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									                      Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions
                                Geographers on Film Collection

                   Maynard Weston Dow, Plymouth State University
                   Home Address: 44 Towne Road, Bristol NH 03222
                   (603)744-8846; E-MAIL: MWD@MAIL.PLYMOUTH.EDU

          Selected Geographers on Film Transcriptions: 61
The first GOF transcription (Carl O. Sauer) was published in 1983 (Dow, 1983, 8-12), seven interviews1
were transcribed in 1988 (Harmon & Rickard, 1988), plus Sinnhuber in 1999 (Sinnhuber/Dow, 1999).
            Ella O. Keene (1981), J. Rowland Illick (1985), Peter Nash (1977), George K. Lewis (1985),
            Saul B. Cohen (1977), Edward J. Miles (1983), and Geoffrey J. Martin (1978).
Dow, Maynard Weston., 1983. Geographers on Film: The First Interview, Carl O. Sauer, History of Geography Newsletter,
  Number Three, December: 8-12
Harmon, John E. & Rickard, Timothy J. 1988. Interviews with New England Geographers, Geography in New England, A
  Special Publication of the New England/St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society: 64-117.
Sinnhuber, Karl A./Dow M. W. 1999. Recollections of an Emeritus (GOF Interview 1992), Wirtschaftsgeographische
  Studien (Wien) 24/25: 5-13
NOTE #1: When citing Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions utilize the
         model below:

                      Dow, Maynard Weston. 1972. Meredith F. Burrill interviewed by
                      Preston E. James. Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions
                      (1998), 25 April (8-10).

NOTE #2: During the earlier years of production the length of the interviews
         was limited by the equipment of the day to ten minute sequences. Some
         interviews may appear to end abruptly due to the technological

NOTE #3: Upon editing the transcription of his interview Broek observed: Judging
         by the text of my own interview .. the product results from the
         questions asked. It is therefore quite possible that the statements
         cover issues that are marginal, rather than central to the interest of

    Editor's Note #1: The Age and Year of Office of the twelve youngest Presidents is as follows:

1.     Henry C. Cowles: 41 (1910)
2.     Julian Wolpert: 41 (1973)
3.     Risa Palm: 42 (1984)
4.     Chauncy D. Harris: 42 (1957)
5.     John S. Adams: 44 (1982)
6.     Brian J. L. Berry: 44 (1978)
7.     Harlan H. Barrows: 45 (1922)
8.     Joseph A. Russell: 41 (1954)
9.     Victoria A. Lawson: 45 (2004)
10.    Ronald F. Abler: 46 (1985)
11.    Marvin W. Mikesell: 46 (1975)
12.    Harold M. Rose: 46 (1976)

            the person interviewed, or not relevant to his recent or present work.
            Do not misunderstand me, please. I enjoyed the whole affair and am glad
            you included me. (Jan O. M. Broek to M. W. Dow, November 30, 1970).
            Editor's comment: As the GOF series developed the interviews became
            more structured with input from the participants.
The following transcriptions (indexed on pp. 1-2) are derived from the Geographers on Film Collection of
306 total interviews; scroll down to the page identified (e.g. for Colby, see p. 26) after each listing to find the
beginning of particular transcriptions (more forthcoming):

1.   Ronald F. Abler (1985) 10pp. (See 46-55)
2.   John S. Adams (1983) 5pp. (See 183-187)
3.   James R. Anderson (1978) 4pp. (See 179-182)
4.   Homer Aschmann (1981) 4pp. (See 20-23)

5. W. G. V. Balchin (1982) 3pp. (See 188-190)
6. Robert P. Beckinsale (1975) 3pp. (See 197-199)
7. Brian J. L. Berry (1971) 3pp. (See 4-6)
8. James Blaut (1975) 3pp. (See 108-110)
9. John R. Borchert (1975) 3pp. (See 128-130)
10. Jan O. M. Broek (1970) 3pp. (See 176-178)
11. Lawrence A. Brown (1981) 3pp. (See 7-9)
12. William Bunge (1976) 5pp. (See 73-78)
13. Meredith F. Burrill (1972) 3pp. (See 10-12)
14. Anne Buttimer (1978) 3pp. (See 24-26)
15. Richard J. Chorley (1982) (See 205-207)
16. Andrew H. Clark (1971) 3pp. (See 131-133)
17. George F. Carter (1970) 3pp. (See 167-169)
18. Mary McRae Colby (1972) 3pp. (See 27-30)
19. Alice M. Coleman (1982) 3pp. (See 191-193)
20. Edward B. Espenshade Jr. (1972) 4pp. (See 134-137)
21. T. W. Freeman (1982) 3pp. (See 138-140)
22. Clarence Glacken (1980) 5pp. (See 95-99)
23. William L. Garrison (1972) 4pp. (See 41-45)
24. Jean Gottmann (1982) 3pp. (See 194-196)
25. Peter Haggett (1982) 4pp. (See 233-235)
26. John Fraser Hart (1972) 4pp. (See 226-229)
27. Richard Hartshorne (1972) 8pp. (See 79-86)
28. Richard Hartshorne (1979): Inspiration for The Nature of Geography, 3pp. (See 268-270)
29. Richard Hartshorne (1986A) 13pp. (See 271-284)
30. Richard Hartshorne (1986B 8pp. (See 285-297)
31. Richard Hartshorne & Preston E. James (1979): 105 Years of Joint AAG Activity, 9pp. (100-107)
32. David J. M. Hooson (1980) 3pp. (See 230-232)
33. John House (1982) 4pp. (See 200-204)
34. G. Donald Hudson (1971) 4pp. (See 65-68)
35. J. Rowland Illick (1985) 13pp. (See 236-248)
36. Preston E. James (1970) 3pp. (See 157-159)
37. Preston E. James (1984) 6pp. (See 160-166)
38. Ronald J. Johnson (1982) 4pp.(See 253-256)
39. Ella O. Keene (1981) 3pp. (See 208-211)

40. Fred B. Kniffen (1976) 4pp. (See 31-34)
41. Walter M. Kollmorgen (1970) 3pp. (See 170-172)
42. John B. Leighly (1970) 3pp. (See 173-175)
43. Fred E. Lukermann (1971) 4pp. (See 87-90)
44. Geoffrey J. Martin (1978) 3pp. (See 249-252)
45. Donald W. Meinig (1971) 3pp. (See 141-143)
46. Marvin Mikesell (1971) 4pp. (See 111-114)
47. Edward J. Miles (1983) 4pp. (See 264-267)
48. Peter Nash (1977) 7pp. (See 212-218)
49. Allan Pred (1980) 3pp. (See 38-40)
50. Hallock F. Raup (1973) 4pp. (See 69-72)
51. Arthur H. Robinson (1972) 3pp. (See 35-37)
52. Arthur H. Robinson (1984) 9pp. (See 115-123)
53. Harold Rose (1972) 4pp. (See 124-127)
54. Carl O. Sauer (1970) 7pp. (See 219-225)
55. Edward Ullman (1972) 7pp. (See13-19)
56. William Warntz (1973) 5pp. (See 56-60)
57. Gilbert F. White (1972) 4pp. (See 61-64)
58. Gilbert F. White (1984) 4pp. (See 91-94)
59. Harold A. Winters (1987) 7pp. (See 257-263)
60. Wilbur Zelinsky(1971) 4pp. (See 144-147)
61. Wilbur Zelinsky(1984) 9pp. (See 148-156)

            Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1998), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                             Geographer on Film:
                        BRIAN J. L. BERRY (1934-       )
                            University of Chicago

                              interviewed by

                        John Fraser Hart (1924-   )
                          University of Minnesota

Sheraton Boston Hotel        April 19, l971         Boston, Massachusetts

HART: This is Professor Brian Berry, Professor of Geography at the University
of Chicago in Chicago. Brian would you begin by thinking a little bit about
how you happened to become part of the brain drain?

BERRY: Yes, as you know, I grew up in England in the 1930's; I lived in
London and, thereafter, in a small village in the north of England in
Lincolnshire. My first real experience with geography was in grammar school
in Lincolnshire, where the tradition that everyone imparted to us was that
the most distinguished graduate of that grammar school was a man called
MacKinder, who was one of the creators of British academic geography. Later
on in the early 1940's after World War II we moved to London and, again, my
interest in geography remained strong. In my London grammer school experience
the teacher who took most interest in me was a Cambridge graduate, who was
the Geography Master of the school - a man called H.W.F. Urch. A delightful
man who was very concerned about the training of his boys and getting them
into university. He spent many extra hours teaching me largely physical
geography (geomorphology - after De Montonne in the French), because he
didn't think any of the books available in the English language were very
good. He also taught me climatology, after Koppen in the German, and this was
the way he helped build up my linguistic talent. This was prior to
university. When I came to university in England I went first of all into the
B.Sc. Economics program at the University of London. I was really one of that
first group of post-war English children going to university under the
universal system of free education, the Butler Education Act. My parents and
their parents had all left school when they were fourteen, worked through
apprenticeships, and had become working engineers. I really broke the mold by
being able to enter through a scholarship system; I moved into the B.Sc.
Economics. I did get a degree in Economics and Political Science at
University College, London, with again, a special subject, Geography, where
the person, who I guess, influenced me more than any one else was a
historical geographer, Henry Clifford Darby. Somehow from Darby I acquired
the sense of painstaking data analysis. Whereas in my training in economics
what I acquired was an interest in the kinds of theory that help guide data
analysis and inquiry. It was Darby who suggested to me in my last
undergraduate year that maybe I should continue and do some graduate work in
geography. He also said: "Why not make use of the Fulbright program and spend
a year in the United States?," and so I did. I applied to four different

places for admission and was turned down by the University of Chicago. The
University of Wisconsin wrote back and said they really didn't think that a
person whose training was basically as an economist would make a very good
graduate student in geography at the University of Wisconsin. But the
University of Washington wrote back and said, gee whiz come, we would be
happy to have you. So I came and what I found there was really a department
in which some kind of ferment was taking place; a group of graduate students
who were exciting and excited about something called quantification in

HART: Who were these guys?

BERRY: The early group were people, we don't hear much of, people like Dennis
Durden, who got a Ph.D. then left geography and went into commercial
activity. The group with whom I interacted mainly were Duane Marble and
Michael Dacey, who are now at Northwestern University, John Nystuen and Waldo
Tobler at Michigan, and Richard Morrill who is still at Seattle. This was an
extremely lively group of people.

HART: Did you have a feeling that you were restructuring geography, that you
were trying to give a new orientation to get more theory into what had been?
Would you think the graduate students at that time had that feeling?

BERRY: Oh yes! I think very much; here were people who felt they had a cause,
battles were being fought about whether quantitative methods were legitimate.
When I first arrived I really couldn't understand what these battles were
about. I had been trained, in part, as an economist and I learned location
theory, in part, in England." What's all this hassle about?" Especially when
the kind of undergraduate courses being taught there (Seattle) in which I had
to act as teaching assistant were so abominably bad. I was really very highly
critical of the kinds of things going on there, except that it was very easy
to get the religion; especially when I had a devoted interest in data
analysis and a theoretical inclination. As a student in England one of the
things that my old geography teacher in England did for me in grammar school,
Mr. Urch, was to insist that I study not only geography, history, English
literature, and the English language (which was part of my grammar school
education), but I also moved forward in what in England was called pure
mathematics - mathematics through to calculus. The great value, of course,
was that I did my basic work in economics that served me in extremely good
stead in Seattle. What I learned in Seattle was a new kind of mathematics -
matrix mathematics. I learned that there was a realm of statistical inference
that helped bridge that gap between the kind of painstaking attention to data
that Darby had taught me, the fine sense of using evidence in both the
current and historical situation, and the demands of testing theory in a
rigorous way. I found here (the thing I had really been uncertain about when
I left England) having just graduated with a bachelor's degree and routed to
the United States that people were publishing things that involved research.
Yet, how does one go about the research process? This is what I found; both a
methodology with which I could bridge
my experience on the theoretical and the data side, but also, a person called
William Garrison, with whom I worked rather closely. Whose real contribution
to his students was working with them on a one to one basis on the
formulation of problems and the undertaking of good, hard, empirical research
using formal methods of inference. Looking back I think this was one of the
most exciting periods I had.

HART: Was there a formal groping forth period, do you think? Was there a
feeling that geography was inadequate in theory? Or was it more than just
techniques and tools, or was it more of a...

BERRY: There was a groping for theory, but I think there was a sense of
people who suddenly found something new. They found a religion; they got a
religion and by gosh they had to run out and tell everyone else about it. I
think this is true with every kind of situation in which there is ferment.
There was particularly technical ferment, but people very quickly, of course,
found they had to really worry about the theoretical phase. Now most of the
theory of those early years was straight, borrowed theory. The theory of the
1930s (location theory) that was largely being ignored by a previous
atheoretical generation of geographers became the basis. I think it's taken
the fullness of time and development for the importance of a sound, new
theoretical development in geography to come to the fore and really begin to
take the lead, to play a leadership role.

HART: Would you think your interest in central place then was a product of
this sort of existing theory that was there to be built on? The area that you
did in your first book was central place theory.

BERRY: I'll tellyou my interest in central place theory and how that
developed. August Lösch's book The Economics of Location, was translated in
1954. Now I got my bachelor's degree in 1955 and the most recent book, the
really new book that hit me at that time was August Lösch's and I was
fascinated by it. That was sitting there in my mind as I came across the
Atlantic and this was the basis of my early fascination, particularly when I
learned the methodology, which would enable me to grapple with the ideas and
how to put them together. That provided the basis of my ideas which have gone
a thousand ways since then. I think that theory was very useful in providing
an initial point of entry, but as a substantive contribution to literature,
right now, it is of a passing historical interest.

HART: I think we've come to the end of our time. Thank you very much, Brian,
for a very interesting discussion.

BERRY: It's been a pleasure.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1998), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                              LAWRENCE A. BROWN
                          The Ohio State University
                                 (1935 -    )

                                interviewed by

                       Geoffrey J. Martin (1934-    )
                     Southern Connecticut State College

Bonaventure Hotel              April 19, l981                    Los Angeles

MARTIN: This is Lawrence Brown of The Ohio State University Geography
Department; he has been there since 1968. Larry, how is it that you came into
the field of geography?

BROWN: I guess my background is probably not the usual route through which
people get into geography. I did my undergraduate work at the University of
Pennsylvania in the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, which is their
business school. Although my degree is B.S. in Economics, in fact, it was
more business kinds of subjects, marketing, accounting, things of that sort.
I worked for a couple of years in public accounting, got a C.P.A. certificate
and went to law school with the intention of becoming a tax attorney. Shortly
after being there my first year I decided that I really didn't want do that.

I wanted to do something which seemed to me more meaningful in the world,
dealing with people, helping in tangible problems that one could better touch
and feel. So looking around, by chance, I happened to find a book (Jimmy
James' geography of Latin America), which I had seen some two years earlier
in the hands of a hitchhiker that I picked up in Mexico; at the time I liked
the book very much, I found it exciting. I didn't remember the title, but two
years later when I saw it realized that geography might be an interesting

It was my interest in Latin America that propelled me into the geographic
profession. Later on, having gone to Northwestern for my Ph.D., I got more
involved with systematic or topical aspects of geography. Of course,
Northwestern was a highly quantitative department and I had that kind of
training. I arrived, however, with an interest in regional geography of
Latin America. I nearly did my dissertation in Guatemala, but at the last
minute that fell through. Shortly after an opportunity came along to go to
Sweden and work with Torsten Hägerstrand; I went and did my dissertation on
innovation diffusion. It was a largely mathematical, theoretical work
dealing with the Hägerstrand model and variations as the model applied to
urban systems. I then spent, perhaps, the next twelve years or so doing
largely systematic topical kinds of studies on innovation diffusion,
migration, and topics of urban problems of various sorts. Having done that,

later on, I have come back to an interest in Latin America and more recently
have been in Latin America doing essentially migration. But in the interim I
was largely involved in the more systematic topical kinds of things
identified with Northwestern.

MARTIN: The other day we were talking about methodology being more or less
unique to each individual. Would you like to say a few words about your own
methodological procedures?

BROWN: I think that in some ways this varied background that I just
described has contributed, not to what I call a unique perspective, but, at
least, a perspective which is multi-faceted. I feel on the one hand that I
had this quantitative theoretical methodological training at Northwestern.
However, at the same time we also had a rule wherein people majoring in
geography had dual specialties, one a regional specialty and the other a
topical specialty. My regional specialty was Latin America. I feel as though
the regional specialty is an important part of geographic education; that
it's the geographer's sense of place. Geographers sense of the real world as
experienced, as felt, not just as an abstract ideal, but is, in fact, an
important dimension of geographic education and the geographic perspective,
if you will.

One of the things I found interesting at Northwestern and really sense in the
geography profession is how many geographers have a romanticism about places.
But also a keen sense of places and their differences, even if they are not
doing that kind of work. I can remember myself when I was very young, long
before I ever thought about going into geography, looking on maps and picking
out the Chinese Wall and thinking that was something exciting, though I had
never been to China, didn't know what it was, etc.

So for me, in terms of the evolution of my own thinking it's been the
bringing together of a systematic general point of view with a more
particular idiosyncratic view. I think I would say regionally based, or a
kind of individually experienced point of view.

As I think of my own work, I started with a largely theoretical general
dissertation. However, I noted, again because of the sense of place, that I
tried to apply the Hägerstrand model to a different setting from that which
it originally came. I tried to do this and found the tenets of the Hagerstran
model really didn't work. The part of my training that came into focus was
more my business training and I recognized it. Communication processes cannot
be responsible for innovations moving from one place to another, but, in
fact, you have more of a marketing or business stint doing migration research
and more general urban research, I returned to innovation diffusion and
observations which were largely substantive. The way in which the innovation
diffusion process worked came to occupy all of my time; I came to be very
concerned with the innovation diffusion process per se. Whereas earlier I had
been concerned with the general aspects of diffusion and had done a book,
Diffusion Processes and Location, which talked about a model for all kinds of
diffusion processes.

When I came to do my book on Innovation Diffusion, which will be appearing
in a couple of months, I felt the need to specify the innovation diffusion
process, i.e. the process for innovation diffusion, in particular. So that
in some sense I became more substantiative and much more concerned about

idiosyncratic process. I would say similarly that in my concern for regions
I have come back to this idiosyncratic sense of place. What I would call
putting oneself in the shoes of the decision maker as a maxim of behavioral
geography. The idea that to really understand real world processes you have
to think of how the decisions are made. When you begin to think of how
decisions are made you begin to understand the way in which things occur in
the real world.

This work on innovation diffusion is particular or idiosyncratic in the sense
that it's concerned solely with innovation. It is also general as the models
for innovation diffusion I've seen are applicable in many different settings.

I've returned now to the more regional point of view, doing work in Latin
America and dealing with what I see in more idiosyncratic kinds of
situations, but using my sense of place as a jumping-off point.

MARTIN: What do you have in mind for the next three or four years in your
research program?

BROWN: Right now I'm doing a project on migration of Third World cities
using data from Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. That will
occupy me for, at least, a couple of years, after that we will see what
happens. I feel as though I would certainly like to be much more involved in
Latin America than I am now and I would see my work going in that direction.

MARTIN: Thank you very much, Larry.

             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1998), 3pp.

                              Maynard Weston Dow
                             Geographers on Film
                           Plymouth State College,
                           Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                       MEREDITH F. BURRILL (1902-1997)
                          Department of the Interior

                                 interviewed by
                         Preston E. James (1899-1986)
                              Syracuse University

Muehlebach Hotel                April 25, 1972          Kansas City, Missouri

JAMES: We have today Dr. Meredith F. Burrill, who is known to his friends as
Pete. He did his undergraduate work some years ago at Bates and received a
master's degree and Ph.D. at Clark University. After which he spent two years
at Lehigh teaching, then a number of years at Oklahoma State. Pete's main
work since that time has been in government work in the Department of the
Interior in the field of geographic names. I would like to ask him, first of
all, to tell us how he got interested in geography as a field of study.

BURRILL: Jimmy, I was always interested in geography, but I didn't really
know it until along about my last semester as an undergraduate. I had in my
junior and senior years some courses - one using J. Russell Smith's North
America and one using Isaiah Bowman's New World. In assessing what I had in
school and what I thought I would like to work with, I came to the
conclusion that I would like to be a geographer. I asked the appropriate
professor, who was teaching geology, astronomy, geography, and a bunch of
other things, whether one could make a living being a geographer.

He said: "Why, of course, it's a real coming field."

I said: "Well, how do you do it?"

He said: "You go to graduate school."

I said: "Where do they have a graduate school?"

He said: "There are two outstanding ones: Chicago and Clark. Go to the
library, look at catalogs, and take your pick."

Which I did, I picked Clark, went there, became a geographer, and have
never regretted it.

JAMES: It is very interesting to see how some of these famous geographers
found the field in the first place. The fact is that most of them had an
early interest in it before they knew it was called geography.

When you went into government service you were first in the General Land
Office. How did you get out of the academic world and into the government
world at this point?

BURRILL: It was a series of coincidences or accidents. While I was at
Oklahoma State, I went to some meetings in New Orleans with, among others,
the Dean of the Agriculture School. On the way back he had business some
place in Alabama and wanted to know if I would like to go along on this
sort of circuitous back route home, which I did. He was quite impressed
with the way I could pick out things about the Black Belt and the terrain
in the Southern Gulf Coast area, when I had never seen it before. He knew
the South very well, but was a little surprised that I could do this.
When a few months later he became the Regional Director of the Resettlement
Administration for Texas and Oklahoma, he recruited me as one of his staff.
While there I went through two years being in charge of the land
classification for that region. In the process I got to know people in the
Washington office, who were doing land classification. They set up a group in
the General Land Office to do the classification of the remaining public
domain under the provisions of the Taylor Grazing Act. Before you could
release land for anything, the Act provided that one had to classify the land
as more valuable for something, other than grazing. I came on to help do

I was in the Land Office with two field seasons in Alaska. Then along came a
crisis in January of 1943, when the Japanese were in China. It looked like
the only way you would ever get them out was to go in and throw them out.
Which meant ground operations, which meant maps, which meant names, and names
in quantity. The Secretary of Interior at that time had the sole unrestricted
authority over geographic names, which (up until 1934) had been exercised by
an inter-departmental board that originated in 1890. The Secretary operated
with the assistance of an advisory committee, which was essentially the old
Geographic Board. In fifty-three years they had accumulated a file of about
25,000 names, of which about 2,500 were foreign names. For the maps of China
they were going to need two and a half million names done in the next two
years, of which less than 10 percent had ever been written in Roman letters.
At the same time there was half a million from Japanese, a quarter of a
million from Thai, and a third of a million from Korean. They had to have
some kind of an outfit set up to prepare these.

I got called into the Secretary's office, asked to look into it, and make
some recommendations: first, whether he should undertake this job, and
second: if he took it, how to do it? I made recommendations and suggested
that it would be appropriate for this to be done. Then I was asked to make up
a plan, draw up a table of organization, write job sheets, and all the rest.
After this was done, they said: "All right, now you run it."

JAMES: The Board of Geographic Names has responsibility for the official
spelling of place names by the government.

BURRILL: That's right.

JAMES: Does it now cover all place names in the world?

BURRILL: It does.
JAMES: When decisions come up, of course, somebody has to make the official
decision, and that's where the Board comes in. Are you still the Head of this
Board of Geographic Names?

BURRILL: I'm not the head, I'm the principal servant of it. I'm the
Executive Secretary, I'm not a member of it. If I were to be a member it
would be like being the lawyer, who prepares the brief, the prosecuting
attorney, the judge, and the jury.

JAMES: Meanwhile haven't you established contacts with similar
agencies and other governments all around the world?

BURRILL: Yes. We discovered in the process of doing this (the millions of
names in two years) that this was something that had to be done, and really
could be done only by cooperation. So we immediately set about establishing
ties to foreign countries. In about two weeks from today we will be starting
to have our second United Nations full-scale three week International
Conference on Cooperation in Standardizing Names; it will be in London.

JAMES: I expect that you're one of the leading international characters in
this whole field of place names. Weren't you the President of an
international agency?

BURRILL: I have chaired the first U.N. group of experts, made up the
program, was the principal missionary man for the first conference,
chaired the first conference in Geneva, and will have a hand in this one.

JAMES: Pete, there is one other little thing I would like to bring in
before we get through. Pete has had a varied existence; in addition to
being an expert on names he is a T.V. character. He had a T.V. show which
drew enormous fan mail. Tell us about this. It started at 6:30 in the
morning, as I recall.

BURRILL: I had been saying for a long time that geographers had a duty to
extend their knowledge to the general public. So I got asked to put my
actions where my mouth had been; I did a course for credit for George
Washington University over WTOP.

JAMES: This is in Washington.

BURRILL: On World Geography at 6:30 in the morning for a half hour, live
for 15 weeks; it nearly killed me, but it was a marvelous experience. We
had fifty people, who took the course, got credit for it, and 40,000
people, who watched it every morning.

JAMES: I think this is incredible.

BURRILL: Jimmy was one of my guest lecturers.

JAMES: I tell you it's hard to get up at 6:30 and be eloquent.   Well thank
you very much, Pete. We certainly appreciate your time.
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 7pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                             Geographer on Film:
                         EDWARD L. ULLMAN (1912-1976)
                            University of Washington

                                   interviewed by

                           Preston James (1899-1986)
                             Syracuse University

Muehlebach Hotel                  April 23, 1972        Kansas City, Missouri

JAMES: This is Professor Edward L. Ullman, who is Professor of Geography at
the University of Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the
University of Chicago, a Master of Arts from Harvard and then the Ph.D. from
Chicago again.     Ullman, well-known in the profession as an economic
geographer, is one of the more original minds in the field of modern spatial
interaction and spatial analysis. He has been around long enough so that he
has lived through a number of episodes in the history of geography. You told
me once, Ed, that there never was a time that you remember when you weren't
thinking of yourself as a geographer.

ULLMAN: That's right. I remember my mother gave me a dimestore diary when
I was eight or nine.     It had figures that went up above four digits (I
couldn't read them) and I asked her to tell me what they meant. It turned
out that those were the population of cities and I proceeded to memorize
them - round number wise. That started me off then I asked for a map later
on. Interestingly enough this sort of start as a geographer was remarkably
similar to what Walter Christaller describes of his start.

JAMES: Then you went traveling.

ULLMAN: Yes. My my father moved around a bit and that must of contributed to
it. I don't ascribe it primarily to that, but obviously travel, movement,
transportation fascinated me; I've continued that interest ever since. In
fact before I ever was to become a geographer I was astonished when I
discovered you could make a living as a geographer.

JAMES: You were going to go into transportation as a business.

ULLMAN: But I had no relatives in the transportation business. (Laughter).

JAMES: You were a student at Chicago and you knew a lot of the people there.
Was any one of those geographers especially influential?

ULLMAN: Yes, Charles Colby. When I was a sophomore, I guess, I was almost
not going to major in geography, but he was sufficiently persuasive that I
thought it would be important to go into it.   My career has been somewhat
strange, I'm a natural-born geographer (if I could put it that way), but
I've worked outside of geography a lot and, I think, this is partly
circumstances. I've attempted to take on a responsibility of proving that
geographer could do something worthwhile. The way I was knocked around in
various positions contributed to that. O.S.S. You remember where we were? It
was hard to make your way there. Although during the War we did actually
accomplish quite a lot.

JAMES:    Your father was a classical scholar?

ULLMAN:    That's right.

JAMES:    This field never took?

ULLMAN: No. As far as I was concerned, Roman ruins were like Indian trails.

JAMES: I remember that my wife and I met you in Rome one time and we went
out to dinner. Do you remember? You weren't at all interested in Roman

ULLMAN:    Well, I'm getting a little more Catholic as I get older, perhaps.

JAMES: When you were at Chicago, of course, you did form connections with
people outside geography in other fields like sociology. Tell me about it,
that's very interesting.

ULLMAN: Well, I bumped into Louis Wirth, who was a very stimulating man, and
he let me have the run of his office when I was a graduate student at
Chicago. I translated some of Walter Christaller's central place stuff and
Louis Wirth said: "I'll publish that in the American Journal of Sociology."
I came to realize that Louis Wirth and Charles Colby had never met so I got
the two together for lunch one day. I mention this coincidence, because the
Sociology Department at Chicago was the most ecologically-minded in the
country and the Geography Department was the most human-oriented of
geography departments.

JAMES: Was McKenzie there?

ULLMAN: McKenzie was at Michigan.

JAMES: But he had been at Chicago before, hadn't he?

ULLMAN: He had been at Washington, but that was before my time. People have
thought that the two departments growing up so close together influenced
each other. Actually I never detected any influence of one on the other. It
was not until I got them together.

JAMES: Did they mention anything about Barrows' suggestion that geography
was human ecology?

ULLMAN: Louis Wirth had read that Presidential Address and thought highly of
it. The whole ecological thing might have gone back to Coles in botany
around 1900-10; that may have been the common origin, but there wasn't much
in common there. I, myself, never had a course in sociology, yet a lot of
people thought that I was a sociologist, partly, because I had published in
some sociological journal. I used to lecture sometimes in Wirth's course in
human ecology.

JAMES: That   is   very   interesting   that   you   gave   a   lecture   on   what?   On

ULLMAN: That's right. On what geography was. I remember that.

JAMES:   Did you succeed in getting these people to meet the geographers?
Did Colby ever meet these fellows?

ULLMAN: He met Wirth, but while I was there not much happened. Since the
War, of course, the Geography Department at Chicago is much more tied in and
vice versa. Indeed, every place around the country I find this is true. This
is one of the things that I felt was necessary - that we should not be
isolated and, I think, this is one of the great changes that has occurred in
geography in my lifetime. It's not isolated as it used to be.

JAMES: Let's go back to what you said about translating Christaller. You
are quite famous in some circles, because you introduced Christaller to the
English-speaking world. How did this happen?

ULLMAN: When I was a graduate student at Chicago a boy came in who was
writing a Masters thesis on towns in Northern Indiana and he said: "Ed, I
can't find any reason for this town. There's no mountain, there's no valley,
there is no river, there's no nothing." I looked at the map and sure enough
it's was just a featureless plain. Then suddenly the idea came to me that
every so often you needed a place for a farmer to come in and buy a soda or
something like that. That started me off on making frequency counts through
the Middle West and this was going to be my life work. I went back to
Harvard and I was mentioning this to everybody and they said you should see
a man who is here. I finally went around to see him as he was packing up to
leave. This man turned out to be August Lösch. I described my idea to him
and a strange light came in his eyes; that's the only way I can describe it.
He wrote down on a piece of paper: You should see Walter Christaller in
Deutschland. I had run into the classic thing of the German scholar having
thought of it before (before I did), but I did translate his stuff. I
couldn't get help from anybody in translating. The German Department at
Chicago was no use. But I could translate it because I knew what he was
going to say. I have always said since that time: It's easier to get an
original idea in English than to translate it second-hand from German.

JAMES: I think in many instances the Germans weren't quite sure what they
were saying themselves.

ULLMAN: That's true.

JAMES: Because their language is one that lends itself to obscurity. The
same sort of thing happened in my life, when I translated Köppen, because
I'm sure that what I said in English what Köppen had said, isn't exactly
what he really meant to say. (More laughter.)

ULLMAN: Is that why every Köppen system is different? (Still more laughter.)
No two agree.

JAMES:   That's because they wouldn't agree with my translation.          (Laughter.)

ULLMAN: I remember you had Pullman Washington in the Mediterranean climate
in an early addition of The Outline of Geography and I looked out for the
Mediterranean, but I didn't see any there. (More laughter.)

JAMES: What do you feel about Christaller now? Do you think that this
constitutes one of the major advances in geography?

ULLMAN: I think so. It's the first tangible thing we've done in theoretical
human geography. I have gone on to other things and am interested in other

JAMES: I think it's Bunge that says that the only theory we have in
geography is central place theory.

ULLMAN: You know, all other things being equal, the first assumption in
geography is that the closer things are together the closer their
relationship. Indeed, we run out of assumptions after that. Don't we?

JAMES: Yes. But the point is that Christaller didn't ever think of this as a
theory in any explanatory sense. He was really making an empirical
generalization if you want to use terms that way.

ULLMAN: He was and he wasn't. It was much more deductive than an empirical
study, I would say. It looked like it was empirical, but there was a lot of
fitting the data to a deductive norm he had.

JAMES: Have you ever checked up on the work that Edgar Kant did on
Christaller's central place theory?

ULLMAN: Oh yes. Kant was in contact with me. I don't know whether Kant
heard about Christaller through me or through reading the Germans, but
anyway, Kant did bring in the present modern approach to Swedish geography;
Kant is the one that Hagerstrand got.

JAMES: That's right but he did this first in Estonia; he was an Est if you

ULLMAN: Yes. He was an Estonian.

JAMES: He introduced Christaller's method to the study of the settlement
pattern of Estonia.

ULLMAN: That could be. Also Lösch. And this I have to go back to the reason
he had that strange look in his eyes. I realized some years later when I
read a footnote in his famous book The Economics of Location in which he
presented the central place theory. In a footnote he said: "The credit for
being the first to publish this goes to Walter Christaller, although I
independently had the notion before that." Actually this is the history of
science; independent invention is the rule rather the exception. I've run
into this sort of thing, which is really what makes scholarship or science
exciting. And you might say - something that indicates that geography is a

JAMES: The most dangerous thing you can do if you're going to get into the
history of geographical ideas is to say that so and so did it first. This
always results in letters coming, saying: "It's too bad you don't read the
literature and so on."

ULLMAN: That's like the recent claim by the University of Eastern Michigan
Press Director that Mark Jefferson created the central place thing, because

of one sentence in there. That is not true. It's true that Jefferson was a
very innovative man (ahead of his time), but I'm sure that Christaller did
not get the notion from Jefferson.

JAMES: No, I don't think so. (Laughter.) Ed, let me change the subject a
minute, because I'd like very much to have you tell us a bit about what
happened at Harvard. Now everybody in the field of geography knows that when
the Professor of Geography, Derwent Whittlesey, retired geography was left
out of Harvard College. To be sure there were still professors of different
kinds of geography in some of the professional schools at Harvard, but you
were there at this time. What happened?

ULLMAN: Yes, I was. I went through the whole thing. It was abolished for
a variety of primarily internal reasons. So much fuss was raised when
geography was abolished. Actually I was half-time in geography and half-
time in city planning. The city planners told me to come over on their
staff full-time and promoted me so I could stay there, but I preferred to
be in geography and went out to Washington. So much fuss was raised when
the concentration in geography was abolished that the Provost appointed a
committee of eight peers in the college, distinguished men from economics,
history and so on with was one lone geographer - me. For two years we
fought and we wrangled about geography. They were very skeptical to begin
with. At the end of two years they came around and produced a report which
recommended unanimously the creation of a separate geography department at
Harvard. A separate department had never existed, it had been in with
geology. Well, this was a great moral victory and a moral vindication of
geography by those who took the trouble to study it. Unfortunately, there
were no dollars attached to this recommendation, so it's never been
implemented. I think that point is worth recording.

JAMES: Yes, there were no dollars and no dollars were collected because the
administration was opposed to letting anybody try to get the dollars.

ULLMAN: So I've heard.

JAMES: A campaign was to be set up and a number of potential doners were
well-known, but this didn't go through because of the adverse opinion of the

ULLMAN: However that process had a great affect on me, because it made me
want to prove the value of geography. So I've gone out of my way to take on
jobs (applied jobs, or semi-applied jobs, if you will) outside the field
just to see whether a geographer could make it there. I felt that was what
the subject needed most at that time. This has been, I suppose, one of my
motivations. Of course prior to that time we were in the War; actually in
the Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Studies. I think we made quite a
contribution with the basic documents which were used for invasion purposes
all over the world. They were classified and never released, but this was a
very significant input. Our printing bill alone for the Joint Army-Navy
Intelligence Studies was a million dollars a year. I wound up Director of
that. I remember after the War running into Isaiah Bowman. He told me he
felt that the age of 30-35 was the most productive period for a young man.
My generation was in the War then. We worked hard and we were on a lot of
new projects. We were able to rise to the top if you got in there at the
beginning, but it didn't leave any particular academic imprint. We couldn't
published books or things like that then, so that was an applied period.
Later on I've taken on other applied jobs; there even are some virtues to
the right kind of an applied job. One of the two inventions that I've made

came as a result of that. This recreation benefit prediction model which I
developed on the Meramec Basin study in 1960. There we had to come up with a
measure of an intangible item: recreation.

JAMES: Incidentally the Meramec Valley is not the one (Merrimack) in New

ULLMAN: I never heard of that one. (Laughter.)

JAMES: It's a valley near St. Louis; quite an important study that was done.

ULLMAN: The Lower Mid-West Study we called it. The interaction with somebody
else. You can talk it around with as in the meetings. The second might be a
necessity and this is simply the old saw necessity being the mother of
invention. On an applied job you can get this sometime.

JAMES: Tell me Ed, what is it your doing now?       What do you look forward to
making as your next big contribution?

ULLMAN: I've been picked up by so many applied jobs and things like that,
but I thought I had enough of that and I want to do my own thing and not
worry about whether it has any particular application. Well in practice I
get on to applied things too, like trying to get the salaries raised at the
University of Washington in which I used, actually, a geographic approach
and that has taken up a lot of my time. But I'm working on a paper now
called "Space and or Time," which to me is fascinating. I don't know how
fascinating it is to other people, but I'm at the stage where I don't need
to worry about that. The general notion there is that you can substitute
one for the other. I sort of handle time the same way we handle space.

JAMES: Is this the same thing as spatial interaction?

ULLMAN: No, spatial interaction is something else.       That is something I
invented back in 1950.

JAMES: You know you spin-off new terms almost as well as Jack Wright used to
do. Some of these terms have stuck and people use them.

ULLMAN: And some we've been stuck with.    (Laughter.)

JAMES: Is this thing on space and or time just a paper or is this going to
be a book?

ULLMAN: It's the size of the paper, but it should be a book and that's my
problem right now.

JAMES: What's the matter with the Monograph Series?

ULLMAN: I don't know that I can get it that big, but I'll try.

JAMES: Thank you very much, Ed; we certainly appreciate having a chance to
talk with you.

ULLMAN: Thank you.

JAMES: Is there anything else      you   would   like   to   add   about   your   past
accomplishments or future plans?

ULLMAN: No. Geography is fun and it should be made fun; work at it with an
idea. I've always tried to have an idea whenever I did something. I think
it's a worthwhile subject and I hope to continue to enjoy it.

JAMES:    Thank you very much.

ULLMAN:    Thank you Jimmy.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1993), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          HOMER ASCHMANN (1920-1992)
                    University of California at Riverside

                                Interviewed by
                         John Fraser Hart (1924-   )
                           University of Minnesota

Bonaventure Hotel               April 19, l981         Los Angeles, California

HART: This is Homer Aschmann, Professor of Geography at the University of
California at Riverside. Homer, we usually start these things off by asking
how you got into geography in the first place?

ASCHMANN: It was a random course that I took to fill in a program from
Willis Miller at Los Angeles Junior College; he had no text. A good school
atlas was there and I found it; this was just a fantastic discovery. I
enjoyed it very much and discovered that whatever aptitude I had seemed to
run in that direction. I guess I was preparing to be a secondary school
teacher or something of that nature.

HART: You were going to be a teacher and then you decided geography was so
good you had better switch over into it. That was Junior College?

ASCHMANN: Yes. Then I went to UCLA. George McBryde, Clifford M. Zierer, and
Burton M. Varney; Joe Spencer came just about the time I was leaving.

HART: Then you went on to Berkeley. Where did you get your interest in
cultural ecology?

ASCHMANN: At UCLA I took some courses with Ralph Beals and found him equally
interesting, interesting in the same way geography was. Then I had a
wonderful job in a fire department, the LA County Fire Department, which
allowed me to do a good bit of reading. This was an opportunity to read a
number of texts in anthropology, slowly and carefully (a very, very
satisfying thing), and also make enough money to go to Berkeley that term.
This was in fall of 1941. I didn't stay very long - the Army caught me
pretty quickly.

HART: What did the Army do with you?

ASCHMANN: I became an aviation cadet and eventually flew heavies: B-24s. Not
too long after that got shot down and managed to spend a year as a prisoner
of war. I polished up my German.

HART: You didn't waste your time as a POW. When you were there didn't you do
some actual research in terms of what was going on in the camp?

ASCHMANN: I published one paper on the linguistic usages in American speech.
I had fun writing it.

HART: You got out and went back to Berkeley to continue to work on the

ASCHMANN: No, I taught at San Diego State for a couple of years. I had a
fantastically good job. These days it's hard to believe how good it was to
be a geographer in 1945 and 1946. If you could stand in front of a class you
had a job. After a couple of years I gave up and went back to Berkeley.

HART: Who did you work most closely with in the Berkeley department?

ASCHMANN: With Sauer. I regard myself as a full-dressed disciple of Sauer's.

HART: Were you on any of his Baja field trips, or the Mexico field trips?

ASCHMANN: My first introduction to lower California south of Ensenada was
with Sauer; I guess it was the winter of 1949. He went down as far as Biado
(?). Bringham Arnold was with us and then he turned around. Tom Pagenhart
and I stayed down there. They had the truck, but I was hitch hiking.

HART: Homer, was there anything unusual about those? I've heard all sorts of
stories about Sauer's own aversion to being in the field. He felt he ought
to, but he really didn't enjoy it all that much. Did he really enjoy being
with you? Or, as you said, he left you and went back?

ASCHMANN: No. He was going on to Mexico. This was just part of a field trip
he was giving three of us. We started on what might become dissertations,
and as his enterprise he was going to do something in the other part of
Mexico. No, I think Sauer liked the field; I think he liked it very much.

HART: What was his enjoyment in the field? What did he like to do? How would
you describe being with Mr. Sauer in the field? What did he look at? What
did he talk about? What did he think about?

ASCHMANN: He looked at just about everything. I suspect the most impressive
thing was his picking a conversation with a campesino. If the guy seemed to
have local information he would talk to him more or less indefinitely and
pump all kinds of things out of him. He was very good at this; his Spanish
was inelegant. This was something of an advantage in talking to less-
educated people. He wasn't putting them down and he was very effective in
eliciting information from the locals.

HART: To him field work was as much talking to people, looking at things and
talking to people to try to figure out the landscape from what they had to
say to him.

ASCHMANN: Yes. His looking at the landscape was in terms of vegetation and
geomorphology; I think he was self-trained. He had acquired a great deal of
knowledge of vegetation and flora. He had the eye that would identify
something quite effectively and he did this independently. At a settlement
he would ask questions about what he had seen. Of course, there wasn't much
growing in lower

California, but if they had crops (especially door yard gardens) he would
interrogate them on that. Very, very gently almost without their knowing
they were being pushed.

HART: What did you yourself do in the way of a dissertation?

ASCHMANN: I went down there essentially cold, but I was concerned about the
large Indian population that had been maintained in this very difficult
area, which then was nearly empty. The native hunting and gathering Indian
population was, as I ultimately concluded, perhaps, five times the modern
population as of 1950. What they did make a living at? How did they
survive? At one time I thought I would do a regional study, but the historic
demography utilizing mission records and so forth came to dominate it.
Also, it turns out that the early missionaries described the subsistence
pattern of the Indians in much more detail than you can get, say, on the
American population.

HART: You're basically dealing with the records of the missions and
reconstructing what things were like in the old days?

ASCHMANN: Yes. The archaeological information now isn't great and it wasn't
that great then, but mission registers were particularly valuable.

HART: This is a rude question. What have you learned since then? I'm really
asking if you were going to do the dissertation over again how would you
have changed the procedure you used? What's the benefit of the experience
you've had in geography that you would apply if you were looking back at it?

ASCHMANN: I don't know that I would change it, particularly. There have been
some new sources discovered that I wish I had, e.g. Dubarcos'?? major volume
which has just been published in Spanish after sitting in some archive in
Italy for 200 years. But I would just be much more efficient in collecting
information. Of course, I learned to read Spanish manuscripts from scratch
while I was going on. I started in reading them rather than translating

HART: What's the point of doing such things? I am putting that not
necessarily in the context of applied geography. What's the value to society
in doing the kind of work you were doing in Baja?

ASCHMANN: I suspect the problems that I was worried about there really don't
have much reality in the modern world, except I made one discovery which is
in print, but nobody's ever commented on. This was a population that was
coming to absolute extinction. They were going to be gone, but one would
think the birth rate might decline. It actually went up. It went up to
incredibly high levels, but, of course, the reason it did was that all the
little kids were dying.

HART: Yes. So a high infant mortality rate, but a high birth rate. Yes.
Haven't you done some forensic work having testified in legal cases
involving aboriginal populations?

ASCHMANN: Yes. I got into a little bit of this with the Justice Department
on Indian claims in the Southwest, particularly hunting and gathering

HART: But isn't that of social value, a social application?

ASCHMANN: I'm not sure. I think it's just the legal business of making

HART: What do you think? We've looked back, where are we headed? What are
the current trends, as you see it?

ASCHMANN: They are frightening. I do find the constricting world rather
frightening. I suspect we have twenty, twenty-five years in which time to
come in to some sort of ecological balance with the environment. If not, the
possibilities are not attractive. At the extreme, if you want my most
extreme position, I think that a good nuclear war that knocked out ninety
percent of the species might lengthen the life of the species by several
tens of thousands of years.

HART: A frightening note on which to end, but I think our time is up. I
certainly appreciate you having met with us, Homer. Thanks ever so much.

ASCHMANN:   Thank you.

             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1998), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                            ANNE BUTTIMER (b. 1938)
                               Clark University

                                Interviewed by
                        Marvin W. Mikesell (1929-      )
                            University of Chicago

Hyatt Regency Hotel            April l2, l978              New Orleans

MIKESELL: I'm having a conversation with Anne Buttimer, who is very well-
known to quite a few people in geography for her writings. As I recall we
first met in the early 1960's. I was a Visiting Professor at the University
of Washington and you were there having, I believe, been assigned by your
order to study geography in the prospect that you might be a teacher in,
probably, the secondary schools. Then, as I suppose many people will know,
you did a dissertation study on the history of geography in France and,
later on, moved into other interests. The Commission on College Geography
Resource Paper on "Values in Geography", certainly presented a very
different perspective from what most people were used to. The question
that's always occurred to me is how your interests have evolved; if you feel
there were very notable changes in your career, or do you see continuity? I
would just love to know who you are, what you are now, and how that differs
from what I first saw in the early 1960's.

