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1 parent de1f2de commit 46bad7065429138e165c5ecc77d547ad1464c260 @bdarcus committed Feb 20, 2014
Showing with 21 additions and 18 deletions.
  1. +6 −6 02_introduction.mdwm
  2. +10 −6 04_analysis.mdwm
  3. +5 −6 05_conclusion.mdwm
12 02_introduction.mdwm
@@ -5,23 +5,23 @@ of academic geography, many geographers have called for a renewed
commitment to _public geography_. This commitment ranges from a focus
on research projects with clear popular or general relevance, to
communicating the results of one's research in more accessible
-language to broader audiences, to **.
+language to broader audiences.
Questions about the relevance of academic geography, however, are
nothing new. The 1960s and 1970s were another period that centered on
-these issues.
+these issues. **
Little noticed in the literature, though, has been the voice of
academic geography in conservative public discourse. This paper aims
to remedy that in a small way by examining the import and
transformation of academic geographic ideas in the public discourse of
the John Birch Society; a conservative political organization forged
-in the context of the Cold War, with more recnt echoes in the Tea
+in the context of the Cold War, with more recent echoes in the Tea
Party movement of post-2008.
-This paper analyzes one such example of Susan Huck, who earned a PhD
-in geography in 1962 at Clark University, taught for a short time in
-American universities, and then went on to become a core public
+This paper analyzes the public discourse of Susan Huck, who earned a
+PhD in geography in 1962 at Clark University, taught for a short time
+in American universities, and then went on to become a core public
intellectual voice for the John Birch Society. My analysis places her
inventions in context, working in two directions: 1) how Huck's
discourses were shaped by larger geopolitical context, and 2) how she,
16 04_analysis.mdwm
@@ -16,7 +16,7 @@ Welch named the Society after John Birch, who was a U.S. military
intelligence officer and what Welch described as "a fundamentalist
Baptist missionary" killed by Chinese Red Army troops in 1945. For
Welch, Birch was thus a martyr for this emerging Cold War, and hence a
-symbol of this struggle.
+symbol of this cosmic struggle.
## From Academic Geographer to Public Intellectual
@@ -28,10 +28,14 @@ countries," though otherwise made no other mention of it. Indeed,
Huck's was a largely apolitical political geography of the prospects
for the territory's independence.
-Upon completing her PhD, Huck took academic teaching jobs at **. **
-years later, she recounted these events under a psuedonym in an
-article in the **, and ** years late became publishing in the _American
+Upon completing her PhD, Huck took an academic teaching job at Hunter
+College, where she experienced a political awakening that she later
+recounted as involving an initial tentative dabling in conservative
+political thought that was deepened and confirmed by what she viewed
+as a "Communist outpost" that systematically and unfairly
+"blacklisted" her. After initial publications in more mainstream
+conservative publications, she ultimately found herself at the
+_American Opinion_, the offical publication of the John Birch Society.
The following explores more in-depth the discourse of Huck's public
writing in _American Opinion_. In it, I identify three common topics
@@ -41,7 +45,7 @@ that continues to be prominent in contemporary right wing
discourse. While Huck clearly adopted this larger narrative to provide
an explanatory framework for her writing that resonated with her
audience, she also supported this geopolitical story with analytical
-arguments that appear to have drawn from her academic geographic
+arguments that she appears to have drawn from her academic geographic
training. While she was highly critical of American academia, then,
she nevertheless relied on it to provide intellectual weight to her
11 05_conclusion.mdwm
@@ -7,9 +7,7 @@ theme of a global conspiracy threatening local freedom and diversity
Consider the raft of local and state laws barring the imposition of
-Sharia Law.
-Or the continued concern with the United Nations.
+Sharia Law, or the continued concern with the United Nations.
The engagement of geographers, and geographic ideas, in these popular
intellectual developments is worthy of further attention.
@@ -18,6 +16,7 @@ More broadly, this case sheds further light on the intellectual
history of a discipline. Intellectual historians of geography have
often noted the impact of the Cold War on the shape of intellectual
inquiry, but often focused on the Leftward tack that many geographers
-took. David Harvey, **, ** and others all turned away from what they
-saw as the disinterested positivism they saw as dominant at the
-time. But other geographers took quite different paths instead.
+took. The radical turn of the 1970s, for example, was for many
+geographers a turn away from the disinterested positivism they saw as
+dominant at the time. But other geographers, like Susan Huck, took
+quite different paths instead.

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