Women on Royal Geographical Society-supported Expeditions, 1913-1970
Research by Sarah L. Evans
Terra incognita: women on Royal Geographical Society-supported expeditions, 1913-1970
September 2010 start. University of the West of England: PI Dr Avril Maddrell.
Sarah's project considered women's participation in Royal Geographical Society supported expeditions between 1913 and 1970, focusing on the unique expedition archives of the RGS-IBG.
Women’s expeditionary work, in common with women’s geographical work more broadly, has been comparatively understudied within the history of geographical thought and practice, and within the wider discipline, until relatively recently.
The project charts this terra incognita, and presents a reconstructed historical geography of women’s participation in RGS-supported expeditions between 1913 and 1970, taking as its start date the permanent admission of women to the Fellowship of the RGS. Building on earlier substantive feminist research into women’s historic geographical and expeditionary work, it presents a systematic survey of all applications for RGS support during this period, drawing on a range of sources from across the RGS archives and collections.
Drawing on these original findings, and on the extensive literatures around feminist historical geography, feminist epistemologies, the historiography of geographical thought and practice, as well as the recent literature on mobilities, this thesis investigates how women negotiated the networks in, around, and beyond the RGS to gain support for their expeditionary work. In particular, it highlights the importance of women-focused networks and familial-social networks for gaining this support. It also uses their participation in and embodied experiences of RGS-supported expeditions, including their expeditionary (im)mobilities and expeditionary relationships, to complicate existing understandings of expeditions as a male-dominated space, form, and practice of geographical knowledge production, thereby investigating the relationships between gender, subjectivity, and expeditionary knowledge production. Finally, it considers the dissemination and reception of their expeditionary knowledges within the spaces of the RGS.
A printed copy of this thesis is available for consultation in the Foyle Reading Room (reference only). An electronic copy can be accessed through the University of the West of England's Research Repository.
Sarah presented on her research at the Revealing Lives: Women in Science 1830-2000 conference in 2014, organised by the Women In Science Research Network.
Evans, S.L., 2017, ‘Lost histories: why films are failing the past’, Geographical Magazine. 89: 5 (May 2017 print edition and online).
Evans, S.L., 2017, ‘Women explorers’. In The International Encyclopedia of Geography. Edited by Douglas Richardson, Noel Castree, Michael F. Goodchild, Audrey Kobayashi, Weidong Liu, and Richard A. Marston. (John Wiley & Sons, 2017). DOI: 10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg1019.
Evans, S.L., 2016, ‘Mapping Terra Incognita: Women’s Participation in Royal Geographical Society-Supported Expeditions 1913-1939’, Historical Geography. 44, pp. 30-44.
Evans, S.L., Keighren, I.M. and Maddrell, A., 2013, ‘Coming of age? Reflections on the centenary of women’s admission to the Royal Geographical Society’, The Geographical Journal. 179:4, pp. 373-376.
Evans, S.L., 2013, ‘Between terra incognita and home: a collaborative expedition through the RGS-IBG archives’. In Innes M. Keighren, Ruth Craggs and Hilary Geoghegan, eds., Collaborative geographies: the politics, practicalities and promise of working together, Historical Geography Research Series, no. 43.
Lantern-slides and the making of geographical knowledge at the Royal Geographical Society c.1885-1924. Research by Emily Hayes
The cultural production, circulation, and reception of geographical knowledge at the Royal Geographical Society 1830–c.1930. Research by Ben Newman
Instruments of scientific governance? Historical geographies of Halley Bay, 1956-present. Research by Alice Oates
Weather imaginaries: British exploration, climate change and the visual culture of the Cryosphere. Research by Jean de Pomereu
By placing a booking, you are permitting us to store and use your (and any other attendees) details in order to fulfil the booking.
We will not use your details for marketing purposes without your explicit consent.
You must be a member holding a valid Society membership to view the content you are trying to access. Please login to continue.
Join us today, Society membership is open to anyone with a passion for geography
Cookies on the RGS website