BUTTIMER: That's a big question. I'm sure it's a life task to see the
meaning and continuity of various things conscious and unconscious. I was
there under obedience; I didn't choose geography, I was assigned it, but
very glad that I've been in it. Continuity? I see that there's continuity
between what I've been asked to do and what I would like to do eventually.
It was the Values paper that enabled me to see that. Because, I think, my
calling to life has something to do with homemaking, i.e. to see a home for
ideas, how they fit together, and give life to each other; that was what
gave me great joy about the dissertation too. Now it is very exciting to see
how that's working out in my own geography. There has been this tension
between the kind of thought that deals with management and organization of
the world versus the kind of thought that deals with harmonizing oneself
with the world. My dissertation work showed me a way in geography to
develop this second side. Everything that I was taught in other courses was
the former - I suppose, what Heidegger would call Herrschaftswissen - the
spatial organization of things and management of things. But in cultural
geography I found a more gentle approach, a more listening approach to
reality. After the dissertation the thing that excited me most was to get
into the "insiders" view of geography, as it were, and my study of relocated
housewives in Glasgow was the place I tried that. How did the residents
perceive and experience their living environments, as opposed to, how
planners and geographer-consultants think they ought to be living etc.? This

insider-outsider dialectic was sort of a mirror of what was going on in my
own life. " What on earth am I doing? The farmer's daughter that loves to
cook, dance, and walk barefoot in the grass. What am I doing in geography?"
Yet, I love math. I like order. I feel a certain social responsibility for
keeping the earth tidy. So I think that's the attraction of Sweden in a way.

MIKESELL: Ah, but you haven't told anyone that you're in Sweden, right now.
That's a different problem; that you are very international, being Irish,
having worked in Seattle, your appointment at Clark, and worked for several
years in Glasgow on problems of social space. Now you are in Sweden and I
gather you are not in a university. In this period of leave you're very
much interested in alternatives to the normal university department life
most of us have. I've also gathered from our conversations that you're very
much concerned about our roles as professionals and, still, as human beings.
You would be one of several people who would be strongly identified with the
humanistic tradition of geography; I want you to tell us more about that.

BUTTIMER: I think it's a great pity that branches of our field acquire
special labels such as humanistic, quantitative, future, etc., and then
proceed to become virtually separate disciplines, and therefore, they rob
the whole of what their potential message is to the whole. I see no logical
reason why a humanist and philosopher can't engage in dialogue with a
technocrat and/or a planner. Instead of writing about it, thinking logically
about it, I decided to try doing it, and live with the people who have
shaped a country after technocratic principles.

MIKESELL: This time would be in Sweden?

BUTTIMER: Sweden, yes. This has become a dialogue. In the l984-type
environment, I think, there is sort of a thirst for something lost or
something not experienced. I think that in the course of this dialogue
between the two perspectives - humanist and technocrat - we can perhaps
reach some common denominators, which would cut across disciplines. Some of
the things that are emerging on the horizon for me are products of these.
In thought as in life there is need for a reciprocity between the inward and
outward movements, as it were; reciprocity between the calculative,
analytical, outward-bound kind of thought, and the reflective, homeward,
synthesizing, critical kind of thought. We need a reciprocity of those two
movements for the intellectual life to become objective. Now I see that as
parallel with life, with being. The thing that's wrong with, or is stressful
about, contemporary civilization is that we are all forced into role-models
that are oriented toward activity and mastery of the environment. That
doesn't allow much time for the passive, receptive role. And our modes of
thinking reflect, in a sense, our modes of being. The big challenge for
geography, as for many disciplines is how we can cultivate a mode of
knowledge, a mode of thinking about the earth, which might help us develop a
more gentle and harmonious style of living with the earth and with each
other. This is a question which transcends disciplinary boundaries. I am
inviting a number of older people to help me to sort of pioneer this process
of reflection on experience to complement the analytical and calculative.
It's very exciting, because it is people-based, human beings are doing it.

MIKESELL: How do you feel about the profession of geography? We, of course,
have our publications, our meetings, and our departments. What about the
human dimension there? Do you have any ideas about how that might be
improved in terms of our communication?

BUTTIMER: Yes. I think this has been a marvelous meeting for me, here in New
Orleans, because of the human dimension. Geographers everywhere for me are
people, who are open to a variety of ways of relating to one another. There
isn't the same sort of standardization as in other disciplines, perhaps,
but we have had a kind of collective, maybe often sub-conscious, sense of
geography as a discipline concerned about the earth as a home for mankind;
home implies a giving and receiving between us. I think what we need to
realize in geography is that we are unique in that respect and often we can
be the ones to work out in microcosm what the bigger problem of the larger
Academies are. We don't realize what our potential could be if we were to
tap that resource, a tradition within the discipline.

MIKESELL: That's an interesting idea in a sense the environment of geography
is in some sense a surrogate for the study of the human environment. Is
that what you're saying?

BUTTIMER: Yes. I think we make the earth over in our own images: applied
geography incarnates our mode of thinking. We have to assume responsibility
about the kinds of splintered ways of thinking we have developed.

MIKESELL: Ah! Splintered ways of thinking. Many people, certainly a few
years ago, would have felt that geography was badly splintered with
contending groups of quantifiers, people who are not quantifiers, physical,
human, and so on. Now as you talk to people as individuals and get them to
relate to you their deeper human feelings, do you feel that these schismatic
tendencies are broken down?

BUTTIMER: Not from the outside in, but I think there can be a provoking of
people from within each special sector to have a thirst for the wholeness,
or a thirst for where their contribution fits into the larger picture, and
from that basis an invitation from within the specialist areas to reach a
kind of wholeness. Not a fascist kind of domination by one theory, or one
theme, but rather an invitation to be concerned about making a home for all
of these specialties within some central core; a centered way of looking at

MIKESELL: Thanks very much.   These are very interesting ideas.

             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1998), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                               Geographer on Film:
                         MARY McRAE COLBY (1899-1985)
                       Re: CHARLES C. COLBY (1884-1965)
                             University of Chicago

                                interviewed by

                         Preston E. James (1899-1986)
                              Syracuse University

Muehlebach Hotel                April 24, l972      Kansas City, Missouri

JAMES: We have with us this afternoon Mary Colby, the wife of the late
Professor Charles C. Colby of Chicago. Mary Colby did her graduate work with
Professor Colby at Chicago, where she met him. She was most recently on the
staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. Now that she is
retired she's been teaching at various places around the country on short
stands. You went to Chicago to do graduate work, as I understand it, from
North Carolina?

COLBY: Yes, from East Carolina Teachers College as Supervisor of Education,
i.e. teacher training in the sixth grade.

JAMES: You went to do graduate work in geography at Chicago.

COLBY: Right, I had done my practice teaching in geography. (If you don't
want this, tell me). I'd done practice teaching in geography and the
supervisor on the basis of my practice teaching had asked me to come on the
staff there. Then later he asked me to get a degree in geography and come
back and teach geography at East Carolina.

JAMES: And then you met Charles when you arrived in Chicago.

COLBY: That's right.

JAMES: At the mailbox, is that where you met him?

COLBY: Well, if you would like for me to repeat that story. Yes, he was at the
mailbox getting his mail in the little mezzanine and Edna Eisen said: "Oh,
Professor Colby, how are you?" Since he was all right, I turned around and
spoke to him and said that I was Mary McRae (that meant nothing to him). I said:
" Lulu O. Andrews told me to meet you and work with you". That changed the
whole complexion of him, because Lulu Andrews had been a famous teacher at
Peabody, where Charles had started his teaching in the early teens, (l9l4-l9l6).

JAMES: He started at Peabody?

COLBY: I've been to many meetings and at the end of the meeting different
people would come in who were on the staff of these organizations. They
would say: "Is it time for the summary? I've come for Colby's summary". It
was absolutely magnificent. If I ever got mad with him (I never did, but if
I did) in order to regain all of the respect that I had I just went to hear
him talk. Once, I remember when I had my first field trip with him (it was
up in Canada in the Peace River country) and if I remember correctly we were
in Pouce Coupe. We had been out working in field work all day and came in.
There was to be a dinner for us by the local people (important people in the
town) and they all talked and told of their various viewpoints. This
professor of mine sat there; I thought what does that man mean? Fast asleep
and these important people of Pouce Coupe talking to him. When the last one
was over he got up and summarized the meeting just as if he hadn't been
asleep, which he hadn't.

JAMES: Do you know when he first did this?

COLBY: When he first...?

JAMES: Yes. When he first became noted for his summaries?

COLBY: Oh, that was long before I knew him.

JAMES: I can tell you when.

COLBY: Well, OK, you do that.

JAMES: This was in World War I in the Shipping Board; they made studies of
resource distribution and raw materials. He was able to summarize these
reports (they became government reports) better than anyone else. As a
result of being able to summarize these things he became very expert at
getting money from government agencies.

COLBY: I wanted to tell of a meeting for which Gilbert White was responsible
this afternoon. When they were talking about the government doing things
without advice from other people they didn't know what they were talking
about, because the government always had a core of people working for them.
There comes a time when the government has to take the advice of these
people and make the decision. I would like to mention the Shipping Board
experience if you don't mind. When he was on the Shipping Board he and
Vernor Finch were co-Chairmen of the Shipping Board after Walter Tower, who
had become Ambassador to Great Britain. Often odd things happen which you
can take advantage of, if you will. Bainbridge Colby was an important
person in the government at that time. One thing happened in relation to
Bainbridge Colby. Charles got it back on him later as he was always getting
the bills for Mrs. Colby's hats; hats then were selling for about thirty-
some dollars. He thought that was prohibitive and he couldn't convince the
stores that Mrs. Colby didn't belong to him. But then one day he called for
a cab (a car to go to some important meeting) and when the girl called the
car she called Bainbridge Colby's personal car so he took it and went to the
meeting. He got what he wanted; I don't guess Bainbridge Colby ever

JAMES: And then, of course, he was very instrumental during the 30s in
developing land classification work for the National Resources Planning
Board and other agencies. He was Chairman of the Land Committee, is that

COLBY: No, he was not Chairman of the Land Committee. but he was a very
important member.

JAMES: He was chairman of one of the sub-committees of the Land Committee,
that was it.

COLBY: Right. He had a very, very interesting experience working on the Land
Committee. This is one of the things that disappeared from our government (for
which I'm very sorry),i.e. in such a way as it was working under Mr. Roosevelt.

JAMES: After he retired from Chicago he went and took various jobs, one of
which was at Carbondale? Southern Illinois.

COLBY: When my husband retired from Chicago, as I told you, he became a
circuit-riding professor. He went first to the University of Illinois in
Urbana, then he went to UCLA, where he would stay only a year at a time, then
he went to Kansas. I heard someone from Kansas this afternoon talking about
some project that he was working on in Kansas; the money came from the
government. I wanted to tell him that when my husband went to Kansas as
Visiting Professor after he retired (which was in l949), they had never
received a grant from the government. The president was very eager to get a
grant so he called Charles in and they worked out what was a united program
among the various departments there. John Jones in Engineering was one of the
important people. The money they got was for a study of the Kansas River
Basin which Mr. Wolman this afternoon referred to as having seen as he flew
over this way. I wanted to tell him that the Corp of Army Engineers were
going to ruin that basin and the Kansas River and that it was geographers and
the united group in Kansas that got this money, so Kansas is apparently
getting a lot following that episode.

JAMES: The last book that he wrote was the Atlantic Arena, which was a
summary of his courses, wasn't it?

COLBY: It was the Atlantic Arena. He was a very loyal person, you know that,
and he was very loyal to Southern Illinois. He got the Southern Illinois
Press started and he handed in the manuscript for this book on the afternoon
before he left on his last field trip. I begged him to give it to some other
publisher, (they make no effort to sell, you know that). Unfortunately, this
is a book full of information, particularly for historians, people of
historical geography.

JAMES: It's very interesting to get just a little slant on Charles Colby, who
was one of my favorite people, although I never took work under him, but I
was tremendously influenced by him.

COLBY: Well you were very close, you were like ....

JAMES: He was a very important person in helping to develop the ideas of
American Geography Inventory and Prospect and incidentally, he gave the

name to it. "American geography?", he said: "Of course, inventory and
prospect". He is responsible for that.

COLBY: He was good at titles. Very good.

JAMES: That's the same way that he summarized, got the meat out of what he
read. He summarized and people knew now what they had been arguing about.
People didn't know what they had been arguing about until he summarized it.

COLBY: I think it's unfortunate that the young generation doesn't go back
and look. Sometimes it's not easy, because in the case of Professor Colby,
as you know, a good percentage of his work is buried in government reports.
Now if you knew Mr. Colby you can pick up government publications, you
could say: "Ah! That's Charles Colby's work." But most of us aren't that
familiar with people's work; Vernor Finch was one of this kind, too.

JAMES: Thank you very much, Mary. It was very nice of you to give us this
little insight into your husband. Thank you.

COLBY: It was a pleasure, I have enjoyed it.

          Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                              Maynard Weston Dow
                             Geographers on Film
                         Plymouth State University,
                           Plymouth, New Hampshire

                               Geographer on Film:
                          FRED B. KNIFFEN (l900-1993)

                          Louisiana State University

                               interviewed by

                                William Haag
                         Louisiana State University

Louisiana State               January 15, l976                Baton Rouge

HAAG: We are here to interview Fred B. Kniffen, Emeritus Professor of
Geography and Anthropology and Boyd Professor of Geography and Anthropology
at Louisiana State University.

Fred, I think that it's appropriate to talk a bit about some of the early
experiences you had that brought you into the field of geography, even
things that happened to you in your boyhood.

KNIFFEN: I must have had an inclination in that direction to begin with,
because my brother, who had precisely the same background, went in a quite
different direction.

My father was a lumberman (had been in the Michigan woods) and I was always
interested in his tales about lumbering. My grandmothers were still alive
and told me about the old pioneering days; I found the tales to be of great
interest and began reading in that direction quite young. Fenimore Cooper
was one source. I loved his stories - "Leather-Stocking Tales" and the story
he wrote about Michigan: "The Oak Openings."

Then there were people (relatives in the north) we traveled to see when I
was five years old. We went through the Great Lakes and clear up into the
woods of still virgin forests.

All of those things that were about me awakened my interest. Particularly, I
liked the open country and primitive peoples. I became greatly interested in
Indians to begin with. I suppose all of those experiences gave me a start.

HAAG: Is that what lead you into taking geology when you went to Ann Arbor?

KNIFFEN: Yes, I think it was, because among other things, I was living in
Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota at that time and there was a great
abundance of rocks exposed. I got tremendously curious about them, so when I
went down to Ann Arbor to school, I started out in geology.
HAAG: But something seems to have happened there that somehow made you
decide that you didn't want to go on in geology. What were some of those

KNIFFEN: In the first place, Carl Sauer was in Ann Arbor at that time. While
I never had a course with him, we had long talks. He had an office across
from mine when I was an assistant in mineralogy. We talked about a great
variety of things. I don't recall that he ever mentioned the name geography,
but he talked about the things that I was interested in.

Then about that time during the later stages of this period, two
anthropologists came through; there was no anthropology department then at
the University of Michigan. One of them was Carl Guthe and the other was
Clark Wissler. Clark Wissler gave a whole series of lectures that ultimately
became that excellent book of his, Man and Culture, I was completely
fascinated by the subject.

Between the anthropologists and Sauer, I decided that geology was not for
me. By my senior year I had made up my mind that I was going to give up
geology, because of its disregard of man. I never lost my interest in the
physical surface of the earth, but that wasn't enough.

HAAG: Actually you didn't go directly into graduate work. You went off into
the wild for a while.

KNIFFEN: The incentive was a thing that happened when I was in Ann Arbor.
Stefansson came to Michigan and he built a snow house. I had been an avid
reader of his works, and I decided I wanted to go north as well. I recall
that I wrote a letter to Stefansson saying: I want to go north; how can I do

He replied: If you want to go north, pick up and go.

So I left home after I had graduated with twenty dollars that my father gave
me as I was boarding the street car.

Then I went up by rail from Duluth to work in the woods in northern
Minnesota and on the river. I "hoboed" my way to the West Coast - out to
Oregon - worked in the woods there, and did some surveying. The next spring
(1923) I went to Alaska and spent two years there working (I had to) and
prospecting when I could afford it.

All those things (in their entirety) took some three years before I was
ready to return to graduate work.

HAAG: At Berkeley, you could have gone easily enough into anthropology, or

KNIFFEN: Yes. Both of those fields fascinated me. I had Sauer on the one
hand, who gave me a tremendous orientation in geography and talked about the
great figures in the field. He was the one who introduced to me the concept
of "landscape"; it's been a central theme that I've never neglected.

Oscar Schmieder was in Berkeley at the time, and there were other people,
visitors who came through, who greatly influenced me. In anthropology there
was Alfred Kroeber, Robert Lowie and Erland Nordenskiold, the Swedish
anthropologist, who had been working in Latin America. From all these people
I knew that somewhere there was my field.

But the main thing that finally turned me to geography was the fact that in
anthropology there was too little consideration of the physical landscape.
After all, I liked the physical earth and felt that it was essential to my
interest; so geography seemed the solution to filling my desires and
aspirations in research.

HAAG: Can we suppose that the work you did with Kroeber on certain of the
Indian peoples in California carried over to the time you came to Louisiana?

KNIFFEN: Yes, it certainly did. But unfortunately here there were too few
living groups. I did work with the Koasati for sometime, but somehow the
situation was completely different. The Koasati were strangers in Louisiana
and didn't really belong here, so I wasn't examining them in their own
aboriginal environment.

I then turned from the Koasati to get more and more interested in the
American population of Louisiana, and of the South; eventually extending
that interest to the whole eastern United States.

HAAG: Now, if this is cultural geography, why don't you give us a definition
of your ideas about cultural geography?

KNIFFEN: Of   course, my definition (my notion) may be completely and entirely
my own, but   I feel that cultural geography is properly named, i.e. it's not
the same as   social geography as it has sometimes been equated with, nor is
it the same   as human geography.

Cultural geography implies the utilization of the concepts of culture for
the organization of the phenomena on the landscape. It's the systematic
approach that I learned from Kroeber. To begin with elements, to assemble
them in complexes, then into culture types, then eventually to strongly
bring in the geographical aspects of the cultures in the form of culture
areas in which culture is matched against the physical earth. Also these
matters must be treated historically, because so many of material, cultural
things that we observe are not equivalent in time. There are old traits and
practices that are dying, and there are new things that are coming on, so
we've got to make a time distinction. The landscape, then, is in most cases
a combination of both old and new, dying and emerging.

HAAG: Now, Fred, you've mentioned a number of very prominent names of the
past and more or less indicated how much you are beholden to them. What do
you consider to be some of your own contributions to the field of cultural

KNIFFEN: Modesty forbids that I should tell you what I really think about
that matter. (Laughter). I should never say it in public.

I do think that Culture Worlds (the first edition), was something of a
contribution; at least, a number of people were interested and excited by

I did a couple of things (very small things) that were published in obscure
places. I did one, for example, on the Spanish spinner in Louisiana, which
appeared in the Southern Folklore Journal; I don't suppose a half dozen
people have ever seen it.
To go on beyond that, I published two papers in the Annals on the
agricultural fair; I worked tremendously hard at that and was rather pleased
by the results.

Then eventually to this paper on "Building in Wood in the Eastern United
States" that I did with Henry Glassie, and finally "Folk Housing: Key to
Diffusion". So far as I'm concerned, the amount of work that went into them
and the degree of satisfaction I felt when I had completed them, that did
bring some satisfaction.

That's why I would pronounce those some of the better accomplishments. I
hope they will be so regarded.

HAAG: Finally what is the future then of cultural geography?

KNIFFEN: So far as my particular approach is concerned, only now do I see a
body of people who are interested in, and are really working hard at, this
approach. Of late there have been considerable numbers so engaged, not all
of them geographers.

There is a growing interest in material culture, but the difficulty here
again is that many of them are not geographers.

I have this fear that the geographers are not doing what they should, that
they have been rather slow and haphazard in their approach - not as
systematic as is so necessary. For example, folklorists, who a few years ago
wouldn't touch anything on material culture (so much so that I resigned from
the American Folklore Society in protest) are getting into it in a big way.
However, their objectives are different from ours. So long as are simply
studying things, classifying them, and putting names on them, I have no

But I fear the anthropologists. Now they are the ones where we see
increasingly studies of settlement patterns. They are issuing books under
such titles as Land, Culture, and Nature. I would think of that title as
expressing the essence of cultural geography. I suppose, here too, though,
so long as they're primarily interested in culture and what happens to it,
there can be no great objection.

But if geography can go ahead, do its part and study the effect of culture
on the surface of the earth, let these anthropologists come into the field.

HAAG: Thanks very much, Fred. I believe that you have put forth some really
cogent statements that bear examination at times.

KNIFFEN: I hope so. (Laughter).
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          ARTHUR H. ROBINSON (1915-     )
                             University of Wisconsin

                               Interviewed by
                         Preston E. James (1899-1986)
                              Syracuse University

Muehlebach Hotel               April 24, l972           Kansas City, Missouri

JAMES: This is Professor A. H. Robinson of the University of Wisconsin. He is well
known to the profession as a cartographer. He has done work at Miami University of
Oxford, Ohio and his doctor's degree came from Ohio State University. During the war
he was in the Office of Strategic Services as cartographer and has turned out some
remarkably imaginative pieces of work in this field. Art, how did you get into
cartography and geography? How did you start in this business?

ROBINSON: Well, if I go back to the very beginning, I minored in geography when
I took my undergraduate work at Miami University. Afterwards I worked for about
six months for the state of Ohio. I decided I didn't like that and so I was going
to go back to graduate school. I had done my major in history with my father as my
advisor and decided that I didn't want to go on in history. I didn't have enough fine
arts to go on in art so the only alternative was to study geography. I went on in
geography with an assistantship at the University of Wisconsin. There I took a course
in cartography from Vernor Finch and got intrigued with it. I decided that this was
something I liked very much and carried it on (more or less on the side) when I went
for further graduate work for the doctorate at Ohio State. I did a lot of free lance
map making for Roderick Peattie and various other authors. At that time when World
War II came along (prior to that in October) I went to Washington to work for the
Coordinator of Information, as you remember. They decided they needed to have a
Cartography Section, then a Map Division, and I was put in charge of that in the
OSS. That's how it all started, rather accidentally.

JAMES: But you were teaching courses in cartography by this time, weren't you?

ROBINSON: No, I never taught a course in cartography until after the war.

JAMES: Is that so?

ROBINSON: I only had one course in cartography.

JAMES: He is also the author of the chapter on cartography in American Geography:
Inventory and Prospect, in which he made the point that cartography and geography
were in many ways separate fields, although closely allied. How do you feel about
that now?

ROBINSON: I feel the same way. I believe that the profession of cartography is
very distinctive. It is a technical profession in the sense that it is a way of
doing things. It doesn't, itself, examine and look for great truths, but it has a
tremendously complicated methodology. It certainly, if you look at it in a broad
sense, covers a very large area. By that I include everything from topographical maps,
aeronautical and nautical charts, right on up through thematic cartography. It's too
big to be just nothing. It has to be a field by itself. As I was telling you a moment
ago it is becoming this, without question, with an International Cartographic
Association affiliated with the International Geographical Union. It has its own
separate organization in the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping - the Division
on Cartography. In many European educational institutions there is an institute of
cartography, that is to say, a department of cartography. It is slowly beginning to
develop in this country. Under the Geography Department we are about to institute a
baccalaureate and master's degree in cartography at the University of Wisconsin.

JAMES: This is the point, that sometimes cartographers were really not in close
contact with geography. They make some maps that make geographers shiver, because
they are really bad in terms of the geographical content.

ROBINSON: That's perfectly true, but so is the opposite. Sometimes a lot of
geographers make maps that cartographers shiver at, because they do not understand
the whole problem of perception, communication, and all of these kinds of things
that are very complex matters.

JAMES: In other words, geography and cartography may be separate fields, but they
must be closely allied.

ROBINSON: Absolutely. I wouldn't think of having a degree program in cartography
that did not include geography in it.

JAMES: Should one get a Ph.D. in geography without good training in cartography?

ROBINSON: Nowadays it's probably possible, because I think that geographers have
gotten a good deal less traditional in the way they look at things. But, generally
speaking, a geographer has got to have a basic understanding of the whole field;
at least, in the sense that he must have an image in his mind of the world.
Otherwise I don't see how he can be calling himself a geographer.

JAMES: Of course, there are some people who would disagree with you about this,

ROBINSON: I know they would, but I'll argue with them.

JAMES: What about the computer mapping?

ROBINSON: This is a tremendous field and it's the area which is next going to
revolutionize cartography; which is in continual revolution I should add. We are
just really beginning to get use of it in all areas of cartography. The biggest
problem that we have right now is the formation and easy utilization of the data
bank from which the various kinds of things can be done. At the moment it seems
that the digital system on which most of our previous work has been based is
probably just not capable of handling the kinds of two dimensional problems that
we run into in cartography. But there is no question that computer cartography,
or computer-assisted cartography, is the coming thing. No doubt about it at all.

JAMES: You aren't going to say that drafting and penmanship is out, or is it?

ROBINSON: Pretty much, I might say, except for small scale extraordinary things.
Nowadays, there is very little ink work done anymore; it is all done by scribing
negative and film manipulation and so forth. At our cartographic laboratory we
do some pen and ink work, but it's only when we can't do the other conveniently.
JAMES: You mean that there will not be another Raisz, for example?

ROBINSON: Probably not. But that's one of those extraordinary kinds of things
that I was talking about. There are some kinds of things that you can't do
with modern techniques, but, by and large, pen and ink work is old-fashioned.

JAMES: Can you do a proper job with terrain the way Raisz did? Can you do that
without pen and ink?

ROBINSON: No. Well, I should say you can do it in other ways, but, basically, it
is still a hand, manual thing. Although we are now working diligently on
computerizing the shading of terrain by analyzing a contour map, figuring the
slope by computer, and, then, producing the various tones automatically. It's
coming fast.

JAMES: What are you going to do next? Have you got any special project in mind?

ROBINSON: I've been working for the last eight to ten years, basically, on the
history of thematic cartography. I told you earlier I grew up as an historian and
I'm going to end up as an historian. But I got intrigued with this about ten,
fifteen years ago. I've been working on it since (with a Guggenheim Fellowship)
and on some other periods in Europe. I expect that within three, four, or five
years I will have, at least, the first draft to a rather monumental history of
thematic cartography, if I live that long. Meanwhile, I'm working on various
bits and pieces, publishing papers, and so forth.

JAMES: I hope you hurry up and come out with this book, because, I think, we
all need it very badly.

ROBINSON: So do I. It's a very intriguing story, and it took place in the first
half of the nineteenth century. It was largely non-geographers that were doing
these things, but it's a fantastic story of the reaction of a technique to
the social needs of the time.

JAMES: Thank you very much, Arthur, this is very interesting and we are
delighted to have you with us in this program.

ROBINSON: I'm glad to be here.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1993), 3pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                               ALLAN PRED (1936-    )
                       University of California at Berkeley

                                   interviewed by
                           Geoffrey J. Martin (1934-   )
                        Southern Connecticut State College

The Galt House Hotel           April 15, l980        Louisville, Kentucky

MARTIN: I would like to introduce Alan Pred, Professor of Geography and
Chairman of the Department at the University of California at Berkeley.
Alan, what are those influences that lead you into geography in the first

PRED: I think that my initial entrance into geography was basically
fortuitous. I was an undergraduate at Anitoch College in the mid-50s and
after my first year there I was looking around for a major. I was very
interested in trying to find something which would allow me to explore the
social sciences and history. In going through the catalog I discovered that
geography had the fewest number of specific requirements and would allow me
the greatest range of freedom in choosing courses from the various social
science disciplines. That, at one and the same time, was reflective of what
my predisposition was and much of how I was to develop later. In a sense I
have been very much influenced by a constant exposure to what has been going
on in the other social sciences and history.

MARTIN: That's very interesting. Then you went on to Chicago?   Can you tell
us something about your period of time at Chicago?

PRED: Actually my period at Chicago is relatively brief in that there was a
stop between Anitoch and Chicago at Penn State, where I took my Master's
degree. I was very much influenced by Allan Rodgers, who suggested that I
would be better served by going elsewhere for my Ph.D. I spent only a year
at Chicago before going off to Sweden for the first time to do research on
my dissertation. At Chicago I was very fortunate to be put in a situation
where I could deal informally with a number of faculty members ranging in
their interests from Brian Berry on one end to Phil Wagner and Marvin
Mikesell on the other. But I think that the strongest influences that I had
at Chicago were from amongst my own fellow graduate students. Particularly
Bob Kates and Jim Clarkson, whom I spent a great deal of time with, plus
fellow graduate students in the other social sciences, whom I met under
various circumstances. It was a very intense and lively intellectual
climate amongst the graduate students at that time. I was forced to confront
a number of issues that I hadn't confronted adequately and, most
importantly, at the same time I became convinced of the importance of the
use of the past in modeling the present.

MARTIN: It was soon after this (or it may have already happened) that you
began to contribute to and derive considerable from the geographical point
of view prevalent in Sweden.

PRED: Again there is a certain amount of fortuitousness in this involved
here. I was looking about for a place in which to do my data gathering for
my Ph.D. I had formulated the theoretical framework in my mind and knew
exactly what I wanted to do. I needed to go someplace where I could get a
very wide range of detailed economic and demographic data from the mid-
nineteenth century. It was only after some time that I determined to go to
Sweden-Goteborg, in specific. I went over to Sweden rather innocent of all
the things that were going on in Sweden. As a result of meeting people and
picking up Swedish this became the entre to a continuing connection with
Sweden with what I hope has been an intellectual dialog. I have not only
been influenced primarily by talking to Hägerstrand's, but also Gunnar
Olsson and Gunnar Tornquist under different circumstances. Also I have had
some input into the way in which people there look at things. Since the time
of my first visit in 1960-61 I've spent a total of about seven years,
including summers, in Sweden. So my career since finishing at Chicago has
really been one that's almost been split between Berkeley and Sweden.

MARTIN: What is it about the Swedish geographical endeavor (the point of
view) that has made such an impression not only in Western Europe, but it
has come across into North American geography with such vitality. What is
it? What is the nexus of this?

PRED: There's a certain paradox involved there and in saying that I'm very
much reflecting my own prejudices of the moment. The Swedish influence, in
particular Hägerstrand's influence, was very great particularly in the late
50s and the early and mid-60s. I think largely because of the fact that
Hagerstrand's path crossed those of a number of young people in Seattle in
the late 50s when he came over at Bill Garrison's invitation to teach a term
at Seattle. The kinds of modeling techniques he was using and the kinds of
questions he would ask about diffusion and migration were very much in
keeping with the types of changes that were going on in geography in this
country. Although I don't think that the people who were influenced by
Hagerstrand's methodologies really understood fully what he was attempting
to do. I think for many the methodologies became an end in themselves,
whereas he was really interested in underlying processes. Now I prefaced
this comment on the Swedish influence by saying there's a paradox involved.
The paradox is that the most important work that has been done in Sweden in
terms of it's intellectual challenge (it's potential influence) has not
really begun to penetrate this country to any great extent, except maybe in
the last year or so. I'm thinking basically about the work that
Hägerstrand's and his group in Lund, and a few of us here, have carried on
with regard to time geography, which has been mistakenly viewed by many as a
form of constraint analysis. A form of analysis which is basically confined
to dealing with how individuals are constrained in their accessibility to
opportunities in the city and on the economic landscape in general. Time
geography is a lot more than that. At its core are a number of very serious
questions about the relationships between the individual and society. How
the whole process of social change and social reproduction, or the
maintenance of certain patterns of production and ways of living are
inseparable from the life content of the individual. I somehow hope that
over the next few years that this contribution, which I think, is far more
important than the issues of diffusion and migration, which in a sense are
merely a subset. A really central theme that penetrates the discipline is a
more general concern with the relationships between the very specific
fragmented questions we ask about individuals in society and the more
general issue of the relationship between the individual and society. I hope
that time geography becomes recognized as the most important contribution
that Swedish geography has made to the discipline.

MARTIN:   Thank you very much, indeed.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1993), 4pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire
                                 Geographer on Film:

                           WILLIAM L. GARRISON (1924-       )
                              University of Pittsburgh

                                  Interviewed by
                          Maynard Weston Dow (1929-    )
                              U.S. Air Force Academy

Muehlebach Hotel                 April 24, 1972            Kansas City, Missouri

DOW: Professor Bill Garrison of the University of Pittsburgh. How did you
get interested in the field of geography?

GARRISON: I was very fortunate to have an excellent teacher as an
undergraduate at Peabody College. J. Russell Whitaker, a very inventive man,
a lovely man, who helped me decide what I wanted to do. Coupled with that
was a period in World War II when I was out of school as a meteorologist. I
had an opportunity to reflect upon the kinds of undergraduate studies that I
had had and felt that geography was the place for me intellectually and was
the opportunity.

DOW: Had you been an undergraduate major in geography?

GARRISON: No, I majored in math and science at Peabody. I just remembered my
geography course and my math and science.

DOW: And the man?

GARRISON: Yes, the man.

DOW: He made quite an impression, obviously.

GARRISON: Absolutely.

DOW: Where did you go for your first graduate training?

GARRISON: I went back to Peabody and took my masters with Professor Whitaker
and then to Northwestern in 1947.

DOW: At that time what were your special interests in your masters work?

GARRISON: They hadn't firmed up at all. I had started out thinking I wanted
to do something in conservation and resource work. But the national posture
with respect to what our problems were changed (to the good) and I became
interested in urban studies and did my work at Northwestern with Malcolm

DOW: At what time period? Was Fraser Hart there?
GARRISON: Fraser was there.

DOW: How long were you at Northwestern?

GARRISON: Until 1950.

DOW: That brings me to: Garrison in the 50s. Can you tell me about your work
and activities during the 1950s?

GARRISON: In 1950 I had an opportunity to go to the University of Washington
at Seattle. Donald Hudson was also coming on aboard and there were a number
of new people arriving on the scene including Ed Ullman. Marion Marts was
just there, and in a period of three to four years we built up a cadre of
graduate students, who were also new in the sense that they had not been
there previously.

DOW: Did you go out and recruit these students or did they just come?

GARRISON: They just came.

DOW: From all over?

GARRISON: All over.

DOW: And several from Britain. What can you say about the quantifying
revolution? You are certainly part of it, perhaps one of the leaders. Are we
still with it?

GARRISON: Well, I think it's changed very markedly in its posture. In the
1950s geography was essentially catching up. There were simple experimental
methods that were well known in most of the sciences going back to Pearson
and Fisher and we simply caught up by what we term technically as black box
models. Like a regression equation: "you put this in and you explain that"
kind of analysis. We caught up very quickly. From 1950-1960 we essentially
got up to the state of the art.

DOW: Who led this? What discipline led it? Where did you get your ideas from
before you tried to apply it to geography?

GARRISON: I had a number of very fortunate opportunities. I had been a
meteorologist in WW II and I had an opportunity to reflect on the nature of
some kinds of systems which gave me a kind of systems bent. I went on leave
(about 1952-1953) to the University of Pennsylvania. While I was there I
elected to do some statistical work. I must say in all candor that the
statistical work I did there wasn't very good, but at least it stimulated me
to think that there must be some better way to get a hold on problems.

DOW: This was your introduction to it, though you had had math before?

GARRISON: Oh, I had, but of course the math curriculum at that time didn't
include statistics. As a matter of fact I had had quite a bit of statistics
when I was a meteorologist, a meteorology cadet, and that's one of the
reasons I felt limited by the training that I received at Pennsylvania.
DOW: Can you recall some of the ways in which you were introduced to the idea
of quantification at Seattle? Did you have a research orientation or were you
just experimenting, free-wheeling, in class?

GARRISON: Another way I was fortunate. I got involved with some people in a
economics seminar. This was a regional seminar, and I got to know what some
of my colleagues in economics were thinking about. About the same time (this
was perhaps the mid-50s) I became involved with Ed Horwood and Bob Hennis in
the School of Engineering where we were trying to build some models to
evaluate transportation systems. This gave me another outside experience.
Still another one was Arnold Zelner who came to Washington in the middle 50s,
an econometrician, who had some ideas. So I was very fortunate to be able to
have contacts with other people and to borrow some of their ideas.

DOW: Now you went back to Northwestern in 1960. What did you do there? I seem
to remember a field course or a summer course where you were spreading the
gospel to people who hadn't had quantification?

GARRISON: Let's see. I'll have to recall. It seems to me we had four National
Science Foundation funded summer institutes. Two of these were on urban
systems and transportation systems problems. One was on quantitative methods
and another one (if I recall correctly) was on information, remote sensing,
this kind of thing.

DOW: Now most of the people who came to these had not had previous experience
in statistics. Is that true?

GARRISON: Well, they usually had some. Enough to motivate them. They were
motivated and you get motivated by dipping your foot in the water.

DOW: This may not be a fair question, but I'm trying to get an idea. Did
Northwestern or your work have an affect on permeating the field of geography
from this center, from this core?

GARRISON: Well, I've been very fortunate in many ways. I've mentioned several
of them. I've been very fortunate to be able to work with a very fine group
of graduate students who were innovative and inventive and who went other
places and did things. I think the dispersion of this kind of way of thinking
is more by people, than by writing and reading.

DOW: Yet many people had to run and catch up, as it were, during the 60s and
I think that this NSF funded summer school served its purpose. Did it not?
Myself, I don't consider myself a quantifier, but I feel comfortable with it
as a result of this type of thing.

GARRISON: I think so, but the motivation of individuals is very different,
very tricky. It's much a self-selection kind of thing.

DOW: How do you see the application of statistics today?

GARRISON: I think we've gone well beyond what was the state of the art in the
1950s. I see 1960 as really another turning point. We began to realize that the
simple recursive (that's a technical term) "put it in here and get it our here"
kind of thinking just didn't fit. Technically most of the systems with which we
work are non-recursive, i.e., there are feedbacks: "that if you do this over
here, this will come out over here, but this will also go over there and do
that." You have got to recognize that the kind of classical Fisherian-Box-
Snedecore experimental design didn't work in the quasi or trans-experimental
situations that are mixed social and natural systems. So the effort since 1960
(speaking for myself as I evaluate it) has been to try to find ways to do more
incisive experimental designs, try to find ways to define systems problems and
to do analytic work on problems. And statistics becomes sort of part of the kit
bag ways of thinking that one has, but only part of it.

DOW: Is this the kind of thing you are doing at Pittsburgh now?   Just what
prompted you to do there?

GARRISON: Yes indeed, we're doing work in mixed social, technological and
natural systems. I think fruitful work.

DOW: Are geographers participating in this?

GARRISON: Not so much at Pitt. Of course I see geographers regularly as I
travel around and talk with them.

DOW: This is more of an inter-disciplinary idea at Pittsburgh?

GARRISON: Yes, it's an inter-disciplinary idea. We're working with two
mathematical sociologists. Some work in economics. A couple are electrical

DOW: Sounds like an exciting group.

GARRISON: Oh we're having a good time. A very good time.

DOW: One final question. Where do you see the future of geography? Let's
say in the next ten years.

GARRISON: I think geography has a very brilliant future. It's a field in a
sense whose time has come. We professionals, as well as everyone, are
beginning to realize that the kinds of systems that we're trying to work on
are those with complex systems and feedbacks. We are beginning to recognize
the importance of being able to (1) define problems in this context, (2) to
talk about the future in these contexts, and (3) to talk about information
systems to support decision making. I think this way of thinking provides
an environment that's very creative, which attracts people and gives
geography an opportunity to do creative things in society.

DOW: Do you think we have an advantage over the other social sciences in
attracting the creative person?

GARRISON: That's a tough one. Because what is creative is measured by the
bench marks within a field. One may be creative in very narrow area. Now I
have sort of defined the term I used earlier because I said what I thought
creative was. I'm talking about creative, to do creative action-oriented
things, which improve the environment within which we live - the social,
technological natural systems.

DOW: Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.
GARRISON: Thank you.
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 10pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                           RONALD F. ABLER (1939-      )
   The Pennsylvania State University

                                Interviewed by
                         Maynard Weston Dow (1929-         )
                            Plymouth State College

Westin Hotel,
Renaissance Center              April 23, l985                  Detroit, Michigan

DOW: Ron Abler, of The Pennsylvania State University and currently of the National
Science Foundation, can you tell us something of your academic origins, mentors and
fellow graduate students?

ABLER: Sure. I took no geography in secondary school, had the normal social studies
routine in primary schools and I was always very intrigued with that.

DOW: Was this in Milwaukee?

ABLER: This was in Wisconsin in Milwaukee. When I started as a freshman at the
University of Minnesota in 1959, I needed a course and noticed a geography course;
it fitted into my schedule so I took it. It was taught by Cotton Mather - a Physical
Geography course. I liked it very much, and took a second course the following quarter
from Jan Broek, which was a Cultural Geography course. I had come to the University
thinking I was going to major in English and changed my mind several times, but by
the time I had been there about a year and a half I took a third course from Fred
Lukermann in Economic Geography and, I think, that was the one that hooked me. I
decided at that point to switch to a geography major, did that, and have never
regretted the decision.

DOW: Was Fred your advisor?

ABLER: Not as an undergraduate, but when I decided to stay on at Minnesota for the
Master's degree I asked Fred if he would be my advisor; he agreed and he continued
on as my advisor for the Ph.D.

DOW: What was your interest at that time?

ABLER: I started out working on a variety of subjects for the Master's degree and
eventually settled on communications. I was originally interested in comparing the
organization of the U.S. Postal Service to central place concepts, or seeing whether
it was organized in accordance with central place concepts. It turned out that the
organization was fairly easy to understand and it does, indeed, follow central place
relationships to a very large degree. Fred and I were talking about that and we
thought it might be good to compare it with another kind of network. The thing that
immediately came to mind, of course, was the telephone network. So I began to tutor
myself, with the help of some kind folks at Northwestern Bell, in the internal
operations of the telephone network. The more we compared them and the deeper I got
into them the more interesting it became. What started out as a Masters thesis got
fairly large and eventually developed into a Ph.D. thesis, which I did on the
organization of the postal and telephone systems in the United States.

DOW: Would you consider Fred a mentor?

ABLER: Oh yes! Definitely.

DOW: Were there others that would be surrogate mentors?

ABLER: Most definitely. One of the traditions at Minnesota at that time, which I
think is an excellent one, is that although you had a mentor you worked around the
department. i.e. it was considered a wise thing to do. Or a sensible thing to do was
to take at least some work with most of the faculty in the department. Now the
department was smaller at that time, obviously. If I were talking about mentors I
would certainly include Jan Broek, who had a great deal of influence on my thinking,
Phil Porter and John Borchert, as well as Fred.

DOW: What about fellow graduate students?

ABLER: John Adams and Greg Knight would be very high on that list, as well as, Dave
Lanegran. We were all there at the same time, worked together in Summer Institutes
and spent a lot of time talking to each other.

DOW: In particular you and John have followed quite closely together at times. Is
that right?


DOW: Let us go on to your communications work, we have some feel for the origins.
What about the development?

ABLER: The development has been disappointing, I would say. I consider myself a
communications geographer, there are a couple of others in overseas nations, but as
a specialty that topic has not really taken off. It is obviously a topic whose time
has come. We're getting a great deal more interest with the break up of the telephone
industry, which has brought a technology that was previously just part of the
furniture into the national consciousness. But I am disappointed that I haven't been
able to pursue communications as intensively as I would have liked to and that other
people haven't followed up on it.

DOW: I was going to say how many within the Association would list that among their
interests? Do you have any idea?

ABLER: Five, six.

DOW: Five, think of it. You've had no students that seem to have....

ABLER: No. I've never been able to really develop a following.

DOW: It seems obvious - it's such a geographic idea, isn't it?


DOW: Especially now that communications is "exploding" all over the place. Well,
I'm aware, I'm sure many are, of a book that you, Adams and Gould put together.


DOW: I believe it was called Spatial Organization.
ABLER: That's right.

DOW: Would you comment about it? It was rather revolutionary, was it not?

ABLER: We thought it was at the time, I don't know, I suppose that's the prerogative
of youngsters.

DOW: Should we date it? l971.

ABLER: 1971. As you mentioned, I have had a continued association with John Adams.
John went to Penn State the year before I did, then I followed him. There was a
seminar that was put together for incoming graduate students by Gould, John Adams,
myself, and Tony Williams. We taught that seminar for several years. It had gotten
started before I came to Penn State; we refined it and developed it. We kept joking
with each other that we had gone through all of this work, collected all of this
material, made all of these exercises, we really ought to write a book. The jokes
moved into a more serious consideration of that idea. We got some encouragement from
the publisher, Prentice-Hall, and so we decided at one point to just go ahead and do
that. For a variety of reasons Tony Williams didn't continue in the project. Over a
period of about seven months the three of us wrote down on paper what was in our minds
and what we had collected and collated - the materials we had been using in the
seminar. We spent about six weeks going over the draft. We would come into the
department at five in the morning and work until about ten, going over it line by
line, word by word. It took us a good month to do that; that was it. The actual
writing effort (from start to finish) was a matter of about eight or nine months. We
sent it off to the publisher and there was a lag time to get it finished, that's
how it came about.

DOW: Was it a success?

ABLER: I think it was a great success in terms of interest and as a textbook overseas.
It was not a success in the United States.

DOW: Why?

ABLER: The general consensus was that it was too difficult for the average American
student. There was always some disagreement among the authors as to the level at which
we were pitching the book. I had thought of it as the kind of material that would be
suitable for seniors, juniors, geography majors. Peter was always very strongly
convinced that it could be used as an introductory textbook. Basically it failed, I
would say, in North America, except in Canada where the programs tend to be more
rigorous than in the U.S. It was a great success overseas in the British Commonwealth
countries. I would guess we sold ten copies overseas for every one that was sold
in the United States.

DOW: We interviewed Peter in l971, which was just when it came out, he was very
enthusiastic about it. It didn't go through a second edition or did it?

ABLER: No. It went through printings, but not a second edition. We talked from time
to time about a second edition. We probably should have done one, but after a period
of about four or five years had passed we got interested in doing other things and we
all changed quite a bit. I'm pretty sure that if you put the three of us together for
a concentrated effort we might come out with a book, but it would not be a revision
of that one.

DOW: It wouldn't?

DOW: Do you think you would pitch it down a bit this time or would you still try to...

ABLER: I think we might still have some disagreements about level, but it would be a
different book. I think we are three different people now than we were then.

