Landscape and Place in the Geographical Review
Colten, Craig E., The Geographical Review
As part of the 2007 Wrigley-Fairchild award session during the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, former Geographical Review Editor Paul Starrs dramatically unveiled the ten most influential articles to have appeared in the journal (Starrs 2007) (Table I). Among them are true landmarks; and what caught my attention was the number that touched on the concepts of place and landscape. These topics have been a mainstay of twentieth-century geography and likewise prominent among the titles in the Geographical Review. I want to use Starrs's "top ten" list to frame a brief discussion about the evolving approaches to the study of landscape and place in the Geographical Review. My comments touch on only a pair of research themes and a highly selective set of contributions to this journal; the larger body of articles that address landscape and place exemplifies much of what is good about the Geographical Review--namely, continuity and the journal's role as a forum for ongoing discussions about enduring geographical subjects.
TABLE I--TOP TEN ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW AUTHOR TITLE YEAR OF VOLUME, PUBLICATION ISSUE, AND PAGE NUMBERS Yi-Fu Tuan Place: An 1975 65 (2): 151-165 Experiential Perspective Carl O. Sauer The Personality of 1941 31 (3): 353-364 Mexico Mark Jefferson The Law of the 1939 29 (2): 226-232 Primate City David Lowenthal Past Time, Present 1975 65 (1): 1-36 Place: Landscape and Memory Isaiah Bowman Scientific Study of 1926 16 (3): 647-653 Settlement Edward L. Ullman Amenities 1954 44 (1): 119-132 as a Factor in Regional Growth Larry R. Ford Continuity 1995 85 (3): 552-568 and Change in the American City Dan Stanislawski Early Spanish Town 1947 37 (1): 94-105 Planning in the New World Wilbur Zelinsky The Hypothesis 1971 61 (2): 219-149 of the Mobility Transition Fred B. Kniffen Building in Wood in 1966 56 (1): 40-66 and Henry Glassie the Eastern United States: A Time-Place Perspective Jean Gottmann Why the Skyscraper? 1966 56(2): 190-212 James J. Parsons A Geographer Looks 1986 76 (4): 371-389 at the San J oaquin Valley Source: Starrs 2007.
Starrs's ranking of articles drew on a two-stage survey of selected journal readers: The first stage solicited personal lists of the most influential articles; the second allowed respondents to rank the top titles from the larger preliminary inventory. Methodology and specific rankings aside, Starrs captured an unquestionably prominent set. I touch on several articles from the list to showcase their position and influence in the ongoing discussions of landscape and place.
Dan Stanislawski and Edward Price's inclusion in the Geographical Review "hit parade" denotes a powerful influence on the traditional approaches to landscape. Stanislawski's 1947 "Early Spanish Town Planning" is a prime example of work that influenced subsequent scholars and indeed provided a touchstone for numerous articles appearing here. It focused on the material etching of a street grid into the colonial soil of Latin America, using a diffusionist model. Another classic on town planning was Price's 1968 examination of the American courthouse square. …