As visions of ecological crisis mark the daily headlines, industrial spaces of intensive energy and material consumption become a more intense object of political and social concern. In this article, I attempt to situate geography's relative neglect of the ecological underpinnings of industrial capitalism within the context of the history of geographical thought. I argue that the ways in which geographers read the hyphen in the phrase " nature-society" reveals epistemological limits to their object of study. I then offer three dramatically different readings of the hyphen and discuss how they have affected the lineages and trajectories of geographical research-Barrows's human ecology, Sauer's cultural landscape, and critical theories of social nature. I conclude by suggesting that geography needs to let go of its empirical and conceptual fixation on " nature"
- Carl O. Sauer
- Harlan H. Barrows
- History of geographical thought
- Nature-society geography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes