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    A Good Act of Contrition?Geography, Civilisational Thinking, and the Colonial Present


    Boyle, Mark (2008) A Good Act of Contrition?Geography, Civilisational Thinking, and the Colonial Present. Geopolitics, 13 (4). pp. 724-729. ISSN 1465-0045

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    Abstract

    There exists a growing interest in the complicity of geographical knowledge and practice in the colonisation by European powers of territories in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.1 In particular, the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century professional and institutional development of Geography cannot, it seems, be studied without reference to the historical geography of European imperialism and colonialism. Through the mapping of coastal zones, transport routes, soil and climatic conditions, natural resources, and disease patterns, Geography provided technical support to colons and serviced their commercial and business imperatives. More importantly, by contributing to the development of environmental determinist ideology and the notion that there existed a hierarchy of civilisations or a number of civilisations surrounded by a sea of debased barbarism and savagery, Geography aided in the development of forms of scientific racism that legitimated colonial settlement and economic exploitation. It was the discipline of Geography that codified and mobilised civilisational thinking and lent authority to its role in colonial aggrandisement.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Act of Contrition; Geography; Civilisational; Thinking; Colonial Present;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 8699
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/14650040802275628
    Depositing User: Mark Boyle
    Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2017 13:47
    Journal or Publication Title: Geopolitics
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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