Konrad Lawson, Riccardo Bavaj and Bernhard Struck, A Guide to Spatial History: Areas, Aspects, and Avenues of Research, June 2021 (open access)
This guide provides an overview of the thematic areas, analytical aspects, and avenues of research which, together, form a broader conversation around doing spatial history.1 Spatial history is not a field with clearly delineated boundaries. For the most part, it lacks a distinct, unambiguous scholarly identity. It can only be thought of in relation to other, typically more established fields. Indeed, one of the most valuable utilities of spatial history is its capacity to facilitate conversations across those fields. Consequently, it must be discussed in relation to a variety of historiographical contexts. Each of these have their own intellectual genealogies, institutional settings, and conceptual path dependencies. Any attempt to approach spatial history in a hermetic way, as if it existed in a historiographical vacuum, would run counter to its very purpose. Spatial history is not merely one among many ‘hyphenated’ fields.2 It does not aim at further compartmentalization. At its very core lies a heightened sensitivity to the spatial dimensions of history in general. Historians may or may not choose to explicitly adopt the label ‘spatial history.’ Either way, there exists a sizeable body of spatially attuned historical scholarship that is eminently worthy of discussion.