DOW: All right, what about the geography of the future?

ABLER: That was something that developed out of my interest in communications. The
dissertation focused on the networks. They turned out to be a reasonably simple to
understand. Toward the end of the dissertation I got very interested in social and
economic effects. That was the time when Marshall McLuhan was writing, making a big
splash and that led really to an interest in these new technologies. Because I was
interested in the topic, I was aware (ten, fifteen years ago) of some of the things
that are coming into the public discussion now. I was intrigued as to how those were
going to affect the geographical organization of business, industry, services and so
on. So I began to look at that and out of a meeting with Donald Janelle, John Sommer
and some other folks at a Summer Institute at Ohio State we started talking about the
Geography of the Future. We organized a conference at Western Ontario and a follow-up
conference a year later to get that organized and to start thinking about the subject.
I would have to say that it didn't pan out too well. It turned out that much of the
interest in the future was outside of geography, part of a wave we were riding at that
point because this was a time when Alvin Tofler had written Future Shock. Much of that
literature (after we had a chance to think about it for a while) was really escapist
literature. Geographers are basically too "common-sensical", too hard-minded and too
empirical to really be intrigued to the degree that other people were with this idea
of the future. As it turned out most of this literature on the future was not talking
about a logical sequence of geographical steps by which we move from here (which is
the present) to this other place, which is some set of future conditions. The great
interest in the future on the part of the public and on the part of a lot of academics
was in the future with no logical linkage to the present and to the past. I finally
concluded that the whole exercise was largely a form of escapism. People would be
writing that we don't have to really worry about problems in the cities, because in
twenty years we won't have cities. Cities are obsolete. People will be working at
their computer terminals in their homes and never have to come to work. That hasn't
happened and that's not going to happen. It hasn't happened in the last twenty years
and it's not going happen in the next twenty.

DOW: Could this surface again, the idea of geography in the future?

ABLER: I think it will. There are certain intellectual dynamics in these kinds of
things which we discovered as we looked into the past. It seems that people are
numerologists to some degree and every time you come up to the turn of a century there
is a great interest in what lies ahead, (the next century), which leads to a spate of
futurism and it gets raised to another order of magnitude, (pun intended) when you
are changing a millennium. If you go back to the period just before 1000 A.D. there
was a great deal of mysticism and interest in the future because we were starting and
the society was starting, a new millennium. I think we are going to see a resurgence
of this, probably, for that very reason in the l990's. But if it is going to be
successful it has to concentrate much more on a logical sequence of steps. The whole
notion of the inertia in place (which is very familiar to geographers and with which
geographers are very comfortable) is going to be influential. There are not going to
be magical technological solutions, which are going to solve our current problems and
transfer us into a new and glorious future.

DOW: Weren't you thinking about building regions?


DOW: The perfect region? What was the idea there?
ABLER: That was a contribution from Bill Bunge. That we should use our geographical
knowledge and our interest in the future to design a perfect region, a geographically
perfect region. I think Bill thought about that a lot more than the rest of us did.
He, in fact, got in some rather marvelous scrapes by going down to (I believe it was)
Martinique with a plane table to map out the perfect region of the future. The police
down there weren't too pleased. We did think about that but not that kind of.....

DOW: That wouldn't have been a central theme?

ABLER: No. We were much more interested in the role of communications technologies and

DOW: Well, you've been a Co-Director of the Comparative Metropolitan Analysis Project.
What could you tell us about that?

ABLER: That really grew out of some of John Borchert's thinking, although, a variety
of other people had an influence. Brian Berry, Jay Vance, David Ward, and Frank
Horton had some discussions about the fact that our policies in the United States
(there were programs for urban renewal, urban change) were formulated on a national
basis with very little recognition of the fact that New York is not Los Angeles and
Detroit is not Dallas. Out of those kinds of discussions came a proposal to the
National Science Foundation for a study of American cities (large cities in
particular) to see what was common in those cities, what was different, what was
unique, and how that kind of knowledge should feed back into national policy. The
proposal was funded by the Foundation. John Adams was the Director, I was the
Assistant Director. The way the responsibilities were broken out was that my major
responsibility was for the Atlas, which we eventually produced. John took the major
responsibility for the twenty studies of individual cities and for the thirteen
topical or systematic studies that were products of that project.

DOW: When you say Foundation, you mean NSF.

ABLER: National Science Foundation, yes.

DOW: Penn State, you arrived in l967. Could you give us an idea of what it was like
when you arrived and, perhaps, how it is today? What is the progression?

ABLER: It was an exciting place. John Adams and Tony Williams were new there. Peter
was there (he's always very exciting); it was a good faculty. It was a delightful
place for a junior staff member, because the department was not really hierarchical
or stuffy in any sense of the word. From the day I walked in the door, my ideas, my
suggestions, the things I wanted to do were evaluated on their merits. I had some
good ideas and if they were good ideas people would say: "Fine. Do it." I had some
bad ideas and if they were bad people told me they were bad. But there wasn't really
a pecking order. It was a very open department with a lot of departmental spirit
which allowed us to do the kinds of things that we wanted to do. It's really rather
unusual for a couple of assistant professors to start working on a major book rather
than putting all of their effort into journal articles. But it was and remains a
tolerant place where the philosophy is that the department will be best-served in the
long run if people are able to do what they want to do, what they prefer to do and are
able to follow their own interests. That was the philosophy there and it remains the
philosophy; it was a very exciting and open department.

DOW: Was Rogers the Chairman when you came on?

ABLER: Allan Rogers was the Chairman, yes.

DOW: What kind of people were they going after? What kind of specialties in those

ABLER: Those were the days when there was a lot of money compared to today. There
wasn't, traditionally, at Penn State, a great deal of concern with specialties. Allan
Rogers was looking for the best people he could lay his hands on. In line with the
philosophy I mentioned earlier, the tradition was to let the interest develop out of
the individuals rather than having a very tightly-defined pattern.

DOW: It takes a tolerant Dean doesn't it to allow this to happen?

ABLER: Yes. We had and have one of the best at Penn State, a fellow named Charlie
Hosler (a meteorologist) who is the best Dean I can possibly imagine.

DOW: All right. So that gives us a flavor of what it was like in the late 60's.
What's going on now?

ABLER: I think that tradition continues. We've gotten larger and we are getting
larger. We are hiring four people this year in different specialties. The thing
that probably has changed is that we are a little more confined by specialties now,
by the necessity to fill certain slots - more so than we have been in the past.
When I came to the department it was largely a graduate program; we had less than
ten undergraduate majors and fifty graduate students. We still have fifty graduate
students, but now we have over a hundred majors. The era of easy money and lots of
money is long gone. We have to pay much more attention to our service load than we
had to when I first came. That, of course, builds into a standing curriculum that
has to be served. So we now are more constrained to cover certain topics than was
true in the late 60's. I don't think that's caused the department any great damage.
We still go with the philosophy that we want the very best people. If it turns out
that in a particular specialty which we are seeking to fill we can't find anybody who
is suitable, then we will adjust the specialty to some degree to fit the talent
that's available.

DOW:    Will Miller has said that when he began (he came right after Raymond Murphy,
then    Murphy left) he was twenty-nine years of age and he went into his Dean and
said    that he..."wanted to make geography at Penn State the best in the world".
Have    you ever heard that?

ABLER: No. He has never mentioned that to me, but it doesn't surprise me.

DOW: Does it sound like Will?

ABLER: It sounds like Will.

DOW: He said, perhaps, one of the highlights of his life was when, (I'm not sure what
time, maybe ten years ago?) you were rated eleventh. Now you are rated second. Will
id: "Second is terrific, but it was the idea that we were moving (in eleventh place)
that was more exciting." How many do you have on the staff now?

ABLER: We have thirteen.

DOW: And four more in the fall?

ABLER: There will be fifteen. We have one fellow who is leaving this year, but we
are adding three. I might mention along that line that Penn State is, perhaps, a
unique place. All of the chairman that have ever been at Penn State are still there
and active - with the exception of Murphy and I don't think it was really a geography
program when Murphy was there.

DOW: No it wasn't.
ABLER: Will started, Allan Rogers followed, then Zelinsky; I followed Zelinsky, and
then Greg Knight. We're all still there, we're all active and we all like each other
very much.

DOW: You have divergent interests?

ABLER: Oh yes!

DOW: That must be one of the strengths. The geography program at NSF, you've been
there a year?

ABLER: Ten months.

DOW: Ten months. What can you tell us about it?

ABLER: Things in the program are much better than they have been. As you are aware we
suffered a severe financial setback in the l981 budget as part of the program for
change in the Reagan Administration. I think we are over that. We are looking at a
twenty percent increase in our budget next year and it looks like that will go through
Congress intact. The major change that we have been able to institute is one that, I
think, many people in the profession have been eager for a long time, and that is that
the program is going to fund physical geography. The Geography and Regional Science
Program is housed in the Division of Social and Economic Sciences. Partially because
of scarcity of funds, but also because of organizational structure, previous Program
Directors and previous Advisory Panels have been somewhat reluctant to fund research
in physical geography. This has left physical geographers out in the cold, because
the geology programs and the meteorology programs are not particularly receptive to
proposals from physical geographers. It turns out that there have been some changes
at NSF occurring at the same time I came in. We have a new Division Director,
Roberta Miller. In the Social and Economic Science Division we have a new Assistant
Director (who is over the larger organization we're in at NSF), David Kingsbury,
a biologist. Both of them were very comfortable with the idea of our program funding
physical geography so that announcement has been made. I'm setting aside some money
this year for physical geography. I do not have firm commitments (nothing is ever
firm in the federal budget situation), but certainly strong encouragement and
commitments that if the resources are available, they will be made available to the
program to support physical geography. I am hopeful that by the time I leave fourteen
months hence, we will have a physical geography budget that will be close to the same
size as the budget for human geography and that together they'll amount to about two
and a half million dollars.

DOW: Some people have the notion that NSF only wants to finance something that's
highly quantifiable in nature. Is that true?

ABLER: No that is not true. It turns out that people who are trained in the
quantitative tradition have a lot more experience in thinking about science in the way
that it has to be thought about in order to be successful at NSF. They know how to
write proposals, they know how to formulate ideas in a way that is successful at NSF.
That does not mean we do not fund other kinds of research. We are currently funding
Mei-Ling Hsu to do a study of the History of Chinese Cartography. We are funding
Geoffrey Martin to do a study of the History of American Geography. There are a
variety of topics I could mention that are either before the Foundation in review,
or projects we have funded in the past, that are in fact qualitative analysis. What
the projects must do, or what must be done in order to be successful at the
Foundation, is that the research has to contribute to advancing the discipline.
Typically that means it has to at least offer the prospect of advancing or revising
theory in the discipline, but it does not have to be highly quantitative.
DOW: Hypothetically, somebody might be able to do a project on the Historical
Geography of New England using a methodology or introducing something into the
field that could be applied down the road. Is that a possibility?

ABLER: Yes, it definitely is.

DOW: Do you have anything else you would like say? Do you have more requests for
money than you would like? Or is it pretty slow?

ABLER: No. We receive about a 130 proposals a year. The requests for funding, if you
add them up, come to about sixteen million dollars. We have this year 1.3 million
dollars, next year we'll have...

DOW: You say 2.5, perhaps, next year?

ABLER: By the time I leave. In the budget that will be coming for fiscal year l987
we are aiming for two and a half million dollars; my goal is to get two and a half
million dollars at that point. We fund about a sixth of the proposals that we receive.
It's a very highly competitive process. I think that's the way it ought to be.

DOW: That's very interesting. You are about to emerge as   the President of the


DOW: That's always an auspicious event, isn't it?

ABLER: Well, I would hope so.

DOW: Let me ask you, what are your thoughts as you are about to come on board as
President? Perhaps we can end here. The idea of the state of the discipline, where
do you think it is going and, perhaps, the Association? Put them all together.

ABLER: I'm optimistic about both and quite honestly far more optimistic than I was
five years ago. I can remember at the San Antonio meetings being really quite
disturbed and depressed. That was at the time we were losing the Michigan department.
There was a great deal of concern. There still is - and rightly so, I think, - about
the fractionalization of the discipline. We're all going off in fifty-seven different
directions and we're losing our core. I got more than a little concerned and even
somewhat depressed about that. I think in retrospect the Michigan tragedy (and it
was a tragedy) will be seen to have had a silver lining. I've started traveling
around to the regional meetings; I visit a lot of departments in my role as NSF
officer and I'm very optimistic about what I see.   There has always been a lot of
good work going on in a lot of places all over the United States. I take that as a
given. But there is really a change in attitude in the discipline. We see it in
individual geographers and departments and we see it in the Association. Geographers
are pulling up their socks and realizing that it's not enough to do good work. It's
not enough to train highly qualified students. Geographers have to take charge of
their environment and make sure that their contributions are recognized. I see much
more deliberate and careful thinking on the part of department chairmen - making sure
that the contributions of their departments are recognized within the universities in
which they work; making sure that they are tied in to national events; being much less
retiring than I remember geographers being. My image of geography for a long time is that
we sat around and we commiserated with each other about the fact that nobody appreciated
us, that too few people appreciated us, we weren't understood, our contributions weren't
recognized. I think there is a new spirit of self-confidence that's permeated the
discipline, (or is permeating the discipline) that is based on a feeling that we are
doing good work, we are making important contributions we're not going to be shy about
letting people know about them. We see that certainly in the publicity that's been
generated about geographical illiteracy. We see it in Gilbert Grosvenor's appearance
yesterday before the Detroit Economic Club, talking about: "What Happens When America
Flunks Geography?", about some of the costs of our lack of geographical knowledge and
geographical training. We see it in the new role that has been defined for the
Association of American Geographers with the hiring of a new Executive Director and
a re-defining of the duties of that position to make the Executive Director and the
Association itself a much more activist group on behalf of geography. It's a different
stance on the part of the Association and the discipline as a whole. I think
previously we stood ready, willing, and able to serve; we did go to work. What we are
doing now is going out and looking, not standing and waiting to see what we can do.
We are going out and we are looking, very actively, and saying what can we do here,
how can we contribute there, and how we can let folks know about what we are doing? I
think that attitude change and the activities that are going along with it are very

DOW: So you feel the energy is there to go down...

ABLER: It's the energy, yes.

DOW: I'm thinking of secondary school. That's where it really ends up. We've got to
get them involved.

ABLER: That's right.

DOW: Natoli's "Guidelines..." is trying to help this?

ABLER: Yes, the "Guidelines..." that were jointly produced by the National Council
for Geographical Education and the Association have been a fantastic success. The
original printing was ten thousand. They disappeared almost within a space of three
or four months. Requests are rolling in for them as a result of just a minimal of
publicity about their existence. We've reprinted them and they are still going out
at a rapid rate. Now we are getting to the second round of that effort in the sense
that people who have received the Guidelines (teachers, Parent Teachers Organizations,
state curriculum superintendents) are saying: "This sounds wonderful, send me more."
"Where are the curricula?" "Tell us how to get organized on this." So at the Council
meeting over the weekend the Association Council voted to take twenty-five thousand
dollars out of our capital (it's a rather serious step) to begin the process of doing
the follow-up. We've got everybody's attention, that's just marvelous. Now we've got
to come through, we've got to come through with the goods. We are putting $25,000
into that effort, and NCGE is putting in $10,000. The American Geographical Society
will be approached for a contribution and the National Geographic Society will be
approached for help. I shouldn't say a contribution; we are going to try enlist their
support and some financial help, if possible. We are trying to create (I think we will
because the relationships now between these four organizations are very good) a
geographical alliance or an educational alliance for geography that will focus
primarily on the secondary schools. Perhaps, eventually, it will even focus on the
primary schools and really boost the training education and teaching of geography in
the primary and the secondary schools.

     My reading of the history of the Association is that the difficulty we are in
we've pretty much done to ourselves. If you go back into the history of the
Association and look at people like William Morris Davis and most of the people who
were leaders in the profession before l920 you find people who paid exquisite
attention to the teaching of geography in the schools. They were very active in
curriculum writing. They wrote books themselves. In the l920's we made a lot of
intellectual progress in geography, but we turned inward on ourselves. The leaders
of the profession (as nearly as I can tell) spoke largely to each other and to their
disciples for a long period of time between the mid l920's until well after the war.
Up into the l970's there was a pretty closed community speaking largely to ourselves,
and in so doing we lost our constituency. If you are in a university administrative
position these days you are well aware of the fact that administrators will talk to
each other and department chairman will talk and say: "It's inconceivable to have a
university without a history department. You must have a history department. You must
have a philosophy department. You have to have an economics department." They don't
say you have to have a geography department and there are a variety of reasons for
that. One of the reasons is that our constituency is just not there in the form of
people who have taken geography regularly, had it well-taught, and enjoyed it from
the primary school onward. We have to rebuild that constituency and that's not
something that we are going to do overnight. We lost that constituency over a period
of twenty or thirty years and it's going to take us another twenty years to bring it
back, but I think it can be done. I'm very optimistic that we are well on our way to
doing it. I'm particularly excited about the coming together again - after fifty or
sixty years - of the National Geographic Society and the AAG. That was an unfortunate
falling out, it's harmed us both, I think, but we will....

DOW: This began formally just last year in Washington?

ABLER: We've been moving tentatively in that direction for four or five years due to
a lot of hard work on the part of a lot people. But its' coming to fruition and, I
think, it's going to be very powerful. If we can build an alliance, it's going to be
a very powerful voice for geography in American society.

DOW: I hope that in your next year that you'll have the time and energy to do just a
bit of what you've suggested. If so I know we'll be off on the right foot. Thank you
very much for taking the time this morning.

ABLER: My pleasure. I enjoyed the talk.
            Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1993), 5pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          WILLIAM WARNTZ (1922-1988)
                        University of Western Ontario

                               interviewed by

                        Maynard Weston Dow (1929-      )
                            Plymouth State College

Hyatt Regency Hotel          April 15,1973             Atlanta, Georgia

DOW: Bill Warntz of the University of Western Ontario, how did you get into

WARNTZ: I collected stamps and I loved maps as a child; I suppose every
geographer has said that. More specifically in my undergraduate career at the
University of Pennsylvania I was interested in economics and, in fact, took
an economics degree. But it was location theory that fascinated me. Then my
education was interrupted by military service in the Air Force (World War II
vintage) and cartography, meteorology, navigation (specifically navigation)
and working with maps turned me on. When I came back to pursue the remainder
of my undergraduate career and my graduate program I was looking for some
combination of social science and the things that I had learned about
meteorology and navigation.

DOW: Did you have any practical experience in cartography in the service?

WARNTZ: Yes, I did.

DOW: What about your present position?

WARNTZ: I'm chairman of quite a large department. You can measure its size in
a variety of ways, but by almost any standards it is a large, fairly
influential department of geography in Canada. I look on it as something at
which I've been aiming now for quite some time. I've gone through various
stages in preparation to becoming a department chairman.

DOW: Now, you were at Harvard prior to this. What about your association with

WARNTZ: Immediately prior to this present position I was at Harvard as
Director of a Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis. The
emphasis was on using computers to produce maps. I discovered quite a few
things. It was no trick actually to get a computer output map form, but you
could combine all the facilities of computer for analysis manipulation
purposes so that literally the map became an experimental tool. The map
became the geographer's laboratory. We could experiment in ways that were
denied to us previously by using the enormous power of a computer. Hence I
would say that we literally experiment the spatial structure via mapping
(computer mapping) in a way we never could do before.
DOW: When did you start this? The late 1950s, early 1960s?

WARNTZ: Just five years ago; this was in about 1966 or 1967. I went to
Harvard from an appointment prior to that at Princeton, where I was in
astrophysical sciences of all things.

DOW: What did this mean at Princeton?

WARNTZ: Astrophysical sciences had an organization of a group of scholars,
who were interested in inter-disciplinary research. I was the geographer
resident with a number of people from a variety of other disciplines. I
hasten to add that at the same time I was on the staff of the American
Geographical Society in New York in what I would regard as the halcyon days
of the Society.

DOW: Did you have any association with the Spouts when you were at Princeton?

WARNTZ: Yes, indeed. We formed quite a warm friendship.

DOW: Where were you before that?

WARNTZ: Prior to that I was at the University of Pennsylvania, where I took
my three degrees and taught in economics, statistics and geography.

DOW: Today you seem to be stressing the geography-geometry-graphics link. Why
do you do that?

WARNTZ: Geography is geography dealing with spatial patterns on the earth's
surface, at least, that is an acceptable definition. Geometry certainly is
the language of space and it is also a logical system. It has the advantage
of being directly identifiable with spatial configuration and it can also be
used as a logical machine. I think the combination of geography and the
rationalization through geometry is a natural graphic of expression. Both are
the end product for experimental purposes. So that geometry, geography and
graphics links, especially since the enormous power the computer can be
involved. It seems to me an extremely reasonable, powerful way to go about
the discipline.

DOW: I assume you have all the necessary equipment at Ontario?

WARNTZ: Oh, yes, I made sure of that.

DOW: I would think you would. You've mentioned spatial analysis. What is
spatial analysis?

WARNTZ: It would be awfully hard in a few moments to give a reasonable
answer. I would just say that we are concerned principally in spatial
analysis with the distribution of phenomena over the earth's surface
terrestrial scale, although we go beyond (and less than) merely describing,
classifying and predicting spatial configurations. I draw a strong
distinction between predicting (in the temporal sense) some future state of
things, knowing part of our present spatial configuration and being able to
predict the rest of it. In geography, there is embedded in it the notion of
spatial prediction. I think that is the ultimate in geography - spatial
prediction. Describing, classifying and predicting spatial configurations
with the terrestrial scale is the geographer's principle concern. Quite
independent I would say are the non-spatial adjectives we attach like:
linguistics, political and historical.
DOW: Of course, all phenomena are free game in this.

WARNTZ: Oh, yes!

DOW: You mentioned interest in location theory. How do you see it? As an
extension of that?

WARNTZ: Yes, very much an extension, but I would say an escape well-beyond
the pure economic constraints.

DOW: Who was the first person you read that got you interested in this mode
of thought? Would it be von Thuen or what?

WARNTZ: von Thuen and I were not contemporaries. (Laughter).

DOW: Different centuries. (More laughter).

DOW: No. I would say, perhaps, Walter Isard's early work and John Q. Stewart
on astrophysical scientist at Princeton, who turned his attention to social
sciences. He attempted to organize social science investigation in a more
rigorous way (a model-building way) which was not then current in social
science, except for economics. In my own attempt I draw the macro-economic
geography from an economic standpoint.

DOW: Is it fair to suggest that as a geographer you grew up in a vacuum?
There weren't many geographers around during your undergraduate or graduate
student days.

WARNTZ: Yes, I think that is important and interesting at least. It has been
my life that I have been the geographer on a team and it's only now that I
am, as it were, the head of a large staff department of geography.

DOW: Talking and working with geographers.

WARNTZ: Yes. That's right. I would point out the American Geographical
Society was the obvious exception to this, I was on the staff for ten years
and they were fine, distinguished geographers, but a small group. Most of my
other associations prior to the present one were as a member of a team
representing the geographical discipline.

DOW: I can't remember the title of something you did when you were there at
the A.G.S. but it's a history of American geography. What was this?

WARNTZ: Geography Now and Then.

DOW: Yes. It's a neat little book. I really enjoyed it.

WARNTZ: I think perhaps I enjoyed writing that more than anything I've ever
done. It took me into the archives.

DOW: I bet it did. You have been criticized because in a sense you've lived
by yourself?

WARNTZ: I have a family, of course; I don't live by myself.

DOW: I mean in the geographic sense.
WARNTZ: Yes. Oh yes. It's very true that I have been criticized in that I
have not communicated with other geographers in conventional ways, but I am
doing it now certainly - explicitly. I think perhaps, I have benefited the
profession and myself by the particular course I've chosen; that may sound

DOW: You say it's been your ambition to end up at a place like Western, so
you have worked hard toward this end.


DOW: It's a very interesting career.

WARNTZ: I would like to point out that I have not severed ties along the way.
I still maintain the ties with all the places I've been. Each stage has been
an addition, a building rather than a severance and a replacement.

DOW: You've said that we must be seeking always the appropriate balance
between knowledge that is intrinsic in value and that which is of
conventional worth. What do you mean by this? Why do you say it?

WARNTZ: I say it, because I believe it, obviously. I draw a distinction
between intrinsic and conventional. I suppose Herbert Spencer would be the
source of the quote of the statement. His concern, you see, was with what
knowledge is of most worth and he drew the distinction. The real world goes
on whether we care about it or know about it as individuals. Anything we
regard as problems are purely intellectual constructs and what we regard as
solutions are intellectual constructs so problems and solutions always deal
with conventional phenomena in the world as it exists. I think underlying the
success of any conventional approach must be a solid foundation of truly
intrinsic knowledge, knowledge that has a value for all places and all times.
That's a fine and, perhaps, a vain wish, but if we can organize geography as
general spatial systems theory (independent of the particular phenomena)
based on the intrinsic concepts then we would go a long way toward making our
approaches to the conventional problems more meaningful.

DOW: What do you see as to the future for geography?

WARNTZ: It's alive and well in Canada. I see it surviving in the United
States; the cooperation between the two nations will be healthy for both. I
think, perhaps, in the future the disciplinary boundaries will mean less than
they do now. I look on them as arbitrary conveniences for administrators (for
budget purposes) and that ultimately the universities (heaven knows
universities weren't here at the creation - they're social institutions) must
respond. They probably will respond in ways which will dissolve some of the
disciplinary boundaries and merge people in other ways. No, geography is
pretty hardy; it survives despite everything we've done to it for many
thousands of years. I expect that it will continue as a discipline.

DOW: Do you think that Canada is discouraging Americans from coming up there
as geographers now?

WARNTZ: I wouldn't say discouraging. I would say that Canada built its
geography program quickly, soundly and it brought in talent from wherever.
Now, of course, there is in Canada at the present moment a wish to employ
Canadians in Canadian positions. This is the reasonable thing (extremely
reasonable) and Canada is in a position to do it, now that they have
developed their own graduate programs. Most graduate programs in geography
in Canada are barely thirty years old.
DOW: They've done a tremendous job, haven't they in a short period of time.

WARNTZ: Yes, I would say so. I was deeply impressed by how well-organized
geography is in the Province of Ontario (fourteen strong programs) and elsewhere.

DOW: Thank you very much, Bill.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1998), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                           Plymouth State University,
                             Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                         GILBERT F. WHITE (1911-       )
                           University of Colorado

                               interviewed by
                        Preston E. James (1899-1986)
                            Syracuse University

Muehlebach Hotel                April 25, 1972                  Kansas City

JAMES: We have Professor Gilbert White formerly of the University of Chicago.
Gilbert White is one of the leaders in the geographic profession. He is well-
known for his work in public affairs, formation of public policy and his
leadership at the University of Chicago. He graduated from Chicago with a
B.A., M.A. and later with a PhD. Back in the 1930s he worked with the people
at Chicago and was a student of Harlan Barrows, who was then Chairman of the
Department. Can you tell us your reaction (your remembrance) to Barrows as a

WHITE: Barrows was an extraordinary man: six foot seven, over two hundred
pounds, upright in posture, rigorous in behavior, very severe in outward
appearance and actions. He was very warm at heart, very shy, a sensitive kind
of person and was a superb lecturer. He rarely opened up in discussions with
students, but when he did there was great strength and a devastating capacity
to get to the heart of the matter. Barrows ran the Department at Chicago.
There were other very strong members of the Department: Wellington Jones, who
was intellectually much more inquiring and facile, Charles Colby, who was as
deeply concerned as Barrows with public policy issues, and Edith Parker, who
developed really the major framework of thought about geographic education
for several decades.

JAMES: Of course, Barrows is something of a legend. It's too bad that we are
not able to interview him here. He certainly set his stamp on the field of
geography, because of the many students that came out from his direction
there at Chicago. Now after you graduated with a master's degree from Chicago
Barrows was influential in getting you an appointment in the Executive Office
to the President. Is that right?

WHITE: Yes. Barrows had accepted a post with the Mississippi Valley Committee
of the Public Works Administration in those halcyon days of 1934 when we all
thought we could go to Washington in the New Deal and save the country.
Having as a boy worked on a ranch in North Central Wyoming and helped
distribute irrigation water and tend sheep camp, I had been very much
interested in natural resources matters. I said I would go along with
Barrows and do a six-weeks job in preparing a water plan for the old
Mississippi Valley Committee. That six-weeks job lasted eight years. I wrote
my dissertation weekends, late at night and finished up when Pearl Harbor
called the end of normalcy in Washington and I left the government.
JAMES: As I understand it you were conscientious objector for four years and
undertook various jobs in Europe and other places.

WHITE: Yes. I left the government and took part in relief work in
concentration camps and children‟s' canteens in Vichy France. Then I operated
under the German Occupation for a while. I was interned in Germany, finally
came back and then I headed up work for relief for India and China. All
together I put in four years as a conscientious objector.

JAMES: You had quite a varied experience, which is a good background for
later work out of all this. The amazing thing is that you became a university
president - President of Haverford.

WHITE: I don't see why that's amazing.

JAMES: The amazing thing is that you were then promoted from this job
(Laughter). Not very many people have been promoted from President to
Department Chairman. Of course, the Department at Chicago was originally set
up by a former President at Wisconsin, who was then promoted to Chairman of
Geology and Geography and you followed in his footsteps. Not many people have
done this. At any rate you became the Head of the Department at Chicago in
1956, and you were on the staff there until 1969 although you ceased to be
Chairman in 1962. This is a very important period in the formation of the
young geographers of America. You had a lot of students during this time.

WHITE: We did and we had a very lively faculty.

JAMES: As I understand it you have now left Chicago and you are a Professor
of Geography and Director of the Institute of Behavioral Science at the
University of Colorado in Boulder and it's just incidental that you have a
ranch near by with a lot of horses on it. Tell me about this work that you've
been doing and your interest in the formation of public policy. This is a
very important aspect of your work. There are many geographers in the past
who have worked on this sort of thing such as Colby, Barrows and others. What
can geographers contribute to the formation of public policy, land policy,
and resource policy?

WHITE: One might expect geographers would have a great deal to contribute in
formation of public policy with respect to any environmental matter. Also,
that they might have highly significant contributions to make in terms of
land use and environmental management in urban areas. My own interests grew
out of early concern with environmental problems as a youngster seeing (1) a
ranch go broke during the drought in the 1930's and (2) the formation of a
whole set of new policies in Washington under the New Deal. It seemed to me
that geographers ought to select research topics in terms of the likely
relevance of the output to definition of public problems and to suggestion of
possible lines of solution. Most of the research work I have done has been
directed at investigation of geographic problems which seem to have relevance
at either the national or the international level. Thus, for example, at
Chicago we initiated a whole set of investigations of floodplain occupance,
which led to broader investigations of strategies dealing with flood losses.
Which in turn led to investigations of natural hazards on a broader scale.
This led to investigations of ways in which people perceive environmental
problems and ways in which they perceive and assess the whole range of
alternatives that is open to man in dealing with them. In effect, my research
work has pursued in a somewhat serendipitous way this line of investigation.
But always the question has been: "What is it's significance in terms of
formation of either national or international policy?"
JAMES: As a matter of fact hasn't this been one of the outstanding
characteristics of the Chicago School? Barrows, Colby and Wellington Jones
were involved certainly in studies working towards the proper and better use
of land and resources.

WHITE: Yes. Clearly Barrows and Colby were deeply committed to it; not only
their research work but the use of their time.

JAMES: Many students who came out of Chicago went on with that.

WHITE: Yes. This has been a strong emphasis.

JAMES: Sauer and McMurry at the Michigan Land Economic Survey and Walter
Kollmorgan. Was he a Chicago product?


JAMES: But he has gone on with floodplain studies?

WHITE: Yes. Walter has worked on those.

JAMES: This question of the control of environment and the dangers of
environmental pollution; I think the general public knows this now by the
name "ecology." Which reminds me of that quip: "That geography is that field
of learning that changes its name when it becomes important." Do you think
that's true?

WHITE: (Laughter). It's true in part. Some of the geographical contributions
have been made in the name of geography and continue to be so made. I think
we can say that the national flood policy in the United States is a direct
reflection of geographic research. We can say that the heavy emphasis in all
of water planning today is on canvas of the range of alternatives and
examination of alternative adjustments. Trying to arrive at judgments and
evaluations as to what are effective adjustments grows out of several streams
of thought, but one large stream has been geographic research. Geographers
have in a number of instances been slow to recognize or apply their
contributions in other fields. One wonders why this has been and why in a
number of cases geographers look upon the ecologists or other
environmentalists as Johnny-come-latelies, but, nevertheless as people who
turn out to have more influence than they in either affecting public thinking
or public policy.

JAMES: Of course it is very difficult to make a generalization about
geographers as such. I was going to ask you why you think geographers haven't
done a better job. Right away you think of those who have been active in this
field and there are some who haven't been. Could the geographic profession be
stimulated to do a better job on practical problems of this sort?

WHITE: I don't think I know all the reasons why geographers have at times
been impotent in this regard. Certainly one consideration has been that a
good many geographers have been somewhat timid about exposing their findings
and their conclusions to the critical review of people in other disciplines
or in policy situations. Another consideration which I think has been
significant is that in our academic institutions there has been a tendency to
talk about "What is geography?" and delimiting the field of geography. This I
would regard as a sterile mode of approach and one which has inhibited
genuine concern for identification of problems and asking what distinctive
contributions geographers can make in dealing with them. I'm not worried
whether I'm a geographer or not. I'm worried about what problems people need
to work on and whether or not I have any responsible significant contribution
to make to defining or solving them.

JAMES: You who are listening to this program are being let in on an old
argument that Gil and I have been having for years. There is no question but
what many geographers were stymied by this very sterile attempt to define
geography as a separate field. Nowadays the attempt is to show how geography
can contribute to inter-disciplinary studies rather define definitions which
would separate it from other fields.

WHITE: True, but it's more than just asking how it could contribute to inter-
disciplinary studies. The crucial issue is how does it contribute to defining
and solving a problem of importance to society.

JAMES: That's right. I think that the more active people are certainly this
way. I'll grant you that also there are people are still arguing about "What
is geography?" But the argument about "What is geography?" has good
historical background. There is a reason for it, because the geographers who
used to argue this way were trained in other fields and all of a sudden found
themselves appointed geographers and they said: "What is this thing that I'm
supposed to be doing?" You can't really hold it against them, but it did hold
back the field. I'm in complete agreement.

WHITE: I think it still does in some regard. There is still too much inquiry
as to "Is this geography?"

JAMES: There is too much, but it's not among people with whom I am
associated. I don't know where discussions of this sort go forward. I'm sure
they must, but certainly not in the better institutions.

This business of the whole perception of environment, the studies of
environmental perception, all these things have been of the utmost importance
in stimulating new kinds of studies, new approaches. And this very largely
came from Chicago, didn't it?

WHITE: That was one of the important contributors and it came in considerable
measure there because of the sort of questions that were asked and the kind
of confrontations that took place with people in other disciplines and with
people in positions of administrative responsibility. That's one of the
things that opened up some of the theoretically important issues on the
nature of perception and the nature of decision-making processes.

JAMES: Thank you, Gil. We will go on with this argument on some later
occasion. Thank you very much for this interview.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                 Geographer on Film:
                            G. DONALD HUDSON (1897-1989)
                              University of Washington

                                  interviewed by

                            John Fraser Hart (1924-   )
                              University of Minnesota

Sheraton Boston Hotel             April 19, 1971           Boston, Massachusetts

HART: This is Donald Hudson, Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University
of Washington. That's correct isn't it, Don? How did you get into geography in
the first place?

HUDSON: Through a   very attractive co-ed at the University of Chicago. That was in
1924. I was going   to graduate the next year and I asked her what was a nice,
easy, interesting   course that I could take in my senior quarter? She said; "Take
Barrows course in   Historical Geography".

HART: That easy?

HUDSON: Yea, and I didn't have to take any final examination either, because that
was my graduating quarter. But I didn't come into geography until sometime later in
1930 after we came back from Beirut.

HART: So you then went to graduate school at Chicago?

HUDSON: I tried. I came into geography on the graduate level, like most people did
at that time, from some other field. A case in point is Dick Hartshorne, Bob Platt
and so on.

HART: What brought you in at that time?

HUDSON: I had taken my undergraduate degree and my master's degree in Public
School Administration and I felt the need for a content subject. So I "cased the
joint" and finally went to see Mr. Barrows. He told me all the reasons why I
shouldn't go into geography and that he would see me next Monday. I came back the
next Monday and he had at that time looked up my undergraduate record and had
drawn up a course for me to take to the a Ph.D. degree. That was the kind of guy
he was.

HART: You did that to a few people too.

HUDSON: I might have.
HART: That reminds me about having been a graduate student under your guidance. I
think a lot of people are fascinated by the man who was the midwife of the
Quantitative Revolution. What was it like to have that going on in your department?

HUDSON: We ought to say in passing that you were a graduate student with me at
Northwestern, not at the institution you recently mentioned.

HART: Old Northwestern.

HUDSON: Are you referring to Bill Garrison? I went out to the University of
Washington in the spring of 1951 although I had accepted the position in the fall
of 1950. 1950-1951 was Bill Garrison's first year there as an instructor, so he was
there when I arrived in April 1951. He didn't get started in the quantitative field
before that; he got started in it after that. I was very pleased to see something
new coming along. He enjoyed my encouragement and I think he, at times, enjoyed my
protection. I'm not sure that some of our other colleagues enjoyed that as much as
he did. His influence, of course, in the department was very strong. It caused some
difficulties because like a lot of young disciples (not Bill) everything that they
did was right, and everything that anybody else did that was different was wrong. I
think that was unfortunate because as a result they lost some of their powers of
influence on others that they might otherwise have enjoyed and the others would
have enjoyed.

HART: You recruited an All Star cast of graduate students in that department. How did
you go about getting these people who have made such an impact on the profession?

HUDSON: I don't know. We tried to let people know what was going on. We had five
teaching assistantships in 1955 and that helped financially; through contacts,
through colleagues in other departments, and the attractive area of the Pacific

HART: You were also one of the innovators, I think, in applied geography. The work
you did in the T.V.A. was one of the really first times geographers had put their
knowledge to use in terms of developing policy. Wasn't it?

HUDSON: Yes, and for a long time I suffered by having the reputation of being
interested only in applied geography.

HART: Do you think that would still be true?

HUDSON: No, I think the climate has changed. Before that time there was a group
during World War I that was in, you might say, the applied geography field. That
would include the maritime people in the Maritime Commission: Colby, Haas(?),
Barrows, Finch, O. E. Baker. But there was no follow up after World War I.
In other words they returned to their academic positions, except for Walter Tower,
who was the Director of the American Iron and Steel Institute, which was an
outgrowth of that period in his work. Between World War I and the Depression there
were very few geographers in what you might call the applied field: Tom Strong in
Commerce, Whittemore Boggs in the State Department, O. E. Baker in Agriculture.
So it was in 1934 that there was the opportunity to move forward on a somewhat
larger scale than had held previously.

HART: Now you say that you think you suffered for having been in applied geography.
How so?
HUDSON: There seemed to be an implication that working in the field of applied
geography was not very worthwhile and not very scholarly. Bob Platt once said to
me: "Soon as I find anything that I'm doing that is useful I'm going to stop doing
it." That was in 1930.

HART: Do you think Bob ever changed his mind on that?

HUDSON: Yes, I think he did.

HART: Why do you think that attitude was popular at that time?

HUDSON: Because working in the applied field was not considered scholarly. I wrote
to one prominent departmental chairman trying to get young men into the T.V.A. and
he said nobody was interested among the graduate students. Later when he had a
chance to really know what we were doing in T.V.A. he was very happy to make

HART: After the war you built another department, before Washington, didn't you?

HUDSON: I had been at Northwestern. I wouldn't say that I built a department there.
At least, I was given credit for having split geography and geology, which were
both in one department, but actually that came about by accident. If any credit is
due me it is zero, or if any credit is accorded me it's not proper. What happened
was there was talk about the Geology Department being moved to the Institute of
Technology and I went to the Vice President and I said geography has no business
being in the technological institute. And Mr. Fagg(?) (bless his heart) says: "Ok,
let's have a Department of Geography." So he approved that for the following year
and Espenshade came, Clyde Kohn came, and so on.

HART: What sort of advice would you give for a chairman today? You've had a lot of
experience in this job.

HUDSON: Find out what you want to do, plan your route to that goal, then get the
people that you need to implement your process; that happened at Washington.

HART: How do you go about getting those people?

HUDSON: You have to know your colleagues. Also when you go to a new position,
when your offered a new position and you don't have to take it, specify the
circumstances under which you will take it. That's what happened at Washington.

HART: If you were going to do it over again, what would you change?

HUDSON: You mean in my career?

HART: Career or at Washington?

HUDSON: Oh, I don't think that I would change anything. I gave my whole career to
administration from the very beginning and I would warn young men to realize that
if they take administration as their career: "What are they going to do when they
retire?" They only have their wives to administer. They're like shoe salesmen
without any shoes.

HART: Now wait just a minute. You said you got into geography in 1924 through
a co-ed.
HUDSON: Yea. Well I took my first course, then.

HART: Ok, but you've gone right back to where you started.

HUDSON: Yes. I'm still with the same co-ed.

HART: So you've really gone full circle.

HUDSON: I guess so.

HART: Ok. We had better stop now. Thanks Don ever so much; it's been great

HUDSON: You're welcome. It has been fun.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                             Geographer on Film:
                         HALLOCK F. RAUP (1901-1985)
                             Kent State University

                                   interviewed by

                         John Fraser Hart (1924-   )
                           University of Minnesota

Hyatt Regency Hotel                April 16, 1973      Atlanta, Georgia

HART: This is Hallock F. Raup, Professor of Geography at Kent State University
and erstwhile editor of The Professional Geographer. Hal, we usually like to begin
these interviews by asking a fellow how he got interested in geography. What
started you off?

RAUP: I think it was mainly an excellent teacher of the old
environmentalist school by the name of Mertle Lyle McClellan. Very few people
have heard of her, but she has been responsible for a good many of the
professional geographers in the field at the present time. She was a product
of Chicago. She didn't care at all about, research writing, or anything of
the kind, but she was an excellent teacher, well organized and she is
responsible for a lot of us going into the subject.

HART: What do you mean when you say the environmentalist school?

RAUP: She followed straight through on the Huntington thesis from beginning
to end and followed the Chicago deal right along.

HART: How did that differ? Do you think there is a misinterpretation   of that
environmentalism? Thrown too much out that we should of kept?

RAUP: I think they have thrown out some of it and some of it should have been
kept. All these years it's been my observation that the historians and
others have retained it, while we've thrown out the baby with the bathwater,
so to speak.

HART: Where did this lady teach?

RAUP: UCLA. From it's beginning in 1919.

HART: Are you a Californian?

RAUP: No, I'm a Pennsylvanian, but all of the academic background is at
either at UCLA or at Berkeley.

HART: So you went from UCLA on to Berkeley.

RAUP: Yes, I only had two years at UCLA.
HART: Who were the people at Berkeley with you?

RAUP: Do you mean students?

HART: Students or faculty.

RAUP: Les Hewes. I followed Dickin, Thornthwaite and that particular group.
We are now, I suppose, real old timers as things go. We sure are.

HART: Who were the faculty people?

RAUP: Sauer, of course; this is not too long after he had gone to Berkeley. I
was very fortunate there and to a certain extent came under the influence of
Albrecht Penck, W. M. Davis, Kroeber, Lowie (the old school), Paxson and so
on. I consider myself privileged to have been influenced by that particular

HART: This is sort of a rude question. What kind of a person was William
M. Davis? I don't think many of us...we know of him as a great figure of the
past and we've heard some rumors about him, but you knew him personally. What
kind of guy was he?

RAUP: A rather stiff neck as you can imagine. I was so bold as to challenge
one of his pet theories. Perhaps it was a mistake, but I went up after class
one day and said: "If his Golden River really formed the Golden Gate
shouldn't there be some terrace evidence on both sides of the Golden Gate at
the present time?" He went right through the roof and that was about the last
question I asked of him. You didn't challenge his theories, not in public,
you didn't.

HART: Was he there as a Visiting Professor?

RAUP: He was there visiting and so was Penck.

HART: How long was this? Was it a semester, a quarter?

RAUP: This was a quarter.

HART: Was that common at Berkeley in those days?

RAUP: Yes and it was Sauer's policy to bring in everyone he possibly could;
Oscar Schmeider was there and a great many others who would come in from
time to time. It was a very healthy policy too. It gave those of us who were
beginners a chance to see some of these people and to work under them. I
remember one time (under Penck) when we were investigating the total possible
population that could be supported if all of the resources of the
desserts were put to use. We came up with some considerable conclusions and
suggested some figures for a total. He turned to us with those light blue
eyes and said: "But gentlemen at the present time the total population of
each is more than you have suggested." We had some very entertaining times.

HART: Do you think Jan Broek brought this idea to Minnesota with him?

RAUP: I suppose so, because like the rest of us, Jan was very strongly
influenced by Sauer.

HART: Would you say that Sauer was the principal influence on you in those
days? I'm sure there were lots of people there that you had contact with. Who
was the person who had the biggest impact on you? If that's a fair question.
RAUP: I think it would be difficult to say. From the human standpoint Leighly
was considerably easier to approach. I'm especially indebted to Dick Russell,
because at one period when I was very much discouraged from even continuing in
the profession, Dick in a sense, rescued me. I'm very considerably indebted to
him as I am to a number of others along the way. I often wonder whether in the
course of my career I have been as encouraging to my students as I have been
encouraged by people like Dick Russell, Leighly, Kesseli and a great many
others, too. Otis Freeman among them and a historian by the name of Henry Ralph
Wagner, who had a considerable influence upon me.

HART: I think that's an awfully tough one to answer, I know you wonder if we have
giants today like there were giants in the old days. I suspect that the giants then
didn't realize they were giants. Do you feel that they thought they were just
ordinary human beings and we have elevated them to gianthood?

RAUP: I think they have been elevated to a considerable degree. It was very
entertaining, because here I was working under both Davis and Penck at the
same time and to get them into an argument with each other about their
theories was a fascinating thing. They would call each other names and then
laugh. It was a very entertaining experience.

HART: But they were able to criticize ideas without personal... were they
close personally at all?

RAUP: Yes, I think they were. To get them to joshing each other was very
entertaining for a student.

HART: Did they give joint seminars or how did you get at them?

RAUP: Some of the work was joint, yes.

