What can cultural geography offer to the employability agenda? A reflection on powerful knowledge

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This article explores the relevance and value of cultural geography within the undergraduate geography curriculum in light of graduate employability. The article is based on the assertion that employability is an objective to which universities are required to engage, and yet, cultural geography, as a sub-discipline, may be more challenging to map against the prevailing neoliberal employability discourse. To bridge this gap, I propose the use of ‘powerful knowledge’ as a conceptual frame in order to demonstrate specific skills and knowledges cultural geography can and does offer the employability agenda. I briefly demonstrate how visual and ethnographic methods are deployed on two current geography courses in the UK in order to engage students with cultural geography. I end by proposing three key forms of powerful knowledge cultural geography has the potential to generate in graduates. These are: 1) situated knowledge and reflexivity; 2) thinking beyond the human, and; 3) a consideration of cultural landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Early online date29 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2021


  • Graduate attributes
  • cultural studies
  • geography curriculum
  • reflexivity
  • teaching theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education


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