MO4961 Mapping Modern Europe: Spatial Perspectives on the 19th & 20th Centuries
Lecturer Dr Riccardo Bavaj   (St Katharine’s Lodge, room 2.23)
Credits 60
Availability Not currently running
Class Hour Wednesday 9.30 - 12.00
Description History is a matter of time – and space. While a certain preoccupation with time (at the expense of space) used to be characteristic for large parts of modern European historiography, scholars have now become increasingly interested in the history of space. This module will explore the spatial history of modern Europe by investigating concepts of place, space, border, territory and landscape. It aims to elucidate these multifaceted concepts and offers an insight in various aspects of modern European spatial history, for instance geopolitics, (mental) maps, and places of memory.
Basic Reading

John Agnew, David N. Livingstone & Alisdair Rogers (eds.), Human Geography. An Essential Anthology (1996)
Mike Crang & Nigel Thrift (eds.), Thinking Space (2000)
James S. Duncan, Nuala C. Johnson & Richard H. Schein (eds.), A Companion to Cultural Geography (2004)
Phil Hubbard, Rob Kitchin & Gill Valentine (eds.), Key Thinkers on Space and Place (2004)


Course Structure

Semester 1

1 Introduction and organisation
2 The relations between history and geography in interwar Europe
3 ‘The morphology of landscape’: Carl Sauer, the ‘Berkeley School’ and beyond
4 Contested concepts in human and cultural geography: Space, place and boundaries
5 Territories, boundaries and regional identities
6 ‘Lived space’ and ‘time-space compression’: Henri Lefebvre and David Harvey
7 Iconographies of landscape and national identities in modern Britain
8 Exploring urban space: 19th-century Paris
9 Metropolises of European modernism, 1860-1930: Vienna & Berlin
10 ‘The map is never neutral’: Deconstructing maps
11 Historical atlases in modern Europe

Semester 2

1 Geopolitics: the origins of a powerful concept
2 Mastering space under Hitler’s New Order: Geopolitics and area research in Nazi Germany
3 Mental maps: the German notion of Heimat
4 Imagining the Balkans
5 Central Europe – Mitteleuropa!
6 Thinking and organizing European space: the idea of Europe
7 Civilization and Occidentalism: The idea of the West
8 Places of memory: Pierre Nora’s Lieux de Mémoire
9 Monuments, memorials, and museums
10 Topographies of atrocities: Commemorating the Holocaust
11 Concluding reflections



Assessment 60% examination - two 3-hour papers
40% coursework - one extended essay, two gobbet exercises, and four oral presentations

Learning Outcomes

  • Familiarity with ‘spatial history’ as one of the recent trends in modern historiography
  • Reflection of central concepts of historical & cultural geography, and their application to central problems in modern European history
  • Ability to analyse primary sources of various kinds (incl. maps and images)
Restrictions Available only to students in the second year of the Honours programme
Resource Lists