HART: Do you think that was planned by Sauer as a confrontation of ideas?

RAUP: Oh, I think it was without doubt. I'm sure he had this in mind.

HART: What was Sauer interested in those days?

RAUP: This was in the period when so many of the geographers were accusing
him of being an anthropologist, because he took off for Mexico. Those of us
who knew him were aware that Mexico was attractive, in part, because of the
dry climate since he suffered pretty severely during the Berkeley summers.

HART: I see.

RAUP: So during summer it was a relief to him to get off to the drier
regions and he took advantage of that to do some of the work; he did that in
the field with Don Brand and others.

HART: But you weren't recruited into that same general area?

RAUP: No. My interest was mainly historical geography and mainly in the East.
We did have one point in common and that was our interest in the Pennsylvania
Dutch. I never had an argument about a dissertation subject with Sauer. He
said: "What do you want to take?" I said:     "I've always been
interested in Pennsylvania Dutch background." He replied: "Fine just take
that." That's all the discussion we had on this.

HART: So you did most of your work then with Mr. Leighly?
RAUP: Well, with Leighly, Sauer and the others, so I wouldn't say most of it,
no. Some of the work with Dick Russell.

HART: Where do you think historical geography has moved since you were doing
this kind of work. Where do you think it ought to be moving?

RAUP: Very gratifying to see it move forward. I've come to these meetings in
years when there was no offering at all for historical interests. This
meeting, in particular, has been rich in this direction and I'm pleased
indeed to see very much of an advance into the past, so to speak. Because I
can see very plainly the cultural connections that have been taking place as
they've gone on over the years. I'm pleased to see this sort of program.

HART: Would you like to see more of the same? Would you like to see any
changes? What kind of prescription for the future would you give to
contemporary geography?

RAUP: It's been suggested at these meetings in one paper, at least, that
sequent occupance along with God is somewhat dead. I regard this as a
mistake. The historical geographers should make a series of studies and I
don't think it's beyond their capacity to do so. We ought to be taking the
sequent occupance studies of a generation ago and updating them to
see what's happened. I wish somebody would re-do some of the work that I did
thirty and forty years ago to see what's happened in the meantime. This to
me, is what historical geography is.

HART: There were some superb land use studies in the 30's that can provide a
good data base for further work.

RAUP: We should make use of them.

HART: It would be awfully useful. I believe our time is just about up. Thank
you ever so much, Hal, for this fine interview.

RAUP: Thank you very much.
           Geographers On Film Transcription, (2004), 1-5

                      Maynard Weston Dow
                     Geographers on Film
                   Plymouth State University,
                    Plymouth, New Hampshire

                      Geographer on Film:
                   WILLIAM BUNGE (1928-     )

                        interviewed by

                      Donald G. Janelle
                University of Western Ontario

                       November 3, l976

Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original sixty minute interview was edited (1976) to
twenty-two minutes to make it more economically feasible to distribute as a

JANELLE: Bill Bunge has been regarded by many as the conscience of geography
and one of it's leading innovators. In general, geographers have not reacted
neutrally to this man and his ideas. Today, we have the opportunity to ferret
out some of the reasons for Bill's love affair with geography and his
apprehensions about geographers. Bill, it's a pleasure to have you. One of
the first questions that most people will want to know the answer to, is
where and from whom, did you learn your geography? Who do you owe your debts

BUNGE: I will name no names. I've learned from a great variety of people,
some of them very conservative and I think good. The University of Wisconsin
is a very fine department; I learned about regionalizing there, cartography
from Arthur Robinson, learned a lot from Hartshorne, some of which I didn't
agree with at the time, especially, uniqueness and, later, came around to
agreeing with him. Accumulated quite a bit of mathematics at Wisconsin, but
not in the geography department. I, also, learned some general climate; Reid
Bryson encouraged that and I'm very glad he did. As I began to get a variety
of experiences it came to me, finally, that there was something called the
geography, everyone could master the general skills, and I did that. I don't
think it's that hard. I don't believe in a hyphenated geography. There's a
Marxist geography, for instance, there are geographers who happen to be
Marxists. I don't believe in physical geography, there is just this general
collection, which I call the geography, like the calculus. I have the feeling
that I've learned from people who have not learned anything back from me,
which is my gain and their loss. I don't quite know what it is. It's like I
learned things from them and, I think, I'm adding (out of sense of
creativity) an additionalism. I think they feel that I'm some how
antagonistic and we begin this conversation that will become sharper and
sharper; finally I'm sent away and I go learn from someone else. People that
I have learned from in the last few years have been plain, ordinary people,
folk geographers. Blacks in Detroit, people like John Wartham(?), Gwendolyn
Warren; I learned a tremendous amount from Warren as a geographer. Duke
Redbird up here in Canada, a Chippewa Indian, projects Indianism into the
future which is unusual, most Indians are looking into the past. Projects
urban Indians into the future, they are going to remake the city, like
Toronto, in an Indian image. So it's been from a great variety of people and
part of it has been that I am forced to move on. I've never been allowed to
stay in one niche long enough to's not all been voluntary, all my
learning has not been voluntary, but it's been rather thorough.

JANELLE: How did you get interested in the work which culminated in
Theoretical Geography? To preface that further you mentioned your concern for
Hartshorne's view of uniqueness, yet, in Theoretical Geography you come out
rather strongly against that and, now, I hear sort of a reversal.

BUNGE: Yes, I have been forced to admit I was wrong on that, which is very
painful; it's the only thing I've ever been wrong at, and I'll never be wrong
again, so don't think it's habitual. I'm not starting a trend of being wrong.
There was a general atmosphere at the University of Wisconsin, where I was at
that time, of McCarthyism and political suppression of intellectuals, in
general, including nuclear physicists that were called eggheads (we were
called eggheads) and all kinds of pejorative stuff was going on. When Sputnik
hit (it hit in l957) it seemed to me that the power structure in the United
States figured out: " Gee we have to have the new math and the new physics"
(which came right on the heels of that), "because the Soviet Union is
outdoing us in science." So they got off our neck, allowed us to be
rational, and during that period there was a lot of move toward mathematics
and science. A general, oh what was that book called? There was four volumes
on mathematics, I forgot, it was a best seller for a while. Everybody was
reading mathematics. In that context, then, there were some of us that wanted
to have a scientific geography, and the difficulty with uniqueness is you
can't predict anything that's unique. So as generalists, the scientists (the
people that want to make predictions), we then broke through the uniqueness
argument, took Hartshorne's (argued with Hartshorne) and took Schaefer's
position. There was a very strong antagonism between these two men, both
politically and intellectually; I think those two are related. If after all
you're not a Marxist the first line of defense is to say you can't predict
human behavior, and if you are a Marxist the first thing you have to say is
you can predict human behavior. The uniqueness fight was in that context;
Schaefer was a Marxist and Hartshorne was obviously not. The reason I got
turned around on that was that I found there are certain things that people
want that are unique to them. Like their own individual name, or like the
unique name for their community, that's a precious commodity that should not
be blocked out. We were looking for uniquenesses in terms of serving people
and we ended up saying: "Well, some things are unique and some things
aren't". The view of things in the unique context is precious, important, and
people want that respected on themselves and on their group. They also want
this generality, like your class position, how are they doing relative to
unemployment? Those are generalities; you work both sides of the street on

JANELLE: When you initiated this work, I believe, at the University of
Washington, did the milieu there, the academic milieu, influence your
orientation in that direction towards the development of theoretical
geography? Others have commented about geography in the mid-l950s at the
University of Washington, it might be interesting to get your view.

BUNGE: I started as a mathematical geographer, I thought I was the only one
in the world. It was a very lonely position and, by the way, I have hated
mathematics all my life with the exception of geometry, which I find I kind
of got into that. I found I like those a lot, a kind of spatial mathematics.
I was taking a lot of calculus; detested the darn stuff, but thought it was
necessary to be scientific...Garrison was able to get us the Ph.D. and no one
else could. So everybody gathered there and it was a ragtag bunch, I must
say. They were rejects, they were the orange rind of geography. When I got my
degree at Washington Bill Garrison said: "Well, this just proves that
Wisconsin has higher standards.", and I think there is something to that, we
were all there as kind of rejects from some place or another. But he enabled
us to get our Ph.D. in mathematical geography, and that is not nearly
acknowledged enough; the only place you could get a Ph.D. in mathematical
geography was under Bill Garrison.

JANELLE: Another question that is on the minds of many people with respect to
you, personally, is how come Bill Bunge can't hold an academic job?

BUNGE: This is so awful. I don't know; think of the embarrassment, then,
that's going to happen. I don't know how we can explain this. I am just
chagrined over the academe, what an embarrassment for them. We'll never be
able to explain this. It will go on for generations trying to explain why
this wonderful geographer was unemployable. It's obvious...I don't know of
any serious thinker that actually thinks on campus. You look at the geography
of ideas and where was this idea literally formed? When this idea came up?
Whether it's E = MC "squared," the rich give to the poor, or other good
ideas, or the earth is round. If you look at the space in which that person
was at the time he was thinking this (except for Principia Mathematica) I
don't know the single idea that was formed literally on campus. Even Newton,
who was an academic, did Principia on a farm he had; there was a plague, he
was hiding from the plague, and he actually did his work on a farm. I don't
think you can think here. It's just a harassment. It's a social, you have to
go to coffee, you can't get away from people with the buzzing, and a lot of
paper work. I don't think the academe is a good space for thinking. People
who tend to think, tend to get thrown out. I mean, they kind of threaten
everything. It is:" You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Oh no! Your idea is
wrong." What`s that got to do with you scratch my back? The whole social
atmosphere, the whole way in which things get done are not really done on an
intellectual basis. I think the academe is anti-intellectual; it's a kind of
half-truth. I really can't understand the dynamics of this, but people that
think are people driven off of campus. It seems if you start on the campus,
then they get an idea, like they are supposed to, then they find out they are
not really supposed to do that, so they get fired. Whether it is Darwin on
the Beagle, or Freud, or someone in the patent clerk's office. So I think it
is a very bad space in which to think and thinkers tend to get rejected here.
It is harsh. It's harsh...

JANELLE: In light of that comment could you suggest to geography, generally,
in academia, generally, an alternative way of teaching geography that might
have a degree orientation? Are there better ways of doing it?

BUNGE: We don't do it, that's the thing. We read about doing it, we talk
about doing it, and we don't do it. The thing to do is go out and do
geography, produce maps in the field, and serve community groups that need
geographic solutions; actually go out and do it. Drive a taxi cab, that is
the single job that I know, education through labor, where you really learn
about the city. You will know more, if you have driven a cab, than a man
sitting there with a factorial ecological printout. I mean, you just get the
texture and the feel of the region, we used to call it. You get all this out
there driving a cab. Well, people find that immodest, demeaning, and downward
mobile; education through labor, the socialist would call it that. We can do
a lot more of that. This is an extreme view (since I hold it so singularly I
don't trust it) that we shouldn't have a campus. We should scatter the
campus; we originally had a student quarter, we did not have a campus. We had
a university, but not a campus. We separated thought from life at Wisconsin
(which is my home state) under Bob La Follette at the turn of the century.
The extension division idea (which originated there in a political, radical,
recent heavily reformist, atmosphere); it was the boundaries of the campus,
or the boundaries of the state. I'm not the first person to think that the
campus is an imprisonment in an artificial and bad place to think; there is a
lot of precedence with that. I think that the reason we have a campus is
precisely because it is easier to control our strength. You control or think.

JANELLE: Do you think, today, that young students, are probably torn between
the objective of getting a degree in geography and actually learning
geography as you have suggested?

BUNGE: Absolutely. They go through that trauma as they are approaching their
Ph.D.; this is supposed to be their first independent piece of research. All
their life they have been learning from other people, now, they are going to
add themselves, they are going to do something independent, they are finally
grown up; they are actually going to do it. They have been watching other
people play the piano, they have been hearing theory of piano and, now, they
are finally going to have a recital. I don't know why they put it off so
long, but I think we ought to do that all along. Like you learn being a
surgeon by cutting up frogs, I hope, or something else (not people, I hope,
right away), but you do it. You learn being a plumber by doing it. Now here
the student is finally going to do it and then the cynicism sets in. Some
professor, who is powerful in the department, drops a hint in his lecture
somewhere that this is a very interesting subject that would really be worthy
of a dissertation. The graduate students get together and they figure, well,
once I get my union card (being the Ph.D.) then I'll do my real work. Of
course, once they have sold out that, once they have decided they will sell
their integrity and their own sense of what they want to do as a skilled
person, then it's endless. Then they have to have tenure, they have to do
this, and they have to do that. They never get around to doing what they
started out to do; you can see this in a spatial sense. If you look at young
geographers, or people who are going to go into geography, you look back on
their life, or the space they are in when they were young, they were all
traveling on bicycles, or hitchhiking; these are the roamers.

JANELLE: Have you had these experiences?

BUNGE: Oh, sure! I just didn't stop. Well, I wanted to, but they kept saying:
"Keep going, don't stop here."

JANELLE: What would you suggest to these people if they want to learn
geography as opposed to just getting a degree in geography?

BUNGE: It is very difficult; the problem is you can't make a living out of
it. It's excruciating. You can do good work and starve, the starving artist
thing, or you can do bad work, that you're ashamed of, and make a living.
It's a very severe contradiction. I would hope that under socialism we would
have less of that, more enthusiasm, and your real honest self fitting into
the system. A social system is more humane for everyone including
geographers...The embarrassment of the West German geographers for ignoring
Christaller, he was a prophet in his own land. I met Christaller. I dedicated
my first book to him, I met him in Lund and I got a little autobiographical
sketch from him. As a matter of fact, I wrote a little article defending him
as not being a fascist. I had to be persuaded of this at Oberlin that perhaps
he was a fascist. Certainly he was a communist. Walter Christaller was a
prophet in his own land. The Hagerstrand model of diffusion assumes that the
idea starts, then it spreads out from the location where it was first put
forward. There is another model to that I call "the prophet in his own land"
syndrome. People that are antagonistic to that idea get word of it and are
going to nip it in the bud. So then, instead of the idea taking hold where it
was formed, it takes hold on the periphery. There is a concentration of
antagonism towards that idea. This is what has happened to a great number of
people. What can you do with someone who was so perceptive as to resist that
disaster called Vietnam in the teeth of someone that's supported it all the
way through? How can these people share moral suasions, share equality and
judgment? Why obviously they can't. The people that supported that war cannot
afford to have those of us, who did not, in their presence, because we would
win everyone to our side; so the thing to do is to get rid of us...

JANELLE: It is interesting that the last several years, since Vietnam, that
geography has shown a development in a certain introspective assessment of
it's own position in respect to human values. To some extent this has been
manifested in work such as the Expeditions that you've been associated with,
the work of some other geographers, and a growing involvement in community
affairs by younger people in the discipline. Do you think that this has taken
hold sufficiently such that it will make a difference to geography in the
future? I think we can probably end our discussion on this, because it very
nicely ties in many of the things that we've discussed; the theories of the
development of geography, in your own experience, the last twenty-five years,
and the growing sense of social involvement of which there has been some
resistance and some support.

BUNGE: Mixed.

JANELLE: Mixed. Where is it headed? I suppose, we could raise the question in
two ways. Where is it headed in terms of geography, as well as, society,
because there is an interplay there? Where do you think it should go?

BUNGE: I would interpret that question as saying: "Are we going to have
reform or revolution?" Subjectively I am interested in revolution, it would
satisfy me, and reform won't. Intellectually, which is more important? I
think what we must do is, and this is true of humans (broader than just
geography) we must take some human test and the human test that I've arrived
at by watching with passion is the protection of children. If the space in
which you're standing is protective of children, at least, the Darwinian
imperative that our race goes on, that's being met. Perhaps, not the Marxist
one that we eventually arrive at the brotherhood of man, but, at least, the
Darwinian imperative. So I give space man's test: if all is to protect
children (my treatise of geography), if the system collapses because of it's
need to destroy children that's good riddance to bad rubbish. A system that
attacks children is a disease as far as I'm concerned. I think we ought to do
that. I don't think you have to ask the question, are we going into
revolution, which would mean that the campuses are increasingly becoming
irrelevant and more and more people leaving the campus become the new
geographers, the socialist geography. Or can we reform (under the election of
Carter last night, for instance) the existing system into being more humane?
Why answer the question? The important thing is what kind of world we are
building and that's what geography is supposed to do, the earth's surface as
the home of man. We build an earth that we can, at least, inhabit. The
systems come and go, we couldn't care less.

JANELLE: I recall several years ago you were actually talking about
geographers building regions.

BUNGE: Yes, we've been doing that. We've been doing that in Toronto.
JANELLE: Bill, is there anything else that you would like to comment on that
we haven't brought up in this discussion today. I think Installment II of
this interview will take place in, or near a taxicab.

BUNGE: Right!

JANELLE: At least that is the intention. Thank you very much Bill.

BUNGE: Thank you. Oh, yes! I feel alienated and I'm going to go out in the
field, now, and give one more version of this thing. A short message to
people that are alienated by the space that I'm in, that are offended, that
have been so abused, and have looked at so many academic knifings stuck in
their back that they just cannot face being on a campus. I understand those
people are more bitter than I am, and I'm certainly not without a feeling of
some edge. Right? I feel with this word of reassurance: "I'm not comfortable
sitting in this armchair, folks."

JANELLE: I think Installment II of this interview will take place in, or near
a taxicab.

BUNGE: Right!

JANELLE: At least that is the intention. Thank you very much Bill

BUNGE: Thank you.
                     Geographers On Film Transcription, (1998), 1-8

                                  Maynard Weston Dow
                                 Geographers on Film
                             Plymouth State University,
                               Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                 Geographer on Film:
                           RICHARD HARTSHORNE (1899-1992)
                              University of Wisconsin

                                  interviewed by

                             Preston James (1899-1986)
                                Syracuse University

Muehlebach Hotel                   April 19, l972         Kansas City,

JAMES: We have this afternoon Richard Hartshorne, who is Professor Emeritus
of Geography at the University of Wisconsin. Dick Hartshorne is one of the
outstanding leaders of the profession of geography. He has quite a story to
tell about the development of the geographical profession during the 20's,
30's, and 40's and on to the present time. Dick graduated from Princeton in
the class of 1920, and I just want to point out that 1920 was an especially
important year for people to graduate from the Ivy League colleges. Some of
the greatest people graduated in that year. (Editor's note: Inside joke as
James graduated from Harvard in l920.)

HARTSHORNE: I didn't know that then.

JAMES: No, he didn't know that then, but he went on and got his Ph.D. from
the University of Chicago. After which he went to the University of Minnesota
for some time and in 1940 came to the University of Wisconsin, where he has
been since. Dick how did you get started in geography as a professional
field? What started you off in this?

HARTSHORNE: It was certainly a surprise to myself, my friends and my family.
As an undergraduate I was a major in mathematics and, in fact, started being
a graduate student in mathematics, but decided that subjects of more human
interest concerned me more. I had a course or two in geology with a very
fine lecturer at Princeton, Bill "Geology" Scott, we called him. He also
gave a course on evolution; in that we had some readings by Ellsworth
Huntington and I got interested in Huntington's ideas about causation, the
effects on civilization of climatic changes and also in his descriptions of
places where he'd been. So I spoke to the instructor in the course and said:

"This is the stuff that seems interesting to me, where would I study this?"

He said:

"Oh that's geography."

I said:

"Oh no, I had geography in grade schools, that was something different."
He said: "No, this is what they call geography now and they teach it
at Chicago."

But I wrote a letter to Ellsworth Huntington telling him of my interests and
asking if I could come and study with him. But he said they had no elementary
work (obviously I hadn't had any elementary work in geography,) so he
recommended I go to Chicago for a year or two to do that, then if I wanted
he'd be interested in my coming to study with him. So I went to Chicago, but
I didn't go back to New Haven, I stayed and got my degree there.

JAMES: It's interesting in light of the contemporary period that you had a
great interest in mathematics. If you had born a little bit later, why you
would have been right in the middle of the Quantitative Revolution.

HARTSHORNE: Yes, no doubt I'd be one of these obnoxious people who talk only
in figures.

JAMES: One of your earlier pieces of research study had to do with an attempt
to define manufacturing regions in quantitative terms. Isn't that right?

HARTSHORNE: It was rather an attempt to determine the factors that led to
concentration of the iron and steel industry in particular areas. I
attempted to work it out in terms of the materials handled (both raw
materials and the finished products) and the amounts involved - coal, iron,
steel products and something of the relative costs of shipping. I believe
in doing that I was the first to point out that the factor of shipping to
the markets was more critical than any of the others, which developed out
of this very elementary use of statistics.

JAMES: This was applying the principles of location (the significance of
location); I suppose you would say "spatial interaction" as Ullman would say.

HARTSHORNE: I didn't think of calling it "spatial interaction", but that was
what it was, of course.

JAMES: The words are different, but the idea is the same.

HARTSHORNE: The idea is the same and it wasn't a new idea, of course; the
idea of "spatial interaction" goes back, at least, to Carl Ritter and
through Ratzel. Miss Semple talks about location and I'm sure you could trace
it before Ritter.

JAMES: We used to have some very fine discussions back in the 1920s - we used
to have a spring field conference. The older geographers of that period
started it first and then the younger geographers started it and, I think,
you and I were associated in some of those earlier meetings of what we used
to call the American Geographers.

HARTSHORNE: I remember very clearly our organization meetings, if you can
call it organization, and the introduction of the name. It was in a dining
room in Madison, Wisconsin, the first time I had ever been in Madison (just
for the Christmas meetings) in 1925. As I remember it, you, perhaps, with
Bob Hall had called a number of us and told us that you wanted to get
together to talk about this. So we all had dinner together and you proposed,
(do you remember?) in all due modesty, the name Junior American Geographers.
Remember that?

HARTSHORNE: I think it was Appleton, Johnny Appleton that said: "Junior
American Geographers, JAGs that isn't good, the American Geographers." We all
laughed and said, all right, we would call ourselves the American
Geographers, assuming that everybody would know that this was just a silly
joke. We discovered later that one or two people were very disturbed at our

JAMES: It wasn't one or two, a large number of the older geographers were
burned up.

HARTSHORNE: Seriously, that was the most important development in my education
for the next five or more years, because, as you know, I was intellectually
rather isolated at Minnesota with only one other member in the department and
we didn't discuss much for four or five years. These meetings in the spring
when we thrashed all around the field of geography were just like seminar for
me, I came back tremendously stimulated.

JAMES: One of those earliest ones we actually went up in an airplane
together. You arranged this. This was at Minneapolis.

HARTSHORNE: Yes, we met there. I said: "I would show them how geography
should be looked at in a city, because I'd been making a little study of the
Twin Cities."

John Borchert has recently purified it by doing it in present terms. I knew
the area and what I wanted to show and took them up in an airplane really to
demonstrate my major thesis - both from statistics and from sight. Only you
have to have the sight from above that the dominant aspect of the Twin Cities
was railroads.

JAMES: This was the first time you had been up in a airplane. Is that right.

HARTSHORNE: It must have been the first time that I had been up in an

JAMES: This was a particularly good one, it was a Ford Tri-motor plane with
the wings high, so you could see everything out of the windows. As I remember
it you pointed out the important items that had to do with this
transportation pattern; you pointed this out and you were excited, because
you were seeing it yourself for the first time.

HARTSHORNE: Yes, I had been over the whole area by car, partly with Frank
Williams; he went along with me one summer looking at things. But this was
the first time I had seen it from above. Just like a map it was tremendously
exciting for me.

JAMES: What is the date of that? Do you remember?

HARTSHORNE: I was just trying to think. Of course, I can tell you, because
you remember most stayed in our apartment - many slept on the floor. My wife
and child moved over to the Dickens across the street; you were inside or on
the sleeping porch. So yes, that puts it during the spring of 1931.

JAMES: And, of course, by this time we had use of vertical air photography
(McMurry was the first one to use vertical air photography for mapping
purposes). We thought we were doing something very unusual and quite radical
at this point. Now you went on after this and you began studying political

HARTSHORNE: Just about that time I got into political geography. In fact the
next year I went to Europe on a Guggenheim Fellowship - no, Social Science
Research Council Fellowship - to study boundaries in Europe, specifically the
boundary in Upper Silesia, and spent a year doing that. I've been concerned
with political boundaries ever since.

JAMES: This paper on the Upper Silesian industrial district was quite a
famous paper, because you worked the boundaries not only on the surface, but
also down underground in the mine.

HARTSHORNE: Yes, this is one of the places in the world where that was most
interesting, because the boundary drawn after the first World War cut right
through the mining area. It happens it was more complicated in European
continental countries than it would be in this country, because they had a
different set of boundaries of the properties at each level so the political
boundary cut across the ore bodies along lines.

JAMES: But you, of course, were interested in a lot of other things during
this time and you were an innovator in many of them. For instance, those
maps of the distribution of black people in America which were published.
Where? In the Geographical Review?

HARTSHORNE: The Geographical Review. Yes. I was the geographer who
discovered that there were Negroes in the United States. (Laughter).

JAMES: This is about the truth and those maps are of tremendous importance
today - to compare the patterns of distribution, but I'm interested in
moving forward to a discussion of what people recognize as your magnum
opus, as it were; The Nature of Geography. As I understand the story you
went over to Europe on another fellowship in 1938, also to study
boundaries and you found conditions unsuitable for the study of boundaries
at that time.

HARTSHORNE: Two things happened, I had written this paper, which I supposed
was finished before I left, I sent it to the editor. (Editor's note: Derwent
Whittlesey was the Annals editor)

JAMES: That is the editor of the Annals.

HARTSHORNE: Yes. He had asked for a short bibliographical (annotated) paper
he thought in terms of twelve pages. I sent him forty pages. I was on a boat
that was stopping at Boston and he said he'd get on the boat, he was at
Cambridge. So he came on the boat with the manuscript and pointed out quite a
number of things that needed to be changed and he thought there were some
additions. Somebody had told him some references that I should look up.

I said: "Look, I'm going to Europe to study boundaries."

He said: "Yes, but you can finish this up in a couple of weeks or so
and send it back."

So I said: "All right, I will do that."

Then we got to Vienna just before "Munich" (a few days), but we didn't know
it was going to be "Munich". We got there with the threat of war and even
then (before "Munich") I did take one trip across the boundary into Hungary
from Vienna. I decided I ought begin on my boundary work and I'd take a look
at the boundary in Burgenland that Burghardt has since studied. I was in
Hungary when I heard something on the radio (I had stopped at a tavern to get
a sandwich and maybe a glass of wine) and they were all cheering.

I said: "What's it about?"

They said the radio announced that Chamberlain, Mussolini, and Hitler were
going to meet at Munich and there wouldn't be a war. But I was still scared
about getting back to my family, who were in Vienna. That winter I didn't
leave Vienna hardly at all; certainly I didn't cross any boundary. In the
meantime I was working for this two week job to finish up on The Nature of
Geography in the library of the Geographical Institute at the University of
Vienna, which had a lot of material that I hadn't seen at Minnesota. As you
know in the German discussions of geography, anyone you read has got a dozen
references to others, and some of these I hadn't seen before. So I chased
those down. Then I was talking with Professor Johann Sölch who was somewhat
familiar with this field as any German geographer is, and he made suggestions
to me I looked those up and talked about them with him. Fortunately I was
living (that was just luck) out near where he lived in the suburbs and he
usually took a street car in, but was happy to have me drive him in my car to
the University. In those days you could park right in front of it without any
difficulty. So we had a lot of talks and he made more suggestions and these
lead to still more. I described this once to somebody as saying that I had
realized that I had become pregnant with this subject and I just couldn't do
anything to get over it but to just go on through until it came to its
maturity and emerge, so to speak, of itself.

JAMES: Did you interview any other people besides Sölch?

HARTSHORNE: I don't remember interviewing really anyone, but we had one
exception. Late in the spring we ran away from Vienna because we were scared
of threats of war; notices in the German papers of atrocities against the
German minority in Poland. That was the key that I had anticipated would
indicate they were going to attack Poland. We decided to go to Switzerland,
but on the way we stopped (just north of Switzerland) at Insole Reichenau in
Lake Constance, where there was a convention of geographers, the Süddeutsche
Geographentag, and there was Fred Kniffen, who was studying in Europe that
summer in various places. He was there at the meetings. I had written some
things about his work on landscape features in Louisiana (house types) and
took the opportunity to show him the pages. He reacted and I changed some of
the writing; certainly not to agree with him, but to eliminate some of the
confusion, misunderstanding. I was very glad to have that opportunity; I
guess he is about the only one. Oh, one other exception, on the way to Europe
(it was back before you rented or bought a car in Europe) we took car with us
(the whole family) and on the way East we stopped at Ann Arbor. You weren't
around that summer, but Bob Hall was and they urged us to stay over night
which we did, very pleasantly. I remember going swimming off their pier and
talking to him about some of his writings on Japan and other things; he
responded and I got ideas from that. In the writing of the first fifty pages
while I was in Minneapolis I had talked with Bob Platt. I think at a meeting
of the Social Science Research Council in Washington (or rather on the train
to or from) so I sent him what I had written up to that point; he showed it
to Wellington Jones and they both made comments. I had forgotten. Wellington
wrote out comments and Platt wrote out his comments on Wellington's comments,
which is typical of Bob Platt, right? I have it somewhere and I must preserve
JAMES: It's a prize document.

HARTSHORNE: Yes, because, of course, I studied those comments and that's when
I realized I told him once that Wellington was the person who should have
written it. He certainly should have been teaching this subject for years,
but they would have none of it at Chicago.

JAMES: Now everybody would agree that the German methodological literature is
a very complex thing to understand and particularly to translate. There has
been some dispute about the translation of some of the things the Germans
wrote. The German language to some of us appears obscure, but you've said (I
think you explained to me once) that you have to understand the way a partic-
ular German writer uses the language (how he uses words) and therefore
translation is partly determined by one's knowledge of his habits of writing.
You have done a magnificent job of rendering into English, some very complex

HARTSHORNE: I must say I don't remember saying that; I think it says too
much. There is where Sölch helped me a great deal, because whenever I had any
doubt he was kindness unlimited in taking the passages and telling me what he
thought they meant. We got into this particularly because of that paper that
Leighly published while I was in Europe. Whittlesey sent me actually the
galley proof - he thought I ought to see it and he was right. I went into
that and found what seemed clear was misunderstanding in the translations.
So, all of those, I went over with Sölch and we wrestled it out. You can
assume in The Nature of Geography (wherever I'm disagreeing with Leighly's
translation) the translation I give is one that Sölch and I worked out. In
one case I remember it was in …(maybe this is what you were thinking of). In
the case of Carl Ritter there are frequent difficulties, because he wrote an
early 19th century German. Great, great length, long sentences, long
complicated sentences and you have to watch the connecting words (what do
they call the "whichs" used?) to see whether it's subject or object, by the
gender and so on, to get the right connection. In one or two cases Sölch
finally shook his head, and said: "Only Ritter and God could figure the thing

  It can be either of two, but there were just two alternatives it could be.
Neither was Leighly's alternative. He had cut the Gordian knot by cutting the
sentences and taking what he wanted out. But it does mean that the ordinary
translation (the published translations of Ritter) are unreliable, because if
you translate literally nobody would go on reading it - it's too difficult a
language. This by the way was not true of Hettner; I never had the slightest
difficulty in translating Hettner. 0h sometimes I would spend... I'm not a
linguist and I have to work constantly with the dictionary beside me. But all
the Germans agree he was a clear writer. Whereas when I was working in polit-
ical geography with Haushofer's writing even after I got it translated I
couldn't figure what he meant, and the Germans said also they couldn't. In
fact, his niece didn't understand what her uncle wrote.

JAMES: Well, The Nature of Geography as everyone knows was published first in
the Annals as a very many pages?

HARTSHORNE: About four hundred forty.

JAMES: 400 pages in the Annals, two numbers of the Annals in 1939.

HARTSHORNE: Thanks to Derwent Whittlesey.
JAMES: And then this was republished and re-paged in the book (that was
actually published by the Association) by Lancaster Press.

HARTSHORNE: This was just called an off print, the new page numbers were in
the original Annals.

JAMES: And this became the book known as The Nature of Geography, which for
many years was prescribed reading for graduate students. This, of course,
gives a very detailed picture of the development of geography and the
methodological discussions in Germany. There's not so much on some of the
other countries.

HARTSHORNE: Let's not exclude them. There was more than people say on the
French geography, there was what I could find. There was some on the English;
that was more difficult. As I pointed out to Dudley Stamp who said: "Why
didn't you include the famous paper by Mackinder - not the one that the world
knows (Editor's note: "The Geographical Pivot of History" - loosely referred
to as the "Heartland Theory"), but a former paper on “The Nature and Scope of

I said: "What's that?"

He said: "Why every English geographer knows that."

I said: "They never list it."

They didn't have the habit it footnoting this way, in fact I found in
Wooldridge and East these hadn't been listed before. Norman Pounds finally
told me how to find it, so I looked it up and said:

"Of course that should have been in, very important."

But it was mostly the German geographers and, of course, partly because I
was in Germany at the time.

JAMES: And then some ten - more than ten, twenty years later (in 1959) you
published the small book called Perspective on The Nature of Geography. Now
what were you trying to do there? Were you summarizing or clarifying or

HARTSHORNE: This was to answer questions which had been raised by quite a
number of people, I remember Van Cleef had written a criticism; Ed Ullman
had raised questions (others - I've forgotten the names) and some of these
questions were echoed in Schaefer's article, but much better stated by the
others, I thought. In quite a number of other, at least, (so it seemed to
me) there were a number of questions which either had not been clearly
answered in The Nature of Geography or new questions had arisen that had to
be answered. And in certain cases I had been brought to change my views -
notably about the interrelation to historical geography - partly from
criticism, partly from living as a colleague of Andy Clark, seeing what he
was doing. So this book simply addresses itself to those ten or twelve
questions and didn't attempt to go as exhaustively into the discussions, but
rather to come to conclusions.

JAMES: Now the Perspective on The Nature of Geography in a sense summarizes,
but, of course, it leaves out all the important detail that's in The Nature
of Geography.
HARTSHORNE: I guess Isaiah Bowman must have died before 1959, didn't he?
Bowman had always been very friendly and had supported me when I went to
Europe that second time; he had written to one of the foundations supporting
my project. I didn't actually get the award, but he wrote a very good letter.
He said: "He didn't usually do this, but this time he wanted me to

He sent me a copy. When I came back (not having worked on political
geography) I explained that and he saw the point, perhaps, but all he said
about The Nature of Geography was one phrase: "Too encyclopedic, Richard, too

I thought afterwards if I'd been quick I would have said:

"Well you can say that about the Britannica."

That was it's intention - certainly to have an organization (not just
alphabetical) - but it stated it was intended to examine the discussions that
geographers had had on these questions.

JAMES: Let me ask you one question, because time is running out. There is one
question I would like to have you tell me. Did you ever think or say that
geography should be purely descriptive?

HARTSHORNE: No, nonsense. I certainly said:

"In the first place it involves a long definition of 'description', but if
people mean mere description (as they usually do), of course, not." I echoed
William Olsson in saying: All science is seeking for the most completely
reliable description possible.

Neither did I ever say, (or ever say, or anybody that I know of) that
geography could only study individual and unique cases, that it must study
things as they can be grouped in generalities. This I would like to rewrite
and clarify because, just recently I think, I've seen how people are misled
when they talk as though some things are unique and other things are
nomothetic, or should I say general (generic). This is nonsense. Everything
is unique, everything can be generalized. [Editors Note: Hartshorne holds up
a copy of the Proceedings]. There are four thousand in this building now -
or say several thousand (copies of) the Proceedings, but this one happens to
be unique now, because it has my name on it. I presume no other in the
building has my name on it. Now that uniqueness has, I presume, no
scientific distinction. Of course we would like to think that some years
hence that will be a very unique distinction - that it will be worth
thousands and thousands of dollars. I don't believe that either. So I don't
think this is worthy of study in its unique character. But Kansas City is a
city. It is a river city, it's a bridge city, it's various other things that
are general. It is also ultimately the only one just like Kansas City and
for, at least, all the people living in Kansas City that may be what they
want to know about.

JAMES: I just wanted to get the record straight on this. I certainly thank
you very much for your time, Dick, and for this interview.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                                Maynard Weston Dow
                               Geographers on Film
                           Plymouth State University,
                             Plymouth, New Hampshire

                               Geographer on Film:
                          FRED E. LUKERMANN (l921-      )
                             University of Minnesota

                                 interviewed by

                             Louis Seig (1931-2003)
                             U.S. Air Force Academy

Department of Geography          March, l971           Colorado Springs,
U.S. Air Force Academy                                     Colorado

SEIG: We have today, Professor Fred Lukermann, Professor of Geography and Assistant
Vice President for Academic Administration at the University of Minnesota. One
question that is often asked is how one gets into the field of geography. I know
you've been associated with the University of Minnesota for a long time and I wonder
if you could give us that kind of information?

LUKERMANN: I suppose I was almost born in the University. I think it's not a
peculiarly different story than anybody else's choice of career. The pattern
was one of coming out of high school in the Twin Cities with a definite bent
to go into education, particularly the social sciences. I started out in
history at the University of Minnesota interrupted by World War II. During
that freshman-sophomore period I was particularly interested in American
history and history of the frontier of the West, transportation and
settlement patterns. During the period I was in the Army I read quite
extensively on the literature of the American Frontier and when I got back I
took a course from Ralph Brown. That's the thing that really started off the
swing from the traditional history curriculum to a combination of history and
geography and eventually to look at geography as the career field.

SEIG: Bringing up Ralph Brown's name you were there at the University of
Minnesota at a unique time. I don't think there are too many people that know
much about Ralph Brown; we all know his reputation, of course, by two major
books. Could you give us a little insight into his character and the type of
environment that he was operating within at the University at the time you
were a student under him?

LUKERMANN: I think Ralph Brown was unique in the sense of being a master
teacher. I don't know how to explain this exactly, but the first course I
took from Brown was at the junior level, I had had no geography before then.
It is difficult for any student to march into what supposedly is the middle
of the field. Yet, I accomplished it and Professor Brown probably made it
possible. He had an enormous talent in terms of lecturing and discussion in
classroom presentation, a very complete picture of what he wanted to do each
lecture. Complete appreciation of the division between detail, individual
events, range and variety of what he was speaking about, and also it's
general importance - the way it fitted into the general context of American
history and so on. When I took the course I didn't know who Ralph Brown was
(his background) but it soon became apparent. Not that he would tell you much
about his own academic background or the literature that he had produced. The
very interest he put into his lectures led you to read his material. I think
it was from that point of seeing a scholar operate with the full status and
image of a scholar (at least to the student in that class) that leads you
into a discipline - if you are seeking to enter a higher education to do this
sort of work for the rest of your life. Brown was a very quiet man, a very
gentle man. He smiled teasingly at you at the end of classes, at the end of
exams, at the end of conversation. But in between he gently poked you, pulled
you, projected you along, and really he was an intellectual guide is the best
way to put it. To the subject matter that course was one on the historical
geography of North America and from that point I went on to the other
subjects in the curriculum. Human Geography from Darrel Davis, Economic
Geography from Sam Dicken, and on to some of the other courses as the
Department changed after the war. As you know Professor Brown died soon after
the war, my senior year. Then on into graduate school in the department which
was changing very rapidly in terms of its personnel. Darrel Davis had
retired, John Weaver had come in as a young instructor immediately after the
war, Sam Dicken went out to Oregon, and Jan Broek came in as Chairman of the
Department; he was the chairman my first year of graduate school. These
changes made tremendous differences in terms of the kinds of educational
programs at Minnesota, yet I don't think I was aware of that as a student. I
recall the stories about the old department, the department of Hartshorne,
Brown, Davis and Dicken, which was a teaching department up until twelve
o'clock noon and a research department from twelve noon on. The doors were
locked and the inner sanctum was one of producing research. All of our
classes were in the morning, a very strict regime in terms of the classes
that I remember under Professor Davis. I gather from what was told to me
afterwards that the department itself was rather tightly-structured in terms
of the activities. The demands on the faculty for both teaching and research
performance were very high. The experience I had in graduate school probably
was of a different order, because of the different faculty. The things I
remember about that early department are the things that still characterize
that faculty and certainly the way I operate as a teacher.

SEIG: This raises an interesting point. When talking to people they tell
about their accomplishments in graduate school and they are asked which
professor they worked under. Do you think that a graduate student is
influenced more by an individual (or individuals) or by the structure of the
department per se?

LUKERMANN: I guess I have a bias coming out of history and doing most of my
geographic work within a historical context to answer that in the sense that
the context obviously has to be more important. I think that despite the
change in personnel at Minnesota the tradition of the older department did go
on. After all these professors before the war did produce books and articles
which are quite familar to all of us in current geography. Whatever they were
and whatever they were trying to say did have a continuing existence in that
department. But there was another change and I think you have to say that it
was Weaver, Broek, and Borchert who essentially posed that problem to us in
terms of what geography was about. But on the other hand it also was the way
they did it and the way they interacted. I remember the tremendous liberating
influence of coffee hour once a week. Of keeping one line-item in the budget
open to visitors and we had visiting professors not just from other places in
the country, but from Europe as well.

SEIG: Fred, you've suggested that the structure of the department is as
important as the personality of a faculty. Could you expand on this idea?

LUKERMANN: Yes, that's true the way that group worked. The environment they
presented to the students (particularly the graduate students) was probably the
most successful learning situation that I can concieve of. They were strong
personalities. They were people who had their own mark to make in the field and
did. Borchert, Weaver, Broek, Brown (who overlapped), and Hartshorne, who was in
my path but also in my presence in the sense of The Nature of Geography and the
visitations he made back. We do claim him as a Minnesotan although his career is
more attached to Wisconsin now. It was in not only what the individuals had to
present, but the fact that they related to each other. I don't mean this in the
sense that they fed each other. I think it was in the contrast between them and
their approaches, the fact that there was always an open situation in terms of
students and faculty. It was a small department (five or six men for a decade or
more) and a fairly small graduate group that really presented the kind of
activity, which I think learning and education is all about. I really couldn't
tell you what Broek, Borchert, or Weaver said in any particular part of their
courses. It was rather the atmosphere of learning. That's why I say context in
structure without saying that this man influenced me more than this other man.
They all influenced me. They influenced me in a way of doing things and not a
particular thesis, not a particular theme. I probably disagree with all of them
in terms of any particular question you would ask me about. How do you see this
particular situation in geography, what approach would you use to this particular
problem and so on? But what did come across was essentially that there was a
discourse, that this was a scholastic community, that what we were saying to each
other (and I don't mean this in any peculiar way) we as graduate students sat at
the same table as the faculty.

SEIG: That sounds good. Can we move this discussion off that area now and
talk about your philosophy in the field. Peter Haggett raises a question and
what he says really is whether the past nature of geography should govern the
nature of geography in the future. What do you see as the role of geography
in this context?

LUKERMANN: Here again you have to start with what I've just been saying about the
past, the way we were taught, the kind of environment. Haggett's question is
directed to the kind of intellectual experience I've had; the past is very
important. I don't think you can get rid of the past by ignoring it, you can only
dismiss the past as an important influence in the present and the future if you
understand what it was like. The kind of past that we in geography are conscious
of in the sense of our philosophy and our methodology may give some credence to
what Haggett is saying is the essential problem. If the past that we're talking
about in geography is the specific feces of Hettner, von Humboldt, Ritter and
Ratzel, then yes, I think getting rid of that past is one of our essential
problems. If, however, the past is the questions that they ask, (rather than the
answers) why they chose to frame geography as this particular question about human
experience on the earth's surface - rather than justifying the natural region,
landscape geography, or environmentalism, then I think you really use the past.
That's why there is continuity in geography. I really can't argue that the kind of
questions that I ask, you ask, or any other professor in geography asks today, are
essentially different than what the Greeks were asking themselves. They are
basically questions about, (to put it in its most general terms) space and
location. The variations in what was meant by space and in how you did what can be
called generally locational analysis is what distinguishes one period, one
contributor from another, but that sort of distinction is not the important point.
The important point (that they were talking about the same field of human
experience and science) is very negative. We are supposed to get rid of our
theories, not enshrine them. We are supposed to prove ourselves wrong
consistently throughout our whole experience. We don't want to predict is the way
I would put it in the sense of prediction as the goal of science. It seems to me
that's one of the means (one of the techniques we use) to find out that our
answers are not complete. We have to rephrase the question and start all over
again looking at the phenomenon, because the field of experience is never
completed, it's never finite. Therefore, I don't see how our answers can be
finite. We don't get at a particular single answer. We don't end up with
unmodified theory and therefore we should teach. The environment that I would like
to create for students (particularly at the graduate level) is questioning one of:
"Why do you professor tell us these particular things and put so much emphasis on
this particular theory and this particular model, when I can see that it just
doesn't fit the world of my experience?" I think that sets up the whole problem.
That is the kind of learning situation that we're after.

SEIG: I was wondering about some of the mix, some of the emphasis in geography
today. In some of the former interviews in the series people have talked about the
differences between, (the arguement between) the quantifiers and the non-
quantifiers. The dichotmy between the ideographic and the nomothetic aspects of
geography. How do you see these two in relation to each other in the context of the
kinds of research that geographers probably should be pursuing in the future?

LUKERMANN: The traditional way of presenting the problem of explanation and
logic in geography as ideographic vs. nomothetic is basically wrong. Every
science, every field of endeavor which is trying to gather knowledge
essentially operates through the whole continuum of ideographic to
nomothetic. The problem that I see really is not between those two concepts
of organizing knowledge, but between a question which is rising more and more
in the field. That's one of whether we are interested in human activity,
behavior and human experience as against observable phenomena. That it is
essentially a problem of what is it to participate in an experience as much
as to observe the experience. Here I'd go back to Brown. I think this is what
he was saying to us in the profession. The contemporary source. How we should
look at the world through the eyes of those who participated in it as much as
how we can reconstruct it. I think that is the basic question, the heuristic
nature of science.

SEIG: I want to thank you for talking to us and taking this time to
enlighten us with and your feelings about the field. Thank you very much.

LUKERMANN:   Thank you.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                             Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                            GILBERT F. WHITE (1911-       )
                               University of Colorado

                                   Interviewed by
                                 Geoffrey J. Martin
                          Southern Connecticut State University

Washington Hilton Hotel            April 23, l984             Washington, D.C

MARTIN: It's a very great pleasure for me to introduce Gilbert White,
Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado and Director of
the Natural Hazards Information Center. Gilbert, could you tell us how you
started in geography?

