The department of history is hosting a seminar with Prof. Richard White entitled \”Spatial History and the Boundaries of Historical Practice\” on Monday January 24 at 4:10 pm in Sarratt 216/220. The announcement from the history department with more information on the talk is pasted below.
The Vanderbilt History Seminar is pleased to announce the first event of Spring 2011, a seminar with Professor Richard White, Department of History, Stanford University. The seminar will occur on January 24, 2011, at 4:10 PM in Sarratt 216/220. A reception will follow in the second-floor foyer of Benson.
The theme of this seminar is “Spatial History and the Boundaries of Historical Practice.” Discussion will be based on two brief papers that Professor White has sent us: “What is Spatial History?” and “Spatial Politics.” Hard copies of the papers are available in the Department of History, 227 Benson Hall, through Friday, January 21. The office is open M–F, 8:00 am–4:30 pm.
Also, please visit The Spatial History Project online (link below) with which Professor White is associated. His essay “What is Spatial History?” is featured there, and the website contains dynamic visuals, maps, charts, and graphs as well as examples of projects that implement techniques of spatial history. Browsing the website will help prepare you to discuss spatial history.
“What is Spatial History?”: http://www.stanford.edu/group/spatialhistory/cgi-bin/site/pub.php?id=29 <http://www.stanford.edu/group/spatialhistory/cgi-bin/site/pub.php?id=29>
The Margaret Byrne Professor of American History at Stanford, White is one of this country’s most distinguished historians. His 1991 book, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republic in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815, was the recipient of five book prizes, including the Beveridge, Rawley, and Parkman prizes, and was a Pulitzer finalist. White has written five other books, including \”It\’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own\”: A New History of the American West (1991) and The Organic Machine (1995). A new book, Railroaded: The Rise and Fall of the Transcontinental Railroads and the Making of Modern North America, will be published this spring. White’s honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the presidency of the Organization of American Historians, and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
White’s principal areas of interest are the American West, Native American History, environmental history, and, increasingly, a new field of historical inquiry, “spatial history.” Long intrigued with space as an alternative to time as an organizing principle of historical work, White, along with several colleagues at Stanford, has pursued this interest in The Spatial History Project. This project is meant to test the boundaries of history as a discipline and to challenge historians to rethink their approach to the study of the past—conceptually, methodologically, and visually. White’s first paper is a mission statement for the new field of spatial history. His second paper offers a case study of how to do this work, drawn from a chapter in his forthcoming book, Railroaded. While preparations for the seminar with White can be done entirely from the printed pages that are being circulated, we urge you to explore the web-based version of “What is Spatial History?” where you will encounter “dynamic visualizations” that illustrate the arguments made in the essay. Helmut Walser Smith, Martha Rivers Ingram Chair of History, Department of History, and Director of the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies, Vanderbilt University, will deliver the opening comment.
The gathering with Professor White is part of a series of seminars that the Department of History is hosting this academic year, all of them focused on VHS\’s 2010–2011 theme, \”Boundaries.\” These seminars range broadly across time and space and bring us into conversation with scholars, both at Vanderbilt and elsewhere, who are doing the most important work in this area of historical investigation.
We look forward to seeing you on January 24.
Director, Vanderbilt History Seminar &
James G. Stahlman Professor of American History