Geography in Dialogue: Print Culture at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), c. 1830–c. 2000
Royal Holloway, University of London
Year of enrolment: 2014 -
The project focuses on the publication history of the journal of record of the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers), under its various titles from 1830 to c. 2000. In so doing, the project seeks to investigate the role of authorship, editing, peer review, print technology, distribution, and reading to the making, warranting, and circulation of geographical knowledge from the end of the Georgian Era to the end of the second millennium. In attending to the role of print (and, specifically, to periodical print) in the making and shaping of international Anglophone geography, the project is driven by four principal aims:
1. To understand the editorial practices of the journal and the emergence of peer review. What genres of geographical writing were encouraged or discouraged by individual editors? When and how did peer-review emerge? How was the peer review process managed?
2. To understand the relationship between the journal and its publishers. What were the economics of the journal's publication? What was its print run and cost? How did these vary across time? How did the technologies of print facilitate (or frustrate) certain kinds of geographical publishing?
3. To understand the journal in relation to global networks of circulation and reading. Who were the journal's readers? To where and to whom were copies of the journal sent and gifted? To what extent did the journal publish the work and communications of non-UK geographers?
4. To understand the relationship between the journal and its public audiences. To what extent did the journal engage audiences beyond the academy? How did it seek to inform the public about geographical issues and debates? How might that relationship have been audited by the Society?
The project shall interrogate the rich archival and printed collections of the Society in order to elucidate the everyday practices which underpinned the making of the journal, its role within the Society, and its relationship with, and influence on, wider geographical practices and debates. The project will, in this way, contribute to a variety of interdisciplinary questions concerned with science's print culture, with the evaluation and authorisation of knowledge, with practices of authorship and editorship, and the mobility and instability of print vis-à-vis the circulation of knowledge and ideas.