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How control of nature shaped the international order
Author: Joanne Yao

Environmental politics has traditionally been a peripheral concern for IR theory, but increasing alarm over global environmental challenges has elevated international society’s relationship with the natural world into the theoretical limelight. IR theory’s engagement with environmental politics, however, has largely focused on interstate cooperation in the late twentieth century, with few works exploring the longstanding historical links between the management of natural resources and the foundations of the modern international order. This book examines nineteenth-century efforts to establish international commissions on three transboundary rivers – the Rhine, the Danube, and the Congo. It charts how the ambition to tame nature (both the natural world and human nature) became an international standard of rational and civilized authority and informed our geographical imagination of the international. This notion of domination over nature was central to the emergence of the early international order in the way it shaped three core IR concepts: the territorial sovereign state, imperial hierarchies, and international organizations. The book contributes to environmental politics and IR by highlighting how the relationship between society and nature, rather than being a peripheral concern, has always lain at the heart of international politics.

Photography, practices and experiences in First World War France
Author: Beatriz Pichel

How did photography articulate individual and collective experiences of the war? This question situates photography at the centre of historical analysis, contending that what we do with photographs (taking, collecting, classifying, exhibiting, looking at and posing for them) shapes how we make sense of what we live through. Picturing the Western Front offers an innovative analysis of the ways in which the practice of photography shaped combatants’ and civilians’ war experiences between 1914 and 1918. Despite military restrictions, photographs were everywhere: the war archives classified thousands of pictures, combatants compiled their own photographic albums and civilians learnt about war developments through the images published in heavily illustrated journals. The study of the material produced by the French military photographic service Section photographique de l’armée, amateur photographers and illustrated magazines such as Sur le Vif reveals that photography mattered not only because of what it showed, but also because of the practices it entailed. Photography recorded events that were then kept in archives and collections, shaping the future histories of the war; shaped affective relationships with others and helped to domesticate the inhospitable environment of the trenches; gave a visual and material body to abstract ideas such as the legal distinction ‘Mort pour la France’ (dead for France); placed people and events in particular landscapes (physical and metaphorical) and made some war events visible while making others, such as suicide, invisible. Photographic practices became, thus, frames of experience: a framework that turned the raw flow of life events into experiences.

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Mapping the tyranny
Richard Philips

social and political problems in cartographic or more generally geographical terms – arguably had the potential to freshen the rhetoric of a twenty-year-old movement against state-regulated prostitution. It promised to open up and develop forms of political action that could not be imagined in other ways. Some of Butler’s fellow-campaigners saw the point, and used similar tactics. Alfred Dyer appealed even more directly to the geographical imaginations of his public, publishing maps of military and state-regulated prostitution

in Sex, politics and empire
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The ideal river
Joanne Yao

the Arno represented the global ambitions of the modern European geographical imagination. Taming and controlling this local river was just the first step to taming and controlling the world. This book charts how society's quest to tame nature, dismissed by Florentine military commanders as mere hubris in the early sixteenth century, came to shape the modern international order. While Da Vinci and Machiavelli's project ended without success, their overall political project to control the river for the benefit of society would inspire others. By

in The ideal river
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Broken trees, ruins, graves and the geographical imagination of France
Beatriz Pichel

a tool that articulated the relationship between the war landscape, French collective identity, and the dead through images, objects and practices. In a similar way to literature, photography mediated combatants’ experiences of the landscape, providing representations and narratives that allowed them to make sense of the war environment. In particular, this chapter focuses on three areas in which photography played a prominent role: the creation of a new geographical imagination of France, the development of a sense of place, and the shaping of the relationship

in Picturing the Western Front
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Cosmography and chorography
Tamsin Badcoe

Lestringant, Mapping the Renaissance World: The Geographical Imagination in the Age of Discovery , trans. David Fausett (Cambridge: Polity, 1994), p. 5. 45 The glass could thus be said to render in allegory Fredric Jameson’s ‘innerworldly object’ of romance worldmaking. As he writes, expanding upon Northrop Frye’s work in The Secular Scripture , ‘romance is that form in which the world-ness of world reveals itself’, where ‘ world in the technical sense of the transcendental horizon of … experience becomes precisely visible as something like

in Edmund Spenser and the romance of space
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Identity and belonging at the edge of England
Author: Phil Hubbard

In 2020 the convergence of Brexit, COVID-19 and the ‘migrant crisis’ put Kent in the headlines as never before: images of refugees on beaches, lorries queued on the county’s motorways and the white cliffs of Dover crumbling into the sea were all used to support claims that severing ties with the EU was the best – or worst – thing the UK had ever done. In this coastal driftwork, Phil Hubbard considers the past, present and future of this corner of England, alighting on the key sites which symbolise the changing relationship between the UK and its continental neighbours. Moving from the geopolitics of the Channel Tunnel to the cultivation of oysters at Whitstable, from Derek Jarman’s celebrated garden at Dungeness to the art-fuelled gentrification of Margate, Borderland bridges geography, history and cultural studies to show how ideas of national identity and belonging take shape at the coast. In doing so, the author argues that the ongoing crises of global displacement, climate change and ecological disaster require an expansive geographical imagination, with the current fixation on the sovereignty of our national borders appearing increasingly futile at a time of rapid global change.

Tim Robinson, culture and environment

Unfolding Irish landscapes offers a comprehensive and sustained study of the work of cartographer, landscape writer and visual artist Tim Robinson. The visual texts and multi-genre essays included in this book, from leading international scholars in Irish Studies, geography, ecology, environmental humanities, literature and visual culture, explore Robinson’s writing, map-making and art. Robinson’s work continues to garner significant attention not only in Ireland, but also in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, particularly with the recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his monumental Stones of Aran: pilgrimage. Robert Macfarlane has described Robinson’s work in Ireland as ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried out’. It is difficult to separate Robinson the figure from his work and the places he surveys in Ireland – they are intertextual and interconnected. This volume explores some of these characteristics for both general and expert readers alike. As individual studies, the essays in this collection demonstrate disciplinary expertise. As parts of a cohesive project, they form a collective overview of the imaginative sensibility and artistic dexterity of Robinson’s cultural and geographical achievements in Ireland. By navigating Robinson’s method of ambulation through his prose and visual creations, this book examines topics ranging from the politics of cartography and map-making as visual art forms to the cultural and environmental dimensions of writing about landscapes.

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The geographical imagination of Tim Robinson
Patrick Duffy

1 Genius loci: the geographical imagination of Tim Robinson Patrick Duffy It was as if he had walked under the millimeter of haze just above the inked fibres of a map, that pure zone between land and chart between distances and legend between nature and storyteller.1 – Michael Ondaatje Introduction For forty years Tim Robinson has been engaged in a uniquely detailed exploration of the rocky outposts of the Aran Islands, Connemara and the Burren – ancient environments deeply incised with the marks of human occupation for more than two thousand years. His maps

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Joanne Yao

-first-century international society's focus on accelerated economic growth and development – a fixation that has come to threaten the future of the planet. The rest of this section will explore the role that taming nature plays in constructing European geographical imaginaries of a single civilizational continuum and the development of a particular aesthetic shorthand that signified progress along that continuum. The European geographical imagination My argument about the ideal river and its variations along the Rhine, Danube, and Congo rests on the

in The ideal river