„Geografe, nüme schlafe!“: Radikale Geographie in Zürich (1980–1990)

In early summer 1980, radical geography students rallied around the slogan „Geografe nüme schlafe!“ („Geographers, stop sleeping!“) to take part in the radical youth movement that shook the city of Zurich at that time. In turn, these activist students brought these struggles back into the university and the geography department, where they confronted the professorate with their demands for a new curriculum.

A paper recently published in Geographica Helvetica argues that the antagonistic Stimmung, in which these struggles took place, produced a radical „thought style“ that flourished in a specific constellation of „thought events“: a prominent theory seminar in 1980, the AK WissKri, a network of radical geography students, the „Geoscope“ journal and, finally, a number of diploma theses on feminist, urban and historical geography. In these thought events, a radical geography materialized outside and beyond the mainstream of German language geography. Building on archival material and narrative interviews, this paper documents these student initiatives for a radical geography, and illustrates the precarious conditions of possibility of radical geography, in Zurich, and beyond.

Korf, B., Bernhard, M., Fässler, T., Oehen, M., Siegrist, N., Zeller, L., and Seitz, G.: „Geografe, nüme schlafe!“: Radikale Geographie in Zürich (1980–1990), Geogr. Helv., 76, 177–191, https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-76-177-2021, 2021.

More about the project (in German)

Benedikt Korf, Maxie Bernhard, Tim Fässler, Meret Oehen, Nicola Siegrist, Livia Zeller, and Gary Seitz