WHITE: I suppose it might be a case of environmental determinism. My father
had to drop out of school at the age of twelve to go to work on the railroad.
Then he moved to Chicago in the late 1890's. My mother had met a young fellow
named Harper, who was starting a new place called the University of Chicago.
They thought it would be a good idea to live near this new university, which
they did before they had any children. Three of us then attended the
University of Chicago, a case of educational planning - so I went to the
University. I was exposed to John Morrison, Henry Leppard, and Harlan
Barrows. It was a strong department in those days. I'd only been in the
University about a year before I decided that geography was the career for
me. I went through my graduate work in the Department and then one day in
1934, Harlan Barrows said: "Why don't you come down to Washington for six
weeks, and work on the New Deal Plan for the Mississippi Valley." I went for
six weeks and stayed for eight years in one branch or another of the
Executive Office of the President. It was the Chicago Department and the fact
that I had worked in the summers on a ranch in Wyoming (been exposed to
drought, floods, and spring storms) that gave me an interest in natural

MARTIN: This was the beginning of your interest in public policy, then?

WHITE: Yes. The old Executive Office of the President which was set up under
the New Deal was a place where most of the policy formation with respect to
the federal government was either generated or reviewed. Having gone through
a period of working with Barrows and Colby on water and land problems on the
old National Resources Planning Board I ended up being the young sprout over
in the Executive Office who vetted all of the papers that went over the
President's desk on Land and Water Resources. It was very much a place where
policy was being made, appraised and examined. Geographers had a significant
role in that, particularly Barrows and Colby.

MARTIN: Sociologists and people like Henry Cowles at Chicago also had had
this marked bent toward things ecologic and morphologic on town ecology and
plant ecology.
WHITE: Yes, geography was an exciting place, ecologically, in those days.
Henry Cowles was preaching plant ecology, Clyde Allee was preaching animal
ecology, Park and Burgess were writing a book on urban ecology under the
Sociology Department and Barrows had given his Presidential Address (1923) on
"Geography as Human Ecology." I took courses with all those people as a part
of the program in Rosenwald Hall.

MARTIN: Would you talk to us a bit about your work during World War II?

WHITE: Pearl Harbor came and I had registered as a conscientious objector (a
Quaker) and I couldn't very well stay in the Executive Office of the
President. The Director of the Budget said: "Well, if the Draft Board asks me
I won't give you permission to leave, but if they'll let you go you can go."
So I volunteered to do Quaker Relief Work in Vichy France. The Board happily
gave me permission (which they gave to very few CO's) to leave the country at
that time. In France I worked in concentration camps, with the children in
schools, and I spent a year detained in Germany, came back and was
responsible for administering Relief in China and India from the Philadelphia
Office. All that together accounted for about four years of volunteer service
during the war. That led on to my going to a Quaker College, Haverford
College, which seemed a logical next step for somebody concerned about peace
and education. I stayed at Haverford for almost ten years. At Haverford I
did just about all I felt I was capable of doing. I increased the endowment
considerably, reduced the size of the student body, brought on a lot of good,
very lively faculty members and new programs. By that time I felt I ought to
get back to my first love of geography. Very fortunately, Chicago was willing
to take me back; I had had an appointment when the war broke out to go back
to Chicago. They took me back in l956 in the same old department, which had
changed very much in the interim.

MARTIN: Could you tell us about that change and how geography was at Chicago
in the l950s?

WHITE: It's interesting. When I went as a student to Chicago the Department
was organized on the basis of specialties and areas. I remember hearing the
Department members talk about the appointment of a new member of the faculty.
They had taken a matrix and they figured out that they needed somebody that
could teach about Austroasia, the Polar regions, and historical geography.
Having worked out that cell as being missing they said there was only one
person who could fill it; that was Griffith Taylor from Australia. So he was
brought to the University. That's the way the Department thought of its
duties; it had to cover each region of the world and it had to cover each
specialty. By the 1950's (although Bob Platt had been very influential in his
functional approach to regional problems) the Department no longer felt it
had to cover every region of the world. Nor did it feel that it had a large
obligation to provide instruction in regional geography as such; it was
moving in the other direction. New appointments were made, such as Berry and
Mikesell. There were appointments of people who had specialties that were
more of a systematic sort. We were, in effect, demonstrating the kind of
training that Ed Ackerman had been talking about - the shift from regional to
systematic organization.

MARTIN: For a long time you've been interested and deeply involved in policy
issues. Which ones do you think you've had the most influence upon?

WHITE: Of course, it's hard to tell when you've had very much influence.
Others, perhaps, can tell it better. Sometimes I've been aware I may have
influenced policy in a way that turned out to be counter-productive later on.
But if I were to think of sorts of research work that I and others have
carried on, I'd say in the flood field, certainly the work on flood plain
occupance and management had a major effect on policies of the TVA, the Corps
of Engineers and the Federal Flood Insurance program. The work some of us did
with the United Nations led to the development of Integrative River Basin
Development Programs, such as the Lower Mekong. The work as scientific
advisor to the UN Development Program led to a whole series of studies on the
side effects of large reservoirs such as the High Aswan, the Kariba Kainji,
and Volta reservoirs.

Work that Anne and I and a medical man did in East Africa led to new programs
on domestic water supply in a number of developing countries. In fact, we had
a quicker response there than most any place I've worked, because the
Scandinavian aid agencies picked up our work before we had ever published it
and began using it, which is very satisfying. One can see some effects in
arid zone research under the United Nations. Those are probably the principal
places where...

MARTIN: Do you see any pattern emerging in your methods of approach to policy

WHITE: Yes. Some of my students, Bob Kates and Ian Burton, might say that I
follow the same pattern all the time with no innovation at all in that
regard. Typically, I pick a problem that I think is important from a social
standpoint. Then when I have a chance of making some kind of an original
contribution I always try to pick a problem where I'm confident I can make a
very simple contribution; if I add something more that's good luck. I always
try to work from the very beginning with people who are involved in using the
results in policy: administrators, engineers, and biologists. This means that
I almost always have worked with people in other disciplines, and almost all
the work has been inter-disciplinary involving medical people; biological
people, engineers and economists are typical. For each of the fields in which
I worked it's been about the same kind of a pattern of defining a problem and
working on it.

MARTIN: I'm particularly interested in the inter-disciplinary approach. I
wonder if you could elaborate on this? Was it total sharing? Do you think,
perhaps, you imported something from exterior disciplines into geography?

WHITE: I'm not sure how much was imported into geography. I always learned
something from the people and the geographers I worked with. Take the field
benefit cost analysis for example. The whole development of thinking about
risk assessment was very much an inter-disciplinary evolution. In the last
fifteen years we've seen a tremendous improvement in the way in which people
look at risk problems and now it is entirely inter-disciplinary. But it meant
that I wasn't often in the main current of what was geographic theory or
philosophy at the time. I didn't publish often in geography journals. I
thought it was more important to reach engineers through engineering journals
than publishing in the Annals, or publishing in the government publications
than it was to go to the geography journals. I don't suppose that the work
that I did always attracted very much attention from geographers. Sometimes
it did. The last work I did with the United Nations Environment Program with
a British ecologist and an Egyptian botanist (trying to assess what had
happened to the world environment over the last ten years) attracted no
attention from geographers. I hope what I'm working on now (the environmental
effects of nuclear war) will command some lively participation by
geographers. But I expect I've been on the peripheries of what had been the
main streams of concern of the profession if one looks at the papers given at
the annual meetings of the AAG, or the papers that appear in the Annals.
MARTIN: Would you like to reflect a bit on the future of geography with
special reference to this country? Where do you see geography going?

WHITE: I'd say my main concern about geography is that I see it going off in
all directions. Its eclectic character is both an appealing strength and a
weakness. Of course, I had worked with geographers in the AAG on some
distinctively geographic projects, such as the High School Geography Project
(which I helped get started) and the College Education Project. But as I look
at the research field and the applications of research to policy I've been
concerned that there's been relatively little focus. I would like to see
geography consciously attempt to direct it's main thrust to a relatively few
policy issues at any one time. Not to exclude geographers from going on
exercising their curiosity and interests in new fields and new directions,
but at least, to try to pool their best experience and methods on a few
issues at any one time. I see this as being a present weakness. For example,
at the AAG meeting in l984 I went through the program and I could not
distinguish any clear focus of concern or interest. Yet, as I look at both
our national and our international scene it seems to me that there are a
whole series of problems to which geographers have a ground for making
significant contributions in terms of the theories they use. I don't find
this being mobilized as effectively as it might be. I go further and wonder
whether if they don't manage to mobilize around what would be a moving,
evolving set of problem areas, they will manage to sustain their significance
on the academic scene. I'm convinced that where geographers have been ready
to direct their attentions to a well-defined problem and bring their best
theories and practice into play they do make contributions. They are
respected and they are influential in affecting the way in which society

MARTIN: Thank you very much, indeed, Gilbert.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 5pp.

                                Maynard Weston Dow
                               Geographers on Film
                           Plymouth State University,
                             Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                         CLARENCE GLACKEN (1909-1989)
                      University of California at Berkeley

                                  Interviewed by
                                David Hooson
                     University of California at Berkeley

University of California          July, 1980       Berkeley, California

HOOSON: Today I am interviewing my colleague Clarence Glacken, Emeritus
Professor of Geography formally Chairman of the Department of Geography at the
University of California. I would like to ask you Clarence, first, whether you
could tell us something about your experiences growing up in the Sacramento

GLACKEN: David I was born in Sacramento from an old Sacramento family on both
sides. Both my parents were born there; my maternal grandmother was born in the
village, which is now part of the city. My grandmother Glacken came across the
Plains (she was born in St. Louis); she was eight months old and came across on
the covered wagon. So the city and the region is rather deep in my memories.
Sacramento itself is a historic city. It was the western terminus of the First
Transcontinental Railroad and the Pony Express. It was a supply point for much of
the gold both around where Marshall discovered it and also in the mother lode. I
saw Sutter's Creek many, many times during my youth and from a geographical point
of view I was very much interested in many of the things around there. I've
always been interested in the confluence of rivers. I used to love to see the
American River into the Sacramento even though the American in the summer time
was almost a trickle. I love boundaries. I like to watch crossing boundaries from
one county to another and I love the Delta region, the tules and the California
poppies. As I grew older my father used to take me on ferryboat trips and later
on I used make the journey from the San Francisco ferry building to the docks in
Sacramento on the old paddle wheels; it was really a wonderful experience. My
grandfather also had gotten me interested in stamps. Then I became very much
interested in the geography of far-off places. For that reason I became
acquainted with a lot of very strange sounding places and knew precisely where
they were, because it worked in with my stamp collecting. One final point about
the Sacramento experience was that I went to the Sacramento Junior College and
there (I forgot what course it was) I became extremely interested in geography
because of the publication of Isaiah Bowman's, The New World. The reason he
called it The New World was that it was a study of the political geography
following World War I and Bowman himself, as you undoubtedly know, went with
President Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference. I still have that book (not the
original copy that I had) and I think it's really a wonderful book.

HOOSON: Then you went as an undergraduate to Berkeley. Didn't you?

HOOSON: I wonder if you would like to say something about your experiences and
what that meant to you?

GLACKEN: I'll try also to be as brief as I can. When I came to Berkeley I was very
friendly with an English Professor at the Sacramento Junior College and he said to me:
"When you go to Berkeley you take a course with Professor Taggert". I had never heard
of Professor Taggert nor I had never heard of the title of the course, which was the
"Idea of Progress." When I got down here I found out that both the course and
Professor Taggert were famous, at least, on the campus. This was a freshman course and
I took it for the whole A & B sections of it. Since I was convinced by what he said
that the idea of progress was a comparatively new idea in Western thought the course
also developed into a history of social change of theories in the ancient world, the
idea of cycles and eternal recurrence in the Middle Ages and the providential
interpretation of history and things of this kind. In addition to Taggert there was a
young woman named Margaret Hodgkin(?) and she became a life long friend of mine; she
died just a year or two ago at the age of eighty-four. I took courses in social theory
from her, the history of social thought, I should say. Margaret Hodgkin(?) introduced
me to many geographers such as Ratzel and especially the French possibilists, so I had
this sort of knowledge of the content of modern human geography at that time.

HOOSON: Even though you didn't take any courses in geography?

GLACKEN: I took no courses. I had heard of Mr. Sauer, but I had never taken any
courses. Neither did I take courses from two other famous professors there at the
time, those were Kroeber and Lowie in anthropology. I was so absorbed in what
Taggert had to say that I had no time for anybody else whatsoever.

HOOSON: Then, rather unusually in an academic career, I suppose,
you spent about twenty years between leaving Berkeley with your
degree, or M.A., and your first academic teaching job. I wonder if you would
give us an idea of the kinds of things you . . .

GLACKEN: I'll try hard to summarize twenty years in a few minutes, but, first, let me
say that the economic conditions were very poor at this time; it was very difficult to
get any support for graduate work or even to get a job.

HOOSON: This was the beginning of the Depression?

GLACKEN: Yes. Finally with the first Roosevelt Administration there was set up what was
called the Farm Security Administration and I had a job there which involved making
surveys of proposed sites for migratory labor camps. I spent many months on these going
all the way from Brawley and El Centro in the Imperial Valley up as far as Marysville and
Yuba City, which are just north of Sacramento. Later on I regarded myself as terribly
provincial, because I had grown up in Sacramento and like most young people (after they
reach a certain age) had a rather condescending attitude toward places where they were
born. That certainly was true of me. I'd always wanted to travel, so I quit my job and I
spent eleven months in travel. I visited Japan and China and what was then French Indo-
China. I went over across the Indian Ocean to Egypt and to what was then Palestine and
over into Greece and Istanbul. I visited the Soviet Union, Finland, Sweden, Germany,
Italy, and had the pleasure of attending the great International Exhibition in Paris in
1936. I guess it was at the height of all the furor over the Spanish Civil War. One of
the great sights there (I hadn't thought of it until I'm thinking now) was the entrance
where you had these two buildings. On one side was the Nazi Swastika and on the
opposite was the hammer and the sickle. Then when I came back I was again in welfare
administration in the San Joaquin Valley. There were extremely heavy caseloads, because
of the large number of people that had come from the Middle West and from Arkansas,
Texas, and Oklahoma. They were the sort of people that Steinbeck wrote about in The
Grapes of Wrath. As a matter of fact he got quite a bit of his material, as I
understand, from the files of the Farm Security Administration. The sorts of people
that he described were everyday experiences with me for quite awhile. To jump over
quite a long period of time (after the death of my first wife) I was drafted into the
Army in 1941, I believe it was. I was in the Army until 1946. I won't go into my Army
experience other than to say that I had a very satisfactory experience. After I went
off to Officers Candidate School I attended the University of Chicago Civil Affairs
Training School with a specialty in Japanese Studies; there we studied spoken Japanese.
I had always (from a very early period) been extremely interested in the Far East and
so that's how that came about. Shortly after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki I
was flown to the Philippines and instead of going to Japan I was sent to Korea. I was
in Seoul for about nine or ten months when I had enough points to be released. There I
was the Assistant Director in the Military Government of the Department of Public
Health and Welfare. Then after I went to Hopkins and before I got my appointment here
(based on the training that I had in the Civil Affairs Training School and my
experience speaking Japanese) I was asked to participate in the project sponsored by
the Pacific Science Board of the National Research Council. This was on the ethnography
of the Ryuku Islands. I spent almost a year living in these three villages in Okinawa
and wrote it up in a book, which was published by the University Press here in the
middle 1950's. So that carries us on through until my coming here in 1952.

HOOSON: Then, of course, when you came in 1952 you were involved in teaching cultural
geography and the development of your ideas: history of geographical thought,
culture, the Far East and so on. More than a decade and a half later in 1967 your
(what everyone would regard as your magnum opus) Traces on the Rhodian Shore
appeared. I would like to know something about the incubation, development and ideas
of that great book.

GLACKEN: Well, thank you. I don't know about that except to say that when I came here
Mr. Saucer was extremely kind to me. He was an extremely kind man and he invited me,
because he knew of my long interest in the history of ideas (inspired by Taggert) that
I would be interested in teaching something along that line. So he invited me to give
a course which was called the Relations Between Nature and Culture. I gave that course
as it turned out (with the exception of sabbaticals) the whole twenty-five or thirty
years. and I gave it last year in retirement. Things developed, I started simply and
as the years went by we saw more and more things that I should have added or some
taken out. I compiled little books of readings from the sources, or from translations,
to illustrate the points I was making. The way it started I had to. It was very late
until I realized there were these three ideas rather than just one in the sequence in
which I thought of them. First was environmental determinism, which was extremely old
and very obvious in the history of thought. Living as we do now (and as I did then) in
a period of great environmental change by human agency it occurred to me that there
must be also a literature of interpretation about this. About the idea of
human beings as geographical agents in transforming the environment. Then to
my immense good fortune I was invited to be at the Princeton Conference on
"Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth," where I made my first try at
giving a history of this idea of human beings as transformers of the natural
world. I don't know why it took me so long (because it was so obvious) that
it finally dawned on me that there was the third idea which was probably more
important than any of the others. It was this religious idea, this
teleological idea of nature. The idea of design, the idea that a creator had
designed a perfectly harmonious world, a harmonious earth, a harmonious
cosmos. As I studied the history of the idea I became absolutely convinced
that this is the historical basis of what later became ecological thought in
a scientific and a secular way, not in the earlier religious way. When I
wrote Traces on the Rhodian Shore I took the opposite sequence. I started out
with a discussion of this great idea, the idea of design, variously call the
design argument, the idea of argument of final causes, the teleological view
of nature, things of this sort. Then I followed it throughout the period from
the ancient world to the end of the eighteenth century with ideas about
geographical determinism. Then finally the idea of human beings themselves as
transformers of the natural world and argued in that work that we find one of
the finest and most complete expressions of that idea in the work of Count
Buffon. So that's the way that developed, at least in a nutshell.

HOOSON: Yes. The book ended with the eighteenth century and since then in the
last decade or so you have been writing on-and-off a massive sequel dealing
with some of the ideas of mainly the nineteenth century.   I presume. It
would be very interesting if you could tell us something about some of the
themes, ideas and developments that you have been working on in this new

GLACKEN: Yes. I'm almost embarrassed by the massive quantity that I have accumulated.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it, but I thought I would like to continue
on with the three ideas. They are not the same sorts of ideas that were in the earlier
book, because those ideas experience somewhat of a change. Instead of having three
themes I'm determined to have four. The first of them would be more of a continuation
of a design argument. First in the natural theologians of the early part of the
nineteenth century many of these were English, but they were natural historians -
people very much interested in natural history, geologists, and people of this sort. So
I determined that I would study the history of ecological ideas among these people and
then go on into the development of ecological ideas in the evolutionist with a special
emphasis on Lamarck, Darwin and Wallace. I found Lamarck (I read practically all of his
works) extremely stimulating in this way. Finally in this first idea to talk about some
of the fundamental early ecological studies of the latter part of the nineteenth
century; that part is completed. The second part is the one that I'm finishing up now
and has given me the most trouble in the sense of the enormous amount of materials
available. I felt that there was another broad area that I would neglect only at my
peril and that was the development of the subjective, emotional and a esthetic attitude
towards the natural world in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. This got me
into reading that which I hadn't done since I was a teenager. When I was in my late
teens and early twenties I read a lot of Keats, Shelly, Byron, Scott and all the rest.
I read Goethe and other people of that sort and I found myself fifty years later or
more re-reading the same things, but, of course, with different spectacles. I've been
working on that for a long time with examples from English, French, German, and
American literature. I'm just finishing up now a chapter on Cooper. Cooper I found
extremely fascinating for reasons that I can't go into here. Then the third idea that I
want to develop is that during the nineteenth century you have quite a blossoming of
what later became called environmentalism, or environmental determinism. Maybe it
wasn't as deterministic as a lot of people think, but there were people like Buckle
(Henry Thomas), Hegel and Ratzel that had a lot to say about these things and later on,
the French possibilists. The final theme is the study of human transformations of the
environment in the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth century. I don't
regard the nineteenth century as stopping with the year 1900. I think that the real
break in modern times is with the outbreak of World War I, not with the beginning of
the century. So this is an enormous study too; there's a lot more to it than just Marsh
or many of the American writers like Shaler. It goes back to maybe early nineteenth
century German explorers of ancient Greece and the theme that the desiccation and the
de-forestation of Greece was not climatic, but it was due to human agency. There is a
vast, enriched literature so that is what I'm planning on and hoping to finish within a
reasonable time - maybe before I'm one hundred and five.

HOOSON: I'm sure we'll certainly be impatiently awaiting the publication of that
book, Clarence. Since this is a film for the AAG audience I thought I would ask you
just one last brief question. Have you been comfortable generally and happy to be
called a geographer in your professional life?
GLACKEN: I can answer that very plainly and sincerely. Yes, very much so for
many, many different reason and I'll only give one as it has effected my own
personal life. Since my acquaintance with Taggert I have been extremely
impressed by the importance of ideas and their history. I can think of no
field, (at least, any field that I know about) that is richer in the
opportunities than geography. Not only from the point of view of geography in
contemporary life (especially in this old question of environmental
degradation and destruction) but also because of the very, very strong and
close association between the history of geography and the history of
exploration. People with a geographical point of view have open to them (not
only the exploration of contemporary literature) the nature of literature of
our great poets and, also, they can look into the history of landscape
painting and things of this sort. All of these things von Humboldt saw very
well as he wrote it in the second volume of Kosmos.

HOOSON: Thank you very much. That will be very encouraging to our colleagues
I know. I would just like now to thank you very much, indeed.

GLACKEN: Thank you, David.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 8pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographers on Film:
                          RICHARD HARTSHORNE (1899-1992)
                              University of Wisconsin
                            PRESTON E. JAMES (1899-1986)
                                 Syracuse University

                                  Interviewed by

                                 Geoffrey J. Martin
                         Southern Connecticut State College

University of Nebraska            April 27, 1979           Lincoln, Nebraska

MARTIN: We are going to talk a little today about the Association of American
Geographers. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Martin displays for the camera a copy of The
Association of American Geographers: The First Seventy-Five Years - 1904-
1979, 1979 by P. E. James and G. J. Martin]. The photograph of Preston E.
James, who was elected to membership in 1926. Here we have a photograph of
Richard Hartshorne elected to membership in 1927. That means that "Jimmy" as
he is known to his friends in the profession, Jimmy James has spent fifty-
three years of active life and participation in Association affairs. And Dick
Hartshorne has spent fifty-two years of active membership in the Association.
Adding these together gives you the formidable total of 105 years of joint
Association activity.

     They have been very important forces in Association life and thought.
Moving forces. I am going to ask them to talk about the Association in those
early years. Jimmy?

JAMES: The Association in the twenties was providing an opportunity, a forum for
the discussion of the alternatives to the Davis model of geographical study. That
was the big issue to find something that would replace environmental determinism
that was proposed by Davis in 1904. This took a little while, because a lot of
people were simply finding ways to apply the Davis ideas, rather than to provide
alternative models. The alternative models that might have been provided by the
economists like Richard T. Ely and Emory Johnson were scarcely able to get the
Association attention, because these people had little opportunity against the
command, or the criticism, of Davis and his disciples. They did actually get on
the program. Richard T. Ely was on the program discussing geography and

HARTSHORNE: Oh yes, and Whitbeck was on very early, I remember.


HARTSHORNE: I am wondering, looking back, whether we don't attach more
importance to that idea they were seeking for an alternative then they were
thinking at the time.

JAMES: Yes. I'm sure.
HARTSHORNE: Now the first meeting that I attended and gave a paper was in 1924; I
believe you gave one at the same meeting.


HARTSHORNE: My paper, I'm sure, did not discuss responses. I was talking about lake
grain traffic at Chicago. There I had a concrete economic problem of
transportation. Of course it was related to the Chicago River, or canalized river I
would say, the other harbors there, and the whole situation in Chicago in relation
to the Midwest. I was concerned with the question of the importance of that to
Chicago and of its likely continuance. I suspect a good many papers did, also.
It is true that frequently this question would pop up.

JAMES: It is interesting that you and I both gave our first papers before the
Association in the 1924 meeting. I remember that my first paper was a series of maps
showing the development of transportation in South America, which was my doctoral

HARTSHORNE: I remember seeing your maps.

JAMES: Yes. I apologized for not having them at regular intervals. Instead of
that I selected times that were critical in change in transportation.
Wellington Jones, I remember very well, Wellington Jones was always ready with
comments of various kinds and he complimented me for not having regular
intervals. (Laughter). I had selected times when something important had
happened in the changes in transportation.

Another thing, Miss Ellen Semple was on my doctoral committee and I remember
very well being a little bit concerned that she might not like it, because I
was not certainly going to use the influence of the environment on the
development of transportation. In fact, I made the point that the main
transportation lines between Chile and Argentina went across the Andes
(Mendoza) over a very high pass, and if they had gone just a little bit
further south there was a pass almost at sea level. But, there wasn't any
demand for transportation going by the southern route. The demand was for
transportation across the central part of the Andes. In other words the
pattern of arrangement of the demand for transportation was more important
than anything in the physical environment. Ellen Semple raised no objection
whatsoever to this. I am quite sure she would not be called an environmental
determinist in any very important sense. At that first meeting several people
were beginning to attack the idea that we were just simply looking for
environmental influences.

HARTSHORNE: That came to be a frequent subject of discussion.


MARTIN: I was wondering if you would like to talk about some of the Titans
as they have recently been characterized? Do you remember Ellsworth
Huntington, for example, speaking along these lines?

HARTSHORNE: I remember Ellsworth Huntington, I think it was his Presidential
Address wasn't it, in which he talked about natural selection?

MARTIN: Would you like to talk about your impressions of some of the early
large figures in the field?

HARTSHORNE: I remember someone discussing it afterward a little critically.
Wellington Jones again, I remember him remarking that he: "... was so
grateful that Ellsworth was talking about something other than climate."
(Laughter). He had discovered another factor, other than climate, that was
influencing human development.

JAMES: Of course, every time we went to one of those meetings here were
really the great figures in geography. Some of them always took part in
discussions. People like Wellington Jones and Charles Colby were always in
the discussions following a paper. Others just sat there and never said
anything. Of course, we valued the opinion of these people tremendously, they
had a great influence in what I did.

HARTSHORNE: It strikes me that it might be significant to remember that year
1924, when we gave our first papers. None of us were members in the
organization. I remember Glenn Trewartha, likewise, gave his first paper.


HARTSHORNE: We were introduced; in fact, in my case that was encouraged. The
head of my department said I think it would be a good thing if you could go
to meetings to give a paper out of your dissertation, so he introduced me, I
believe. This was true for the first two or three years until I was elected
a member. Contrary to some ideas that people have, who weren't there then,
but have heard exaggerated stories of the history, younger non-members were
welcomed to give papers. I believe there was some question raised about
graduate students, whether they shouldn't wait until they had completed
their degree.

JAMES: That's right, but you could present parts of your doctoral
dissertation after you had passed it.


JAMES: No, we were certainly welcomed long before we could possibly hope for
election. It's interesting. The reason for the requirement that you should have
a substantial record of published research before you could be elected to the
Association was a result of a situation back in 1904 when the Association was
being formed. Davis was talking about forming an Association; he had it in his
mind, but he had not taken any important steps in this direction.

     In 1903 the National Geographic Society invited the International
Geographical Congress to come to Washington for a meeting scheduled, I guess,
for 1903. It had to be postponed for obvious reasons. The people in the
National Geographic Society consulted with no one else in the United States,
none of the other societies. They simply invited the Congress to hold its
next meeting in Washington. The letter was very eloquent about how most of
the important research geographers in America were members of the National
Geographic Society.

     As a matter of actual fact the National Geographic Society had been set
up in 1888 as a really truly scientific society. Mostly people in Washington;
that's where most of the government scientists were. The National Geographic
Society was in its early stages a thoroughly scholarly organization. The
first monograph contains an article by Davis on the Triassic of Connecticut
and an article by John Wesley Powell on the physiographic regions of the
United States. There was one by Bailey Willis on the Northern Appalachian.
These were all technical articles in the field of geomorphology and regional

     The National Geographic by 1896 (I think, somewhere in there), they were
in serious financial trouble. They couldn't possibly publish their magazine;
it was much too ambitious. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the
telephone, became the President. As he came in as President he offered a
method for overcoming this financial difficulty, namely to make the magazine
so that anybody could understand it. He specifically said we don't want any
more articles of the sort that Davis writes with technical terminology. What
he wanted was a simple clear-cut description of a problem. So the National
Geographic turned to popularization and did an excellent job at popularizing
geography. In the process, of course, it made it very difficult for anybody
who wanted to maintain a high level of scholarship.

     Now the point was that the Europeans didn't care about this popularizing.
The Europeans were interested in coming over to see American scholarship.
Davis knew this. Davis all of a sudden went into vigorous activity to set up
a professional association, which would have this requirement of substantial
contributions to some branch of geography. He didn't want the schoolteachers
in there - that's about all there were, schoolteachers.

HARTSHORNE: Yes. There were more schoolteachers in geography than geographers

JAMES: You can't blame all schoolteachers, because some of them, like Charles
Redway Dryer was a real scholar. There were many scholars among them, but
nevertheless the great majority of school teachers, who would certainly have
rushed to join this society, were not the kind of people the European
geographers wanted to meet when they came over here.

     The (IGC) meeting was actually held in 1904. On this occasion they met
first in Washington. Then they had arranged it so that the meeting would
shift out of Washington away from the presence of the National Geographic
people. They went to Niagara Falls, various places around the West, and ended
up in St. Louis, or some place. They didn't go as far as the Grand Canyon on
that occasion. At any rate the meeting was very successful and the Europeans
went back to Europe quite happy about the development of the scholarly field
of geography in the United States.

MARTIN: Returning to the 1920s the Association meeting would be quite small;
there weren't many people, were there?

JAMES: Because of this requirement that you had to have a record of
substantial publications of original articles. Incidentally your doctoral
dissertation didn't count. You had to have something beyond the doctorate. As
a result of this the membership was small. Many people, who were not members,
were allowed to come to meetings and even give papers in the programs as Dick
and I did.

HARTSHORNE: Generally, only one session at a time; only one thing going on at
a time.

JAMES: Oh! That's right.

HARTSHORNE: You had a more cohesive group for the meeting and, I think, as a
result, better discussions.
JAMES: Then they had the interesting situation there where they had special
meetings that were for members only. This really caused some trouble before
too long.

     For instance, this was simply that the business meeting was for
members only for obvious reasons. Usually the business didn't take very
long so they would have then a symposium on something else following it.
This became more and more of an irritation to the people who were not
members. Nobody tried to do anything for them; they were just left alone
out in the hotel, while the special closed meeting was being held somewhere

HARTSHORNE: Then you remember that the system of selection, electing, didn't
work out always satisfactorily. There had to be some sort of orderly system;
the arrangement was that some member had to nominate (had to have two
sponsors), one person had to start it. A young man, who might have given a
number of papers had no way of getting to be a member unless some member
chose to nominate him.

     In my case, the department that I was in, Darrel Davis was interested, I
think, in my being a member. Certainly the department I came from (Chicago)
wanted its graduates, who were doing anything to become members. So, I was
nominated just as soon as I possibly could have been and, I think, very
likely the same with you.

     Trewartha at Wisconsin was concerned, but there were other departments
where the chairmen were not concerned about such things. A man might not be
nominated for years after he should have been. I found this out rather late.
In some cases where a member had nominated one or two people and they were
turned down for a year or so, he didn't like that. He didn't like his nominee
being turned down, so he wouldn't put in other nominations until he was
absolutely sure that the man would pass.

     When I realized this, when it came up during the Second World War, I was
in Washington. Jimmy was in Washington; we had many young men there working
with us, some of them had published quite a little and certainly were doing
research there, whether it was out in their name or not. They felt that it
was just too long before they were being recognized. I agreed with them. We
agreed with them. There had formally been an average of two, three, or four
new members a year.


HARTSHORNE: We looked into this, had a special meeting of a dozen members,
who were in Washington, and between us we nominated fifty-three, thirty-odd
were taken in. In other words, ten times the previous annual average of new
members, I suppose. There should have been many of them taken in earlier.

JAMES: Of course, four new members a year wouldn't take care of the deaths
that were taking place. Actually the membership was declining for many years.

MARTIN: Without question the 1940s were a turbulent period. We had a lot of
geographers coming together in Washington. Out of the young geographers, through
geographical research association, we had as a result the formation of what was
evolution (after a period of several months) into the American Society for
Professional Geographers (ASPG). This was a very painful period, a five-year
period, pain, soul-searching. Would you like to talk about this period that was
brought to a very successful conclusion with the amalgamation in 1948?
JAMES: I would like to say one thing before you get to that.

     I would like to explain to anybody that is interested my own role as
Secretary back in 1936-37. I was Secretary, I think, from 1936-41. The
Secretary in those days was the fellow who really organized programs, ran
meetings, carried out the correspondence, he was the person who did all the
work. He was therefore responsible for actually organizing the programs and
also for local arrangements. This is a big job to do. Therefore he had more
power, perhaps, than anybody else. Certainly more than the President, who
simply came on for one year. He was supposed to carry out the suggestions of
the Secretary as to what he should do when he got to the meeting, then he
had to make a Presidential Address, which was the big thing for the

     In 1936, the meeting was held in Syracuse, New York at the University;
that was before I was at Syracuse. They had a meeting for members only up at
the campus of the University. At the hotel where the meeting was held, there
were all these non-members milling around, sort of miffed for not being
allowed to go to the meeting up on the campus. As Secretary I asked Ed
Ackerman, who was not a member then, to organize a young geographers group
and have a special round table discussion in the hotel. This he did, and this
was the origin of the Young Geographers Society, which became the ASPG. In
other words, I think, I can claim to have started a lot of things here, which
resulted in some tumultuous periods in the late 40s, and eventually in the

MARTIN: Dick had very fine words to say on the occasion of the amalgamation.
I venture to say that Dick Hartshorne's writing on that occasion was some of
the finest prose he has ever put on paper.

JAMES: Incidentally, he was the President-elect at that time, you see. He took the
occasion, when the vote had been in favor of the amalgamation of the two societies,
to point out that there was not going to be any remembrance of who belonged to what
society. Nobody was going to be in any different status then anybody else. He
certainly did a lot to smooth over some dangerous disagreements and antagonism.

HARTSHORNE: When I think back on that I am still a little surprised that I
had the nerve to do this, because as far as I know the President-elect had
never spoken a word at the annual meeting. He sat at the head table, and
there been announced, stood up, and sat down, as he was to wait for the next

JAMES: That's right.

HARTSHORNE: I proposed that I should say something, because the event needed
something said. What particularly put it in my mind was Charles Colby, who
was Secretary sometime before you. Likewise a major factor in the
organization at his time he was saying that he wasn't going to stay for the
banquet, he was going to leave, he was too discouraged about the merger. I
begged him not to (I was a student of his), we had to make this thing work,
wouldn't he stay? He decided he would and I figured I would have to speak to
him, so to speak, and the rest who might be thinking about it as he was.
This new organization would be different, but it could be very good. Of
course, I saw that there was no alternative at that point. If we hadn't done
it we would have been in a hopeless situation. On the whole it has worked.
Although, of course, it has, in part, resulted in what would have resulted
anyway in the enormous increase in number of geographers, who come to

MARTIN: Yes, the character of the Association is quite clearly changed. We
have now what Clyde Kohn has referred to as the re-constituted Association.
We have taken a lot from the scholastic tradition, the 1904 founding by
Davis. We have also taken considerable from the American Society for
Professional Geographers with its regional divisions, and such. Would you
care to characterize the last thirty-odd years of Association development?
That's quite a request.

JAMES: Just let me say this. One of the things that happened was that the
membership went up until it almost reached 7000. I think it did reach 7000.

MARTIN: Yes it did, yes.

JAMES: Then it went back a little bit, but with 7000 members with substantial
annual dues, all of a sudden the Association found itself with money to do
things. What they did, of course, was to increase the publication series.
They set up a whole lot of projects, which are excellent for the profession.
They have served the profession much better than ever could have been done
under the old system.

HARTSHORNE: That's true.

MARTIN: Can you characterize it, or if you like compare it, in your mind's
eye with those early years?

JAMES: When you have twenty-three concurrent sessions as we had this year in
Philadelphia, this is just impossible. You can't decide, you want to hear a
paper in one concurrent session, then you rush madly to another one.

HARTSHORNE: I think one could make some generalizations, perhaps. I'm sure
there is a larger number, not only a larger number, a larger ratio of
immature papers. I think that the requirement that a young person had to be
introduced, this appeared on the program, "introduced by Charles Colby,
say," that put a certain responsibility on Colby. The man he introduced
would be worth hearing.


HARTSHORNE: Now, I have dropped in more than once on a paper by just a man
with a name, which I didn't know, but he was talking on a topic I did know, I
thought something about. Within five minutes it was clear that this was a
low-grade undergraduate term paper about a German geographer by a man, who
couldn't read German. No one professor was responsible for this man being on
the program. This combined with the very unfortunate custom that many
American universities have of paying transportation to a meeting for members
if they give a paper. This means that you have papers that are given for no
better reason than you get free passage, as you know.

MARTIN: Yes. Would you suggest that it might be a good idea to re-examine the
possibility of the earlier return? Many years ago papers were looked at, sent
out to readers, vetted and culled. Do you think that idea should be given
further thought?

HARTSHORNE: We did it the first year after the merger. It was Ed Ullman, I
asked him to be chairman of the program committee. He said on one condition:
that they could have a selective program, the papers culled. I promised to do
my best, got the Council to agree on that and we did.

     I had a curious experience. One member wrote me a Special Delivery
letter with copies to other people objecting because his paper had been
turned down. He said for reasons that are totally unfair, quoting some of
the reasons, and telling me he knew for sure that it was that had criticized
this. In fact, it was Whittlesey he was sure had done this, and Whittlesey
didn't like him. I replied to this, I was able to reply with assurance,
because I was the one who had done it. (Laughter). I told him quoting (he
had quoted a smart crack in it), I said:

    "I am sure it was not Whittlesey, because Whittlesey doesn't
     make smart cracks like that." (More laughter).

So there are problems that come up if you have that system, but I certainly
wish it could be done.

JAMES: I think we need to examine what they do in other societies like the
economic association and others. I think they do have a limited program.

HARTSHORNE: Yes. Many do, some have just invited papers.

JAMES: Yes. That's it. I can't see how we can do anything else. We can use
the meetings of the regional divisions to permit people, who wouldn't
otherwise get on the main program, to offer their papers.

MARTIN: It's been a very interesting talk about the Association. Thank you
very much.
                   Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                                  Maynard Weston Dow
                                 Geographers on Film
                             Plymouth State University,
                               Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                              JAMES BLAUT (1927-2000)
                     University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

                                 Interviewed by
                              Louis Seig (1931-2003)
                            University of Louisville

Marc Plaza Hotel                 April 21, 1975        Milwaukee, Wisconsin

SEIG: We have with us today Jim Blaut, who is Professor of Geography at the
University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. Jim, how did you get into geography
as a discipline?

BLAUT: It was an accident actually. I was an undergraduate at the University
of Chicago determined to change the world. For some freaky reason I decided
that the poor tropical countries were the places I had to work. By pure
chance I just happened to take a course with Platt talking about Latin
America (that great empty lands of the Amazon) and it just turned me on and
said instantaneously I was to be a geographer.
But, taking more courses in geography I discovered that geographers are
asking the right questions but didn't have a god damn answer. I got very fed
up and quit and decided that the thing I had to be was an agriculturist. I
went and studied at the Imperial College on Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad.
After graduating there I realized that the only career that that led to was
to become a colonial civil servant. I didn't want that, so I turned around
came back to geography and went to LSU. The best decision I ever made.

SEIG: You got to LSU and there you met and studied under Fred Kniffen. We all
know Fred Kniffen was a student of Sauer. I was wondering what kinds of
influence did Kniffen have on the approaches you have been taking in
geography. How did he really influence your career?

BLAUT: When I went to LSU I was already well trained in Agriculture. I had no
general concepts. Also the question of relating the goal of trying to help
the world and relating it to geography, I didn't know a thing. To try to sum
up Kniffen in the best way I know how, I'd say that he calls himself an
anthropo-geographer and this is absolutely straight. He is an absolute
cultural relativist. He has absolutely no racism. No ethnocentrism is
allowable in his presence. If you have any it gets it washed out real quick.
This kind of a completely universal perspective of being able to transcend
culture because you understand culture, I think, is the most characteristic
thing about him. Plus the fact that he demands of you that you must see
things historically. Something I didn't have it at all when I left there.
That was important.
SEIG: Where did this lead?

BLAUT: The curious thing about my relation with Fred, who by the way I think is
the best cultural geographer alive. Right?

SEIG: It's obvious. (Laughter).

BLAUT: He didn't know anything about tropical agriculture, tropical peasants and
he had really nothing to teach me about that. But he just gave me the base for my
own work and said: Go ahead and do it in terms of this basic framework of non-
ethnocentrism, of a historical perspective. That's what really formed me.

SEIG: From there I gather you did a dissertation in Singapore. This led you
into looking at the Third World, dealing with the Third World. How do you
feel that this type of study and the things you learned from Kniffen in
methodology, or whatever, how has this affected your later career? For
example, what you're doing now? Has this continued in this way?

BLAUT: Yes. I started working in the Third World. I had gone to Trinidad before I
met Fred, but it was only through the work at LSU that I finally got a handle on
how to work so I went back. From then on it was basically a series of mainly jobs.
Teaching, working with UNESCO, with advising governments, and stuff like that for
about ten years. But the approach had been set out as a result of working at LSU.
For about ten years I really
believed that the thing to do was to do research on the nature of peasant
agriculture. I had the idea, which was really a value, that if you could
understand peasant agriculture (actually relate to people close up) it would
change the world. Now, I've changed my mind about that.

SEIG: You have?


SEIG: In what way?

BLAUT: The more you look at the problems in a village in Jamaica or
Singapore, the more you have to ask yourself where the source on the problem
is? It's now in the minds of the people. A Jamaican farmer is as good a
geographer as I am. He is intelligent, he does the best he knows how. The
problem is at a higher level, the problems of the society. Then the next step
beyond that is to say that the problem is at the level of the world. This is
what really turned me towards concern with colonialism and neo-colonialism.
It seemed to me that with the peasant farmer, the thing you need to
understand his problems, is you have to understand multi-national
corporations, colonialists (all that kind of stuff) historically.

SEIG: In that context then you've been doing some work with what you say is
ethno-science. Involved in this you've been working in the area of the
historical geography of colonialism. How do you feel this idea of ethno-
science fits into geography?

BLAUT: Well, thanks to Fred, again (he is really the hero, isn't he?) basically I'm
an anthropologist. I'm doing work on problems that are geographical, but the point
of view is anthropological. The very best approach, that I know, in applying
anthropological methods to geographical problems, applying ethnographic methods to
geographical problems, is to look closely at what goes on in people's minds. The
best way to do that is to find out what they say, to tape what they say, or if
you're doing the ethnography of American geographers, read what they say. Then do
an ethno-science, the analysis of the meaning of concepts on a cross-cultural
basis. This approach turns out to be extremely useful in trying to understand the
history of geography as a profession. Ethnography of geography is what I'm talking
about. You read Ratzel and you see the way Ratzel related to the expansion of
Germany in the late 19th century. It is an ethnographic; in this kind of case,
historical. You look at modern theoretical geography and you see the way modern
theoretical geography is providing models that serve the interests of the elite of
this society. You try to change the world and you say: Well OK! We're talking about
the world is formed this way and we're going to have to relate to a certain
type of ethno-science and try to create that ethno-science.

SEIG: Also you've been dealing with other kinds of educational problems. I know you
you've been dealing a lot with young children doing work with children's perceptions
and the use of tools in understanding the earth.

BLAUT: Right. About ten years ago as part of this feeling of extreme
disquietude about of the fact that geography isn't really helping to change
the world, I decided one of the very important areas that we had to work was
to apply our understandings to children. Ultimately to try to transform
education. So I started working on the way young children perceive,
conceptualize and use the environment. I did what I know how to do, which is
research. It's getting used in the schools. They're teaching mapping at
earlier ages, because we showed that three-year-olds know how to make maps
with toys and that five-year-olds can read aerial photographs. They are
developing map learning systems (map skills systems) based on aerial
photographs. That's changing the world just a tiny bit.

SEIG: In conclusion there in one really important question we should ask.
What kind of advice would you give to graduate students today? What they can
do to geography?

BLAUT: I would say, very simply, some graduate students want to change the
world. Some don't, which means they want to maintain the status quo. I'm not
going to argue with either position; I want to change the world. The
important thing they must understand to be a geographer is to be a
professional. To be part of the division of labor in society you are part of
the world. If you want to maintain the status quo, you have to understand
that you're not doing something out in Valhalla. What you're doing is
creating information models, teaching to produce
the kind of world that you want. So never forget that your values (what your
goals are for this world) have got to be the goals that you have for the
profession. If you want to change the profession, if you want to change the
world in a revolutionary way, then develop revolutionary science. But don't
get the idea that the world is over there and geography is over here. That's
been the problem with geography since the year one.

SEIG: Thank you very much, Jim.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                        MARVIN W. MIKESELL (1929 -     )
                             University of Chicago

                                Interviewed by
                               John Fraser Hart
                           University of Minnesota

Sheraton-Boston Hotel              April 19, 1971      Boston, Massachusetts

HART: This is Marvin Mikesell, Professor of Geography and Chairman of the
Department of Geography at the University of Chicago. Marvin, what got you
started off in geography in the first place?

MIKESELL: Well, I have heard quite a lot of talk about the strange ways that
people got into geography. I drifted into geography, I suppose, through
anthropology and international relations, history, things of that sort. I
discovered there was a department at UCLA; I had never heard geography was a
university subject. I talked to Joe Spencer, found it very attractive and so
signed on. I've been aboard ever since.

HART: You think Joe is the guy who recruited you into the field?

MIKESELL: Oh Yes. He was the first teacher I had who really impressed me,
particularly the course he taught on China. I didn't have any interest in
China at all, but I liked the way he dealt with a foreign country and could
explain the way different kinds of phenomena were related. Eventually I
decided that what I wanted was cultural geography. I went through the
experience that many cultural geographers go through, thinking, perhaps, I
should shift to anthropology. In lieu of that I went to Berkeley where one
could have the best of both worlds, geography and anthropology in a sense.

