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Geography's Contested Stories: Changing States-of-the-Art

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Geography lies at the heart of scholarly traditions in many world civilisations, inviting enquiry into the nature of the universe and the dynamics of the earth, prompting exploration and adventure, the naming and claiming of territory, and theories about relationships between human societies and their environments. As an academic discipline and a formal course in universities and schools, geography has acquired other histories, few uncontested. During its disciplinary period, geography has continued to mirror the fluctuating fortunes of nations and empires, ‘fitting’ itself within nationally defined structures of pedagogy and research, while remaining attuned to changing international trends of scientific thought and practice. The IGU Commission on the History of Geographical Thought has in recent years explored a variety of geographical knowledges – academic (scientific), official (applied), and popular (folk) – probing their origins, modes of articulation, and implications for the construction of images: of self and the other, of home place and other's space, and of nature, gender, culture and environmental concern. It has also opened enquiry to a wide cross-cultural range of voices, thereby promoting better communication and mutual understanding among geographers throughout the world.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. [email protected]

Publication date: 1998-02-01

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