’Global’ knowledge was constructed, communicated and contested during the long nineteenth century in numerous ways and places. This book focuses on the life-geographies, material practices and varied contributions to knowledge, be they medical or botanical, cartographic or cultural, of actors whose lives crisscrossed an increasingly connected world. Integrating detailed archival research with broader thematic and conceptual reflection, the individual case studies use local specificity to shed light on global structures and processes, revealing the latter to be lived and experienced phenomena rather than abstract historiographical categories. This volume makes an original and compelling contribution to a growing body of scholarship on the global history of knowledge. Given its wide geographic, disciplinary and thematic range this book will appeal to a broad readership including historical geographers and specialists in history of science and medicine, imperial history, museum studies, and book history.
’If there is one thing that this remarkable collection makes crystal clear, it’s that movement is fundamental to making knowledge. Whether it’s about ideas or images, specimens or species, texts or things, the generation of knowledge at any one site requires the circulation of items among many sites. This set of essays thus wonderfully demonstrates just how that troubled article, global knowledge�, was actually made through encounters in particular places, collections of particular items, and the circulation of particular texts. Spaces of Global Knowledge takes us on a journey that shows, for once and for all, that if there ever was such a thing as an ivory tower� or a brain in a vat� it only existed as a momentary halt in a dynamic global communication network. An altogether exhilarating excursion.’ David N. Livingstone, Queen’s University, UK ’What did it mean to make global knowledge� during the long nineteenth century’s age of empire, industrialism, exploration and exhibition? At the cutting edge of historical geography’s encounter with histories of knowledge, the essays in this collection examine the spatial practices, power relations and communicative forms involved in making, circulating, displaying and debating a dizzying range of ways of knowing the nineteenth-century globe from natural history to demography, ocean science and medicine. Together they confirm not a singular global history of knowledge but the fruitful multiplicity of its historical geographies.’ Miles Ogborn, Queen Mary University of London, UK