HART: What was the attraction of Berkeley? Was it that Joe said that is the
place to go, or did you look around? How did you decide on Berkeley? Did you
apply anywhere else?

MIKESELL: No, I didn't. Joe Spencer suggested I might go there and I went up
during Christmas recess, talked to Carl Sauer, and he offered me a teaching
assistantship. I had read his work. I might be a rare case of a person who
didn't arrive at Berkeley innocent and got the indoctrination. I had studied
it before hand and decided that's what I wanted and went there deliberately
for that purpose

HART: What indoctrination is it?

MIKESELL: The attempt to see geographical problems in an historcal
perspective was very appealing to me. I never found a purely functional,
economic, or historical perspective very appealing; the foreign area
The time I arrived in Berkeley, Sauer was about to be connected with this big
symposium volume called: Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth. I
found that theme appealing, and still do.

HART: When did that start?

MIKESELL: About 1953. When I arrived the great concern for origins of
agriculture was just phasing out and the concern for the study of erosion,
deforestation, impact of man on environment was most acute. It was that
orientation that I got in the department with collateral work in botany and
soil science.

HART: Where did that take you in terms of you had this interest in the
culture environment? You went there, developed it, and you have pretty well
been at that ever since, haven't you?

MIKESELL: Yes. I think so. It varies, I've been concerned with purely
distributional matters, but the theme of the impact of man on environment is
the one that I found most interesting. I had a chance to study this in
Morocco and later on in Lebanon, and through teaching I am trying now to see
impact in broader terms, not merely land and soil, but also water and

HART: Since the time you arrived at Berkeley in the early-50s do you think
your ideas have changed very much in terms of the things you want to be
looking at, ought to be looking at, or geographers ought to be looking at?
That was pre-quantitative revolution. Have your ideas changed very much in
terms of the sorts of things that you are interested in and you think
geographers might be interested in?

MIKESELL: Well, I hope so. I went, of course, from Berkeley to Chicago and
the orientation at Berkeley did not include a great deal of concern about the
nature of geography. We had journals from many fields around in the
department and read in other disciplines. Although John Leighly and Carl
Sauer had both been major figures in geographic methodology, at the time I
entered the department they were not interested in these questions.

But then I had the experience of going to the Midwest to a department that
was radically different in it's orientation. This forced me to think about
cultural geography and how it should be taught in an atmosphere where it
wasn't a dominant orientation. Partly in response to that I worked with
Philip Wagner on a readings volume.

HART: How did you and Phil come to do that?

MIKESELL: The problem at Chicago was that we had a difficult charge. We had
to offer something that would be a foundation for training in cultural
geography. We also had to offer a cultural geographic complement to the
people who were going to be economic and urban geographers. We put this
together because we didn't find anything that really met those themes.

HART: Is it true that you actually started to write a book and decided that
it would be better to do readings?

MIKESELL: No, it is not a fact. The University of Chicago Press had already
done the readings volume by Harold Mayer and Clyde Kohn on urban work. They
thought this had been successful and they encouraged another one.
We had two unsuccessful attempts. One was to deal with the geography of
elements of culture, i.e. to have a general essay on language and a specific
case study, one on religion and settlement patterns. We just didn't find
enough literature on that. We tried to do one on the United States. We
thought that the argument of cultural geography and what role it could play
would be most effective if we could use North American examples. That didn't
work out.

Eventually we ended up with a four part organization that was essentially
bibliographic. We just piled up the cards and found that they automatically
could be sorted out into four piles and we gave them labels.

HART: Why couldn't you do that for the U.S.?

MIKESELL: It was too explicit; it wouldn't have been sufficiently rounded.
There was tremendous penetration in certain themes: settlement morphology,
rural architecture, and categories of analysis and diffusion

HART: What are the gaps?

MIKESELL: For the USA? It's hard to say. To put it that way one problem is
just simply there haven't been very many people. So many of the cultural
geographers have really adopted another culture. For every Kniffen, or
Meinig, or a Hart, you have all sorts of people who embrace the idea of South
Asian or Latin American studies. Certainly there had not been a strong
cultural ecological slant in the American tradition. A very heavy emphasis on
architecture, settlement morphology, field patterns. A map-oriented material
cultural orientation.

The non-material side is not really cultivated partly because American
culture is so hard to grasp in these terms: dialect, language. In Morocco
it's so overwhelming. There are forty dialects of Berber that they don't
understand from one valley to another. Tremendous variations in religion and
non-material culture is so subtle, so elusive that that literature hasn't
developed very well.

 HART: Well now, how would you reply to the charge that cultural geographers
have been concerned primarily with the obscure, the insignificant? They have
gone off to study the Berbers instead of studying the American cities.

MIKESELL: I wouldn't respond that way. It used to be a classic comment in
anthropology text books to say... "We go to primitive areas, because they are
simple. We have to first develop our models in a simple context." This
rationalization, although presented in prefaces to books, I don't think is
the correct one. We go to these areas not because they are simple, but
because they are so complex and rich. You have this great variety of relic
culture traits. Diversity. Most cultural geographers have exactly the
opposite view that we think it is homogenized. It doesn't have the richness
and diversity we can find in a country like Burma or Mexico.

HART: Couldn't that diversity be found in a pluralism in a society, rather
than the difference between groups? Could you seek differences between

MIKESELL: I suppose so, I think with a new generation of students we are
beginning now to get a more explicit tack on the diversity of American
culture and that would be very helpful.
HART: The reason I asked you a minute ago about the gaps is that I think some
students would be interested in your ideas as to what areas in the United
States a cultural geographer could apply himself to that are essentially
research gaps?

MIKESELL: There are so many, It's hard to know where to begin. I think I
would go back to the challenge that Frederick Jackson Turner gave us. Not the
Frontier Thesis, but his much more important work on sectionalism. We have a
very subtle regionalism in this country. It's not the starkness that you
would find in Africa or even in Europe, yet we know it's there, we know that
the Southeast is different from the Northeast. We know that there are
peculiarities in the Southwest, for example. To grapple with this, to devise
ways of analyzing it, is a tremendous challenge, and would be very useful to
know more in this line.

HART: So you would really encourage students to be concerned with
sections and sectionalism?

MIKESELL: I think that would be the theme in American cultural
geography that most needs to be opened up.

HART: Well thank you very much, Marvin. It's been a very pleasant
interview and I want to thank you.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 9pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          ARTHUR H. ROBINSON (l915-    )
                            University of Wisconsin

                                Interviewed by
                              Maynard Weston Dow

Washington Hilton Hotel         April 23, l984                  Washington, D.C.

DOW: Arthur Robinson, Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin. Robie in
l972 we interviewed you at Kansas City and that interview has generated a lot of
interest, especially among cartographers. I've had it in mind to interview you again
and give you more time as it were. Are you agreeable to do more?

ROBINSON: Certainly.

DOW: Let's move on then. When and how did you get into geography, especially how did
you happen to get into cartography?

ROBINSON: Well, they're really two different stories in a sense. One was that
I graduated from Miami University (Ohio) way back in 1936 and decided that I
didn't want going to school any more. I took a job as a secretary to a member
of the Board of Liquor Control for the state of Ohio, where I learned quite a
bit. But after about six months I also decided that I'd had it, working for
the state. So I thought I'd better go back to graduate school. I had majored
in history and I didn't want to go on in that field; I had minored in
geography and in art. I did not have enough credits to get into graduate
school in art, but I did have enough credits to get into graduate school in
geography. It so happened that the professor of geography at Miami University
at that time was my next door neighbor and he knew Glenn Trewartha at
Wisconsin. He contacted Trewartha and they had a vacancy for a graduate
assistant so they took me on. I think my salary was $50 a semester.

DOW: What about the cartography aspect? Did you know that it existed or was
that a new idea to you?

ROBINSON: I knew cartography existed, but that's all. I was a straight geography student.
At Wisconsin I took the one cartography course that was offered there.

DOW: With whom?

ROBINSON: V. C. Finch. Which was not much of a cartography course as things go now. At
the end of two years I obtained a master's degree. I did a little free lance drafting
work for an occasional professor. But then, because I wanted to get married and my wife
had a good job in Columbus, Ohio, I moved to Ohio State. At Ohio State I didn't take any
more cartography; they wouldn't let me, because I already had a cartography course. I
did do a lot of free lance map work for Roderick Peattie at Ohio State. He wrote quite a
lot of books and was working not only on schoolbooks, but also wrote a book Geography
and Human Destiny and I illustrated that for him. So I had done quite a bit of free
lance cartography work. Well, I had passed my prelims and in the spring of 1941 I was
ready to do a dissertation on the populating of the Mississippi Valley. In the late
summer Richard Hartshorne from Wisconsin accepted the job of beginning a Geography
Division in what was then the Coordinator of Information (COI) under Colonel Wild Bill
Donovan in Washington.

Dick had to move his family to Washington. Mrs. Hartshorne, I'm not sure why, took the
train to Washington and Dick took their two daughters and drove to Washington in order
to get the car to there. Well, it was summer time and hot and they stopped in Columbus.
Dick and his daughters stayed overnight with the Peatties and let the kids get cleaned
up and so on. During their visit, Dick asked Peattie did he know anybody in geography
who knew how to make maps? He said: "Oh sure I do, he's been working for me." Dick
talked to me, but about a month later in October or thereabouts I got a call from
Washington. Would I come down and work with him in the budding Geography Division of the
COI, which was the forerunner of the OSS?

DOW: This was prior to Pearl Harbor?

ROBINSON: Oh yes! This was prior to Pearl Harbor.

DOW: Had you met Hartshorne before?


DOW: First time was in Ohio, is that right?

ROBINSON: It was the first time I had ever met him, yes. I should say, I had The
Nature of Geography inflicted upon me. (Laughter).

DOW: So you were in awe of him, or what ever the word is.

ROBINSON: No I wasn't, it didn't awe me (More Laughter). At any rate I went to
Washington. There were three of us to begin with in one office. Dick Hartshorne was
the headman, Ed Ackerman, and me. I was simply put to making maps for anybody in the
COI that needed to have a map made. There weren't very many then, it was just the
beginning of the organization. But after about several months, I suppose, Dick
realized that the Geography Division had to be split up into bigger pieces. He
thought we had better have a Cartography Division and he thought I probably was
mature enough to head it. He asked me: "Would I?" I said: "Yes, I would." That's how
that got started. Then I suppose six, eight months later they reorganized the whole
place when it became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). They set up the Research
and Analysis Branch with regional divisions, the Geography Division, an Economics
Division, and a Map Division, and that was me. I then had a Cartography Section, a
Map Intelligence Section, a Topographic Model Section and a Photography Section in
the Map Division of OSS. That's how I got into cartography.

DOW: Well, if Dick hadn't stopped overnight you might not be a cartographer today.

ROBINSON: I haven't the slightest idea what I would have been.

DOW: Do you think that was a turning point in your career?

ROBINSON: Yes. No question about it, no doubt about it.
DOW: We never know these things are going to happen, do we?
ROBINSON: No, we don't. We have no idea. At the end of the war I could have stayed in
Washington with the organization, but I decided that I had just as soon go back to
academia and see if I could develop cartography as an academic field.

DOW: Let's just go back to the OSS a minute. What was Dick's particular
responsibility during this time period?

ROBINSON: I have a little difficulty in answering that because I was no longer
closely involved, but there were a lot of area studies and things having to do with
putting together reports about areas. Not detailed (they were detailed), but I mean
not in depth studies of the economics and the political situations, but rather
descriptive kinds of studies of terrain, climate, and transportation.

DOW: Not necessarily typical intelligence stuff, but more for briefing?

ROBINSON: Yes, but it's the kind of thing that if your going to go into a
place, you need to know. This was one of the major operations of the
Geography Division, to put these kinds of reports together. They worked closely
with the people in the other area divisions, but this was the kind of
responsibility the geographers had.

DOW: Would he have been one of the chief recruiters to bring geographers to Washington
to assist with this?

ROBINSON: Oh, yes! You see there were also area divisions. Like there was a Latin
American Division, an Africa Division, a European Division, a Far East Division, a
Russian Division. These were all staffed by a variety of people including some

DOW: Were you, by any chance, a member of the ASPG? I assume you weren't a member of
the AAG then?

ROBINSON: No, but I became a member of the AAG in 1941 or 1942.

DOW: You did?

ROBINSON: Yes. I was elected.

DOW: You were elected? Based upon that, what was the thing that got you in? It was
rather difficult to become a member in those days, wasn't it?

ROBINSON: Probably Hartshorne told Ralph Brown I was pretty good.

DOW: And you didn't have a degree at that point?

ROBINSON: No. I didn't have a degree then.

DOW: Don't you suppose you are one of the few people that got in with those
few credentials?

ROBINSON: I think probably yes.

DOW: You were sort of a precursor of what was to come, weren't you?

ROBINSON: I think so, yes.

DOW: I know that's a whole other story, but I couldn't resist asking you that question.
Now what took you from Washington to Wisconsin?
ROBINSON: The desire to finish my degree. I mean I really wanted to do that, I had
set out to do it and I put in a lot of time on it. I didn't think I was going to
give it up. I really didn't like working for the government very much; I grew up
on a college campus; my father was a professor. I decided that I'd go back to the
University if I got a decent offer to see what I could do about making cartography
into a proper discipline in the field of geography and in the academic world.

DOW: Who gave you the offer to go to Wisconsin?

ROBINSON: The written offer was V. C. Finch, who wrote a hand-written letter,

DOW: Did he say I want you to come and build up cartography?*

ROBINSON: Yes he did. Exactly that.

DOW: How did you go about it?

ROBINSON: Well, I got there and began to teach a course in cartography the very first
semester. Then I developed some more courses in cartography.

DOW: Did you have a text in those days?

ROBINSON: We used Raisz, Erwin Raisz. General Cartography, 1948.

DOW: That was the only one?

ROBINSON: The only book, yes. There were a lot of outside reading type things
like Deetz and Adams on map projections and so on, but Erwin Raisz's book was
the very first and the only decent book at all.

DOW: How come you came out with a book not long after? 1948 or l949?

ROBINSON: Raisz was kind of old fashioned and he hadn't really thought about the
field from a philosophical point of view in terms of organization of how you make a
map and so on. We'd had a lot of experience in that working to develop stuff in the
OSS. I just decided that I found it very difficult to teach from Raisz. It just
wasn't organized as a good textbook ought to be. So I decided I will write one; I
did and it was published, I think, in 1953.

DOW: l953. OK, I guess I'm a little early. I know I used the text when I took my first
cartography course. You must have needed money and resources to develop cartography?
Was there a lot of money available in those days?

ROBINSON: No. There wasn't. But you remember after the war there were all sorts of
programs for helping various people get into academic work again. There was a big
program called the National Defense Education Act, and the NDEA series. You hook up
defense with anything and you're in business. They had a lot of money in that program
and the money was available to provide three-year scholarships for very good students
in graduate work. They were very generous, they were really very good scholarships at
the time. I don't remember what the amount was, but it was a lot more....

DOW: It seemed like a lot of money.

ROBINSON: It was a lot of money. A lot more than you could make as a teaching
assistant. You had to make application for these things, so I put together a very
considerable application and I got awarded for the first year, I think, three, and
then the second year three more. Now this meant that there were three or four of
them the first year and then there were six or seven the second year and they kept
on going, each of them, for three years, you see. Well, the National Defense
Education Act not only paid the students, but they paid the University to educate
them. So they matched what they paid the students with a grant to the University.
I've never been able to figure out how the University let this get away from them.
But they turned all that grant money over to me. So I just bought masses of
equipment, I don't mean masses; I mean lots of equipment and things that you really
had to have in order to have a proper laboratory.

DOW: Your own photo lab and things of this nature?

ROBINSON: Yes. That's right. You'd never get that now, the university would snatch that
all up.

DOW: They would take a lot off the top.

ROBINSON: So we really had two things going there. One was we were able to attract
some really good students. I mean really top-notch students. Secondly, we got a lot of
money to provide the equipment that we needed.

DOW: Can you think of any of that first wave or first generation of
cartographers that went out and became....

ROBINSON: Oh sure! Joel Morrison was one, Barbara Petchenik was one of them, there are
some others, I'm having a little trouble remembering which ones got NDEAs. But you see,
this had a very important relationship to the geography department. In general,
geographers have always thought of cartography as just being sort of pen pushers and a
technical kind of thing. But when we got a half a dozen or more absolutely top notch
students, who were majoring in cartography, this kind of opened the eyes of
geographers. Maybe there is something to this business. So that was a big help when we
were developing the field at Wisconsin.

DOW: Of course, your students went out and got jobs, I guess. Was everybody getting a
job in those day?

ROBINSON: No problem at all. No problem at all.

DOW: Let's go back to you a bit. What do you consider some of your more important
publications, contributions to the field?

ROBINSON: More important it is a little difficult to evaluate, but one was the very
first publication that I had in the way of a book, The Look of Maps, which came out
about l951 or so. It was a rewriting of my Ph.D. dissertation. I gave up any idea of
doing the original dissertation that I had started way back in l941. After my
experience at the OSS I was able to convince Guy Harold Smith, who was my advisor at
Ohio State, to allow me to do a dissertation, which had
the grand title of "Foundations of Cartographic Methodology." It ended up
as the book The Look of Maps. What it did was to try to point out the fundamental fact
that we are trying to communicate things with maps. There were certain aspects of the
science. The application of color, lettering, language and projections; all these
things had to be fitted together. Just as you would fit together a good written
exposition in order to have a proper display of what you wanted to do. So I worked very
hard on that and Guy Harold Smith was broad minded enough to allow it. Which,
incidentally, was very unusual.

DOW: An innovative kind of subject at that point?
ROBINSON: It was innovative, at least, as far as any geography department was
concerned. Yes! That was fine. He allowed me to do it and I went ahead with it.

DOW: Would you list something else?

ROBINSON: There have been a lot of things since then. I got interested in some
historical aspects quite early. I kept that up and ultimately taught a full-fledged
course on the history of cartography, but I concentrated on thematic mapping. One of
the later books, which was the culmination of some twenty-five years of research and a
couple of Guggenheims and so on, was Early Thematic Mapping in the History of
Cartography, 1982. Barbara Petchenik and I, way back in the l970's, were very much
interested in the whole philosophical aspect of cartography. How it's relation was to
language as a means of communication and how did people process spatial materials.

DOW: You published in these ideas, I believe?

ROBINSON: Yes. This came out, as the book the two of us did, The Nature of
Maps: Essays Toward Understanding Maps and Mapping, 1976.

DOW: When we were talking about Ohio State earlier, I meant to mention Guy Harold Smith.
Tell us a little bit about him. You say he was your advisor.

ROBINSON: Guy Harold Smith did his Ph.D. work at the University of Wisconsin, he was a
Wisconsin boy and quite early on he was brought to Ohio State to Head the Department,
not as Chairman, but really to be the Head of the Department. At that time the
Department was at loggerheads with one another and he was sort of a peacemaker. He
remained as Head of the Department for twenty, twenty-five years or more, I don't
know. He built it up and so forth, but he wasn't a
domineering individual. He was more of a diplomat and he kept it going. It was a
pretty good department by then.

DOW: When I think of him I think of those globes of volume measurements. There was a
map of Ohio?

ROBINSON: Yea! He did a map of Ohio with globes.

DOW: I think you probably used it didn't you? In your book?

ROBINSON: I did as an illustration of what not to do. (Laugher).

DOW: Of what not to do. If Guy Harold Smith is listening he won't mind will he?

ROBINSON: I don't think so.

DOW: OK. How do you characterize cartography? Is it a science or an art or what?
ROBINSON: It's a little bit of everything, which makes it so fascinating. The best way
I can characterize cartography, I think, is to use an analogy of architecture. Where
you are using all sorts of things scientific and engineering; everything to put
together a structure. When I say cartography I mean the part where you are designing
the map. I don't mean going out and surveying, taking pictures and stuff like that.
I'm talking about the structuring, the production of a communication, or something
nice to look at as far as that's concerned. It involves all sorts of things. This is
highly technical, but at the same time there are judgmental aspects of it. You can't
measure all these things and you've got to use a lot of intuition and a lot of

DOW: Creativity?
ROBINSON: Creativity! As it would be in architecture. I don't know of any other field
that is really quite like that. Architecture and cartography.

DOW: Cartography. Mixing the science and the art?

ROBINSON: Yes. That's right and highly technical. You see an architect has to be an
expert in building and structural materials and all these kind of things and so does the

DOW: You know, I think, everybody enjoyed our little session this morning about geography in
Washington during World War II. You said that you went out looking for mapmakers and you
told them, what's that little story that you said?

ROBINSON: In that case I was looking for draftsmen and I said that we would ask them: "Can
you play the piano?" If they could say: "Yes, I've had some piano." We could teach them to
draft. You see, what we did in the OSS is we worked up a system, whereby we had
cartographers do all the planning of this thing and working up what we called worksheets
with all the specifications. Then we would have it drafted by people, who were experts in
manipulating pens and so on. The draftsman never made a decision.

DOW: They just idiotically performed what you told them to do?

ROBINSON: It wasn't idiotic. (Laughter). But they did it because they were good at it and
that way we could get production.

DOW: Alright. When did cartography become recognized as a discipline?

ROBINSON: I would say that, let me go back a little bit. Historically there have
been cartographers for a long, long time and no problem. As an academic discipline, that's
another matter. As an intellectual discipline, organized with as you would expect, an
organization of the discipline. That came only during and right after World War II. There
has been a tremendous change. Where as with Erwin Raisz's book, the only one there was,
there were no organizations of cartographers. There was some cartography work in the
Association of American Geographers, but not much. After World War II it really burst. All
of a sudden, we had a lot of people who had some experienced training; something we had
never had before. Also, we had the development of organizations like the American Congress
on Surveying and Mapping, which had a Cartography Division in it. John K. Wright of the
American Geographical Society was the first head of that. The government cartographers were
much involved. There hadn't been many government cartographers prior to World War II. Now
there were lots and lots of them. So if you plotted out the change, the great jump comes
right after World War II and it's still going on. We now have some thirty or so cartography
organizations, professional organizations around the world. We have probably forty journals
in the field, whereas there may have been one or two prior to World War II.

DOW: How do we ask this question and have it be modestly responded to? Are you the
guiding light, or the shepherd of these changes?

ROBINSON: No, no, no! I'm just one there are lots and lots of others. Not
only in the United States, but around the world.

DOW: And you say they surfaced simultaneously?


DOW: Because of the impact of the war.

ROBINSON: That's right.
DOW: Technological changes.

ROBINSON: No question about it.

DOW: What's the relation between the discipline of geography and the
discipline of cartography?

ROBINSON: That depends upon whom you ask. (Laughter).

DOW: Well, let's ask you right now.

ROBINSON: Up until the last century geography and cartography were sort of
synonymous. Geographers made maps and so on. But as geography developed as an
academic field, especially in the United States and England, early in this century, there
was not anything in the way of cartography. So geographers generally thought
of map makers either as being the surveyors, the people who went out and made topographic
maps and geological surveys and so on. Or as simply handy draftsmen to draw up what they
thought they ought to want as the lay of the land to illustrate reports or make wall maps.
The field had no standards or cartography had no standing as a discipline in the field of
geography. We got a lot of big people that said it
was very important, like Carl Sauer, but nobody ever did anything about it. It
wasn't until…

DOW: Did they believe it was important or were they being condescending or...?

ROBINSON: They thought somebody else ought to do it and they weren't really that
much interested themselves, but they did know it was quite important. After World
War II when everybody got interested (not everybody, I mean, lots and lots of
people got interested) then the geographers had a problem, because here was an academic
discipline developing. It had always been what there was of it in fields
of geography. But they weren't really happy with it; they were the wrong kind of people.
They were working on different kinds of things. It's like, I can't think
of a very good analogy, but if you can imagine a student of language doing research into
literature and the relation of literature to mores and how language develops
and what effect it has upon the way we think and compare that with say, e.g. put a novelist
in the department. He's not going get along at all, because they think he just puts stuff
together to show the people. That's a little bit the way the problem is with the geography
in this country and in England as well. It's not that way in other countries.

DOW: What about Germany? We think of them as being one of the leading countries.

ROBINSON: They have departments of cartography. There are departments of cartography.
The Netherlands has a great big department of cartography. It's a department in a
school of geography. The same is true in Russia. But in this country we aren't
organized that way, you see.

DOW: Will we ever?

ROBINSON: I don't really know. I really can't tell. Where technical things are happening
so fast in this country that I really can't tell you what's going to happen.

DOW: Speaking of technical things, how is the computer and automation going to affect

ROBINSON: It's having a tremendous affect. In the first place just the very fact that
we can do so many things with it that make life a whole lot easier. Now I wouldn't
think of drawing isorhythms on a map, I wouldn't think of preparing a projection and
compiling a coastland, it's all in the computer. Punch the buttons and it comes out
right away and it doesn't cost anything significant at all. There are enormous amounts
of just the nuts and bolts kind of operations in cartography that have been greatly
simplified. They are not going to go back, there is no question about that. The second
thing is that the development of the computer and the problem of the development of a
program for doing various things or algorithms in cartography demands that you analyze
exactly what you are doing in every step of the way. You can tell a machine what to do
and this means that in the last twenty, thirty years (not maybe thirty) a great many
of the operations having to do with generalization and all of the sticky problems in
cartography have had to be taken apart bit by bit. We know exactly what kinds of
mental processes we are going through so we can tell the machine what to do. This
means that we understand ourselves a whole lot better than we ever did before.

DOW: You cause me to wonder about the tremendous amount of data available that
you didn't have thirty or forty years ago. There are maps, an infinite amount of mapping
out there, to be done.

ROBINSON: It's not just that there's an infinite amount of mapping, but there is also a
development in that we're very close to real-time mapping. The development of the
satellite capability such as the Thematic Mapper and geologic and LANDSAT and so on. It's
not going to be long before the kinds of things that we're getting on the television
weather reports are going to be standard procedure for all other kinds of things. When
you turn on that television set you see a map, and you see the cloud systems, and you see
them moving - that's real-time cartography.

DOW: Yes, that is, isn't it?

ROBINSON: It is. We think of it as just normal. Nowadays we think there's nothing to it.
It's an absolute revolution and so we're just beginning.

DOW: Well, lets hope that in twelve or fifteen years we can come back and discuss some of
these improvements that are going to be taking off.

ROBINSON: I'm not sure I'll be around.

DOW: Well, you might. We will find out. Thank you very much.
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                             HAROLD ROSE (l930-   )
                     University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

                                    Interviewed by
                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                              U. S. Air Force Academy

Muehlebach Hotel               April 25, l972     Kansas City, Missouri

DOW: Professor Harold Rose, of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. How did
you become interested in geography?

ROSE: I became interested in geography as a student of history, who was
more concerned with the contemporary scene. The Department of Geography and
History were a combined department at the institution at which I did my
undergraduate work, so I had early contact with geography. Likewise, I was from
a rural background and I saw a lot of opportunities which were akin to the kind
of living experience that I had had and the kind of geography of that day.

DOW: Where were you brought up?

ROSE: I was brought up in Middle, Tennessee. In fact, I leaned very heavily
toward majoring in agriculture rather than history when I entered college.

DOW: Where did you do your undergraduate work?

ROSE: Tennessee A & I State College.

DOW: How did you decide to become a professional geographer?

ROSE: I decided to become a professional geographer after I had received a
bachelor's degree. I was shopping around for an area in which to do graduate
work. I had been in the Army immediately after receiving a Bachelor's degree
in History (with a minor in geography) and I wanted to get into college
teaching. With a master's degree in geography it was very easy to get into
college teaching in the black college, because there were so few blacks with
any professional training in geography.

DOW: What time are we talking about?

ROSE: We're talking about the period 1953, 1954; I entered graduate school in
the fall of 1953.

DOW: Where did you go for your master's degree?

ROSE: I went to Ohio State.

DOW: What were the things that you were pursuing at that time?
ROSE: I really didn't know the field in terms of areas of specialization,
so one might say that I took a master's degree in general geography with
a heavy emphasis on economic geography.

DOW: You didn't have any physical bias?

ROSE: At that time I didn't have a physical bias. The physical bias came
after being heavily involved in undergraduate teaching at the introductory
level with the basic physical geography course.

DOW: You say you wanted to become a teacher. Did you go back and teach before
you got your doctorate or did you just continue through?

ROSE: I started teaching immediately upon the receipt of a master's degree. I
moved within two weeks into a black college, Florida A & M University. I was
there from 1954 to 1957, at which time I took a leave of absence to pursue
the Ph.D.

DOW: You went back to Ohio State?

ROSE: I went back to Ohio State at that time.

DOW: Who were some of your teachers and fellow graduate students at Ohio

ROSE: At Ohio State: Professor Alfred Wright was my advisor and mentor.
Professor Guy Harold Smith, Professor Fred Carlson, Professor John Randall,
Professor Henry Hunker, Professor Lawrence Hoffman were among those persons
who taught me and with whom I took some extensive work.

DOW: Who were some of the graduate students?

ROSE: Allen Schmieder, Nelson Frazier, David Ganyard, (those
stand out in my mind), and Calvin Willberg.

DOW: As you completed your doctorate, what was the subject of your

ROSE: "Land Use in Central North Florida: A Study in Conservation."

DOW: Is this what you pursued then immediately upon...?

ROSE: Yes, I was teaching Conservation at Florida A & M. This was a required
course for everybody, who was going to teach in the public schools of
Florida, so there was a hefty demand, a captive audience.   At the time I
went away for the doctorate, I envisioned myself probably remaining at
Florida A & M for an indefinite period of time and I wanted to improve my
competence in the area in which most of my teaching was being done.

DOW: What about your interest in climatology?

ROSE: My interest in climatology was an outgrowth of the emphasis placed on
climate in the basic introductory physical course. We were Finch and
Trewartha-oriented and I took off one summer and went to Madison and took
Trewartha's climate course. As a matter of fact I felt seriously about
pursuing the doctorate at Wisconsin and doing it in climate with Mr.
DOW: Now, how do these interests fit in with your present day research?

ROSE: There isn't much resemblance to what I'm doing now and the kinds of
things that I intended to focus on as a graduate student. Now I must say that
my work in conservation did prompt my interest in population and a part
interest in man vis a vis land in terms of a program of resource management
and development. So I was of the opinion that you don't talk about natural
resources without talking about human resources and I eventually moved more
into the human resource area.

DOW: Did you kind of school yourself on this?

ROSE: Yes, in large measure I did. But I ran into the problem when I moved
from Florida A & M in 1962 to the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where
I had began to do research in an area in which I was not teaching. Beginning
to do work in population research I was informed by my then Chairman: "Why
don't you do research in the area in which you're teaching?" I thus secured a
National Science Foundation post doctoral grant and studied a year at the
Population and Researach Training Center at the University of Chicago in
1964-65 in order to legitimate my interest. (Laughter).

DOW: Yes! This happens with a lot of people. What sub-fields within geography
do you think are particularly fruitful for the future?

ROSE: Oh I guess since I'm basically urban-oriented: additional
facets of urban geography. More small scale micro-analysis behavioral
geography, which certainly seems to be picking up some steam. Not well
developed at this time, because most geographers have not had the kind of

DOW: What about social geography?

ROSE: Yes. All of this I would see as part of social geography, urban social

DOW: Do you think we will be seeing this aspect of the field
in the departments more? As a concept?

ROSE: There is no question about it. I think you're beginning to find and
more young graduate students interested in social geography. Just think half
a dozen years ago it was almost an alien term in American geography.

DOW: How can a geographer help?

ROSE: The geographer's perspective is his greatest resource. Most of the
social analysis research is aspatial in terms of its orientation.
Considering the great importance of propinquity in terms of behavior this is
lost by many social scientists, but I think geographers can make their
greatest contribution.

DOW: Do you think we're making a breakthrough with other social

ROSE: I think we are. We are communicating more effectively with other social
scientists than ever before.

DOW: Finally, what are getting to be your future interests, can you predict?
ROSE: It's hard to predict, but I would assume that I'm going to push further
in urban, spatial-behavioral analysis. I really haven't done much, but I have
an interest. I don't know that I really possess a great deal of the skills
necessary but I'll try to prepare myself to move further in this area.

DOW: Well thank you very much, Harold. It's been a very great pleasure.

ROSE: Thank you.
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                         JOHN R. BORCHERT (1918-2001)
                           University of Minnesota

                                  Interviewed by
                                    Louis Seig
                            U. S. Air Force Academy
                                Colorado Springs

Marc Plaza Hotel              April 22, l975                  Milwaukee

SIEG: John Borchert, Professor of Geography, University of Minnesota,
how did you get into geography?

BORCHERT: Quite by accident. I had done undergraduate work in geology. I didn't really
know the field existed as a discipline and somewhat by chance, I proceeded from
geology into graduate work in meteorology at MIT in the very early years of WWII. I
worked throughout the war as a weather forecaster for the operational missions of the
Eighth Air Force over Europe. I came back thinking that I might go back into petroleum
geophysics, which I had been in at the outbreak of the war. Possibly graduate work in
geology, or into the air transportation business. I did not have any desire to stay in
the military, but I had a lot of valuable experience in both petroleum and military
air transportation. I stumbled on a copy of one of the basic geography books at that
time. This was in an early 1940s or late 1930s edition and it looked to me that much
of it was a combination, and a sort of potential application, of a lot of things that
I had learned about the air and about the atmosphere. There are many very interesting
sidelights to this. It really was almost amusingly accidental, but I wandered on to
the University of Wisconsin campus in geography. By the end of the first semester I
was sufficiently interested in this; it seemed to me this was really the direction I
wanted to go in. I probably always wanted to go, but I just didn't know the field
existed. One thing lead to another. I burned various bridges behind me and became more
and more emeshed in the society and the intellectual structure of geography, and here
I am.

SIEG: Who did you do your work under?

BORCHERT: Well, the staff at Wisconsin at that time was very small. I went
there in the late fall of 1945 and I joined the staff in the fall of 1947. It
was a combined PhD, ABD and I instructed for two years while I was finishing
my dissertation. My advisor was Trewartha. I suppose I had about an equal
amount of work under him and Hartshorne. Sterling was there at the time and
I did some work with him. Robinson and Stone had just arrived shortly after.
I did, as a matter of fact,   some work with them. The staff was smaller at
that time, but you really worked with everyone (this was very good), as well
as, the people in land economics and geology.

SIEG: Who were some of the graduate students there at that time?
BORCHERT: Well, I remember simply the seminar that Hartshorne offered on The
Nature of Geography. I think this was the first time he had offered the
seminar. As I recall the members of the seminar were John Alexander, John
Brush; it seems to me Allan Rogers was in there when I was a student. Wilbur
Zelinsky might have been, I'm uncertain about that.

SIEG: What about Cotton Mather? Was he there?

BORCHERT: Well, Mather was there, but Mather was the elder statesman of the
graduate group at that time. He had been there before the war and had been
exposed to most of these people. I don't recall that he was in that seminar,
but he was very much on the ground.

SIEG: When you finished, your major area of concentration was physical
geography. Right? That's what you did your dissertation on?

BORCHERT: Well, this is true. Although the physical geography part of it
really was constituted largely by my prior graduate study in geology and
meteorology. What I did there as a graduate student in geography was to round
out my geography, really. Regional courses, systematic courses, seminars and
my coordinate work in other departments; to a large extent in agricultural
economics with the land economists, which was a very distinguished group at
that time, and it still is. The effect of this was to begin to give me a
very strong bent, even during my graduate years. I joined the applications of
traditional physical geography to resource management and planning types of
questions. I don't think I fully sensed this at the time, but it was
obviously going on.

SIEG: Now you went to Minnesota and my understanding is when you were hired
at Minnesota you brought in as a physical geographer.

BORCHERT: Well, that's right; in a curious sort of way. You see Ralph Brown
had just passed away. Although probably most people don't realize it Ralph
had taught the climatology and cartography courses as a service there. So I
came in and did the same thing along with some other courses that Ralph had
taught, although not the historical geography course. There had been no
introductory course in physical geography, per se, so I started one. Those
were my main teaching responsibilities at that time.

SIEG: But you shifted later and you switched to things like urban.


SIEG: And planning and resource development; things like that. How did that
come about? I know you said that you started. . .

BORCHERT: I think it was a very natural sort of evolution. It wasn't a shift
later, it really was something that was going on in my mind, I think, from
the time that I first got into geography. I think that I viewed geography,
partly consciously and partly unconsciously, as a means of applying what I
had learned about in the earth sciences and the atmospheric sciences. To what
amounted to resource management and settlement management, or planning
problems that were all around us in society, and still are. I think, my whole
evolution as a person intellectually in the field, I was following that
tendency from the time I first got into it. When I got to Minnesota we were a
very small staff, Broek, Weaver, and I; there were three of us really at that
time. I was the third man, which meant I taught everything that nobody else
wanted. One of the courses that I inherited was a course on Minnesota. There
we were in the middle of a regional financial empire, a state capital and the
state university. This thing got me rather quickly into an orientation of
studying the effect of applied geography, which is really a kind of regional
geography. It's a way in which one brings together the systematic field that
applies in the region. I rather quickly got into this kind of work.

SIEG: The thing I find interesting (I think, other people do too) you appear
to be one geographer in the United States, who strongly advocated applied
geography, and other kinds of projects, that you brought about at the
University for your students to work on. Such as the Lakeshore Development
Project as one example; there are a number of others. I was wondering if you
would talk about the idea of applied geography in that sense?

BORCHERT: Again, I don't know that I was an advocate exactly, but I guess I
was just a practitioner; often times, not really a conscious one. Although in
retrospect, I think, I can systematically advocate doing the kinds of things
that I did. I found myself participating in a great many organizations on
public issues and saying, with maybe more certainly than I should have, that
I was a geographer and felt I could make some contributions. One thing lead
to another. We had the Highway Planning Study and the Upper Midwest Urban
Study. Later on the large amount of consultation that I did with the
legislature on open space acquisition and mapping. That lead to the lakeshore
study that you mentioned and the present Land Management Formation Study,
which was probably the largest in the country. In every case we brought a lot
students into these things, simply, because I was in them. These people were
studying with me and this led, in turn, to a lot of systematic application
and curriculum program consequences in the Department.

SIEG: In conclusion John, speaking in terms of the kinds of things that are
happening in our economy today, what is happening in the discipline? What kinds of
advise would you give to graduate students today?

BORCHERT: Well, I would urge them to ground themselves firmly in the
understanding of how we get geographic data, our kind of sources, field
sources and how we manipulate it. Both in terms of the computer and
traditional cartographic design and production questions. Then to ground
themselves well in the general geography of the country and of the world so
they have a context with which they can formulate hypotheses and apply their
techniques to the data.

SIEG: Thank you, John.

BORCHERT: Thank you. Lou.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          ANDREW H. CLARK (1911-1975)
                            University of Wisconsin

                                    Interviewed by
                                   John Fraser Hart
                               University of Minnesota

Sheraton Boston Hotel           April l9, l971                          Boston

HART: This is Andrew H. Clark, Vernor C. Finch Professor of Geography at the University
of Wisconsin in Madison. I welcome you to the geriatric generation, Andy. We like to
start these interviews by asking how people got interested in geography. What was it
that turned you on as far as geography is concerned?

CLARK: Fraser, I'm a geographer by accident as I'm sure many others are, but,
perhaps, more so than most. I was a mathematician and physicist, as you probably
know, as an undergraduate. I graduated at a very bad time in 1930. I did a couple
of things in the next two years including about nine months of a pick and shovel on
a construction gang seventy hours a week; that wasn't the greatest experience of my
life. But I did manage to scrape some money together and take some advanced work in
statistics and work for about four years in the actuarial department of a life
insurance company, which I must say, bored me to tears. To relieve the monotony of
that I worked in the night city desk of the Toronto Daily Star for a couple of

HART: What did you do there?

CLARK: I interviewed visiting missionaries, bishops, and so forth, and had one very
exciting thing happen. During the Labatt's kidnapping (you wouldn't remember because it's
almost about the same time as was the Dionne quintuplets)...

HART: Which I remember, by golly!

CLARK: At any rate I was part of the Toronto Star team in the Royal York Hotel, which
was trying to find out what connections the kidnappers were having with the family. I
remember sneaking into the hotel suite as a presumed nephew, going through the waste
paper baskets (when nobody was looking), and finding some telephone numbers by which we
later traced some contacts. I thought at the time it was very enterprising by me, but I
decided I didn't think there was much in the newspaper career. I finally in 1935 left
the insurance company and decided to seek an academic career as an economic historian
and I went back to the University to work with Harold Innis, who was the great Pooh-Bah
of Canadian social science at the time. He didn't really run an economics department;
he ran a whole school of social science. He didn't believe in disciplinary boundaries
and it was a great place to work. At the same time Griffith Taylor had arrived in
Toronto to establish a Department of Geography. Innis found out that Grif was looking
for somebody to be a general factotum for him, a sort of combined office boy, help, and
run some labs for him.
HART: Waste paper basket searcher?

CLARK: That's the kind of thing. Well, not quite, but in any event that's what I
became for Grif and in the process I got quite interested in looking through Grif's
library. Within a couple of years I was teaching courses in geography, although I
intended to do my academic work almost entirely in economic theory, economic history,
and some work in geology. Because in order to finance this (I was in a very precarious
financial situation) I managed to get hired by the Canadian Geological Survey for two
summers. In order to do that I had to do some more geology. Although I had a
significant amount of geology as an undergraduate I did a bit more geology for that
purpose. They were exciting years and, as a matter of fact, I intended to go on to
take my Ph.D. in economic history. It was an intervention by a very good friend of
mine, who visited us in Toronto for one year and spent a later year in Berkeley. On
the basis of this recommendation of this friend of mine, Mr. Sauer did what now seems
an almost incredible thing, i.e. take the initiative of inviting somebody, who had
never heard of him, to come and be a graduate student of his. Even more incredible I
wrote back and said: "Thank you very much: "I'm not interested." - because I had an
instructorship at the University of Toronto for the next year and I was planning to go
ahead with it. I was terribly fond of Innis; he was one of the great scholars at the
graduate level in seminars and so forth. I think he was one of the great teachers I
have ever known; I was very anxious to do that. I must have piqued Carl Sauer. I'm
sure this had never happened to him before and I got a night letter back. I'd said in
the letter: " I might go another year, but I'm signed up as a instructor for the next
year." The night letter came back saying: "The year after next I plan to be in Mexico;
if you're going to work with me you'll have to come this year." So I took this to
Harold Innis and I said: "This is an extraordinary thing, tell me about this man
Sauer." He nearly went through the ceiling. He said: "You just about threw your whole
life away. This is absolutely great. Forget all about a degree in economic history."
Although he had been encouraging me to do that he said that for the kind of economic
history I was interested in, a degree in historical geography is great, it's probably
better. Innis used to describe himself as Professor of Economic Geography; he was so
listed in the bulletin. At any rate that's (in this curious way) how I finally got to
Berkeley and did whatever formal geographical training I had there.

HART: Who were the people at Berkeley when you got there? Who are the people you
studied with, who are the people who were your fellow students? Those were salad days.

CLARK: They were salad days, Fraser. The staff was, of course, Carl Sauer, John Leighly,
Jan Broek and John Kesseli; just four. It was based on the theory that there wasn't all
that much geography to teach, but the geographers got most of their education in the
categorically defined disciplinary fields. They just needed a little guidance and
training outside of that, although I used to sneak over and do whatever economic history
I could do with Melvin Moses Knight and some of the other great economic historians they
had there. Carl wouldn't allow me to do my minor in economic history. He said: "That was
too easy, I had to do it in anthropology." So I had Alfred Kroeber and Robert Lowie and
that was a great experience, too, because they were really great men in anthropology of
their time. It was a very exciting experience, but as I told both John Leighly and Carl
Sauer before I left, I really learned more from my fellow graduate students than I did
from them. My fellow graduate students (I think you can understand this) were Dan
Stanislawski, Jim Parsons, Robert West, and George Carter. With that array of people to
educate me (God knows I needed geographical education because I hadn't had very much of
it) I could hardly help but learn a little bit. We had wonderful bull sessions that went
on until all hours of the morning and we hashed over everything.

HART: This is rather demeaning for us old timers. Do you think that's still true?

CLARK: I think that my students (although I like to kid myself that I'm doing great
things for them), I think my students really do learn more from each other. In my case,
the historical geographers learn more from graduate students in history, with some of
the great historians we have at Wisconsin, than they do from me, but I've always felt
this. My contribution to their education, I think, is more as a critic, an editor, and
an irritant to make them work, and things of that kind rather than any great, profound,
intellectual truths that I could try to lay out for them.

HART: Most of the people who were of that era tended to go into the anthropological
stream. I think you picked up another facet of what was being done at Berkeley in those
days. Haven't you?

CLARK: The fact is, you see, that I was committed pretty much to economic history
before I went there. So I got all of this wonderful opportunity, this wonderful point
of view they had, but still I was pointed in another direction and I had enough
momentum to keep going in that direction. I still had this tremendous love,
affection, and respect for Innis and the things that he stood for.

HART: You are still going in that direction. Where do you think you are going to be
going for the next....

CLARK: My hope for the future is to keep on having a few students in historical
geography, to keep on encouraging the development and publication of works in historical
geography, and, for myself, I should like to write two or three books with an overall
view of the expansion of Europe as a geographer looks at it.

HART: Now you're going to be too modest to mention this, but what was the award that
the American Historical Association gave you for your book recently?

CLARK: It was just that when the Beveridge Award Committee of the American Historical
Association awards it's annual prize, (two on the works of the history of the United
States) it usually gives one citation to a work on Canada as to what they consider to be
the best historical work on Canada; they singled out Acadia for that year. Also they give
one citation to what they consider to be the best work on Latin American history.

HART: Well-deserved praise. Thank you very much, Andy, for being with us, it is great
fun to talk to you.

CLARK: It hasn't seemed very long, thank you very much.

HART: It hasn't.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                            EDWARD B. ESPENSHADE, JR.
                      Northwestern University (1910-      )

                                Interviewed by
                          Preston E. James (1899-1986)
                             Syracuse University

Muehlebach Hotel                April 25, l972           Kansas City, Missouri

JAMES: This is Professor Edward Espenshade, Jr., who is presently the
Chairman of the Department of Geography at Northwestern University.

Like many people of his vintage he was brought up at Chicago. He got his
bachelor's degree, master's degree and later a doctor's degree at the
University of Chicago. His bachelor's work and master's work was in geology.
He became a member of the Illinois Geological Survey and was Curator of Maps.

