geographic Travels strongly recommends Harm's autobiography Wartime Encounter with Geography in which he describes how his experiences growing up in Nazi-occupied Netherlands fostered a love of geography.

Rest in Peace.

But let me give the last word to Harm himself talking about geography and the future.

2 comments:

M.L. Hayes said...

He was a great geographer. I sure won't forget his legacy. In fact, I've made a video in tribute to him.

http://youtu.be/GTOV39PBpQk

José Carlos Jr. said...

Também sou um defensor de uma geográfica mais tradicionalista, onde o geógrafo seja capaz de analisar de forma segura o espaço onde vive. Hoje a geografia mais parece com simples estudos sociais. Deve ser por isso que cada vez mais nosso espaço de trabalho está escaço. Essa visão crítica da geografia, influenciada pelo marxismo, acabou por nos tornar críticos sociais sem os alicerces que nos fazem e sempre nos fizeram nos diferenciar dos demais profissionais, enquanto geógrafos.