Photography, visual revolutions, and Victorian geography

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Abstract

This chapter sets out to explore the revolutionary implications and applications of photography in the science of geography in Britain in the Victorian period. Geography—geo-graphos—has long been a discourse of making and interpreting visual representations of the world. Indeed, the centrality of this “picture-making impulse,” as David N. Livingstone has pointed out, may be traced as far back as “the reappropriation during the Renaissance of Ptolemy's conception of geography as an enterprise essentially concerned with picturing (or representing) the world.” In recent years, geographers have shown increasing interest in how this impulse toward “visualization” both shapes and reflects geographical languages, practices, and ideas. The metaphorical association between human vision and geographical knowledge has often been pointed out, and geographers have not been slow to note that the relationship between sight and knowledge is neither as direct nor as straightforward as is sometimes assumed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeography and Revolution
EditorsDavid N. Livingstone, Charles W. J. Withers
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Chapter8
ISBN (Print)9780226487359, 9780226487335, 0226487350, 0226487334
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2005

Keywords

  • history of science
  • photography
  • Victorian geography
  • visualization
  • geographical language
  • picturing

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