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Feminist historical geographies: Doing and being

McDonagh, Briony


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Dr Briony McDonagh
Reader in Historical Geography, Energy & Environment Institute


As part of GPC’s 25-year anniversary celebrations, this article explores possibilities and prospects for feminist historical geographies and geographers. Here I define feminist historical geography as scholarship which asks geographical questions of historical material and is informed by feminist theories, approaches and methodologies. Its empirical subject matter is necessarily expansive and diverse, but often has a particular focus on the lives of women and other marginalized groups, and on the ways gender and space were co-constituted. This essay interrogates recent developments within this broad terrain, specifically articles and books published in the period from around 2000 onwards and either appearing in geography journals or written by those self-identifying as geographers. The main exception is work by historians and archaeologists interested in gender, space and place, which is cited here in an attempt to open up new research directions for feminist historical geographers. In what follows, we shuttle across spaces and between scales, roaming from the sites of empire to the intimate geographies of the home, from landscapes and buildings to personal possessions like clothes and letters. Doing so is a deliberate act intended both to demonstrate the liveliness of feminist historical geographies broadly conceived and to counter hierarchical readings of space, society and history with their inherent danger of privileging the public over the private, and the exceptional over the everyday and mundane.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 6, 2019
Print ISSN 0966-369X
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 11
Pages 1563-1578
APA6 Citation McDonagh, B. (2019). Feminist historical geographies: Doing and being. Gender, Place and Culture, 25(11), 1563-1578.
Keywords Gender; Women; Historical geography; Feminist geography
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