Author Jon Anderson talks about "Understanding Cultural Geography, 2nd Edition"

Read our Q&A with author Jon Anderson on what makes his book so unique, what’s new in this second edition, and exciting new trends in the field.

1. What led you to write Understanding Cultural Geography?

I think cultural geography is a fun and fascinating subject – it connects to the very heart of our everyday lives and links our language, tastes, fashions, commodities and identities to the very spaces we occupy every day. Beyond this it is a really important lens through which to understand our place in the world, and our role in making the world better. Through this book I wanted to be able to communicate the power of cultural geography and enthuse students to see it not only as a stimulating subject to study, but also a really useful way of thinking that can help us all to see the world differently. From these insights, maybe we can even be motivated afresh to act differently in the world too.


2. What will students and lecturers be able to take away from you book?

Students and lecturers will be able to take away new insights into a range of theoretical ideas which underpin cultural geography, and contemporary empirical examples that make the subject understandable and relevant.


3. What makes your book so unique to others in the field?
With any luck the book is accessible and interesting to read! It is not intended to be dense and impenetrable to the reader, but it approaches subjects in a stimulating way that can help newcomers to the discipline engage with the basic ideas under discussion, but then apply them in extended ways to fit their own place in the world.


4. Tell us what’s new in this edition.
This edition is completely revised, with the latest theoretical advances being integrated into the text. The structure has been improved with the addition of thematic sections, and there are two new chapters covering language, and mobility. It also has a beautiful new cover photo, from the work of Jeff Brouws, which I think is amazing!


5. How is the field of geography evolving and what are some current trends?
Cultural geography is becoming increasingly creative, with students and scholars writing in ways that are more associated with the arts and humanities, as well as producing outputs that aren’t necessarily written at all (for example, the increasing use of photos, films, and even performances). This creativity – if motivated by the goal to improve the accessibility and stimulation of cultural geography – is an exciting new area for the sub-discipline. It is a great question whether the insights from cultural geography can be better communicated through pictures or film, rather than the written word?


6. What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I would like readers to enjoy studying cultural geography, and through this enjoyment realize that this subject is not only stimulating and different, but also creative, productive, and political in nature.

  • Understanding Cultural Geography

    Places and traces, 2nd Edition

    By Jon Anderson

    Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces offers a comprehensive introduction to perhaps the most exciting and challenging area of human geography. By focusing on the notion of ‘place’ as a key means through which culture and identity is grounded, the book showcases the broad range of…

    Paperback – 2015-03-23
    Routledge