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By Innes M. Keighren

Ellen Semple’s affects of Geographic surroundings (1911) -- a treatise on what may later be known as environmental determinism -- coincided with the emergence of geography as an autonomous educational self-discipline in North the US and Britain. hugely arguable and written through one in every of America’s first girl specialist geographers, it was once thought of by means of a few a monument to Semple’s scholarship and erudition, whereas for others it was once conceptually wrong. And but its effect at the improvement and course of the recent self-discipline of geography was once profound. Innes Keighren explains why Influences... was once encountered in a different way by way of varied humans, at varied instances and elsewhere, and divulges why the e-book aroused the passions it did. the result's a pioneering paintings that gives a wholesale re-visioning of how during which geographical wisdom is disseminated.

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Additional info for Bringing Geography to Book: Ellen Semple and the Reception of Geographical Knowledge (Tauris Historical Geography Series)

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Quite why she was not offered, or did not accept, a fulltime position is uncertain. 219 The opportunity for Semple to present her work to an audience of enthusiastic students, the first in the United States to receive an explicitly geographical education at 38 ANTHROPOGEOGRAPHY: A BIOGRAPHY graduate level, proved valuable in shaping not only the subsequent content of her work, but also aspects of the discipline’s later research focus. D. 221 THE GENESIS OF INFLUENCES Semple’s relatively light teaching schedule ensured that she was able to devote extended periods to her work on Influences.

This space, a forum for debate and discussion, was one in which Semple’s oratorical skills were honed and her philosophy refined. The publication of Influences in 1911 was, in certain respects, the apotheosis of Semple’s anthropogeographical project. Rather than marking the terminus to this particular element of her research, however, the book was a prompt to a new and important phase of geography’s disciplinary development. In the chapter which follows, I trace the initial reaction to Semple’s book through an examination of reviews in the popular press and academic literature, and describe how these early readings framed the response to Influences.

In common with her desire to reframe Ratzel’s arguments in a locallytailored form, Semple presented a lecture entitled ‘Civilization is at bottom an economic fact’ at the Third Biennial General Federation of Women’s Clubs in Louisville on 29 May 1896. 107 Semple’s first opportunity to address a more obviously geographical audience came in 1897 with a paper she contributed to the first volume of the Journal of School Geography. The Journal had been established that year by Richard Elwood Dodge (1868–1952), a former student of William Morris Davis.

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