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 VIII: Meaning and Communication
Historical geography is indubitably a matter of words and numbers. This is true even when the subject of enquiry is the physical environment. For while the end in view may be to understand, say, why a place is different over time or a feature is differently distributed over space, the evidence most commonly interrogated is others’ words and or aggregative numbers, inscribed in one sort of text or another. Other words are then used to describe, explain, and interpret the object or landscape in question. For historical geographers, ‘the wording of the world’ – to borrow a phrase from Keighren and Newman's chapter here – is essential and vital, as a material source and as ...