Module Identifier GG25410  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Robert J Mayhew  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Heidi V Scott, Dr Rhys A Jones, Mr Gareth C Hoskins  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours 10 x 2 hour  
  Practical   Practicals / Field Days. Two local field visits  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours A two-hour unseen examination. Answer two from four questions.100%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Same format i.e. answer two from four questions.100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
a) describe the emergence, development and key contemporary research agendas in historical geography.
b) discuss in an informed manner the diverse and changing meaning of distance.
c) outline and critically evaluate the diversity of methodological approaches available for the study of historical geography.
d) show evidence of the depth of their reading and their ability to marshall an argument in written form.


To provide an overview of the changing meanings of geographical distance across the span of human history, and through that, to introduce current research themes in historical geography.

Brief description

The module introduces students to the sub-discipline of historical geography through an exploration of the changing meanings of geographical distance. A world where self-sufficient societies predominated and distance had limited meaning, was gradually supplanted by or incorporated into a world where rank or status was linked to command over distance. In more recent times, revolutions in transport and communication have been associated with the uneven democratisation of distance. The module considers the consequences of this for human sentiments of identity and otherness, which are seen as reciprocal, multi-layered and contingent. Current attempts to conserve vernacular cultures and material objects are examined. The scope of the module is global but many of the examples and the case studies will be drawn from Britain and continental Europe. Students will be introduced to themes and sources of evidence which have potential for dissertation research.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Gilbert, D., Matless, D., Short, B. (Eds.) (2003) Geographies of British modernity: space and society in the twentieth century Oxford: Blackwell
Graham, B., Nash, C. (Eds.) (2000) Modern Historical Geographies Harlow: Prentice Hall
Loomba, A. (1998) Colonialism/Postcolonialism London: Routledge
Nash, C. and Ogborn, M. (2003) Historical Geography: Making the Modern World, in A. Rogers and .A. Viles (Eds.) The Student's Companion to Geography (second edition) Oxford: Blackwell
Pratt, M.L. (1992) Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation London: Routledge
** Supplementary Text
Blaut, J. (1993) The Coloniser's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History London and New York: Guildford Press
Mignolo, W.D. (1995) The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press
Schivelbusch, W. (1978) The railway journey: the industrialisation of time and space in the 19th century Oxford: Blackwell
Wade, P. (1997) Race and Ethnicity in Latin America London and Chicago: Pluto Press
Ogborn, M. (1998) Spaces of modernity: London's geographies London: Guilford Press
Hendricks, M., Parker, P. (1994) Women, 'Race' and Writing in the Early Modern Period London and New York: Routledge
Matless, D. (1998) Landscape and Englishness London: Reaktion
Harley, J.B. (2001) The New Nature of Maps: Essays in the History of Cartography The John Hopkins Press
Driver, F. and Gilbert, D. (Eds.) (1999) Imperial cities: landscape, display and identity Manchester: Manchester University Press
Daniels, S. (1993) Fields of vision: landscape and national identity in England and the United States Cambridge: Polity

(1975 - current) Journal of Historical Geography


This module is at CQFW Level 5