Module Identifier GG36620  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Robert J Mayhew  
Semester Semester 1  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Unseen examination. Answer two from four questions, one from each section  50%
Semester Assessment 3000 word assignment  50%
Supplementary Assessment same examination format; same assignment  100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:-

Brief description

The period from c. 1500 to c. 1900 delimits a coherent era in the history of geographical thought, spanning the voyages of Columbus and Da Gama to the formation of the modern university discipline of geography in the later nineteenth century. From Columbus's 'discovery' of the Americas to Livingstone's travels in Africa, there was an ambition to gain ever more detailed information about the surface of the globe. There was also a widespread demand for books which would summarise this information for an audience whose aims were [political, imperial and commercial. The period also saw seminal texts published which helped to forge modern geography, such as Montesquieu's Spirit of the laws, a key theorization of the relationship between society and Darwin's Origin of Species. This course provides a critical overview of the development of geography over four centuries, coupled to a series of detailed analyses of key texts in the history of geographical thought. It also introduces students to historiographical questions about the role of the history of geography in geography's nature in the present day. Areas covered:


This module aims to give students a detailed understanding of the history of geography and of forms of geographical knowledge

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Bacon, Frances (2000) The New Organon ISBN 0-521-56483-2
Cook, James (1999) Journals London ISBN 0-140-43647-2
Columbus, Christopher (1969) The Four Voyages London ISBN 0-140-44217-0
Darwin, Charles (1882) Origin of Species London ISBN 0-140-43205-1
Lyell, Charles (1997) Principles of Geology London ISBN 0-140-43528-X
Malthus, Thomas (1986) Essays on the Principle of Population London ISBN 0-140-43206-X
Montaigue (1991) Essays ISBN 0-713-99072-4
Montesquieu (1969) The Spirit of the Laws Cambridge ISBN 0-521-36974-6
von Humboldt, Alexander (1996) Cosmos Baltimore ISBN 0-801-85502-0
** Recommended Background
Boorstein, Daniel (1984) The Discoverers London ISBN 0-460-04662-4
Bowen, Margarita (1981) Empiricism and Geographical Thought: From Francis Bacon to Alexander von Humboldt Cambridge ISBN 0-521-23653-3
Livingstone, David (1992) The Geographical Tradition Oxford ISBN 0-031-18586-0
Parry, J.H. (1963) The Age of Reconnaissance: Discovery, Exploration and Settlement, 1450-1650 Berkeley ISBN 0-520-04235-2


This module is at CQFW Level 6