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Feminist historical geographies: doing and being

McDonagh, Briony


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Professor Briony McDonagh
Interim Director of the Energy and Environment Institute & Professor of Environmental Humanities


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.


McDonagh, B. (2018). Feminist historical geographies: doing and being. Gender, Place and Culture, 25(11), 1563-1578.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2018
Online Publication Date May 6, 2019
Publication Date Nov 2, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 3, 2019
Journal Gender, Place and Culture
Print ISSN 0966-369X
Electronic ISSN 1360-0524
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 11
Pages 1563-1578
Keywords Gender; Women; Historical geography; Feminist geography
Public URL
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