For most of the twentieth century, maps were indispensable. They were how governments understood, managed, and defended their territory, and during the two world wars they were produced by the hundreds of millions. Cartographers and journalists predicted the dawning of a “map-minded age,” where increasingly state-of-the-art maps would become everyday tools. By the century’s end, however, there had been decisive shift in mapping practices, as the dominant methods of land surveying and print publication were increasingly displaced by electronic navigation systems.
In After the Map, William Rankin argues that although this shift did not render traditional maps obsolete, it did radically change our experience of geographic knowledge, from the God’s-eye view of the map to the embedded subjectivity of GPS. Likewise, older concerns with geographic truth and objectivity have been upstaged by a new emphasis on simplicity, reliability, and convenience. After the Map shows how this change in geographic perspective is ultimately a transformation of the nature of territory, both social and political.
The Birth of Territory
Stuart Elden University of Chicago Press, 2013 Library of Congress JC319.E44 2013 | Dewey Decimal 320.12
Territory is one of the central political concepts of the modern world and, indeed, functions as the primary way the world is divided and controlled politically. Yet territory has not received the critical attention afforded to other crucial concepts such as sovereignty, rights, and justice. While territory continues to matter politically, and territorial disputes and arrangements are studied in detail, the concept of territory itself is often neglected today. Where did the idea of exclusive ownership of a portion of the earth’s surface come from, and what kinds of complexities are hidden behind that seemingly straightforward definition?
The Birth of Territory provides a detailed account of the emergence of territory within Western political thought. Looking at ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and early modern thought, Stuart Elden examines the evolution of the concept of territory from ancient Greece to the seventeenth century to determine how we arrived at our contemporary understanding. Elden addresses a range of historical, political, and literary texts and practices, as well as a number of key players—historians, poets, philosophers, theologians, and secular political theorists—and in doing so sheds new light on the way the world came to be ordered and how the earth’s surface is divided, controlled, and administered.
"Changing Places is an interesting meditation on the varying identities and rights claimed by residents of borderlands, the limits placed on the capacities of nation-states to police their borders and enforce national identities, and the persistence of such contact zones in the past and present. It is an extremely well-written and engaging study, and an absolute pleasure to read."
---Dennis Sweeney, University of Alberta
"Changing Places offers a brilliantly transnational approach to its subject, the kind that historians perennially demand of themselves but almost never accomplish in practice."
---Pieter M. Judson, Swarthmore College
Changing Places is a transnational history of the birth, life, and death of a modern borderland and of frontier peoples' changing relationships to nations, states, and territorial belonging. The cross-border region between Germany and Habsburg Austria---and after 1918 between Germany and Czechoslovakia---became an international showcase for modern state building, nationalist agitation, and local pragmatism after World War I, in the 1930s, and again after 1945.
Caitlin Murdock uses wide-ranging archival and published sources from Germany and the Czech Republic to tell a truly transnational story of how state, regional, and local historical actors created, and eventually destroyed, a cross-border region. Changing Places demonstrates the persistence of national fluidity, ambiguity, and ambivalence in Germany long after unification and even under fascism. It shows how the 1938 Nazi annexation of the Czechoslovak "Sudetenland" became imaginable to local actors and political leaders alike. At the same time, it illustrates that the Czech-German nationalist conflict and Hitler's Anschluss are only a small part of the larger, more complex borderland story that continues to shape local identities and international politics today.
Caitlin E. Murdock is Associate Professor of History at California State University, Long Beach.
How did the classical Greek city come into being? What role did religion play in its formation? Athens, with its ancient citadel and central religious cult, has traditionally been the model for the emergence of the Greek city-state. But in this original and controversial investigation, Francois de Polignac suggests that the Athenian model was probably the exception, not the rule, in the development of the polis in ancient Greece.
Combining archaeological and textual evidence, de Polignac argues that the eighth-century settlements that would become the city-states of classical Greece were defined as much by the boundaries of "civilized" space as by its urban centers. The city took shape through what de Polignac calls a "religious bipolarity," the cults operating both to organize social space and to articulate social relationships being not only at the heart of the inhabited area, but on the edges of the territory. Together with the urban cults, these sanctuaries "in the wild" identified the polis and its sphere of influence, giving rise to the concept of the state as a territorial unit distinct from its neighbors. Frontier sanctuaries were therefore often the focus of disputes between emerging communities. But in other instances, in particular in Greece's colonizing expeditions, these outer sanctuaries may have facilitated the relations between the indigenous populations and the settlers of the newly founded cities.
