The theme “Savoirs and Spaces in Context” aims to continue the questioning of knowledge of space and territories that was initiated under the previous framework, by linking it to an approach of historical geography. The contribution of the historical approach to territorial forms and organizations will enable a traversal of the connection between practices and knowledge, starting from the diversity of the actors who contribute to the manufacture and to the changes of territories, and by doing so, mobilize and/or build spatial knowledge among a quantity of other instruments (technical, legal, etc…).
The EHGO team proposes to continue and extend its analysis of the circulation of knowledge, by approaching circulations as “moments” of knowledge creation. It will not only pursue the investigation of interdisciplinary exchanges (primarily between the field of geography and other social sciences, although also further afield) but will also continue in parallel to question international exchanges.
The members of the team will extend their examination of the exchanges between scientific knowledge and knowledge of action, through studies focused on the colonial situation, by shifting the collective investigation to the turning point of decolonization, and on the administration of territories over time. One working group particularly wishes to investigate the political trajectories of geographers, especially in the second half of the twentieth century; a subject that is almost always studied in a monographic way without addressing the general tendencies of the politicization of geographers influenced by conjunctures and circumstances that have not only an internal dynamic, but also a morphology and a strong heteronomy.
The second axis of research will focus on the fabrication of spaces over time, paying particular attention to the way in which they are linked to the re-elaboration of the understandings of space, born of the encounter between practices and savoirs. Three geographical elements will be privileged in this perspective of historical geography: roads and networks and grids.
David Rumsey (map from personal collection)