About the Centre for the GeoHumanities
The Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities is a major interdisciplinary initiative cultivating links between arts and humanities scholars and practitioners, geographers and the creative, cultural and heritage sectors.
The GeoHumanities is an umbrella term that has emerged internationally over the last two-three years to signal the growing interdisciplinary engagement between Geography and arts and humanities disciplines. It incorporates other designated developments such as the ‘environmental humanities’, the ‘spatial humanities’ and the ‘urban humanities’. In essence, the term indicates how scholarship on key geographical concerns such as space, place, landscape and environment is advanced across arts and humanities disciplines.
The recognition of the GeoHumanities has been driven by recent developments in theory (e.g. the ‘spatial’ and ‘mobilities’ turns; the idea of the Anthropocene), politics (e.g. the increasing urgency of environmental issues, or questions of territory, borders and displacement), data (e.g. the embrace of geo-coded data and Geographic Information Systems [GIS]) and practice (e.g. in site specific performance art or the creative use of locative media). However, the GeoHumanities also stem from a much longer intellectual history, being rooted in the pre-disciplinary origins of Geography and its ‘earth writing’. Geography has never been the exclusive preserve of Geographers and has always challenged modern disciplinary divisions. It is therefore unsurprising that the GeoHumanities has emerged as a key field in our current interdisciplinary intellectual culture.
The Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities will focus in particular on six cross-cutting interdisciplinary themes:
- The Environmental GeoHumanities, encompassing arts and humanities scholarship on environment, nature and environmental change;
- The Creative GeoHumanities, encompassing practice-based arts research engaging themes of place, space, landscape and environment;
- The Historical GeoHumanities, encompassing humanities research on past landscapes, places and spaces, and the making of geographical knowledges;
- The Spatial GeoHumanities, encompassing arts and humanities research on imaginative geographies and the production of space, past and present;
- The Digital GeoHumanities, including the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), geo-coded data and digital mapping within arts and humanities scholarship;
- The Public GeoHumanities, encompassing the place-based and spatial understandings of the cultural, creative and heritage sectors as well as community and participatory work.
Image courtesy of Miriam Burke