Featuring extensive revisions from the original French publication and an updated bibliography, this book is essential for anyone interested in the history and culture of ancient Greece.
In the most comprehensive and detailed cultural-geographic study ever conducted of the American Indian reservations in the forty-eight contiguous states, Klaus Frantz explores the reservations as living environments rather than historical footnotes. Although this study provides well-researched documentation of the generally deplorable living conditions on the reservations, it also seeks to discover and highlight the many possibilities for positive change.
Informed by both historical research and extensive fieldwork, this book pays special attention to the natural resource base and economic outlook of the reservations, as well as the crucial issue of tribal sovereignty. Chapters also cover the demography of American Indian groups and their socioeconomic status (including standard of living, employment, and education). A new afterword treats some of the developments since the book's initial publication in German, such as the effects of the 1988 Indian gaming law that allowed Indian reservations to operate gambling establishments (with mixed success).
"Provides a good overview of the basic questions and problems facing reservation Indians today."—Peter Bolz, Journal of American History (on the German edition)
Indigenous activism in the Americas has long focused on the symbolic reclamation of land. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives, contributors to this issue explore narratives of territory and origin that provide a foundation for this political practice. The contributors study Indigenous-language stories from displaced communities, analyzing the meaning and power of these narratives in the context of diaspora and the struggle for land. Essays address topics including territorial struggle and environmentalism, Indigenous resistance to neoliberal policies of land dispossession, and alliances between academic and Indigenous knowledges and activisms. This issue brings together fruitful comparisons of theoretical frameworks and case studies in Indigenous studies across North and South America. Its contributors advance the process of returning to Indigenous knowledge, offering essential alternatives to Western epistemologies.
Contributors. Amber Meadow Adams, Alexandre Belmonte, Enrique Manuel Bernales Albites, Andrew Cowell, Ella Deloria, Leila Gómez, Sarah Hernandez, Penelope Kelsey, José Antonio Mazzotti, Javier Muñoz-Díaz, Craig Perez, Cheryl Savageau, Ángel Tuninetti, Christopher T. Vecsey
Intimate Geopolitics begins with a love story set in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, in India’s Jammu and Kashmir State, but this is also a story about territory, and the ways that love, marriage, and young people are caught up in contemporary global processes. In Ladakh, children grow up to adopt a religious identity in part to be counted in the census, and to vote in elections. Religion, population, and voting blocs are implicitly tied to territorial sovereignty and marriage across religious boundaries becomes a geopolitical problem in an area that seeks to define insiders and outsiders in relation to borders and national identity. This book populates territory, a conventionally abstract rendering of space, with the stories of those who live through territorial struggle at marriage and birth ceremonies, in the kitchen and in the bazaar, in heartbreak and in joy. Intimate Geopolitics argues for the incorporation of the role of time – temporality – into our understanding of territory.
Ornette Coleman’s career encompassed the glory years of jazz and the American avant-garde. Born in segregated Fort Worth, Texas, during the Great Depression, the African-American composer and musician was zeitgeist incarnate. Steeped in the Texas blues tradition, he and jazz grew up together, as the brassy blare of big band swing gave way to bebop—a faster music for a faster, postwar world. At the luminous dawn of the Space Age and New York’s 1960s counterculture, Coleman gave voice to the moment. Lauded by some, maligned by many, he forged a breakaway art sometimes called “the new thing” or “free jazz.” Featuring previously unpublished photographs of Coleman and his contemporaries, this book tells the compelling story of one of America’s most adventurous musicians and the sound of a changing world.
Shem Pete (1896–1989), a colorful and brilliant raconteur from Susitna Station, Alaska, left a rich legacy of knowledge about the Upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina world. Shem was one of the most versatile storytellers and historians in twentieth century Alaska, and his lifetime travel map of approximately 13,500 square miles is one of the largest ever documented with this degree of detail anywhere in the world.
The first two editions of Shem Pete’s Alaska contributed much to Dena’ina cultural identity and public appreciation of the Dena’ina place names network in Upper Cook Inlet. This new edition adds nearly thirty new place names to its already extensive source material from Shem Pete and more than fifty other contributors, along with many revisions and new annotations. The authors provide synopses of Dena’ina language and culture and summaries of Dena’ina geographic knowledge, and they also discuss their methodology for place name research.
Exhaustively refined over more than three decades, Shem Pete’s Alaska will remain the essential reference work on the landscape of the Dena’ina people of Upper Cook Inlet. As a book of ethnogeography, Native language materials, and linguistic scholarship, the extent of its range and influence is unlikely to be surpassed.
