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The odd couple: Richard Hartshorne and William Bunge

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Drawing on personal correspondence can enhance histories of geography. Adding “backstage” histories of geography to conventional “frontstage” versions demonstrates the effect that private relationships can have on public scholarship. This article reviews the tempestuous 17‐year long correspondence between two well‐known American 20th‐century human geographers, Richard Hartshorne (1899–1992) and William Bunge (1928–2013). Using Ervin Goffman's (1959) dramaturgical framework, the article suggests that their correspondence affords an opportunity to supplement standard “frontstage” histories of the discipline with a warts‐and‐all “backstage” version. Cet article fait état des 17 ans de correspondance tumultueuse entre Richard Hartshorne (1899‐1992) et William Bunge (1928‐2013), deux spécialistes notoires de la géographie sociale américaine du 20e siècle. Le recours au concept dramaturgique préconisé par Ervin Goffman en 1959 nous amène à penser que leur correspondance fournit une occasion d’élargir le « devant de la scène » des histoires classiques de la discipline avec une version des « coulisses », sans fard ni artifice.
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Keywords: Richard Hartshorne; William Bunge; histoire de la géographie; history of geography; lettres personnelles; private letters

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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