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Weaving a Spider's Web

Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia


portada.qxp As I began to think about my experiences over two decades of relation- ships with geographers in Catalonia, the image came to me was of a spider’s web. Spiders begin weaving their webs with a single thread that attaches to one point and serves as a bridge to future connections. The web gradually becomes more complex, with interconnected threads going in multiple direc- tions. The threads are fine and delicate but the web has strengths. As I thought more about it, the notion seemed appropriate to me, hence the title for this short reflection. Though most of my relationships with Catalan geographers have involved those engaged with research and teaching about gender at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the first thread in the web was built in a conversa- tion with Augustín Hernando of the University of Barcelona. We were par- ticipants in a symposium of the International Geographical Union Commission (IGU) on Geography and Education held in Freiburg, Germany in 1984. The symposium theme was “Perceptions of People and Places in Media.” I chose to present my paper on ways in which gender, ethnicity, life stage, and class could be seen as categories for analysis in studying percep- tions, rather than adopting a perspective in which implicitly the white, mid- dle-class, middle-aged man was assumed to be the norm from which other groups such as women and children deviated. Agustín quickly responded to Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia, 61-62, 2006, p. 183/187 Weaving a Spider’s Web Janice Monk Department of Geography and Regional Development University of Arizona my interests, and recommended that I make contact with Maria Dolors Garcia Ramon while in Paris at the upcoming International Geographical Congress. At that Congress, with the support of some others, I organized an informal session to explore interest in creating a gender group within the IGU and began a mailing list of interested parties. That session and list pro- vided an important starting

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