ESPENSHADE: At the University of Chicago.

JAMES: At the University of Chicago during the late 1930s. How did you happen
to shift over from doing geological work to getting into maps and
geographical work?

ESPENSHADE: I'm not sure I ought to admit how this happened, Jimmy, but I was
working on gravel surveys for the state of Illinois. The state of Illinois
had a big highway program at the time (in the Depression). I was driving an
old Ford Model A truck and it used to get pretty damn cold in the wintertime.
came up to see J. Harlan Bretz in the Geology Department about some gravel
problem in Northern Illinois. Wellington Jones, who was in the Geography
Department at Chicago, stuck his head in the door and said hello to me. I
said something about it being cold driving around.

   He said: "How would you like a warm job?" I said:    "What?"

   He said: "The Rockefeller Foundation is giving the University
             some money for a major research map library."

    I said: "Sure, that sounds pretty good."

    He said: "You have to take a geography course every quarter
               and get a Ph.D. in geography."

And that is how it happened.
JAMES: That's a pretty good way to get into geography. Of course, the other
way that you got into geography is that you married the boss's daughter. Is
that correct?

ESPENSHADE: That's true.

JAMES: Was he the boss when you married her?

ESPENSHADE: Yes. This is going to be a bad admission again; I became a
teacher really by accident also.

I had been working in the University (by that time two or three years) and
Wellington Jones became ill at the middle of fall quarter. Charles Colby, who
was Acting Chairman in the fall quarter, came down to the office and asked me
if I would take over Wellington Jones' classes. So within about twenty-four
I found myself projected before forty students with responsibility in an
introductory, year long, geography course. I didn't marry Harlan Barrows'
daughter for another three or four years. At that time I didn't even know his

JAMES: When the war came along Ed first went to Washington as a consultant
(commuting weekends as he put it) and he became the Foreign Map Editor of the
Army Map Service, which was a very important source of maps for the military
services during the war. This was a big job?

ESPENSHADE: This is one of these accidents again. By the time World War II
began I had at my fingertips a pretty good knowledge of the nature and
coverage of all the countries in the world, particularly the countries which
were involved in the earlier fighting.

The U.S. Army had never had a mapping library and production system to
approach such a problem. This was my first experience really in organization.
We had a tremendous organizational task in front of us. The organization had
fifty-nine people and we grew to 4,000 in the war years. We needed people who
knew how to
make maps. We needed map materials. We used to comb the libraries and contact
professors, who had visited various countries, for materials.

Looking back on it there were two or three projects that took a lot of time
in an editorial sense. These were working with non-alphabets and non-Roman
languages. We had to develop a force of about sixty Japanese, around 100
Chinese to transliterate and transcribe names from these foreign languages.
One of the major things looking back on the war was the development of an
policy for preparation of foreign names. We had agreements between the
British and all of our military forces in our mapping materials. I spent a
lot of time on foreign place names.

JAMES: Was Pete Burrill associated with you in this?

ESPENSHADE: There was a Board of Geographic Names that had been established
many years earlier by Presidential Order and Pete was in the Department of
Interior, where the Board was located. I felt that the Army shouldn't be
working unilaterally, so I went over to the Interior to try to get some
muscle and strength from the Board of Geographic Names. This worked to
strengthen the
Board and to lessen internal arguments between the Navy, Army and the Air
Force on foreign place names. We also had to follow agreements with the
British with whom we had a division of labor.

JAMES: Then in 1944 you went overseas for a more than a year with an Army
Engineer map group known as the Hough Team. After the war when you came back
you went to the Department of Geography at Northwestern.
ESPENSHADE: Don Hudson had set up a department at Northwestern and he invited
about four or five people to come. I remember cogitating over this, when I
was overseas, as to whether I should leave the University of Chicago and go
to this "play school", as I had known Northwestern at that time.

But it's difficult to tell why you make those decisions. Partially, my wife
thought that she would like to be at Northwestern, because she had gone to
school there, and so forth. I have never regretted the shift. I have great
fondness for the University of Chicago; that was always an excellent
department. In fact, I was saddened the other day to hear Henry Leppard had
died. I had worked very closely with Henry on various things. So I've been at
Northwestern twenty-seven years now.

JAMES: During this time you became the editor of Goode's School Atlas (now
known as Goode's World Atlas), which is a major project. You've been editor
of this for how many years now?

ESPENSHADE: Somewhere from about 1947 or 1948, so it's roughly twenty-five
years or so.

I did get to know some of the people at Rand McNally in World War II, because
they were making maps also under contract for the Army Map Service. When I
came back from overseas I had further discussions. I was rather reluctant to
start this at the time, but finally I did, somewhere around the late forties.

It's been a slow process of changing maps and adding them, changing from one
printing technique to the other. It puts a cycle into your life, sort of like
the academic system. Except it's two years of work on getting an edition
ready, a couple of year's vacation, and two years of work. We've made a lot
of progress on that atlas, I think.

JAMES: Let me ask you another question, Ed. You became the Chairman of the
Department at Northwestern, which is a small department. How many faculty do
you have in it?

ESPENSHADE: It's a small department in that there are nine men.

JAMES: What are your ideas about the proper structure of a small geography
department in the modern world?

ESPENSHADE: I inherited a department whose composition had been determined
chiefly by Don Hudson and Clarence F. Jones, my predecessors. This shows how
occurrences in your life sometimes affect your thinking.

I had become Chairman of the Earth Science Division of the Academy of
Science, where you're working with geologists and geophysicists all the time.
They tend to look down their noses at geography and they questioned whether
this was a suitable intellectual discipline. From these discussions I became
much concerned about geography in a private university.
I came back convinced that the thing to do was to develop in the Department a
very sharp focus in a limited number of topics, each with two or three men as
a critical nucleus, and specialize rather than cover everything.

Probably today some people wouldn't agree with me, but the emphasis had to be
on research. Put it right at the cutting edge of those things that were
developing, particularly in the field of transportation and urban work. I
think it's been effective in getting a lot done with a few men. Much more so
than if we had
tried to cover the waterfront. We have dropped many of our regional courses
and placed the emphasis on the systematic fields.

JAMES: Haven't you dropped all your regional courses?

ESPENSHADE: We have one or two of them that we sometimes give; they won't
last very long, probably.

JAMES: Meanwhile you do have the two major topical fields that are covered.
What? Transportation? What was the other?

ESPENSHADE: Urban Geography, the general economic field. I sense now that the
edges are blurring a little bit, because two or three of the men in those
cells have become interested in behavioristic concepts and ideas. There even
might be a common ground between them, more so than before with this focus on
the behavioristic areas.

JAMES: Thank you, Ed, for this interview. We appreciate it very much.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                                  Maynard Weston Dow
                                 Geographers on Film
                             Plymouth State University,
                               Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                   Geographer on Film:
                                  T. W. FREEMAN (1908-1988)
                   Professor Emeritus, University of Manchester
                                     Interviewed by
                           Robert P. Beckinsale (1902-1998)
                                 University of Oxford

School of Geography               May 10, l982             Oxford, England
University of Oxford

BECKINSALE: Professor T. W. Freeman, Walter, you are noted for your regional
geography of Ireland, your methodology - The Geographer's Craft, for the history
(various historical geographers and so on) and for other things. It's a very wide
field. Can you tell us why in the first instance you took up geography and
developed such a wide interest?

FREEMAN: I took it out partly because I was always interested in places and
people. My father was a Methodist minister, who moved us every three or four
years; as a family we just loved it. I loved going around seeing all these
places and got a great curiosity about places and people, it's as simple as
that, really.

BECKINSALE: You did eventually go to Dublin. Could you tell us something
about your work in Dublin?

FREEMAN: I had never been to Ireland before; I just wanted another job, because
in those days (this was l936) jobs were very few and far between. I went to
Dublin and stayed there for fourteen years. There was very little geography taught;
I thought the first thing to do was to get some kind of a basis. So I started
writing on Ireland and gradually worked up to a regional geography of Ireland,
which came out in l950.

BECKINSALE: Now you had a great empathy with Ireland?

FREEMAN: Oh yes!

BECKINSALE: This comes through in the volume. Didn't you acquire a wife

FREEMAN: Indeed I did, not only a wife, but when I left Dublin there were
also three children. We have charming relations in Dublin; I always have a
great interest in everything that goes on there. I have a great sympathy for
Ireland, which has given me great happiness and interest for personal and
academic reasons.
BECKINSALE: When did you return to England?

FREEMAN: At the end of l949.

BECKINSALE: Could you tell us something about your work at Manchester,
especially about its influence on your planning and so on?

FREEMAN: Yes. When I got back to England the post-war problem appeared to be
planning, generally, and also the reconstruction of England. It was very clear
that whatever was going to happen England would never be as it was in l939, but
something new must be done. Of course, what has happened is that the urban
landscape, in particular, has been changed out of all recognition. It preserves
a lot of the past it is true, but it's greatly changed from the landscape I knew
a very long time ago as a boy and as a young student about fifty years ago. I
was greatly interested in this process and in all the population problems. The
problems of recreation, the amenity, and of the whole gamut of problems that,
perhaps, could be described as applied geography, or welfare, or have to do
with welfare and life; various things like that.

BECKINSALE: At the same time as you were developing this planning in
combination with applied geography you were also interested in the history of
geography and the history of geographers.

FREEMAN: Yes. That was an idea I had just after the war. In l947 I managed to get
established a committee of the British Association to inquire into this. The idea
I had then was that a lot of the pioneer geographers, who had made geography in
the British universities from the l880s, were beginning to go - some of them had
already died, many of them were retiring. I thought it would be very good to get
hold of their impressions and recollections (indeed to do the sort of thing
we're doing at this very moment) before they disappeared and we started this
committee. In those days I had hopes that if you sent people letters they would
send you back a long letters about everything. Some of them did very generously,
notably Professor Herbert Fleure and a few others. I collected some interesting
information. This was the beginning of an interest that eventually developed as the
years went on. I got more and more interested in the history of geography, (or if
you like to sound a little grander), the history of geographical thought.

BECKINSALE: Yes. Then there came the Commission, the International
Geographical Union Commission. I gather you've been Secretary and Editor ever
since its inception.

FREEMAN: Yes, that's virtually true. I was put on that in l968 at the New Delhi
meeting (Congress of the IGU) without my knowledge and it's been a great interest
and love of my life ever since. It also keeps me out of mischief in retirement.

BECKINSALE: As yet how many volumes are there?

FREEMAN: We're just doing the sixth. This year, in fact, the sixth is at this very
moment with the publishers in London (with Mansell) and will come out sometime later
this year. I'm looking forward to the seventh: you never know what papers will
arrive. They just come from all over the world. It's a very pleasant thing to have
these friends (some of whom one may never see) in different countries; they are
sending constantly interesting material. Of course, I have hopes that the Commission
may branch out in all kinds of other ways.

BECKINSALE: How will it end? Will it be an encyclopedia or an international
biography of geographers?
FREEMAN: (It could be.) It certainly could be that. A lot depends on what
people want; they may not want such long studies as we have done. Of course,
there are other developments. People are beginning to write biographies of
geographers and all these interesting things are happening. There is a sort
of fructification, I hope, from the ideas of the past with the very strongly
developing ideas of this present day.

BECKINSALE: Could you tell us in your long and varied career, is there any
geographer that has especially influenced your thought or your approach to
the subject?

FREEMAN: Many, rather than one. I well remember being with Arthur Geddes (son
of Sir Patrick) at an examining once and I said: "Very well, I shall listen
to your views, but I will make up my own mind." He turned to me and said:
"I've known you for twenty years and that is perfectly true. I know that
you'll do what you want to do in the end." But there are some, which I look
upon as dear friends and colleagues, who have influenced me greatly. I would
certainly mention Roxby with whom I worked during the war on the China
Handbooks and Ogilvie at Edinburgh, to whom I owe a tremendous amount; he was
so patient with me as a, perhaps, rather a forward-looking young man, not to
say a difficult one. And others - Professor Gilbert, here in Oxford, and a
number more, whose ideas have been of great interest. But in the end
everybody has to make up their own mind and to follow the light as they see

BECKINSALE: If you wish people to remember you for any one thing, what would
you choose? One thing in geography?

FREEMAN: Of my books?

BECKINSALE: Of your books, your many writings.

FREEMAN: I don't know. Perhaps, Ireland, because of what I did in that book.
The first edition tried to give a picture of Ireland as it was in the 1940s.
Ireland is a love of my life (one of them) and I still have had that, but
I've had these other things as well. I had a very fortunate and rich life.
But nobody must feel that they must remember me just out of courtesy or
anything like that. I really couldn't care less. (Laughter).

BECKINSALE: You are so wide-ranging. Your past geography: A Hundred Years of
Geography. How do you rank that?

FREEMAN: Somebody has to do it first. It wasn't quite the first, but somebody
has to do it and then others can do their turn. I'd rather they did better
than just say it was inferior. Let them try. I'm always hoping that other
people will enjoy playing on the team as much as I have done. That's what
I've really enjoyed. I have more sympathy with the people who are playing out
on the field than with the fat old gentleman in the grandstand, who is saying
how it ought to be done.

BECKINSALE: Geography you do insist is a field study?

FREEMAN: Basically yes. I think if we lose the field we will lose a very
great deal.

             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                             Geographer on Film:
                          DONALD W. MEINIG (1924-      )
                              Syracuse University

                               Interviewed by
                             Maynard Weston Dow
                           U.S. Air Force Academy

Department of Geography        April 29, l971              Colorado Springs

DOW: Professor Donald Meinig of Syracuse University, will you tell us how you happened
to come into the field of geography?

MEINIG: I think I was a geographer long before I realized I was one, which is probably
the case for many geographers. As a boy I was always fascinated with maps. I collected
road maps, railroad time tables, and pored over atlases, but at that time I didn't
realize that there was such a thing as a professional geographer. When I went to
college I really had in mind going into the Foreign Service. This was a time (my
interest in this evolved growing up in the years during the early part of the Second
World War) when international affairs was the all pervasive topic. So after the war
(when I was completing my bachelor's degree work) I selected the Georgetown School of
Foreign Service and planned to enter the Foreign Service. I suppose I can thank the
notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy for, in a sense, making me into a geographer,
because he had so demoralized the State Department at that time almost no one was
going into it. There was quite a group of us at Georgetown that began to search around
to decide what other line of work might be attractive. As I began to reason out the
kinds of things I was interested in and what I got most enjoyment from, it gradually
began to appear that being a professor of geography would be the appropriate thing, so
then I went to graduate school in geography.

DOW: How did you happen to go to Washington?

MEINIG: I'm a native of Washington state and I had actually attended the University of
Washington for two quarters just after I got out of high school. I was only seventeen at
the time and I thought I will go over and get started; I knew I'd be going into the
Army. I started there and took some courses (just out of my own interest) so when I then
decided after the war ultimately to go into geography I really didn't look around. I
didn't know anything about where major geography departments were and had no one to
advise me.

DOW: You didn't go to study under a particular man?

MEINIG: No, not really. I knew Professor Howard Martin. I knew of him and had talked
with him. When I decided to go into geography I simply applied there and went on out.

DOW: Will you comment about your interests in and historical geography?
MEINIG: I think again I had a kind of long latent interest in social geography.   My
interest in history is in many ways as extensive as in geography in my early years and
putting the two together always seemed to be the logical thing. I suppose one of the
telling things was sitting in history courses in undergraduate work and knowing enough
geography to be able to envision the relationships. Probably some of those
relationships weren't as simple as I thought they were at the time, but at any rate I
felt that a geographer looking at things historically had certain advantages. There are
many things he could see and so when I went into geography I knew that much of my work
would be in historical geography. Interest in social geography developed really rather
gradually. I can see now that it stemmed directly out of the fact that the first job I
held was an instructor of geography at the University of Utah. Living in the midst of
that society in Salt Lake City makes one conscious of the real significance of these
quiet sub-societies that exist in America. The Mormons are very self-conscious of being
a sub-culture and I became interested in this. So this led to greater awareness on my
part of the significance of social groups within America. We are all more or less raised
to think of America as the home of the great melting pot in which everything is working
toward uniformity. But I have been impressed with how much variety there is and of the
significance of that variety.

DOW: Many discrete units in certain places?

MEINIG: Yes the discreteness of the units is often pretty fuzzy and that's a real
problem for the geographer.

DOW: Let me ask you about your background. Is there a lot of history in the coursework
you studied?

MEINIG: Yes. Much of my undergraduate work was in history and international affairs
(sort of area studies), which in those days was really a kind of history-economic
development type of topic.

DOW: With your interest in the West, did you have much formal training in the history of
the West?

MEINIG: No, not really. Most of the history that I had was of a rather broader scale. I
have traveled a good deal in the West and lived for brief times in various parts of it.
I felt that it was a realm that I knew and enjoyed studying.

DOW: Was your dissertation on a historical subject?

MEINIG: Yes, on the   Walla Walla Country in eastern Washington. I was always impressed in
reading the general   historical accounts of the West, again, of how if one had a more
formal geographical   approach how much more illuminating it would be on many topics. I
felt there was real   room for the geographer to contribute.

DOW: How do you envision geography today?

MEINIG: I envision geography as one of the really great fields. Geography is a field,
which has so much greater potential than it has ever realized, that the difference
between what we've done and what is open for up to do is rather huge.   But the great
thing about geography is that its broadest tradition is a very inclusive tradition. If we
take the concept of geography's role as "the description of the earth in the broadest and
fullest sense of that term "description" that offers us the widest possible variety of
kinds of studies. Theoretical geography is simply one form of description, description of
a certain degree of generalization. I think as I look as the future of geography that
the most important thing is to keep that breadth open so that we can foster all kinds of
geographers; that's part of the genius of the field. We will be much the less if we ever
really try to narrow ourselves too much into some particular focus. We can see other
fields doing this; we can see times in geography when this had happened. It's inevitable
that certain kinds of things will be emphasized in a certain generation, but I should
hope we can keep the field relatively broad and be tolerant of a wide variety of
interests and emphases in geography.

DOW: Can you think of many geographers that are philosophers, especially in the
contemporary crop?

MEINIG: Certainly there are some, they stand out. People like Clarence Glacken and Yi-Fu
Tuan. I think Glacken, for instance, and his great book, Traces on the Rhodian Shore,
represents the geographer participating in philosophy and intellectual history in the
grand manner, and I hope we see more of that.

DOW: How do you see your role as a geographer?

MEINIG: My interests have been to foster greater development in historical-social
geography, which I think is a field that is badly under-cultivated, especially in
American geography; I hope to make some contribution in that area.

DOW: You're a very fine writer and I don't think I've ever asked you this, but do you
spend a great deal of time in forming your work?

MEINIG: Oh yes. Writing is a kind of delicious agony and it is very hard work. When one
gets it more or less like one wants it, there is great satisfaction in it.   I've always
felt that geography ought to be part of the arts, as well as, part of the sciences. Good
writing is very fundamental to the field.

DOW: I think of a statement that I've heard you say several times: "methodology should be
subordinated to substance".

MEINIG: That's my own bias. I think for any field it ought to be, in general.   That
doesn't mean we shouldn't have people who specialize in methodology. We always need
improvements in the ways we do things, but in the long run certainly a field has to have
its main focus involved in substantive topics.

DOW: Thank you very much, Professor Meinig.

MEINIG: Thank you.
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp

                                  Maynard Weston Dow
                                 Geographers on Film
                             Plymouth State University,
                               Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                 Geographer on Film:
                               WILBUR ZELINSKY (1921-   )
                              Pennsylvania State University

                                    Interviewed by
                                      John Fraser Hart
                                  University of Minnesota

Sheraton-Boston Hotel             April 19, l971                   Boston

HART: This is Wilbur Zelinsky, Professor of Geography, at the Pennsylvania State
University, who considers this whole project a waste of taxpayer's money. (Editor's
Note: Inside joke. The 16-mm camera with which the interview is being filmed is the
property of the U. S. Government). We have got him into coming here to talk about
himself and his interest in geography. The first question, I guess, what got you
off into geography? How did you get started?

ZELINSKY: I was afraid you would ask that question. I began my college career at the
University of Chicago with the intention of becoming, I suppose, a Professor of English
Literature and discovered I didn't have enough talent. In casting about for some way to
make a living later on I found that my only salable ability was drawing maps. I had been
a map doodler since childhood. So I took a course in map drafting, entered a firm as a
draftsman, continued in this for a couple of years, and then discovered that my real
love was the field of geography. Eventually I left mapping per se and tried to practice
the craft of professional geography.

HART: You still draft your own maps?

ZELINSKY: Yes, in so far as I can.

HART: You have drafted all that you have published?

ZELINSKY: Just about, yes.

HART: Where did you get your undergraduate geographic training?

ZELINSKY: Well, I have attended, all together, six different colleges. Starting with the
first geography course, as such, at the University of North Carolina. Then I went to the
University of California at Berkeley, where I got my baccalaureate degree in 1944 during
the war. After that to Wisconsin and then back to Berkeley.

HART: What took you to Wisconsin? What was the attraction there?

ZELINSKY: Wisconsin? Sauer recommended it in a rather offhand way. It was the only
school about which he had nothing bad to say.

HART: So you went there?

HART: What did you find at Wisconsin?

ZELINSKY: I found what was then, perhaps, the outstanding Department of Geography in the
country with its diversity and talent. Several outstanding people including the late Leo
Waibel, Richard Hartshorne, of course, the late Vernor Finch, Glenn Trewartha, and a
number of other people. Arthur Robinson. All of whom were good professional, and later,
personal friends.

HART: When you went back to Berkeley, who were the people there that you worked with?

ZELINSKY: Essentially just Sauer, because it was then a very small department.

HART: Who were the people that you were fellow students with at Berkeley?

ZELINSKY: Good heavens! The list is so long.

HART: Well let me ask you this, put it this way. Who has had the biggest impact on
you as a geographer?

ZELINSKY: There is no single individual. Although Sauer as a personality, I
suppose, in terms of teaching certain attitudes rather than subject matter.
Trewartha, certainly. Jack Wright (John K. Wright) who never really taught
formally, but has had a powerful affect on me as a person. His passing was a great blow to
us and others who knew him well. I think though the greatest impact is not people one knows
personally, but through their writings. That's why I sort of
object to this whole format. I think the real Zelinsky will not come through on
film. If you want to know me, read me, because when I want to know myself I read
my works. When I look in the mirror I see a stranger.

HART: How can anybody live long enough to read all you have written, Wilbur.

ZELINSKY: No comment.

HART: OK! Well, I want to ask this question. What is it? You have been
interested in a tremendous variety of things as a geographer.

ZELINSKY: Yes. My definition of geography is the last refuge of renaissance man.

HART: You are a renaissance man?

ZELINSKY: I try to be.

HART: How do you define a renaissance man?

ZELINSKY: Those interested in everything, tries to live life to the full.

HART: Does this include breeding cats?

ZELINSKY: That includes breeding cats. Yes. (Laughter!)

HART: Would you tell me how many you've got.

ZELINSKY: I don't know.

HART: How did you go about selecting the thesis topic you worked on?
ZELINSKY: Spontaneous curiosity about houses; I love to look at houses and barns.
Having acquired a job at the University of Georgia in 1948 and not yet having a thesis
topic, I just naturally gravitated to this curiosity about the Georgia settlement
landscape, which was then almost totally unstudied. There is still an awful lot of work
to be done, as you know. It would be a difficult and rewarding subject and I have no
regret about having done it.

HART: Well now you put me to mind. Do you think other geographers should try to be
renaissance men?

ZELINSKY: I think one of the current dangers of this and all other academic
professions is over-specialization, getting ourselves deeply into a narrow grove or
rut and not being able to work ourselves out of it. I don't have the answer. No. I
think we should try to be diverse in our interests, to be curious about a wide range
of things. This is the fascination of geography. You can study almost anything and do
it geographically. There are two other topics where this is possible - anthropology is
one such other field. I would urge other students to do it, but the marketplace being
what it is, it's very hard to act upon this advice.

HART: Well couldn't you be a specialist in one area and try to broaden?

ZELINSKY: Sure. Yes, of course.

HART: Would you advise a student to do that? Do you want breadth or depth?

ZELILNSKI: I want both, I want the impossible.

HART: Well if you can't have the impossible what would you settle for?

ZELINSKY: I would settle for the generalist if it came to a "other things being
equal." A man who is able to ask questions on a wide variety of things.

HART: Well do you think there has been any change in geography since you've
have been a geographer?

ZELINSKY: Yes. There has been, aside from the obvious, quite a bit of growth in number
of schools, teachers, practitioners and students. Contrary to all the criers of doom and
gloom the field has been immensely enriched. Become immensely more sophisticated. The
quality of the students we are getting is much better than it was when I was a graduate
student. The quality of the curriculum is better, the textbooks, and the literature is
on a far higher plane.

HART: Where do you see us heading?

ZELINSKY: I don't know. I see a number of directions. I see, at the moment, I am most
concerned about geography becoming involved in questions of social and ecological
policies. With the survival of our nation, of our society, and of our species. I
think, finally and belatedly, that geographers are becoming directly concerned with
these overriding issues. I think this is one of the directions. If you ask me, where
we're going intellectually, this would take a two or three hour bull session, which
obviously we are not going to start now. There is no simple answer, nobody knows.

HART: How does a young geographer prepare himself to do these things?

ZELINSKY: This is heresy, but I'd say the best way to start off is to find a good
liberal arts college, perhaps a small one, and study everything but geography. Learn
languages, learn basic science, learn math, learn art, music and literature and then,
and only then, begin the study of geography. It's like medicine or other professions.
It takes a broad general background before you're ready for the difficult techniques
modern geography requires.

HART: Well if you believe that for prospective graduate students, what about the
guy that has an undergraduate major in geography? Where does he go?

ZELINSKY: Well, he goes? I don't have any canned answer for that, Fraser.

HART: No. I'm curious. If you want people coming from other disciplines into geography.
We are training undergraduate graduate students. What's their future?

ZELINSKY: I would suggest that they look at other fields and try to broaden their
horizon. Have them look at anthropology, geology, genetics, engineering, architecture,
law or medicine and try to diversify their minds. I think those who come to us with a
heavy load of geography courses are forever too narrow for a truly successful
professional career.

HART: Well where do you see this particular renaissance man I'm talking to heading in
the next twenty years?

ZELINSKY: If somebody had asked me this question twenty years ago, I couldn't answer
it. I cannot predict, really, nobody can. I think it is foolish to try.

HART: Where have you come in the last twenty years?

ZELINSKY: Where have I come?

HART: Yes.

ZELINSKY: I know more and more about what I'm ignorant about. I am not an expert. I have
simply learned what to be curious about, what questions to ask and I have fewer answers.
If I were as brilliant as I thought I was when I was seventeen, I would be unbearable.

HART: You were.

ZELINSKY: I was. (Laugher).

HART: Well what kind of things do you think you are really planning, say in the next
three years, to do?

ZELINSKY: Oh! For the rest of my working career I plan to spend, the basic thrust will
be, the rapidly changing social geography of the United States. I see that as my longer
range mission in which I can contribute something, which might be original, and I hope,

HART: Well, Wilbur, I thank you for wasting the taxpayer's money with us today.

ZELINSKY: Thank you, Fraser; you are welcome.
                Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 9pp

                              Maynard Weston Dow
                             Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University
                           Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                            WILBUR ZELINSKY (1921-   )
                           Pennsylvania State University

                                Interviewed by
                              Maynard Weston Dow
                             Plymouth State College

Washington Hilton Hotel         April 24, l984                  Washington, D.C.

DOW: Wilbur Zelinsky, Professor of Geography at Penn State University, in l971 we
asked you to participate in this series and you consented. I recall in the middle of
the interview, out of the clear blue, you said, "By the way I don't believe in this
concept, if you want to see Zelinsky, read me." A very important ingredient in that
interview and I'm wondering why (it's almost fifteen years later) you consented to be
interviewed again?

ZELINSKY: Well, I stick with my original statement, Wes, and the best reason I can
give you for consenting to spending this time with you on the afternoon of April
24, l984, is that I simply have not yet, after all these years, learned the gentle
art of saying: "No." Perhaps, subconsciously, though, this is a gesture of faith
that there may be a posterity in the l980s, l990s, and the 21st century to watch

DOW: So now, perhaps, you do believe in the concept a little bit?

ZELINSKY: The concept of posterity?

DOW: The concept of preserving something for posterity.

ZELINSKY: Yes. But I would hate to be one of the viewers of this videotape.

DOW: You never have to, that's the beauty of this format. Well, lets go back
to Berkeley for a moment. How did you happen to go there?

ZELINSKY: This will not inspire the viewers, Wes, but it was strictly for personal
reasons. At a tender young age for various reasons I had been to several different
junior colleges and four-year colleges and had accumulated a very miscellaneous set of
credits in a number of disciplines. I became engaged to my present wife and for
obvious reasons I was anxious to be married at the earliest opportune moment. I
conducted a very thorough search of every college catalog in the country and found
there was only one school which would grant me a baccalaureate after one additional
year of study. That happened to be the University of California at Berkeley. In my
innocence I knew absolutely nothing about Berkeley and its faculty or its reputation;
I simply went there. I truly believe that I've been phenomenally lucky my entire
career. Whatever fame or fortune I've gathered has been the result of the good fairy
watching over me, because when I arrived within a couple of days I realized this was a
remarkable place during World War II. The faculty, by the way, had only three members
chaired by Carl Sauer. Sauer, as everybody realizes, was a charismatic figure. It was
obvious from the first instant you laid eyes on the man.

DOW: What are your recollections of Sauer?

ZELINSKY: That he was a remarkable pedagogue. In the classroom he had a facility I've
never seen any one, almost no one else, have. He spoke in perfect prose. You could take
down his remarks delivered without any notes and transcribe them and print the results. He
also had a trick I had never seen duplicated. He would end the class hour, when the bell
rang, with a period and at the next meeting would pick up with the next sentence without
even clearing his throat. In private he was, and I speak from my personal recollections
(I'm not sure about others), we had a warm relationship. He was caring and helpful,
strict, high standards and all that. I think the most remarkable thing about him was that
he was an infallible judge of character. He could see things in people that nobody else
could see.

DOW: Did he filter those people out in a hurry if they came into the

ZELINSKY: Yea! Yes. He had a knack of discouraging people that he felt did
not meet his standards and he made certain they went elsewhere.

DOW: Is it too hard to say that he was ruthless?

ZELINSKY: Well, that's a bit harsh, but in effect he was.

DOW: He was a very dogmatic individual.

ZELINSKY: No. No. Dogmatic is the wrong term. He had a number of ideas, many
of which turned out to be correct on matters involving historical and
cultural geography. Another key element in his character was an extreme
tolerance of a wide diversity of viewpoints, ideological, political, and
intellectual. He would receive and talk to people we would regard as wacks,
people who had wild ideas; he would give them a hearing. He would encourage
all kinds of venturous research into obscure and difficult areas of
investigation; some which paid off. No, he was not dogmatic, he was open-
minded. He had strong ideas. For example, he had no patience with anybody,
who thought that man had not been in America a very long time. I won't
mention his intellectual opponents, but he thought ancient man had been in
America for much longer than the then conventional wisdom would have had it.
I think he was correct.

DOW: Yes, subsequently it is getting closer and closer to what he believed.

ZELINSKY: Yes. And he had other ideas, which then seemed    wild, which I think have
been borne out. A man of brilliant insights. By the way,    although personally rather
conservative in his views, he did publish toward the end    of his life an article,
which has now has been picked up by the women's movement    on the origins of
agriculture and the importance of women.

DOW: On the domestication of plants?

ZELINSKY: Yes. Domestication of plants, which shows you the liberality of the
man's imagination.

DOW: You did not have an opportunity to go into fieldwork, is it that right?
ZELINSKY: No, that never arose, I'm not sure for what reason. Perhaps the
restrictions on travel during the l940s. Also, I'm not a Latin Americanist,
so I had no pressing reason to go to Mexico.

DOW: Was that a problem in working with Sauer?

ZELINSKY: No. No. I was one of the few people working under him, who did not
do a dissertation on Latin America. Mine was on the state of Georgia.

DOW: Did he say what you had to do?

ZELINSKY: No. I chose a topic myself and he approved. He kept his hands off.
At the appropriate time he made the right noises.

DOW: That's interesting, because throughout the years and throughout this
whole series, we hear stories that he would direct them into a particular
type of research.

ZELINSKY: It may have happened to others, but I've never had any problem
myself in coming up with research ideas.

DOW: (Laughter)! No, I don't think you have. Would you consider yourself part
of the Berkeley School of Geography?

ZELINSKY: I am a holder of a baccalaureate and a doctorate from Berkeley, but I
don't have Berkeley stamped on my forehead. I don't worship at a shrine, which
has Sauer's name enshrined upon it. I greatly respect the man, but I've gone my
own way. If you're a real disciple of Sauer, you develop your own imagination,
your own bent. You don't become somebody who whittles matchsticks and goes off
into the wilds of Latin America.

DOW: Lets talk about the relationship of geography with other disciplines.


DOW: You're an expert on that.

ZELINSKY: No, I'm not.

DOW: But you have ideas.

ZELINSKY: When I hear the word expert I run in the other direction.

DOW: Yea, I don't blame you. I'm sorry, that's a poor choice of words.

ZELINSKY: Anybody claims to be an expert…

DOW: We are in trouble, aren't we. OK!

ZELINSKY: Well, Wes, the best way to start is to say that academic
disciplines are historic accidents. The creation of important individuals,
who develop schools or disciples, and later become ossified, because of the
necessity by academic bureaucracies to have convenient jurisdictions to
oversee. Geography is such a vast and varied field one of our great problems
is finding a central focus. But I think any discipline should have porous
boundaries and the best kind of research is that which totally ignores
disciplinary boundaries. Now one of my main areas of interests is the
American scene. American culture, traditional, popular and other aspects.
DOW: Contemporary?

ZELINSKY: Contemporary, traditional and early. Oh, good heavens. I and
others, who care about this, have formed invisible colleges. People care
about the built landscape, for example, and here we hobnob very congenially
with people, who call themselves, carry the label of, folklorist, or
anthropologists, or linguists, or architect, or historian, or whatever. We
feel very comfortable with ourselves; we don't worry about what our dean
calls us. The same way in another field, which is my other major interest,
the study of population. I feel as much at home with demographers, most of
whom are sociologists by trade, as I do with geographers.

DOW: Do you feel that geographers don't share this idea of moving into
interdisciplinary areas as easily as you do? Are you trying to advocate that
we do this and break down the barriers?

ZELINSKY: Well, I'm suggesting it. I'm not going to mount the soapbox and
preach it. I think it is so obvious, so natural that many people are doing it
automatically, Wes. There is no reason to deliver a sermon on this: it is
just plain common sense.

DOW: Just plain common sense.

ZELINSKY: Yea. Now at the same time I do feel that there is this vague center of
interest that geographers are concerned with the nature of places, and space, of
course. That's what ties us together, this broad, diverse confederation of
people. We have our tentacles out in many, many directions and that's the way it
should be. If I've seen one tendency in the forty odd years that I've been
associated with geography it is that we've become more catholic, more ecumenical
in our activities. We belong to more associations, we publish in more different
journals, we reach across these fences into other departments, other disciplines.

DOW: Do you recall in l971 you described geography as the last refuge of
renaissance man?

ZELINSKY: Yes, I recall that and, perhaps, it was the only clever thing I
said in that interview. I still believe it.

DOW: You still believe it.

ZELINSKY: Yea, that's one reason I like being a geographer, it's the only
discipline I know where you can study almost anything and get away with it.

DOW: Alright, let's talk about your interest in social issues.


DOW: You have a wide range. You can start with a specific, or you could talk
about the session that you participated in yesterday, the geographic
perspectives on nuclear war, or anything?

ZELINSKY: Well, anything. Let me talk about that but let me start off with
something else, which I feel strongly about. It is apparent on this videotape
you and I are members of a male gender. I have felt strongly that it is
important for geographers, male and female, to become interested in, and
involved in, as advocates of the rights of women within the discipline and
the world, in general. To that end we should have quite a bit more activity,
research, teaching and so on concerning the geography of women and women in
geography. One of the few things I'm proud of, but the profession should not
be proud of, is the fact that a dozen years ago or so I published, I think,
what was the first manifesto and the first serious substantive article on
this topic. Since then I'm happy to report there is a Women's Caucus within
geography as in most other professional disciplines. We have a respectable
but insufficient body of literature on this and we have an organization of
sorts going. There has been consciousness-raising among women and among men.
This is a very healthy development and it's not isolated. It's timed to this
whole theme of the liberation of oppressed minorities. In the case of women
an oppressed majority. You can't talk about the hideousness of slavery, or
war, or what has happened to Chicanos or blacks, or the starving people of
the Third World, unless you look right in your own back yard and look at the
fate of women in what is still, alas, a sexist society. This is a problem
that spills over the boundaries of geography.

DOW: Yes. All over. Lets go back to the session that you participated in

ZELINSKY: Oh yes. Well, this was organized, and I want to give her due
credit, by Kathleen Braden of Seattle Pacific University. A young lady who
with great courage undertook a project we should have done twenty years ago.
What is more quintessentially geographic than the effects of a nuclear war
upon society and the ecosystem? Yet astonishingly, we've never had a single
session at any meeting since l945 devoted to this topic. Yesterday afternoon,
there were two back-to-back sessions; one a series of four or five papers on
this topic. Very interesting, useful papers followed by panel discussion, in
which I and four or five others participated. To a large packed room; I think
sympathetic audience. Now this is the most important problem in the world.
That's why I said in the beginning I dedicate this videotape to the hope that
there is posterity around to see it. At any instant a nuclear bomb could
detonate over central Washington by accident or design. What is more
important than seeing to it that this terrible event, whether here or
elsewhere, does not come to pass? If it does (my life and yours - well we
have lived most of our lives, it doesn't really matter and our children will
be dead in several decades anyway) the whole meaning of our life would be
destroyed. Of the scholarship, the literature, the music, the architecture,
this glorious natural world around us is gone. This thought is horrifying. I
want to die in my bed knowing there is a reasonable prospect that the world
and the human project will keep on existing. This transcends, by the way,
politics, gender, nationalities, occupations and professions. It's the
transcendent problem of the late twentieth century. I don't have the answer,
but I think we ought to concern ourselves as individuals, as citizens of this
country, whatever country, as professionals in thinking about this horrendous
problem. In doing research, in teaching, in agitating, in raising
consciousness, and in reversing the arms race and reducing to the vanishing
point the prospect of a holocaust through nuclear weapons, or the ever more
sophisticated so-called conventional weapons.

DOW: We don't have to worry about methodology at this point. We are talking
about real issues. We don't care whether the geographer makes a contribution
in the spatial sense.

ZELINSKY: No. No. Although there are spatial components, obviously, which
have been of interest to me professionally. At the moment, for example, I'm
working on a historic study on the emergency evacuation of cities, in Europe
and America, everywhere in the world over the past forty odd years occasioned
by natural disasters, industrial accidents, and military events. To see what,
if anything, what light, if any, these historic records can throw on our
present dilemma. I don't yet have any conclusions to offer you. If you
interview me a third time I may have more to say.

DOW: You may have more to say. What other kinds of things do you study,

ZELINSKY: I can only speak for myself, obviously, Wes. I have followed a very
simple rule since my graduate days. If I get excited, if I feel kind of inner
turmoil, if my guts start becoming agitated by an idea or a subject, I try to
drop everything else and pursue it. I have often chased wild geese and ended
in blind alleys. My general pattern (if I can sound pontifical) has been to
try to pursue topics on the pioneer fringe of our discipline. Often, of
course, verging into other disciplines. Things that people have not looked
at. For the most part my career has been divided into two large areas: (1)
population geography and (2) the social and cultural geography of North
America. These two things, by the way, are related ultimately. In the latter
I began, for example, looking at house types back when only Fred Kniffen, who
was regarded something as a kook back then, did.

DOW: Is this back when you were at Georgia?

ZELINSKY: No. No. Way back in graduate school I remember very vividly reading
Fred Kniffen's Louisiana housetypes. It was suggested, recommended in a
seminar given by Trewartha. He thought he was being very broadminded letting
us even think about this topic. This led ultimately into my dissertation on
the built landscape of the state of Georgia. Since then I have just followed
my instincts and my curiosity. After many years I discovered there was a
pattern developing sub-consciously. That I was looking at the entire
interrelated fabric of American society and culture. Looking at things like
houses, the pattern of religious denominations, place names, various aspects
of cemetery, diet. Something not yet published - the geography of the season
of marriage. There is a whole long list of things, which don't seem to hang
together, but ultimately do. What else can I say except that my instincts, I
think, have generally been sound and I have learned to trust them.

DOW: These very interests led to this concept of SNACS, has it not?

ZELINSKY: Oh yes. Yea!

DOW: Can you talk about SNACS a bit?

ZELINSKY: Well, I am one of the ringleaders, but I have to pay homage to Bill
Nicolaisen, a folklorist at SUNY-Binghamton. He wanted and still would like
to see us publish a folk atlas or an atlas of the folk and popular cultures
of North America patterned after the European models. There is some excellent
work done in Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and a few other countries. We sent
out a call ten or twelve years ago and discovered there were many
geographers, who were concerned with the physical and non-material cultures
of North America, i. e. the U. S. and Canada. We met at Penn State and had a
glorious time and decided to form a society, which meets every year. We have
interesting meetings without the multiple distractions of a large AAG meeting
with its twenty-three simultaneous sessions.

DOW: More like the old days in the AAG, isn't it.

ZELINSKY: Yea. Right. A one-ring circus instead of a multiple-ring circus. We
are starting a new monograph series. We put out an atlas, which I will plug,
if I may, called This Remarkable Continent. It is an anthology of all manner
of things dealing with the culture and societies of our two countries. We
like-minded people mostly geographers, but also folklorists, historians,
sociologists, get together and have a fine old time. I am quite happy about
this. The Executive Officer, by the way, is not myself, but John Rooney at
Oklahoma State, who was a pioneer in another important subject, which I have
not dealt with myself - the geography of sport. I must say one of the things
about my career I like to look at things that are regarded as somewhat vulgar
and beneath notice. Like how people spend their spare time and so on. Which
is regarded by all too many people as not quite respectable in academic
circles. Respectability by the way is an important thing for people, who are
trying to get tenure. I can do crazy things now, if I want to, and not get

DOW: Yes, but what about the interest now in recreation, leisure and tourism?

ZELINSKY: That's terribly important. That's another thing I did many years
ago with my departmental colleague, Tony Williams. I think the first serious
study of international tourism and its geography. This is the study of
recreation and leisure and sport and games. Tremendous opportunities for the
geographic student and others. In a very real sense organized sport has
become the religion of the American population, not to mention the Mexican,
German, Brazilian and everybody else. We care passionately about football,
baseball, basketball and hockey or whatever the game happens to be. Study of
this is a serious important thing, economically, culturally, socially,
psychologically. Yet, we, like so may other academics, have tended to look
down our noses at such ridiculous topics, but they are terribly important.

DOW: As you look through the programs in recent years there seems to be
an awful lot of sessions that cover these topics. More then ever before.


DOW: I have not done analysis of this, but I have looked and you might see as
many as six or seven different sessions on recreation, leisure or sport?

ZELINSKY: Yea! And high time. This would have been unheard of in the 40s,
50s, and even the 60s.

DOW: The idea of Rooney talking about the geography of sport. He would have
been laughed out the place twenty-five years ago.

ZELINSKY: Yea! And even today there are those who, I think, are snickering at
the thought of a serious analysis of the origins of basketball players, or
high school soccer, or the diffusion of lacrosse among colleges.

DOW: What could be more geographic? Really! We don't have to argue about

ZELINSKY: I think we are of the same mind.

DOW: We are of the same mind.

ZELINSKY: In fact, you have done some stuff in this.

DOW: I have done some stuff on this. I am presently looking at the migratory
patterns of football players. I'm having a lot of fun with that.

DOW: Bully! Bully! Bully! (Laughter). Let's come back with just one thing now. We
have a little time here. What is the social responsibility of a geographer?

ZELINSKY: This sounds very pretentious, but I guess the primary responsibility, as
I tried to say earlier in this interview, Wes, is do whatever he or she can to
preserve this precious planet. The most compelling thing is to fight the war
machine. This is not just one country, it's all the countries of the world. To
change the mindset that makes war possible and the weaponry that will inevitably
lead to war unless we do have a change of consciousness. That is the primary task
and whatever we can contribute to that is important. We and all the other good
people of the world. Not just the United States, not just geography, but everyone,
everywhere. If I can put in a plug for people elsewhere. Let's look to the example
of brave people of France, particularly Germany. I never thought I would be saying
this forty years ago, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands and those brave few
in Eastern Europe, who are fighting for peace against tremendous odds

DOW: You may think this is a little bit off the wall, but I have noticed in
our interviews and we have doing a lot of these as you are aware. More often
people are saying we ought to take our energies and
eliminate starvation. Eliminate poverty. We ought to really become concerned
with the human issues of the world. Other conditions of the world. The thing
that I would throw out here. I know you are not particulary interested in, or
a student of the history of geography, but is it possible that there could be
some sort of a paradigm shift where we might take our methodolgy and
knowledge and move in this direction?

ZELINSKY: Yes, of course. By the way I respond in high dudgeon to the
statement I'm not interested in the history of geography. I am. I'm not
published in this, but I have read a fair amount. And the history of ideas
interests me enormously. Yea! We, I think, have been undergoing, by we, I
mean not just geography, but society, in general, a paradigm shift. Things
that were unthinkable a generation or two ago are now thinkable and possible.
Take one example. Two hundred years ago chattel slavery was an excepted
thing. Of course, it's not only illegal, it is regarded as highly immoral.
The subjection of women is undergoing a paradigm shift; there is a raising of
consciousness in many circles. Far from complete on this. I think I'm evading
your question. What contribution geographers can make to this?

DOW: Yea! I guess so. I'm wondering are we going to collectively come
together? At least, a group of us to address these issues? Or are we just
talking about it? Or is something going to happen? I suppose that is what I'm

ZELINSKY: Yes, of course. Looking at a very large cluster of problems just
within the past ten years or so, we find a spontaneous movement on the part
of our students and colleagues, young and old, to look at the geography of
underdevelopment. What we can do with our knowledge or techniques, our moral
support, to help other societies out of the quagmire of underdevelopment. I
think there has been a lot of progress.
But much more remains to be done. This is one the healthiest, most robust
growth sectors in geography. The interest in problems of the developing
world. I see more and more students coming into our department and others who
want to devote their lives doing something about this. I applaud them.

