Historical Geography and the Geosciences: Starting a Conversation

Type: Panel
Theme: Physical Geography in Environmental Science
Sponsor Groups: History of Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Charles Travis
Chairs: Charles Travis


Historical geography as a sub-field possesses tributaries which fountain from robust humanities perspectives and practices in England, Ireland, Sweden, France, Germany, but lesser so in North, Central and South America. In the United States historical geography has complemented approaches in cultural geography. Through the triangulation of hermeneutic, discursive, and cartographic narrative styles, and calibrated by the development of qualitative and quantitative methods, fieldwork, models and theories, historical geography balances chronological and chorological explorations of literal and figurative landscapes. Such approaches intersect with geographical history’s focus on physical landscapes, climate and topography, -interests commensurate with the geosciences, broadly defined. By focusing on scales of agency, interaction, scientific inquiry and causation, the convergence of of historical geography, geographical history and the geosciences can map out the multiple variables and trajectories that have shaped human and natural history, over the longue durée -a scale of time traditionally neglected in history, geography and cognate disciplines. Discussions in geography on global warming, the framing of the Anthropocene and global environmental change are marked by a general discursive gap that exists between the perspectives and practices of human and physical geographers, although emerging fields such as critical physical geography, are attempting to address this caesura. This panel will contribute to such approaches by identifying common ground between historical geography and the geosciences, and explore further avenues of engagement.


Type Details Minutes
Discussant Craig Colten Louisiana State University 20
Discussant Ferenc Gyuris ELTE 20
Panelist Dorothy Sack Ohio University 20
Panelist Charles Travis University of Texas - Arlington 20
Panelist Poul Holm Trinity College Dublin 20

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