Photography, Visual Revolutions, and Victorian Geography

James R. Ryan

in Geography and Revolution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226487335
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487359 | DOI:
Photography, Visual Revolutions, and Victorian Geography

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This chapter sets out to explore the revolutionary implications and applications of photography in the science of geography in Britain in the Victorian period. Geography—geo-graphos—has long been a discourse of making and interpreting visual representations of the world. Indeed, the centrality of this “picture-making impulse,” as David N. Livingstone has pointed out, may be traced as far back as “the reappropriation during the Renaissance of Ptolemy's conception of geography as an enterprise essentially concerned with picturing (or representing) the world.” In recent years, geographers have shown increasing interest in how this impulse toward “visualization” both shapes and reflects geographical languages, practices, and ideas. The metaphorical association between human vision and geographical knowledge has often been pointed out, and geographers have not been slow to note that the relationship between sight and knowledge is neither as direct nor as straightforward as is sometimes assumed.

Keywords: photography; Victorian geography; visualization; geographical language; picturing

Chapter.  16345 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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