Capital Mapping: Geographies of Enlightenment Edinburgh

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


This thesis maps the different geographical processes by which people in Enlightenment Edinburgh encountered, understood and ordered space. It analyses the knowledge-making practices that were an integral part of Enlightenment reasoning, and that contributed to the construction of Edinburgh’s identity as an Enlightenment capital. In particular, it focuses on four aspects of mapping: planning, surveying, travelling, and compiling. The thesis explores how people in Enlightenment Edinburgh made sense of their city, their environs, their nation, and their world via these placed and place-making geographical processes. It focuses intimately on the work of planners, surveyors, travellers and compilers. It is concerned, moreover, with the transmission of plans, surveys, travel accounts and geographical compilations, and with the people who constituted a receptive commercial audience for them. The discussion makes use of a diverse range of sources, including manuscript maps of the New Town and the confessional diary of a hack writer, but it is primarily based on the substantial business ledgers of two Edinburgh booksellers, which cover the period 1771- 1809. By analysing the production and performance of the geographical works that were bought by the city’s inhabitants, this thesis demonstrates that Enlightenment mapping was the process by which the authority of vernacular spatial knowledges was replaced by a professedly ‘scientific’ paradigm. By emphasising the vernacular subjectivities of the production and performance of Enlightenment maps, however, the thesis denaturalises and challenges the legacy of Enlightenment.
Tilldelande institution
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Withers, Charles, handledare, Extern person
  • Rodger, Richard, handledare, Extern person
Sponsorer för avhandling
Tilldelningsdatum2017 juli 1
StatusPublished - 2017
Externt publiceradJa

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Tvärvetenskapliga studier
  • Kulturgeografi
  • Historia


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