Shem Pete (1896-1989), the colorful and brilliant raconteur from Susitna Station, Alaska, left a rich legacy of knowledge about the Upper Cook Inlet Dena'ina world. Pete was one of the most versatile storytellers and historians in twentieth-century Alaska, and his lifetime travel map of approximately 13,500 square miles is one of the largest ever documented in this degree of detail anywhere in the world.
This expanded edition of Shem Pete's Alaska presents 973 named places in 16 drainage-based chapters. The names form a reconstructed network from the vantage points of the life experiences of Shem Pete and other Dena'ina and Ahtna speakers. It is annotated with comments and stories by Shem Pete and more than 50 other contributors, plus historic references, vignettes, copious photographs, historic maps, and shaded-relief placename maps. The authors provide perspective on Dena'ina language and culture, as well as a summary of Dena'ina geographic knowledge and placename research methodology.
This beautifully produced edition is a treasure for all Alaskans and for anyone interested in the "personal connectedness to a beautiful land" voiced by Dena'ina elders.
From the foreword by William Bright: "Shem Pete's experience and wisdom as an elder of the Dena'ina Athabascan Indians shine through this work like the sunâ€”as do the skill and devotion of James Kari, James Fall, and the other Dena'ina, Ahtna, Alaska Native, and Anglo-American people who contributed to making the book a reality. . . . We have a volume that offers a vivid picture of Native Alaskan culture, history, geography, and language, with added glimpses of oral literature and music. . . . All Native American Peoples, indeed, all traditional communities in the world would be fortunate and proud to have this kind of record of their life and culture."
While he did the research for this book, Gerald Suttles lived for almost three years in the high-delinquency area around Hull House on Chicago's New West Side. He came to know it intimately and was welcomed by its residents, who are Italian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Negro. Suttles contends that the residents of a slum neighborhood have a set of standards for behavior that take precedence over the more widely held "moral standards" of "straight" society. These standards arise out of the specific experience of each locality, are peculiar to it, and largely determine how the neighborhood people act. One of the tasks of urban sociology, according to Suttles, is to explore why and how slum communities provide their inhabitants with these local norms. The Social Order of the Slum is the record of such an exploration, and it defines theoretical principles and concepts that will aid in subsequent research.
The present State of Michigan had one of the longest territorial periods in the continental United Sates. The Great Lakes boardering Michigan were an asset for early trading, but a deterrent to inland settlement. This is the first book concerned solely with the history of the territory.
Today's global politics demands a new look at the concept of territory. From so-called deterritorialized terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda to U.S.-led overthrows of existing regimes in the Middle East, the relationship between territory and sovereignty is under siege. Unfolding an updated understanding of the concept of territory, Stuart Elden shows how the contemporary "war on terror" is part of a widespread challenge to the connection between the state and its territory.
Although the importance of territory has been disputed under globalization, territorial relations have not come to an abrupt end. Rather, Elden argues, the territory/sovereignty relation is being reconfigured. Traditional geopolitical analysis is transformed into a critical device for interrogating hegemonic geopolitics after the Cold War, and is employed in the service of reconsidering discourses of danger that include "failed states," disconnection, and terrorist networks.
Looking anew at the "war on terror"; the development and application of U.S. policy; the construction and demonization of rogue states; events in Lebanon, Somalia, and Pakistan; and the wars continuing in Afghanistan and Iraq, Terror and Territory demonstrates how a critical geographical analysis, informed by political theory and history, can offer an urgently needed perspective on world events.
Ge Zhaoguang, an eminent historian of traditional China and a public intellectual, takes on fundamental questions that shape the domestic and international politics of the world’s most populous country and its second largest economy. What Is China? offers an insider’s account that addresses sensitive problems of Chinese identity and shows how modern scholarship about China—whether conducted in China, East Asia, or the West—has attempted to make sense of the country’s shifting territorial boundaries and its diversity of ethnic groups and cultures.
Ge considers, for example, the ancient concept of tianxia, or All-Under-Heaven, which assigned supremacy to the imperial court and lesser status to officials, citizens, tributary states, and tribal peoples. Does China’s government still operate with a belief in divine rule of All-Under-Heaven, or has it taken a different view of other actors, inside and outside its current borders? Responding both to Western theories of the nation-state and to Chinese intellectuals eager to promote “national learning,” Ge offers an insightful and erudite account of how China sees its place in the world. As he wrestles with complex historical and cultural forces guiding the inner workings of an often misunderstood nation, Ge also teases out many nuances of China’s encounter with the contemporary world, using China’s past to explain aspects of its present and to provide insight into various paths the nation might follow as the twenty-first century unfolds.