Geographies of the Book: Review and Prospect



This paper traces the origins and recent history of the geography of the book: an interdisciplinary focus of study for geographers, book historians and historians of science. In describing this field's twin concern with geography in books and with the geography of books, the paper examines the ways in which printed texts matter to the study of geography's discursive and disciplinary histories and the contributions that geography, in turn, can make to explaining the circulation and reception of knowledge in print. Through an attention to the making and movement of texts, the paper examines how questions of geography inform understandings of the uneven diffusion and varied reception of knowledge and ideas. In addressing geography's print culture, and in examining geographies of reading, the paper reflects on the significance of books to the making of geographical knowledge and to the significance of geography in accounting for the making of textual meaning.