In order to join virtual sessions, you must be registered and logged-in(Were you registered for the in-person meeting in Denver? if yes, just log in.) 
Note: All session times are in Mountain Daylight Time.

Biography and Geography

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Steven Donnelly
Chairs: Steven Donnelly


Geography, particularly the disciplines of Historical Geography and the History of Science, has increasingly and successfully engaged with biography-based methodologies and biographical empiricism to explore themes, ideas, spaces and cultures in different localities across the globe. As geographers, we engage with a wide range of materials (i.e. via archives), timelines and significant events in order to generate the most reliable reflections and conceptualizations of space for our critical enquiries - but how can these enquiries be enhanced and widened through the use of biographical empiricism? For Merleau Ponty, we as humans are all embodied beings who are shaped by our experiences, knowledge and encounters. We are shaped by the spatial-temporal and socio-cultural parameters of the geographies we found and find ourselves in. We negotiate with space and place every day.

For those who are engaging with historical characters, with their eyes set to the past, the archive becomes the primary vessel towards acquiring information to better understand historical characters and the spirit of place. Our subsequent concepts of heritage are highly dependent on such lines of enquiry. However, biography can not be taken for face value as often the generation of biographical narratives are subject to a reorientation of the subject matter, and the relevant archives, to complement the author's intention, research aims or themes. It comes with its own set of challenges that have an impact on the outcome of the biographical narrative conceived.

The purpose of this paper session is to better understand and explore the applicability of biographical methodologies and biographical empiricism to a plethora of disciplines and research themes. This paper session is open to everyone from geographers and architects, to historians, artists, and politicians.

If you are interested in joining this session or have any further questions, please feel free to contact me via email ( I look forward to seeing what can come of this session during the AAG2020 proceedings.

Thank you,

Steven Donnelly (MSc)
PhD Researcher
Queen's University Belfast


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Steven Donnelly Queen's University Belfast 5 12:00 AM
Presenter Steven Donnelly*, Queen's University Belfast, Masonic Urbanism and Victorian Belfast 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Abdul Aijaz*, Indiana University, Reading Power into the Landscape: Colonial Narratives of Punjab 15 12:00 AM
Discussant Tyler Sonnichsen University of Tennessee 15 12:00 AM

To access contact information login