Despite the fact that the vast majority of the earth’s surface is made up of oceans, there has been surprisingly little work by geographers which critically examines the ocean-space and our knowledge and perceptions of it. This book employs a broad conceptual and methodological framework to analyse specific events that have contributed to the production of geographical knowledge about the ocean. These include, but are not limited to, Christopher Columbus’ first transatlantic journey, the mapping of nonexistent islands, the establishment of transoceanic trade routes, the discovery of largescale water movements, the HMS Challenger expedition, the search for the elusive Terra Australis Incognita, the formulation of the theory of continental drift and the mapping of the seabed.
Using a combination of original, empirical (archival, material and cartographic), and theoretical sources, this book uniquely brings together fascinating narratives throughout history to produce a representation and mapping of geographical oceanic knowledge. It questions how we know what we know about the oceans and how this knowledge is represented and mapped. The book then uses this representation and mapping as a way to coherently trace the evolution of oceanic spatial awareness.
In recent years, particularly in historical geography, discovering and knowing the ocean-space has been a completely separate enterprise from discovering and colonising the lands beyond it. There has been such focus on studying colonised lands, yet the oceans between them have been neglected. This book gives the geographical ocean a voice to be acknowledged as a space where history, geography and indeed historical geography took place.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Intellectual setting; 1492 and the discoveries of America; The Enlightenment and the ocean-space; In-depth knowledge: the deep ocean-space; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
About the Series
Studies in Historical Geography
Historical geography has consistently been at the cutting edge of scholarship and research in human geography for the last fifty years. The first generation of its practitioners, led by Clifford Darby, Carl Sauer and Vidal de la Blache presented diligent archival studies of patterns of agriculture, industry and the region through time and space. Drawing on this work, but transcending it in terms of theoretical scope and substantive concerns, historical geography has long since developed into a highly interdisciplinary field seeking to fuse the study of space and time. In doing so, it provides new perspectives and insights into fundamental issues across both the humanities and social sciences. Having radically altered and expanded its conception of the theoretical underpinnings, data sources and styles of writing through which it can practice its craft over the past twenty years, historical geography is now a pluralistic, vibrant and interdisciplinary field of scholarship. In particular, two important trends can be discerned. First, there has been a major 'cultural turn' in historical geography which has led to a concern with representation as driving historical-geographical consciousness, leading scholars to a concern with text, interpretation and discourse rather than the more materialist concerns of their predecessors. Secondly, there has been a development of interdisciplinary scholarship, leading to fruitful dialogues with historians of science, art historians and literary scholars in particular which has revitalised the history of geographical thought as a realm of inquiry in historical geography. Studies in Historical Geography aims to provide a forum for the publication of scholarly work which encapsulates and furthers these developments. Aiming to attract an interdisciplinary and international authorship and audience, Studies in Historical Geography will publish theoretical, historiographical and substantive contributions meshing time, space and society.
BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
- SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
- SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography