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.
Chapter 40: Worlds into Words – and Back Again
Worlds into Words – and Back Again
The relationship between geography and inscription is etymologically and methodologically fundamental; at its most literal, geography is defined by the act of writing (della Dora 2015; Withers 2011a): ‘the one thing that links all geographers of whatever stripe is that they write’ (Barnes and Duncan 1992, 1). Although geographers’ individual approaches to writing are informed by cultural assumptions and representational traditions, they share a common epistemological purpose: to abstract from the perceived complexity of the world information that is capable of standing for the whole. Writing the world is, in that sense, simultaneously an act of distillation (the variety of the world is reduced to a fundamental essence), ...