History and philosophy of geography III: The haunted, the reviled, and the plural

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This report takes a new English-language translation of Friedrich Ratzel’s infamous essay Der Lebensraum (1901) as a prompt to consider the ethical questions that are raised by revisiting geography’s dangerous ideas and discredited practitioners. Attending to a series of recent interventions that offer new readings of Ratzel and his essay, I consider how historiographical practice and moral obligation intersect in the process of making sense of, and coming to terms with, disciplinary pasts that haunt the present. The report concludes by considering the future of the series of which it form part and argues that the task of narrating progress in the history and philosophy of geography should be assumed by a more diverse range of authors than has heretofore been the case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160–167
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number1
Early online date23 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • ethics
  • Friedrich Ratzel
  • histories of geography
  • lebensraum
  • National Socialism
  • Nazism
  • translation

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