This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

Project information

Project team

Ute Wardenga, Dirk Hänsgen, Ninja Steinbach-Hüther


University of Leipzig, Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO)

Duration of project

01/2020 – 12/2023

Funded by

German Research Foundation

Further information

Prof Dr Ute Wardenga
Tel. +49 341 600 55-110

Spatial Semantics of Geography in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Project C1 – Collaborative Research Centre "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition" (SFB 1199)

The project analyses the complex entanglement of logics of spatialization, the formatting of spaces and the production of spatial orders in the 19th and 20th centuries. By “spatial semantics”, we understand meanings and structures of meaning of space and spatiality conveyed through language and images. Here, we explicitly include imaginations, visualizations and images; and metaphors conveyed in texts. We focus on what is particularly instructive for the analysis of spatial semantics: transitions, shifts and translations between different media, languages and contexts.

The project leans on the evaluations of journals of some 30 Geographical Societies that were published between 1821 and 1914 in Europe, North and South America, East Asia, North Africa and Australia (learn more). In one part of the project, that data, collected during the first phase of Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199, shall be analyzed by means of Digital Humanities applications, in order to trace the international change of spatial semantics, above all in the English-, French- and German-speaking worlds. Another part of the project examines, in the periods between the wars and after 1945, two popular journals acting in the overlapping areas of science, schools and the public. Here, the question is how the change of spatial semantics can be interpreted as geographical reactions to the change of globalized spatial orders.


Steinbach-Hüther, Ninja (2021): Towards a Connection between Cultural Transfer Research and Digital Humanities: Africa as an Example. In: Espagne, Michel / Middell, Matthias et. al. (Hrsg.): Intercultural Transfers and Processes of Spatialization. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, S. 293–311

Wardenga, Ute (2021): Raumbegriffe der Kulturlandschaftsforschung – Archäologie, Geschichte und Geographie im Gespräch. Eine Einführung. In: Porada, Haik Thomas / Hardt, Matthias / Harteisen, Ulrich / Dix, Andreas / Wardenga, Ute (Hrsg.): Landschaft – Region – Identität (= Siedlungsforschung. Archäologie – Geschichte – Geographie 39). Darmstadt. S. 49–72.

Steinbach-Hüther, Ninja / Efer, Thomas (2021): The Digital Humanities Interface – An Introduction. In: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 28.09.2021,

Georg, Maximilian / Wardenga, Ute (2020): “Our Field Is the World”: Geographical Societies in International Comparison, 1821–1914. In: Schelhaas, Bruno / Ferretti, Federico / Reyes Novaes, André / Schmidt die Friedberg, Marcella (Hrsg.): Decolonising and Internationalising Geography. Essays in the History of Contested Science. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG, S. 67–79 (Historical Geography and Geoscience)

Steinbach-Hüther, Ninja (2020): Bibliotheksdaten, Kulturtransfer und Digital Humanities. Zu einer Methodik bei der Untersuchung transregionaler Zirkulationen akademischer Literatur afrikanischer Autoren. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag

Wardenga, Ute (2019): Von der Länderkunde zu Regionalen Geographien. In: Geographische Rundschau 71 (1/2), S. 46–51

Wardenga, Ute (2020): Vergangene Zukünfte − oder: Die Verhandlung neuer Möglichkeitsräume in der Geographie. In: Geographische Zeitschrift 108, 1, S. 4–22.

Wardenga, Ute / Möhring, Maren / Pisarz-Ramirez, Gabriele (2019): Imaginationen. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter (Dialektik des Globalen. Kernbegriffe; 5)

Wardenga, Ute / Steinbach-Hüther, Ninja / Hänsgen, Dirk / Efer, Thomas (erscheint 2021): Von einer Geographie der Verräumlichung zu Geographien von Raumsemantiken. Digital Humanities als Schlüssel. In: Middell, Matthias (Hrsg.): Sammelband des SFB 1199. S. 61–84 (im Druck)