Women and Cartography in the Progressive Era: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women and Cartography in the Progressive Era

1st Edition

By Christina E. Dando


224 pages

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In the twenty-first century we speak of a geospatial revolution, but over one hundred years ago another mapping revolution was in motion. Women’s lives were in motion: they were playing a greater role in public on a variety of fronts. As women became more mobile (physically, socially, politically), they used and created geographic knowledge and maps. The maps created by American women were in motion too: created, shared, distributed as they worked to transform their landscapes.

Long overlooked, this women’s work represents maps and mapping that today we would term community or participatory mapping, critical cartography and public geography. These historic examples of women-generated mapping represent the adoption of cartography and geography as part of women’s work. While cartography and map use are not new, the adoption and application of this technology and form of communication in women’s work and in multiple examples in the context of their social work, is unprecedented.

This study explores the implications of women’s use of this technology in creating and presenting information and knowledge and wielding it to their own ends. This pioneering and original book will be essential reading for those working in Geography, Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, Politics and History.


"Maps have long been used by those in power, traditionally men, to show strength and ownership, to shape thought and to embody nationalism. Here, Dando shows American women in the Progressive Era using the power of maps to further causes important to them: education, the preservation of historic features, social uplift and equality. This book is an important addition…Dando has made fresh contributions to scholarship on the ‘new woman’, not least by drawing attention to the importance of the intersection of geography, mapping and the social-settlement movement."

- Mylynka Kilgore Cardona, Texas A&M University—Commerce Commerce, Texas

Table of Contents

1. The Power and the Pleasure

2. Women, Geographic Knowledge, and Mobility

3. "Woman’s Work" Part I – American Women Missionary Geographies

4. "Woman’s Work" Part II – Hull-House and Social Settlement Work

5. Changing the Map – Political Activism, Geography, and Cartography

6. Maps in Motion, Women in Motion

About the Author

Christina E. Dando is Professor of Geography at the University of Nebraska Omaha. She received her B.A. in Geography and English from the University of North Dakota and her M.S. and Ph.D.s in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include the impacts of media and technology on human perception and interaction with the environment, particularly the Great Plains. She is also interested in gender and geography, how landscape and environment have long been gendered as well as how gender impacts human experience and interaction with the environment. She is a member of the American Association of Geographers and of the Society of Woman Geographers. When not researching and writing, she enjoys exploring new landscapes and reading for sheer pleasure.

About the Series

Studies in Historical Geography

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography