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Project information

Project team

Ute Wardenga, Dirk Hänsgen, Ninja Steinbach-Hüther

Cooperation

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
u_wardenga(at)leibniz-ifl.de

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.

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