Bringing Geography to Book: Ellen Semple and the Reception of Geographical Knowledge
The publication of Ellen Semple’s 'Influences of Geographic Environment' in 1911 - a treatise on what would later be called environmental determinism - coincided with the emergence of geography as an independent academic discipline in North America and Britain. A controversial text written by one of America’s first female professional geographers, it exerted an important but varied influence on generations of geographers. Some considered it a monument to Semple’s scholarship and erudition - a timely manifesto for a scientific approach to human geography. For others, it was conceptually flawed. Accepted by some, repudiated by others, 'Influences' was lauded and criticized in almost equal measure. Innes M. Keighren examines the different reactions to Semple’s book. He explains why 'Influences' was encountered differently by different people, at different times and in different places, and reveals why the book aroused the passions it did. Attending to archival records, personal correspondence, published reviews, provenance and marginalia, the author traces a geography of the book’s reception and outlines the contribution geography can make to understanding the way knowledge and ideas, in the guise of the printed text, are conceived, transmitted and received. The result is a pioneering work that provides a wholesale re-visioning of the way in which geographical knowledge is disseminated.
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AGSL Almagią American Geographical Society American History Annals anthropogeog anthropogeography April Association of American audience Barrows Baugh Berkeley book’s British Carl Chisholm communication Correspondence Block course Cressey cultural disciplinary Ekblaw Ellen Churchill Semple ences environmental influence environmentalist Fleure Folder 12 Franz Boas Friedrich Ratzel geog geographic conditions Geographic Environment Geographic Influences geographic thought Geographical Journal geography’s George George Tatham Glacken Human Geography important Influ Influences of Geographic Institute intellectual James John K Journal of Geography Keltie Kentucky Mountains lecture Library Livingstone London Louisville Miss Semple November Oxford particular perspective Platt Papers Preston E raphy Ratzel’s readers reading of Influences reception of Influences Review of Influences Robert Royal Geographical Society Salisbury Sauer scholarly Science scientific Semple to John Semple’s anthropogeography Semple’s book Semple’s ideas Semple’s text social tion Turner undated United University of Chicago unpaginated Whilst Whitbeck Whittlesey William Morris Davis Wright