By Avril Maddrell
This enlightening publication makes seen the lives and works of ladies who performed a serious function within the improvement of geography as an educational box.
- A infrequent and specified research of the geographical paintings of 30 person ladies geographers from 1850 to 1970
- Includes oral histories from girls who've held appointments in British universities for the reason that global struggle II
- Makes the paintings of girls geographers seen and demanding situations the proposal of pre Nineteen Seventies geography as an overwhelmingly masculine field
- Makes a big contribution to debates concerning the theoretical and methodological framing of the historiography of geography
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Extra info for Complex Locations (RGS-IBG Book Series)
Of those known/thought to be still living, a few have proved untraceable and a few have not responded to invitations to participate. Where autobiographical interviews were not possible, biographies have been pieced together, from the oral histories of others where relevant, from an individual’s papers where these exist, from public records such as birth and death certificates, obituaries, employment records, geographical and institutional archives, publications and secondary sources. These sources have also been used to give these women ‘voice’, principally through the reproduction of their own words, but this requires recognition of both the fragmentary and multiple character of those ‘voices’ found in different textual forms of self-representation (Woollacott 1998).
All of these non-metropolitan societies admitted women from the outset,3 in keeping with a number of other learned societies which extended their membership to women in the second half of the nineteenth century. Women were admitted to the Zoological, Botanical, Statistical, Asiatic, Hellenic and Anthropological societies and ‘every other geographical society in the empire’ (The Times, 29 May 1893; Stoddart 1986) – but not yet to the Royal, Linnaean or Geological societies. indd 28 2/9/2009 11:38:25 AM WOMEN AND BRITISH GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETIES 29 around women’s intellectual abilities and public roles need to be placed in the context of the patriarchal structure of British society in the nineteenth century.
As Baigent (2004: 545) noted, using a biographical approach ‘puts geography firmly in its place. That place is not just embedded in an economic and political context but in a personal one …’ These biographical studies raise difficult theoretical questions about the politics of the women’s location and where we place them in more inclusionary histories of the discipline (see Rose 1995). The presence of these women problematises representation of geography as a masculinist endeavour. If they were accepted/incorporated into the discipline, do we deny their agency or accept the constraints on their agency?