Introduction: spatial history an expansive field

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Spatial history is more than simply digital spatial history. It is understood here as an expansive field, broadly defined as a heightened sensitivity to the spatial dimensions of history. This contribution argues that the value of the term ‘spatial history’ is threefold: (1) It serves as a signpost for historians to find inspiration in relevant cognate fields such as historical geography, cultural and human geography, cartography, anthropology, and literary studies. (2) It helps to facilitate conversations among historians of different hues and specializations, creating a common forum across, especially, environmental history, landscape history, local and regional history, transnational and global history, urban history, architectural history, the history of cartography, and the history of science. In this ecumenical sense, it is one aspect of a much larger conversation which has evolved under the name of ‘GeoHumanities’. (3) For all its many facets, cross-disciplinary connections, and boundary-spanning work, it is the focus on space and place that lends ‘spatial history’ coherence and a shared perspective. Since the late 1980s, conceptual frameworks of ‘space’ and ‘place’ have been promoted ever more widely across the humanities and the social sciences under the banner of ‘the spatial turn’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoing spatial history
EditorsRiccardo Bavaj, Konrad Lawson, Bernhard Struck
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9780429291739
ISBN (Print)9780367261542, 9780367261566
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge guides to using historical sources


  • Space
  • History
  • Spatial history
  • Methodology
  • Historiography


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