Historical geography stems from efforts to incorporate historical research at the regional scale on landscape change and past geographies into geography. The scope of this early work is outlined, but while such matters continue to be important in historical geography research, the field of study now embraces many other research foci. Studies of capitalism and its transformative effects; research on environmental change and human-environment relations; and work interpreting the meanings of historical landscapes and landscape change are three other main constitutive areas of study. However, the field is rapidly expanding around new themes, such as postcolonial reinterpretations of the history of empires, historical geographies of the colonized world, the connections between identity formation and the spaces and places of nationalism, ethnicity, and gender. These and other new themes are outlined, and the point is made that historical geography is now a broad interdisciplinary field of inquiry and not a narrowly defined subdiscipline of geography. This is a cause of some adjustment within geography, and the concerns of historical geographers for their endeavor are discussed.
Winder, G. M. (2015). Historical Geography. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition (pp. 17–22). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.72024-1