Key Concepts in Historical Geography by John Morrissey

By John Morrissey

Edited via Dr Rob Kitchen, Director of the nationwide Institute of nearby and Spatial research (NIRSA) on the nationwide collage of eire, the Key options in Human Geography series is an leading edge set of spouse texts for undergraduate scholars of the Human Geography sub-disciplines. prepared round 20 brief essays, they supply a innovative advent to the primary ideas that outline modern learn of their box.

All books within the sequence are authored through the world over famous lecturers and comprise an introductory bankruptcy and large pedagogic positive aspects within the type of a thesaurus, figures, diagrams and extra examining.


Morrissey et al have produced an in depth but expansive consultant to a space during which scholars were poorly served long ago. Key strategies in ancient Geography brings alive the human geographies of the earlier, and demonstrates their relevancy for figuring out key facets of the modern global.

This new and leading edge comprises entries on:

  • Colonial and Postcolonial geographies
  • Globalization
  • Space
  • Power

Intended viewers: Key techniques in old Geography is an outstanding textual content for top point undergraduate and postgraduate scholars of historic Geography.

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Cf. Hannah, 2000). The science of ‘demography’ and ‘political economy’ accordingly became vital tools of government and there is no doubt that these changes were driven to a large degree by the progress of industrial capitalism. The careful supervision of the social, indeed the very invention of the ‘social’, as Michel Foucault (1980) has shown, was predicated on the timely insertion of bodies and whole populations into the machinery of capitalist production (see also Chapter 20). indd 42 08/01/2014 5:34:28 PM Development ­ ospitals and reformatories were constructed in a bid to maintain or h restore social order.

Underpinned by a latent imperial nostalgia, such works have reflected on the positive (and apparently bloodless) legacies of colonial endeavours without any critical engagement with the violence, death and destruction of colonialism’s civilizing missions, or a recognition of the subaltern contribution to the spaces of colonialism. Much of these accounts can be linked to vociferous calls in the post-9/11 period for a more effective American empire (Ferguson, 2004; Ignatieff, 2004). That empire has been seen to be far from benign, of course, frequently exempting itself from international law and the Geneva conventions, and stripping individuals of their most basic human rights and citizenship protections by the invocation of exceptional emergency powers that have insidiously become a norm in the prosecution of the war on terror (Minca, 2005).

This serves to dissuade a reading of the diverse interconnections of cultural contact. As David Wishart reflects, the nature of regions reveals their ‘tendency to emphasise differences rather than commonalities, and their limited scope as generalizations’ (2004: 305). Conversely, the concept of the contact zone has proven particularly useful to historical social and cultural geographical analysis (Pratt, 1992; Routledge, 1997; Morrissey, 2005). Using the idea of the contact zone forms part of a postcolonial dismantling and complicating of the reductive character of colonialism’s prioritized geographical knowledges – past and present.

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