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East and Midwest in American Academic Geography: Two Prosopographic Notes

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This paper reexamines the conventional wisdom concerning the Midwestern origins of American academic geography at the doctoral level. Prosopographic analysis of 34 Ph.D.s awarded in geography between 1893 and 1921 finds that these were largely earned in Eastern universities, and that both Eastern and Midwestern institutions awarding doctorates in the field drew students primarily from the home region. By contrast, prosopographic examination of a second and later group, the faculty and graduate students at Clark University between 1921 and 1946, discloses an interregional pattern of recruitment closely tied to Midwestern institutions. Paradoxically, though sited in an Eastern university, early Clark geography was substantially Midwestern in personnel and program. Further institutional and prosopographic study of the early sites of graduate study is needed to reveal the complexity of American academic geography in its formative period.

Keywords: Clark University; Midwest; University of Chicago; doctorates in geography; prosopography

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Clark University

Publication date: 2001-02-01

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