Historical geography is an active, theoretically-informed and vibrant field of study within modern geography, with strong interdisciplinary connections with the humanities and the social sciences. The SAGE Handbook of Historical Geography provides an international and in-depth overview of the field with chapters that examine the history, present condition and future significance of historical geography in relation to recent developments and current research. The Handbook is in two volumes, divided across nine parts. Volume One includes commentaries on the history and geography of historical geography, and reviews how historical geographers have considered the appropriation, management and representation of landscape, the changing geographies of property, land, money and financial capital, and the demographic, medical and political analysis of the world's growing and mobile population. Volume Two shows how historical geographers have made significant contributions to geopolitical debates about the relationships between nation-states and empires, to environmental challenges posed by human interaction with the natural world, to studies of the cultural, intellectual and political implications of modern science and technology, and to investigations of communicative action, artefacts, performances and representations. The final part reviews the methodological and ethical challenges of historical geography as a publicly engaged research practice. Part 1: Histories and Geographies; Part 2: Land and Landscapes; Part 3: Property and Money; Part 4: Population and Mobility; Part 5: Territory and Geopolitics; Part 6: Environment and Nature; Part 7: Science and Technology; Part 8: Meaning and Communication; and Part 9: Studies in Practice.
Part VI: Environment and Nature
If geography can be defined as the study of human–environment interactions, as many claim, it follows that historical geography can be considered the history of these interactions. Many historical geographers have subscribed to this definition, and their diverse writings reveal both the variety of human–environment interactions across time and space, and the changing interpretations of these relationships. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the natural world was commonly viewed as a fixed, independent variable that set the limits of human activity and determined the character of human societies. Environmental determinism, as this perspective was often called, was frequently associated with scientific racism, although the relationship was complex. While some racial theorists explained human variability by reference ...