The Society, Space and Culture Research Cluster of the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology focuses on historical and contemporary human geography. In order to advance its agenda, the cluster has developed a series of themes on the relationships between human society, spatiality and culture to which its members in various combinations contribute and which provide a focus their research endeavours.
At present there are five related strands of inquiry:
Staff working on Temporal GIS have succeeded in building at QUB the first major national historical GIS. Methodologies for handling demographic data in time and space have been developed which are being taken up elsewhere. Besides the use of GIS, Grid computing, e-research and e-Science methodologies are also employed.
Those associated with the Knowledge, Space and the Cultures of Science theme are currently working on Victorian science and geography, the cultures of regional botanical gardens in the age of empire, the historical geography of Darwinism, and the spaces of financial knowledge.
A substantial proportion of research on the Spatial Analysis of Societies focuses on census analysis, including both Northern Ireland and India. Research on travel-to-work, employability, youth labour markets and the use of geographically-weighted approaches to the analysis of commuting is being carried out, as well segregation analysis and the study of borders and external migration. Alongside this quantitative emphasis is a set of investigations into the geography of islands and insularity.
Research on the Historical Geographies of Past Economies and Landscapes includes work on the medieval period and on early modern and modern Ireland. The medieval focus consists of quantitative spatial analyses of medieval socio-economic data, and qualitative cultural analyses of landscapes, geographical knowledge and maps of the middle ages. Among the Irish historical themes that have been developed are investigations of continuities and discontinuities between the English and Irish urban experience, 1500 to 1800; landscape, war and memory; literary tourism; and the Belfast component of the Royal Irish Academy’s Irish Towns Atlas.
Research on Geography, Empire and Colonialism has developed along several axes. These include on-going inquiries into the production and mapping of colonial and postcolonial urban space in India, and the cultural politics of tropical climates in the Victorian period.
The Cluster’s research is fostered through its scholarly activities – please click for more information on: