Doing Spatial History  book cover
1st Edition

Doing Spatial History

ISBN 9780367261566
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
322 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume provides a practical introduction to spatial history through the lens of the different primary sources that historians use. It is informed by a range of analytical perspectives and conveys a sense of the various facets of spatial history in a tangible, case-study based manner.

The chapter authors hail from a variety of fields, including early modern and modern history, architectural history, historical anthropology, economic and social history, as well as historical and human geography, highlighting the way in which spatial history provides a common forum that facilitates discussion across disciplines. The geographical scope of the volume takes readers on a journey through central, western, and east central Europe, to Russia, the Mediterranean, the Ottoman Empire, and East Asia, as well as North and South America, and New Zealand. Divided into three parts, the book covers particular types of sources, different kinds of space, and specific concepts, tools and approaches, offering the reader a thorough understanding of how sources can be used within spatial history specifically but also the different ways of looking at history more broadly.

Very much focusing on doing spatial history, this is an accessible guide for both undergraduate and postgraduate students within modern history and its related fields.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Spatial history: an expansive field

Riccardo Bavaj

Part 1: Working with sources

1. Maps

Bernhard Struck and Riccardo Bavaj

2. Travel guides

James Koranyi

3. Novels, autobiographies and memoirs

Sarah Deutsch

4. Newspaper archives

Sherry Olson and Peter Holland

5. Architectural drawings

Despina Stratigakos

Part 2: Exploring spaces

6. Ships

Matt Ylitalo and Sarah Easterby-Smith

7. Bars

Kate Ferris

8. Rivers

Mark Harris

9. Infrastructures

Frithjof Benjamin Schenk

10. Border zones

Lisa Hellman

Part 3: Reflecting on concepts, tools, and approaches

11. Lefebvrean landscapes

Dawn Hollis

12. Maritoriality

Michael Talbot

13. Regional imaginaries

Konrad Lawson

14. Economic geographies

Antonis Hadjikyriacou

15. Digital mapping

Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano

Selected Bibliography

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Riccardo Bavaj is Professor of Modern History, University of St Andrews, UK, and Co-Director of the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History. His research focuses on the intellectual and spatial history of 20th-century Germany. He has co-edited Germany and ‘the West’ and Zivilisatorische Verortungen (with Martina Steber).

Konrad Lawson is Lecturer in Modern History, University of St Andrews, UK, and Co-Director of the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History. His research focuses on modern East Asian history and the aftermaths of Japanese empire.

Bernhard Struck is Reader of Modern History, University of St Andrews, UK, and Founding Director of the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History. His research focuses on continental European History, c.1750 to early 20th-century, comparative and transnational history. He has co-edited Shaping the Transnational Sphere (with Davide Rodogno and Jakob Vogel).


"Doing Spatial History provides a rich, diverse and compelling exploration of sources, spaces and concepts useful for conducting spatially sensitive historical research. More than that, it showcases vibrant and accessible conversations across historical disciplines, different periods and an array of places, underlining the enormous potential of the emerging and energetic field of spatial history."

Diarmid A. Finnegan, Queen's University Belfast, UK

"With an ecumenical spirit, Doing Spatial History offers a concrete guide to researching the lived experience of the past. Authors from various fields show us how sources ranging from police records and maritime contracts to novels and maps can enrich and complicate the humanities. Researchers will especially appreciate the introduction, which offers both a helpful entry point to the field and an overview of its literature."

Susan Schulten, University of Denver, USA

"For a spatial historian who has been working for some 20 years to introduce space as an analytical category into the historical and cultural sciences, it is a particular pleasure to see this 'guide to using historical sources' published. It is long overdue. For real and imagined places – from bars to borders – the volume shows what difference 'doing spatial history' can make."

Susanne Rau, University of Erfurt, Germany