Geography 882: Development of Geographic Thought
Section One: The Three Traditions
E J Taaffe (1974) "The Spatial View in Context." Annals, Association of American Geographers 64, 1-16.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL TRADITION
1. Environmental Determinism
a) How might one make sense of it? Why do you think it emerged when it did?
b) What did it amount to? What were its fundamental tenets?
c) Provide a critical evaluation, sympathetic or otherwise, of work in environmental determinism. Was its intellectual content totally without redeeming value?
Ellen Churchill Semple (1911) Influence of Geographic Environment (New York: Henry Holt, 1911), Preface, I-vii and pp. 1-16 of Chapter 1.
David N. Livingstone (1992) "A 'Sternly Practical' Pursuit." Chapter 7 in The Geographical Tradition. Oxford: Blackwell.
"Environmental Determinism" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
"Possibilism" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
2. 'Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth'
a) How to explain this sort of approach? Why do you think it emerged when it did? Was it reacting to something else in approaches to geography?
b) To what extent does it represent a vehicle for bringing together human and physical geography?
c) what does it have to do with the concept of landscape and what do you make of the concept of landscape as a central organizing concept in geography?
Carl Sauer (1956) "Agency of Man on Earth." In W L Thomas (ed.) Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
"Cultural geography" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
"Landscape" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
Andrew Goudie (1981) The Human Impact. Pp.25-53.
3. Applied Environmental Geography
a) How would you contextualize the emergence of environmental hazards research? Why do you think it emerged when it did?
b) In what ways does it represent a distinct approach to environmental studies in geography?
c) To what extent does it hold out the promise of bringing together physical and human geography?
Gilbert F White (1973) "Natural Hazards Research in R J Chorley (ed.), Directions in Geography. London: Methuen.
"Environmental hazard" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
4. Political Ecology
a) What is distinctive about this particular approach? What sorts of problems are typically studied, and how?
b) What does it say about the relations of people to nature?
c) How might it offer a critique of environmental hazards research?
d) Most research in political ecology has been done in developing countries. Why do you think that might be? Is there any necessity that it be done in developing countries?
Michael Watts (1983) "Hazards and Crises; A Political Economy of Drought and Famine in Northern Nigeria." Antipode 15:1.
F K Hare, R Kates and A Warren (1977) "The Making of Deserts Climate, Ecology and Society." Economic Geography 53:4.
THE AREA STUDIES TRADITION
1. Regional Geography as Description
a) Why have geographers been interested in regions and how have they been interested? What have been their varied approaches toregions and how have these changed over time?
b) How successful do you think geographers have been in these regards? Was it worth the trouble?
E A Wrigley (1965) "Changes in the Philosophy of Geography." Chapter 1 in R J Chorley and P Haggett (eds.) Frontiers in Geographical Teaching. London: Methuen.
A J Herbertson (1905) "The Major Natural Regions: An Essay in Systematic Geography." Geographical Journal 1, 300-312.
Carl Sauer (1925) "The Morphology of Landscape." University of California Publications in Geography 2, 19-53.
J M Houston (1959) "Land Use and Society in the Plain of Valencia." In R Miller and J W Watson (eds.), Geographical Essays in Honor of Alan G Ogilvie. London: Thomas Nelson.
R Hartshorne "The Character of Regional Geography." Chapter 24 in J A Agnew, D Livingstone and A Rodgers (eds.), Human Geography: An Essential Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.
"Areal differentiation" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
"Regions and regional geography" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
2. Region as Explanation
a) How is it possible to conceive of a regional geography that is more explanatory?
b) Using examples of actual approaches, what particular thrusts is it possible to identify here?
c) What does the interest in a more explanatory regional geography have to do, in the case of Gregory, with 'post-modernism'?
D Gregory (1989) "Areal Differentiation and Post-Modern Human Geography." In D Gregory and R Walford (eds.), Horizons in Human Geography. Totowa NJ: Barnes and Noble Books.
R J Johnston (1991). Pp.49-59 of A Question of Place. Oxford: Blackwell.
THE SPATIAL TRADITION
1. The Spatial Tradition
a) In what ways was the spatial tradition manifest before the quantitative-spatial revolution? Make references to both human and physical geography.
b) In what sense might one argue that without space relations there is no geography anyway, whatever the other traditions we might be talking about? Is it possible to divorce the regional and environmental traditions from space relations? In answering this, draw on our earlier discussions of these two traditions.
Halford J Mackinder (1907) Pp.329-31, 335-38, 339-40 of Britain and the British Seas. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.
2. The Spatial-Quantitative Revolution
a) The spatial-quantitative revolution (SQR) defines a sharp change in the way spatial relations are studied. How was that? Did it apply equally to human and physical geography?
b) What did it have to do with the idiographic-nomothetic debate? Who were the principal protagonists in that debate and what were their arguments? Do you think that those arguments apply both to human and to physical geography?
c) What do you think the implications of the SQR were for the unity of the field? Did it provide a basis for unity between human and physical geography or tend to drive them apart?
d) How would you explain the emergence of spatial-quantitative work? What provoked it or at least provided conditions for its possibility?
F K Schaefer (1953) "Exceptionalism in Geography: A Methodological Examination." Annals, Association of American Geographers 43, 226-249. Reprinted as Chapter 35 in J A Agnew et al. (eds.), Human Geography: An Essential Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.
William Bunge (1966) Theoretical Geography. Lund: Lund Studies in Geography. Extracts from Chapters 1, 8:II and 8:V.
Peter Haggett and Richard Chorley (1969) Network Analysis in Geography. London: Edward Arnold. Pp.309-312 only.
"Quantitative revolution" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.
"Space, human geography and" in The Dictionary of Human Geography.