DOW: That is the hope of the future. Isn't it? This is the good part of what
we are observing in this generation.
ZELINSKY: Yes. If I had nine lives to lead, Wes, I would spend one of them
working on that particular area.

DOW: You have been very kind to rejoin the series as it were. I wonder if,
perhaps, we can come back again sometime?

ZELINSKY: We will see. Thank you, Wes.

DOW: Thank you, Wilbur.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                              Maynard Weston Dow
                             Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                           Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          PRESTON E. JAMES (1899 -1986)
                              Syracuse University

                                Interviewed by
                              Maynard Weston Dow
                            U. S. Air Force Academy

Sheraton Palace Hotel            August 25, 1970               San Francisco

DOW: Professor Preston James, Professor Emeritus from Syracuse University,
I'd like to review your career in geography. First, how did you get started
in this field?

JAMES: I'll tell you, my family was always interested in maps and I also
traveled a lot. When I was only eleven years old I went to Europe. My Mother,
who took her sons on this trip, had a map and we followed the map regularly,
so I became fascinated with maps. The old style geography (we had to bound
states) was no problem to me. I could bound every state and name every
capital. It just was no problem, I didn't have to memorize it, and it just
got in there.

  When I went to Harvard University I was going to be a teacher of English,
because the one thing that I was able to do that brought me some kind of
reward was writing. I was going to take English and major with Professor
Kittridge. When I was a freshman, Professor Kittridge said: "Well, now here
are the courses you should take while you are here." He listed among others
his course on Shakespeare. A student a class above me said: "My golly you're
going to have trouble there, because you memorize six plays of Shakespeare
and the examination consists of passages which you identify and tell who said
what and why." I never was any good at this kind of thing so I began to say:
well now what's this geography bit? I took a course with Atwood in my
freshman year and was fascinated by his geography, which was really physical
geography, physiography. Therefore, I got into geology and physical geography
and then for a Master's degree I specialized in climatology with Ward. At
this time (1921) Atwood had moved out to Clark University in Worcester,
Massachusetts, where he founded a School of Geography. I went to Clark to
finish my doctoral work with him. One of the vacancies was the lack of
anybody who knew about Latin America. I got some money, and went around Latin
America and developed a doctoral dissertation on the transportation patterns
of Latin America, which had nothing to do with either physiography or

   Then at this point I was offered a job at the University of Michigan. On
May 3rd of 1923 I had no job offer. I was about to get my degree, but no job.
On May 3rd I got three job offers in the same mail, one of which was from
DOW: Were you hired as a regionalist?

JAMES: Actually, I was hired to teach Latin America, but as soon as I got out
there, McMurry, who was the Chairman of the Department (then only twenty
eight years old) said: "Here are Sauer's notes that he used in the freshman
course; now you teach the freshman course." So I walked in and taught the
course with Sauer's notes.

DOW: Was that your introduction to Sauer?

JAMES: Well, I never met Sauer, but that was my introduction to him, through
his notes. Of course, I was fascinated with his philosophy and his approach
to geography.

DOW: How did you happen to get involved in your military career?

JAMES: That's another thing. During the First World War I went to Camp Lee,
Virginia to the Infantry Officers School. I had been in the Harvard ROTC. At
the end of the war (1918) I had almost completed the Officer Training Program
and like many other people I immediately left and went home. But Lawrence
Martin, who was at Clark, had been an intelligence officer and was still a
Lt. Col. in intelligence. He said: "You're crazy not to get into his field
and maintain a reserve commission." I, therefore, took out a 2nd Lieutenant's
commission in military intelligence and I maintained this active all during
the period between the wars.
    I went to Latin America on a Social Science Research Council grant in '38
to study the German colonies in South Brazil. Everything that I wrote about
the German colonies for publication in geographical periodicals was also sent
in to the Military Intelligence Division, where it was kept in the files as a
detailed intimate report on the Germans. The fact is, I knew more about the
Germans of South Brazil than any of the military people, but I did this, of
course, as a civilian. In other words, military intelligence in those days
and my civilian capacity as a geographer just went hand in hand. When World
War II came along I was made the head of the Latin American Division of
General Donovan's OSS.

DOW: Many geographers were utilized during this period, were they not?

JAMES: They came in large numbers.

DOW: Who are some of the fellows that you remember were in Washington at this

JAMES: Hartshorne came in, first as head of the Geographic Branch then he
became Director of Research in this area. I had a lot of geographers in the
Latin American field, including Clarence Jones, Peveril Meigs and others.
John Morrison was in the Soviet Division. We had geographers in practically
all the divisions of OSS. But there was also a geography division, which was
primarily map-making (cartographic) and Arthur Robinson became the head of
that. Many of the prominent cartographers of today were trained in OSS in the
Map Division.

DOW: Through your association with some of the younger men during this
period, did you pull any people into the field? Fellows that you met in
Washington, perhaps.

JAMES: I don't know that I pulled them into geography, because the ones that
were there were already in geography. At least, they had had some as
undergraduate majors.

DOW: How did you happen to become involved with Syracuse and George Cressey?

JAMES: I was at Michigan all the time from '23 until '41 when I went into the
Army. After the war (during the late stages of the war) George Cressey came
to Washington and invited me to come to Syracuse. I took leave and I went out
to Ann Arbor to see what their attitude was and strangely enough they weren't
treating me as a returning hero at this point. I went to Syracuse and
Chancellor Tolley was tremendously excited about what he was going to do with
a new geography department. He offered Cressey and myself all possible
financial support to build a major graduate study and research center.

DOW: Up to that point how long had Cressey been there?

JAMES: Cressey went there in 1931, but it was the Department of Geology and
Geography. It was separated and became the Department of Geography in the
Maxwell School in 1945. I went there in December of '45.

DOW: Is that when you assumed the chairmanship?

JAMES: No, I became Chairman in '53. Cressey       retired   as   chairman,   but
continued as Maxwell Professor of Geography.

DOW: Since a specific interest of yours is the history of geographic thought,
when did you start to formulate some of your courses?

JAMES: I taught a course in the History of Geographic Thought at Michigan for
a good many years, but there wasn't very much material and I certainly wasn't
a specialist. Then in 1954 I was the Chairman of the project called American
Geography: Inventory and Prospect, which put together a book (by the same
name) on the history of American geography. I edited this, wrote a number of
chapters in it and became tremendously interested. For the past five years I
have been working on a book on the history of geographic thought, which goes
back to the ancient Greeks and comes up to the contemporary period.

DOW: I recall, when I was a student of yours, I had been at Rutgers before
and had taken History of Geographic Thought. I went into your office for a
session (I was hoping to get a substitute course) and I told you I had had
the History of Geographic Thought. You looked at me and said: "Well, you
haven't had James." I took it and didn't regret it for a moment. (Laughter)

JAMES: This, of course, is true, because everybody teaches a somewhat
different course and different philosophy. It doesn't do you any harm to take
two or more courses.

DOW: I agree. Thank you very much Professor James, we appreciate it.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 6pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          PRESTON E. JAMES (1899-1986)
                             Syracuse University

                                Interviewed by
                              Maynard Weston Dow
                            Plymouth State College

Washington Hilton Hotel           Apri1 21, 1984           Washington, D.C.

DOW: Jimmy, fifteen years ago (August 1970) you and I kicked off this series
at San Francisco. We went across and interviewed Carl Sauer at Berkeley, then
came back and interviewed several other   geographers. I first interviewed
you at that time. That film has circulated, widely throughout North America -
and Europe too to a certain degree. Between then and now Geoffrey Martin or
myself have interviewed you - little quips here and there. Now that we have
this newer technology I thought it would be nice to update, but not repeat
the thing we did fifteen years ago. The first thing that comes to mind is how
did you happen to go to Harvard as an undergrad?

JAMES: All my brothers had gone    to Harvard for Harvard was the obvious place
for a person to go who lived in    Boston. There are other small colleges around
there, but Harvard was the one    that had the greatest prestige. In my family
there never was any question; I   was going to go to Harvard.

DOW: You were a prep-schooler weren't you?

JAMES: Noble and Greenough was a preparatory school for Harvard; nobody that
graduated from Nobles ever went anywhere but Harvard.

DOW: You went into the classics. Was it your idea to become an English major
or a classics major?

JAMES: The one thing that I could do was to write English, write papers. Shall
I tell you how that started?

DOW: Please do.

JAMES: In 1910 Halley's Comet went by. Have you ever heard of Halley's Comet?
It's going to go by again in 1986. In 1910 it went by I was then 11 years old
and in Miss Pierce's Elementary School in Brookline. My mother pulled this
one, because she was a smart gal and she knew that the best way to get me to
become famous was to start something like that. I wasn't popular in school; I
wasn't an athletic person. I don't think very many people knew who I was in
the school, but she suggested to the teacher that maybe her son could give a
paper on Halley's comet. Then she left the encyclopedia open to comets; I
couldn't help but look at the thing and I wrote a little paper on comets. I
presented this paper before the school assembly. That was the first time in
my life that I had ever received applause for anything that I had done.This paper was remarka
a tail out behind where they are going, but the tail isn't behind where
they're going) the tail is away from the sun. When Halley's Comet goes by the
tail, at first, will be going away from the sun, because the Comet is
approaching the sun. When it gets by the sun the tail will swing around and
go the other way ahead of the Comet. Everybody was dumb-founded at this; the
whole school was in silence listening: what's the explanation for this?

DOW: You had all this applause and you've been a ham ever since.

JAMES: That's it. (Laughter).

DOW: All right, You got to Harvard and wandered into geography. When did you
meet Atwood?

JAMES: I didn't wander into geography, exactly. That's   another   thing;  my
mother (who had a great deal to do with my bringing up) took me on many
occasions to go traveling. We used to go around New England in an automobile,
out to New York State through the Mohawk Valley. In 1910 she took me and one
of my brothers to Europe and we traveled around. Went over in the old
Saxonia; we went to the Passion Play at Oberammergau. We really got around. I
had a tremendous interest in traveling, writing up little pieces about what
I'd seen and what I was going to see. She started all this you see. Now the
obvious thing for a person to do who is interested in travel was to become a

DOW: So this is what happened at Harvard?


DOW: Who was your first professor? Do you recall?

JAMES: Yes. When I first went to Harvard I thought I was going to major in
English since I had written this stuff. The only success I had had up to that point was writi
the advisor on the steps of Widener Library, sitting on the step. You'd sit
down and the advisor would outline a course of study for the next four years.
Kittredge, who incidentally was a very close friend of my uncle, knew the
family. It was natural that I would come to him seeking advice. He laid out a
course of study over four years. I signed up with him then I went back to the
dormitory. In the dormitory I met a senior             student. This fellow said: "James, yo
Shakespeare. You get excerpts from these plays that come to you on the
examination and you have to identify the play and the person who said it." I
said: "This is outrageous. I couldn't do this even if I was interested in
English." I also had a course that I was taking with Atwood, who was teaching
geography. So this is the exciting thing; I, shifted over before my freshman
year had even started.

DOW: Was he teaching physiography? Was that the course?

JAMES: Physiography primarily, but it was called geography.

DOW: Let's go on to Clark, because Atwood moved to Clark. What prompted that?
JAMES: Atwood was Professor of Geography at Harvard. He was getting most of
the students in the Geology Department, (this was geology and geography) and
he had the largest number of students in his classes. The other professors, I think, said thi
of some textbooks published by Ginn and Co. The head of Ginn and Company was
one of the trustees of Clark and he said: "Let's get this fellow teaching at
Clark, let's make him President." That's what they did. Atwood was offered
the job of President of Clark University. Of course, when he moved there,
then it was obvious that was where I was going to go. Meanwhile, the military
service enters into the picture (this is in 1918); I was in the Harvard ROTC.
I got into that in my sophomore year. In 1918 it looked as if I was going to
be drafted, so I made an application for the Infantry Officers School in Camp
Lee, Virginia and was accepted. I went to Camp Lee and completed the course
for a Second Lieutenant's Commission; I completed it just as the war was
over. I didn't wait long enough; I didn't even wait to collect my commission.
I said: Good-bye, I'm all through with this. I immediately went back to
Harvard, where I got my master's degree with Ward in climatology. Immediately
after that I went on to Clark to work with Atwood and got a Ph.D.

DOW: Was he your advisor for your dissertation?

JAMES: Yes he was.

DOW: How did you get involved in Latin America?

JAMES: You see that was one of the problems when I got there. I wasn't going
to be a geomorphologist; I wanted to study a certain area of the world. I
looked around at the American geographers. At that time the American
geographers were specialists in different things, but there was no specialist
among American geographers in Latin America. There was a specialist on
Europe, you name it, and there were specialists on all the different parts of
the world, except Latin America.

DOW: Even though Bowman and Jefferson had done a lot of work in Latin

JAMES: They weren't specialists on Latin America. Bowman was much more than
just Latin American. Of course, Bowman and Jefferson were pretty well
through; they were old fellows by this time.

DOW: So the new generation was coming.

JAMES: There was a new generation coming on and there was no Latin American
specialist. I succeeded in getting three hundred dollars as a basis for
paying my way around Latin America. In those days, they figured that a
geographer, who was going to specialize   in an area, ought to go and look at
      it. That's something that I might talk about later, because nowadays
you don't necessarily have to go and do field work.

DOW: You go to the library.

JAMES: You go to the library or you get a computer, but in those days you had
to go there. I had never been around Latin America, but I started out from
New York in a United Fruit boat and went to Panama (through the Canal) and
then along the the West Coast of South America. In Chile I was going to cross
over the Andes
by the railroad. There is a railroad that goes from Santiago to Mendoza in
Argentina; this railroad is the natural way to get across. When I got to Antofagasta,   wh
clogged with snow and you couldn't get across there. There were five of us on
board the ship - myself two British students and two Argentines. We decided
to go from Antofagasta (to go ashore there) and go across the continent to
the railroad at the end of the Argentine railroad at a place
called La Quiaca. This was quite a trip; this was new territory. Most of this
was done in an automobile; they had an automobile stage, which started out in
Antofagasta and went across the Andes. They didn't have bridges (these roads
were just cleared little tracks through the sand) and when it came to a river
you had ford it. The stage was a Studebaker automobile. Now I'm sure that
not very many people know...

DOW: I know the Studebaker automobile, maybe not that vintage.

JAMES: Do you know where the carburetor used to be?

DOW: I'm not going to suggest that I do.

JAMES: The carburetor, believe it or not, was at the bottom of the cylinder
block, because the only way you could get gasoline into the carburetor was by
gravity. The tank was under the seat and the gasoline went down into the
carburetor of the motor and ran. This was the way Studebakers were built in
those days. Imagine trying to ford a river with the carburetor at the bottom
of the motor. They got through the first one by putting a burlap bag around
the carburetor; they got across before the water got in. On about the fifth
river the water was sucked into the cylinder block and you know what happens
then. There is no give to water so the cylinder block burst open. We were
sitting out there, the five of us (plus the driver) in the middle of a river
with the current and river sweeping by; that was great.

DOW: These are field experiences that we, perhaps, wouldn't find today.

JAMES: That's right.

DOW: Something comparable, but maybe not.

JAMES: The thing that further happened at this point was that they went and
got mules. The mules came out to the vehicle and all of our baggage was
loaded on the mule and each one of us was given a mule to ride; we rode into
La Quiaca. I'll tell you there's nothing more to loose your ego faster than
to ride on a mule with people standing around looking at this procession. We
went into the hotel in La Quiaca and several other people waiting there for
the train. The train went on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to Buenos Aires. I
guess it came the other way on the intermediate days. At any rate it was
waiting there for us the next day so we had to spend the night in La Quiaca.
This was a very exciting experience.

DOW: That is very vividly described. Let's jump ahead a moment to Michigan.
What do you think are some of the more interesting aspects of your experience

JAMES: I went to Michigan after I got my doctor's degree at Clark and I
remember very well that I completed the work for the degree in April. On May
3rd I had no offer of a job; I really was worried about what was going to
come next. But on May 3rd I got three letters in the same mail offering me
jobs. All the people at Clark said; oh, that one from Michigan is the best
place to go? So I went to Michigan and it was a great experience.

DOW: You had a great association with a group of young colleagues, didn't

JAMES: Young colleagues. Sauer had been there and gone on. McMurry was a
young fellow who was the Head of the Department. Then there was Bob Hall,
Stanley Dodge and myself - all young fellows. We had a great time building a
new department, as it were.

DOW: You've described it elsewhere in this series with lots of details about
Michigan and how you happened to go to Syracuse. I don't think we have ever
dwelled on the relationship between you and George Cressey when you were at

JAMES: George Cressey, of course, was the Head of the Department at Syracuse.
I should point out that I went to Syracuse at the end of World War II after I
was on active duty. By the way I picked up my reserve commission, because at
Clark University, when I first went there to study, most of the professors of
geography were people who had served in military intelligence in Europe and
had re-drawn the boundaries of Europe. People like Bowman and these fellows
were all intelligence officers. They said: "James you're crazy to let a
commission, which you already have - a Second Lieutenant's commission, you're
crazy to let that go. You should just change it from infantry to military
intelligence." So I did; this was great. I got into the Army and went on
active duty for two weeks every year in the summertime. Meanwhile, there were
all kinds of activities that I carried on and gradually worked myself up and
ended up as a Colonel.

DOW: How did you and Cressey happen to get together? Didn't he invite you to

JAMES: Yes. When it came time to get this job, Cressey was the fellow that
came to see and invite me to Syracuse. Cressey knew the Dean of Liberal Arts
(his name was Eric Faigle) and, also, the Chancellor of the University. These
fellows had a lunch for me and put on the heat. They told a very fascinating
story of how we had the complete support of the administration. Cressey said:
"This is a great university. You can have an unlimited future here.
"Naturally I bit on that one and I've certainly never regretted it. It was a young department

DOW: Including Cressey? He would have been in his thirties?

JAMES: Yes. Maybe forty.

DOW: We think of you as a Latin Americanist, but are, also, very much aware
of your interest in geographic thought. I wonder if you could tell us how you
first became interested in geographic thought?

JAMES: This gradually developed, because geographic thought was   something
that was constantly referred to, particularly among the younger   geographers
of the period after World War II. These fellows were interested   in what
geographers were thinking about and trying to do. We argued it,   but we didn't
      all go our
separate ways. We met regularly. The meetings that we used to have were
impromptu meetings, but, nevertheless, discussions of the problem: What does a geographer do?
geographers do when they want to make a report on a foreign area.

DOW: Do you recall the first time you offered the History Geography as a

JAMES: I can't remember the date of this, but Cressey used to teach this and
when Cressey retired I ended up taking it over.

DOW: When did you first get the idea to write All Possible Worlds?

JAMES: Under the circumstances that we were inevitably in then if you wanted
to get ahead in the academic world you wrote things. Maybe you wrote papers,
           but,   of course, the thing that really got you steps towards
promotion, increased salary and so on was to write a book.

DOW: You had written many prior to that. That certainly wasn't your first.

JAMES: Not many, but I had started writing when my mother started me on doing
this with Halley's Comet; I never stopped writing.

DOW: One final question. Back in the 1930s or the 1940s did you and Dick
Hartshorne ever sit around and talk about the history of geography and some
of the great methodological arguments?

JAMES: Absolutely. I mean that's another thing. In those days there weren't
so many geographers, not as many as we have here in the           hotel today.
But the geographers, particularly, in the Middle West seemed to be the place
where the discussions were easiest to arrange.

DOW: That's where you first met Dick when you were at Michigan?

JAMES: That's right.

DOW: Was he at Wisconsin or Minnesota? He was probably at Minnesota, then
moved over to Wisconsin?

JAMES: Yes. I've forgotten which university, but he was at some of those
earlier meetings. We always met in April or May or in the spring sometime. On
a field trip we would go somewhere out in the field and figure out what on
earth we would do in the field to bring back a meaningful account of what was
going on in that area. These were the young geographers who were developing
the field. You didn't have somebody who had done it before (who were telling
us what to do); we were trying to find out what you could do that was really
worth doing. Dick Hartshorne was in on this and several other people all from
the Middle West. They would get together at a particular university each
year, the Spring Field Group.

DOW: Each one would take a turn leading you out. Did you have a theme for
each one of these? Do you recall?

DOW: Jimmy, I appreciate you taking the time this morning to share some of
these thoughts with us. Thank you very much.

JAMES: Thank you.
               Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                         GEORGE F. CARTER (1912-2004)
                             Texas A&M University

                                Interviewed by
                         Preston E. James (1899-1986)
                              Syracuse University

Sheraton Palace Hotel          August 25, 1970                San Francisco

JAMES: This is Professor George Carter who is now at Texas A&M and formerly
was at Johns Hopkins.

CARTER: That's right.

JAMES: Tell me how you got started in geography.

CARTER: I started in as a small boy collecting arrow points. My father used
to say to me, your grandfather and I saw the Indians camped here, camped
there, and we would go scratch in those places and find a piece of pottery or
a broken arrow point or something like that. I got so interested in the
American Indians that I went on into anthropology. I went to the University
of California at Berkeley and took an AB degree in Anthropology under Robert
Lowie and Alfred Kroeber and that group. Then I got a job as Curator of
Anthropology of the San Diego Museum of Man. What I found myself working on
there was really archeology. Anthropology, as I had learned at Berkeley, was
ethnology, comparative ethnology, cross cousins, brothers, uncles, aunts for
all the tribes of the world. But what I was working on along the coast was
evidence of man left in cliffs, which were being destroyed by the modern
seas. I didn't understand how that could be. And in the desert I was working
on evidence of man on the shores of ancient lakes that no longer existed and
I couldn't see how that could be. Cross cousin marriage didn't explain any
part of it. So after sometime I went back to Berkeley, which was the only
place I could find the kind of man with whom I could work to let me learn
physical earth sciences, which I obviously needed to know. So I went to work
with Carl Sauer. There I took climatology and meteorology with John Leighly
and geomorphology and so forth with John Kesseli, and oceanography with
Leighly, and I saw the magic that Mr. Sauer could do with cultural history. I
learned his absolutely uncanny ability to go into the field and see discrete
bits of things and build a whole story out of a rose bush here, and something
or other kind of plant there.

  After that I came around to finding my Ph.D. thesis. I walked into Mr.
Sauer's office (an unforgettable time I'll tell you) and said: "Well, what am
I going to do for my thesis?" Before he could open his mouth, I said: "I
would like to do early man in America," and he said: "That is much too big a
topic, far too controversial." He had done a big seminar on the Historical
Settlement of America (colonial settlement) so I said: "Well, I did colonial
settlement of America, particularly Maryland, and I liked that very much, so
I would like to do that for my thesis." "Oh," he said, "that's too far away,
way across the continent, much too expensive, you'd never get it done." (So
here I ended up in Maryland for 23 years after that). After I had exhausted
my topics I said: "Well, what am I going to do?" He said: "Well (he got out
his switch blade knife and started stroking his eyeball. He used to give us
all quivers with that maneuver. "George, you are going down in the Southwest
and you I are going to do Pueblo agriculture." I said: "I don't know anything
about Pueblo agriculture." He said: "It doesn't matter," and he proceeded to
outline what I was going to do. I was going to go down there and look at crop
calendars, division of labor, men, women, and children in the fields, this,
that, and the other thing. I wasn't like modern graduate students at all. I
just said: "Yes Sir!" and walked on out of there and started doing it.

  First thing I did was to go to the library and look up corn, beans and
squash. I never heard of such a thing, but I knew that's what the Indians
grew. I discovered there are several kinds of corn. There is sweet corn,
flint corn, flower corn, dent corn. I was amazed. Eventually I went down to
the Southwest and started to take notes on who did what in the fields, and
when, and so forth, but I was also collecting corn, beans, and squash. I had
never seen or heard of such things as was coming out of the hands of those
Indians. I got so interested that in nothing flat, there was nothing but
corn, beans, and squash being collected and asked about. Mrs. Carter and I
spent two summers at it; we made the definitive collection of corn, beans,
and squash as grown by the Indians in the Southwest. All of the Yumas, all of
the Pima-Papago, all of the Mojave, all of the Pueblos, all of the Apaches,
all of the Navajos. When I had that collection assembled, I laid it out on
the map. I now knew the genus and species, even the race varieties of corn,
and putting it on a map you could see then that you could draw a line right
straight diagonally across the Southwest. You had two agricultures (actually
separate plants): a northern and a southern one. On the basis of that I
worked out the derivation for the separate agricultures of the Southwest.
This was a wildly radical idea at the time. Now it turns out to be
exceedingly conservative, which is kind of fun.

  Then the war came along and I was caught in that, but after the war I
finally got back to my original love, which was early man. So, I went back
and for a number of years and worked summers on the coast of Southern
California working out the geology, pedology, climatology and geomorphology
of the San Diego region. After I had worked that out, I then put the
archeology into that framework. This turned out to indicate that man had
first entered America in the last interglacial period, for which I used a
round number of about 100,000 years ago, and that his culture was essentially
that of a Lower Paleolithic people. Well that was about, I would guess,
thirty years ahead of the field (at that moment) and so it was not treated
with applause. It was roundly criticized. But the whole trend and tenets of
the field in the succeeding fifteen years has been to move in that direction
and you now begin to see people talk about the Lower Paleolithic settlement
of America. As far as this 100,000 picture is concerned, we have multiplied
the length of the Pleistocene by three or four; instead of one million, it's
three million. I don't know what the real age is but it is great.

JAMES: Were you at Johns Hopkins at this tine? You came west to work on these

CARTER: Yes, we came out every summer; very distressing, hard work so I
finally quit. I decided that's enough of that. The other thing I got into was
out of the plant geography in the Southwest. I was working on plants as
tracers in the Pacific and eventually I was able to show (using plants, which
you cannot independently invent) that men had moved back and forth across the
Pacific by sea so easily they carried the domestic plants back and forth with
them; carried plants to America, carried plants back from America. It was
also somewhat controversial. But the upshot of that is that I have again been
proved to be conservative. There are more plants carried than I thought,
carried far earlier than I thought.

Currently, I am working on animals. At the moment I am working on chickens
and I will be able (I'm quite sure now) to demonstrate that Asiatic chickens
were carried across the Pacific something like two or three thousand years
ago. I'm guessing at that date because we have no dates at the moment, but I
can prove that Asiatic chickens were carried to America and that they have
Asiatic names (in two cases) on them: Japanese in one area, Hindu in another.
Also that the attitudes are strictly Asiatic. The Indians will not eat the
chicken, they will not eat the egg; the chicken is used purely for ceremonial
purposes and for feathers.

JAMES: Is this the chicken that produces the blue egg?

CARTER: Yes, the blue egg is related to this, but there were far more than
that. There is Malay naked race of chicken, there is the Melanotic silky
chicken and there are a whole series of Asiatic traits such as rumplessness,
pea(?)-combed and so forth. It's very interesting that you can use these
traits. You can treat chickens just as if they were races of men; they are
just as distinctive as Negroes, Mongols and Europoids. So that at a glance
(once you have the key) you can look at them and say, yes, that is an Asiatic
chicken, so there they are.

JAMES: Now' you work out of Texas A&M and you've got the whole Southwest and
northern Latin America to work on.

CARTER: Yes and on my next step I plan to go to Mexico to see what is
actually there and map the chickens and hens of the back country people
(Indians and peasants) to the extent that they still preserve the ancient
races of chickens. There is nowhere in this world that you can get that

JAMES: Aren't you going to have to go back across the Pacific sooner or

CARTER: Yes, for the chickens I want to go to India. That is the home of the
chicken and I better go take a look at Indian chickens.

JAMES: Well, wonderful, thank you very much.
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          WALTER M. KOLLMORGEN (1907-    )
                                University of Kansas

                                 Interviewed by
                          Preston E. James (1899-1896)
                               Syracuse University

Sheraton Palace Hotel            August 24, 1970                San Francisco

JAMES: This is Walter Kollmorgen who is Professor of Geography at the
University of Kansas. He has been interested for a great many years in
agricultural geography and problems having to do with land use. How did you
get started in the field of agricultural geography?

KOLLMORGEN: I took my undergraduate training at the University of Nebraska
during the Depression. During those days there were all sorts of problems and
all sorts of planners were trying to plan ways to get out of this dilemma of
drought, depression and low prices. So I was engaged by Dr. Condra, who was
in charge of the Resource Department at the University of Nebraska, to write
four bulletins on the Dairy Industry of Nebraska. This was my first real
serious effort in agricultural geography, but I became very much involved due
to the depression and the dust storms. It proved to be quite an interesting
program and as a result I became interested in planning, projecting, and
making suggestions as to how to meet the particular problems. Since that time
I have been interested in agriculture.

JAMES: It's an interesting thing. Of course, there are not very many
agricultural geographers who really know about agriculture as such, i.e.,
real farmers. Now Clarence Jones, for example, has his own farm. He buys
cattle and ships them to his farm in Illinois to fatten them, which I
understand is out of date. You know a lot about actual operation of a farm.
Isn't that right?

KOLLMORGEN: Well, Jimmy you know I run the Lone Bull Ranch, and am the son of
a rural school teacher.

JAMES: I know.

KOLLMORGEN: The Lone Bull Ranch is located about 3 miles south of Lawrence
and has about 150 acres. I have about thirty cows and one bull. The bull
takes care of the cows and so I know a great deal about buying cattle,
selling cattle, playing the market and trying to keep up with new ideas.

JAMES: Does the government pay you for not raising crops?

KOLLMORGEN: The government doesn't pay me a thing.
JAMES: Well, it's very interesting to get a person who really knows farming
from the ground up, as it were, and not only from textbooks. This is one
things that's notable about you. Now you worked on that flood plain didn't
you? What was the river valley there, wasn't it in Kansas?

KOLLMORGEN: The Kansas River Valley.

JAMES: And the relation to floods and so on?

KOLLMORGEN: I worked on that also. But let me say a word about this
agricultural geography. Since I write a great deal in that particular field a
good many students have come to Kansas and wanted to study agricultural
geography. I've found, Jimmy (and I would like to check this with you) that
it is very very difficult to take an urban-raised youngster and make an
agricultural geographer out of him. There are so many unknowns and so many
subtle things about agriculture that do not fit the economic pattern. There
are values, efforts, application of ideas, and so forth, that simply defy, I
think, the rule book method of approach. So I've never succeeded in training
a good agricultural geographer that came from an urban setting. I am just
throwing that in as an idea to see how you react to it.

JAMES: I think it's probably true. I think back over the famous geographers
who were agricultural specialists like O.E. Baker. He had ample experience
with the farm. Was O.E. Baker brought up in the city? I don't think so.

KOLLMORGEN: I'm not sure where O.E. Baker was brought up. His agricultural
experiences were not the happiest kind, as you well know.

JAMES: Yes, I know. Now on the other hand Vernor Finch, who did a lot in
agricultural geography, never knew a whole lot about how you actually farm
the land. I may be wrong about this?

KOLLMORGEN: No, Finch didn't throw much light on agricultural geography. Not
in my estimation.

JAMES: Well, I think this is   very true in a fellow that is brought up in the
city and has no contact with   a farm. When he teaches agricultural geography
it becomes once removed from   the reality of life and, of course, these people
write a lot of textbooks and   these are pretty deadly.

KOLLMORGEN: Very deadly, very deadly, you have to have a feel for it. You
have to know where your information is, how to interpret it, and you
shouldn't be encumbered with too many preconceived notions.

JAMES: And what about Curtis Marbut? You remember good old Curtis Marbut was
a soils man. He knew soils from the farm.

KOLLMORGEN: That's right. Of course, he left us a literature that every
agricultural geographer should know. It was one of the pioneer pieces that
threw new light on the West, the grasslands, and the soils out here. Very
good piece of work!

JAMES: Of course, at the present time (present day and age) the younger
people are insisting on the development of theoretical models in their
studies of geography. You made a remark before that you wouldn't want to read
anything that was written after some date, I've forgotten which one.
KOLLMORGEN: I read very little that was published after 1900. (Laughter!)

JAMES: Well, I mean agriculture has changed a lot since 1900.

KOLLMORGEN: Yes, but geography to me is a drama. There is the environmental
complex, with all its subtleties, variations and differences that challenge
man. Man comes with his preconceived notions. Now, he wants to apply them. He
applies and misapplies and out of this comes experience, adventure, success
and failure. This to me is the study of agriculture in all parts of the
world. I don't know of any place in the world where the specialist insists:
This is a pattern of agriculture, if everybody follows it he will be
successful. I don't know of any such experiment in the world. Agricultural
knowledge seems to grow just like plants. It has to be determined and
ascertained in terms of experience and that is, I would say, the wisdom that
I have learned out of agricultural geography.

JAMES: But the day of the individual farmer (as opposed to the large
corporate farmers) is drawing to a close, isn't it? Would you agree with
that? Except as a gentleman farmer.

KOLLMORGEN: It appears that is the trend. Although how a big operator can
plan his program so that he uses his labor efficiently on a large operation -
that I'll have to see. They do it some places in California and certain other
parts of the country. I'll grant you that's true.

JAMES: The wheat farmers, for example, these are big operators, aren't they
now? They are sort of business men rather than dirt farmers.

KOLLMORGEN: Yes, the question is to what extent they are farming the land or
farming the government? And they have all sorts of methods of banking,
financing, and tax write-offs that the little fellow may or may not have. To
me, farming always calls for something extra, some application of time, or
energy, or programming of a central office. I know that in my little
operation they always ask me what is your plan, how do you plan to do this
sort of thing? You can't plan ahead very well in terms of markets and

JAMES: Well, thank you very much Walter, we are glad to talk to you about
this and realize that here is one real, live honest-to-God agricultural
             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                            JOHN B. LEIGHLY (1895-1986)
                        University of California, Berkeley

                                   Interviewed by
                            Preston E. James (1899-1896)
                                 Syracuse University

Sheraton Palace Hotel             August 25, 1970               San Francisco

JAMES: This is Professor John Leighly, Professor Emeritus at the University
of California and we are going to find out a little about his professional
interests and career. John, how did you get into this business?

LEIGHLY: Well, by accident, as I suppose most people do. I was a student at
the University of Michigan back in my early days and the last year I was
there I had a teaching assistantship in the Geology department where I was a
student. But the Head of the Geology Department (William Herbert Hobbs) had
heard some things about me which displeased him and once during this year he
called me into his office and recited to me the things that he had heard and
concluded by saying that "obviously under the circumstances we cannot keep
you on as a teaching assistantship next year." Well, that was probably a non
sequitur, but in any case there I was with no prospect for a teaching
assistantship the next year. About that time Carl Sauer, who was in Geography
at Michigan (which was within the Geology Department), was offered the
Professorship at Berkeley and soon after that he offered me an assistantship
if I were to come out to Berkeley with him. This was, of course, a lifesaver
for me because it gave me a means of continuing my studies and so I accepted
and came to Berkeley the following summer and have been here ever since,
except for temporary absences. I may say that Sauer told me at that time that
I would be free to follow whatever my interests were, which is something I've
always appreciated in him.

JAMES: And that means, though, that you were one of those people who at that
time had never been to Chicago, you had never had any work with Salisbury.

LEIGHLY: No, I never saw Salisbury.

JAMES: I always thought I was the only one of that vintage, who had never
been to Chicago, but now it seems there is another one.

LEIGHLY: Yes, there is at least one although, of course, my instructors, many
of them were from Chicago.

JAMES: Tell me, how did you get going on your Swedish studies? You did a job
on the towns of Sweden.
LEIGHLY: Well, that is another more or less accidental thing. After I was a
graduate student (as many students did at that time and have since) I wanted
to spend a year studying in Europe. But, of course, I didn't have any money
of my own so the question was: Where could I get more money for a year
studying in Europe? It happened that the American-Scandinavian Foundation
sort of had a rule of providing one traveling fellowship for Berkeley. And I
heard about that, so I applied for the fellowship, and got it, and that
enabled me to go to Sweden for a year.

JAMES: Did you know Swedish before that?

LEIGHLY: No, I didn't know any Swedish, but before I went over I came here to
San Francisco and went to the Berlitz School and got a little introduction to
it. After I got there, I picked it up fairly promptly once I got well-
immersed in Swedish things.

JAMES: Now, with the exception of that Swedish work most of your career has
been in various aspects of physical geography.

LEIGHLY: Yes, the reason for that is my primary interest has been in physical
geography. But in the circumstances of the Swedish fellowship and the fact
that I was to be studying with Sten De Geer there (including his interests
and temporarily for the sake of my dissertation) I went into that and pursued
it further a few years later by spending a year in the East Baltic and doing
a comparable job in the East Baltic. But, after all, when I came down to
working in Berkeley it was the physical things that interested me and are
still interesting. Of course, I have other interests besides that.

JAMES: But you didn't get involved in the Mexican studies with Carl Sauer?

LEIGHLY: No. So far as I know I'm the only one of Sauer's early students in
Berkeley, who never went to Mexico with him. All the rest of them did from
Warren Thornthwaite on.

JAMES: Now was Ed Hammond one of your students?

LEIGHLY: Ed Hammond was not. He comes later, of course; he was actually a
student of John Kesseli. Kesseli was the chairman of his thesis committee and
he got into Mexico along with Sauer. As long as Sauer was going to Mexico he
always took graduate students with him and Ed Hammond is one of the later
ones of those and Homer Aschmann is another late one.

JAMES: Now, a little while ago you wrote a paper, which is a very interesting
one, that asked: "What Happened to Physical Geography?" Do you think anybody
has ever answered that paper?

LEIGHLY: Well, I've had a request for reprints for it and comments on it. But
the only comments that I know that referred to it was one Wilma Fairchild
made in reviewing her first few years as editor of Geographical Review. She
said that whether because of "Leighly's sternly pointing finger" or other
things, there was a revival of interest in physical geography. Whatever may
be the cause there is that revival, undoubtedly, and there is a great deal of
work being done now that was not being done 20 years ago. I won't take any
credit for it,
JAMES: Well, I think you deserve some credit for it, because you pointed the
finger at the need and as you said, I think someplace, it is probably true
that some of the tremendous success of the Davis system in a sense postponed
work on physical geography.

LEIGHLY: I think so, I think that there were various ways in which it did.
One of them, of course, was that ideas later than Davis', didn't get
introduced into geography in this country and yet there were many new ideas.
For example, when I was a student I was asked to read Davis' Geographical
Essays at all three different institutions, at three different levels of
study, and by the time I got through that in Berkeley at the graduate level I
was thoroughly tired of Davis. So I rather disturbed the seminar (which was
in the Geology Department) in which we were asked to read Davis by bringing
in Hettner's Die Morphologie der Erdoberfläche, which was distinctly anti-
Davisian. My instructor had never heard of Hettner and here I brought in
these heretical ideas of Hettner and read them to the seminar. I'm afraid
that the instructor was a little bit disturbed by that, but after all, if
people had begun to read Hettner around 1920, perhaps something of the spell
of Davis might have been broken.

JAMES: It's interesting that the major revolt against Davis took place in
Germany and this was the one place where his whole scheme was published in
the German language.

LEIGHLY: Of course that is true. I'm not quite sure why that is.

JAMES: Well, in France de Martonne was a strong disciple.

LEIGHLY: Yes, a whole bunch of the French people were, and, of course, his
influence is still to be recognized in the French writing, but very little of
it could be recognized in the German writing.

JAMES: Yes, that's right.

LEIGHLY: I don't know exactly why that is, I   haven't read enough of the
literature to trace the influence or lack of   influence of Davis in the
Germans. Perhaps it's because they had their   own tradition, going back to
Penck and Richthofen, that the French didn't   have.

JAMES: Well, thank you very much, John, we certainly appreciate talking with
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                               Geographer on Film:
                          JAN O. M. BROEK (1904-1974)
                            University of Minnesota

                                  Interviewed by
                         Preston E. James (1899-1986)
                              Syracuse University

Sheraton Palace Hotel           August 24, 1970                San Francisco

JAMES: This is Jan Broek, who is a former Professor at Minnesota. He is now
retired, but teaching at the University of California. Jan Broek is quite
famous among geographers for a paper that he wrote way back in 1930 on the
Santa Clara Valley in California. Was that your doctoral dissertation?

BROEK: Yes it was. I had come from the Netherlands and I had heard about the
Santa Clara Valley. So I made my headquarters here in Berkeley and then I
made a study of the Santa Clara Valley in 1930.

JAMES: And that was done under Sauer?

BROEK: Not really directly. I must say, he gave me good advice, but it was
written actually for the University of Utrecht, where I got my degree. But it
was very much in the Sauer tradition.

JAMES: And it was written in English?

BROEK: Yes, kind of fractured English, but my wife fixed that up and so it
got published in English, indeed.

JAMES: Well, it's a very famous paper, even today people are quoting it and,
of course, the method that you used there was to trace the historical
development of the pattern of settlement and land use in this valley in
California, which incidentally was the prune center of the world at that
time. At the present time some of the younger geographers, the mathematical
geographers, insist that this method of historical geography is to quote: "It
belongs to a less sophisticated age." How do you feel about this? Do you feel
that you should have done this on the basis of a theoretical model of some

BROEK: In the first place, of course, that was not done in that day, but in
the second place, even today, I would absolutely deny that this kind of study
takes less sophistication. You see, I was after the changes in the landscape
but these form changes had to be explained in terms of the social-economic
processes. So
for every historical period there was a chapter on what I called the social-
economic determinants and then a chapter on the impact on the landscape. Now,
I just do not see how any theoretical model could have been set up to explain
the Indian way of using the land, the Spanish way, the earlier American way,
and the present American way. But quite a part from that I would simply say
this method of an historical approach (by which we understand the present
from) is not at all unsophisticated. It takes great skill, if I may say so,
to get this understanding across. And while I have nothing against a method
of a more theoretical nature, wherever we can use it, I can not see that one
is more sophisticated than the other.

  I will give you another example of this. Before my time and before your
time, we had theoretical approaches, which were based on the notion of
environmental determinism. We all realize that those questions asked were
perfectly good questions. What is the relation between man and environment?
But we also realize now, that the theoretical conclusions, or the theories
set up at that time were really immature. Unsophisticated I would say. I
leave it to history to decide whether the present day approaches are really
that sophisticated or that they will need considerable refinement.

JAMES: I suppose the ideal would be to mix these approaches and not to feel
that we have to select one or the other, because certainly some of the work
of the theoretical geographers today is very stimulating. But on the other
hand, some of the young Turks (people who are opposed to anything that has
been done by an older generation) some of these people insist that the
historical explanation deals with unique things, that there can never be any
general theory developed from it. As a matter of fact, I think most of the
theory which is currently of importance in geography has come from historical
geographical studies. Don't you think so?

BROEK: Yes, I think so and if we get to that we had better look for what
historians have done. We know, of course, that some historians have tried to
find theory through general models (take Toynbee or Spengler). I think we can
leave it to any reader of these books to see these general worldwide models
offer only limited possibility of explanation.

     I fully agree with you that geographers have always worked with both
theory and more empirical aspects. And that kind of mix we need now, we need
in the future, and we have used it in the past. We really cannot simply say
that all civilizations, all cultures are at the moment open to great
generalizations of a theoretical nature. We haven't gotten that far and
personally, I just doubt very much that we ever will. Besides you see,
geography has always been interested in the character of unique places. We
cannot understand places if we make theories of such an abstract nature that
they only apply to the most general phenomena the world over. It is wonderful
to say that we have some theory for port cities and that, of course, is true.
We can make general statements, but I still want to know as a geographer what
makes New York tick, what makes San Francisco tick, and what the differences
are between these port cities. That applies, of course, to the Santa Clara
Valley or any study of that kind.

JAMES: The fact is that you and I agree about his so we can scarcely work up
a good argument, but some of the younger boys have, for instance, tried to
develop certain mathematical models. They would say that the best way to
describe a sequence of events is the use of a mathematical model -
mathematically stated formula, using mathematical symbols. One of the very
interesting things is that the younger generation coming up through the
schools today is trained in mathematics and science rather than in language
and literature, so that the feeling for language and the writing of English
is rapidly declining as an art. Do you find that?

BROEK: Yes, I think there is truth in that; often therefore, this
mathematical approach appeals. Particularly if you know very little, because
you haven't read much about other countries, about other cultures. It is
rather naive to believe that what you have constructed, as a mathematical
model for the United States, is necessarily true for the world as a whole. I
think the more one knows through literature about other countries the more
doubts arise. I have always found Von Thünen stimulating and I taught his
model of the Isolated States (Der Isolierte Staat, 1826) in the 1930s here in
Berkeley. But that doesn't mean that one can explain the agricultural regions
of the world through Von Thünen's models. So let us try to combine reality
and abstraction and not believe that all that went before the mathematical
model and approach is simply old fashion and wrong.

JAMES: Well, we certainly need both approaches. But to come back to your
Santa Clara Valley. What happened to it? Is it still the prune center of the

BROEK: Ah! This makes me weep a bit when I go there. The whole northern
section now has become part of the metropolitan area. I should write another
chapter, and sometimes think I may do that: "The Santa Clara Valley
Revisited." As a matter of fact I think there is no dissertation that has
become so quickly historical geography as mine, in one generation. Since 1930
another chapter has been added. One could have foreseen that (to a certain
extent) in a theoretical model of the expansion of a metropolitan area. But
how it worked itself out is not something that would have been sufficiently
stated with truly a mathematical model.

JAMES: Thank you very much, Jan, for talking with us.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                         JAMES R.ANDERSON (1919-1980)
                           U. S. Geological Survey

                              Interviewed by
                            Maynard Weston Dow
                          Plymouth State College

Hyatt Regency Hotel           April 11, l978       New Orleans, Louisiana

DOW: Jim, how did you get interested in geography?

ANDERSON: It was really when I started at Indiana   University in my sophomore year;
I took a course with William Thornbury, who was a   geomorphologist at that time. I
took a course with him, decided that I would take   some more courses, and ended up
getting a bachelor's degree in History and, then,   a bachelor's degree in Geography
at Indiana.

DOW: Where did you do your graduate training?

ANDERSON: Went on (after World War II and four years in the Navy in the South
Pacific) to Indiana for my master's degree and, then, to the
University of Maryland from 1947 to 1950 for my doctorate.

DOW: What do you consider your specialties?

ANDERSON: My specialties really are agricultural geography. I had gone to the
University of Maryland to work under O. E. Baker in that field and land
resource use, which is related closely to the use of land. In terms of
regional specialty I've always been interested primarily in the United States
and Canada.

DOW: Could you tell us about some specific work you've done in agricultural

ANDERSON: I've been particularly interested in the southeastern part
of the country. The change from plantation agriculture into the modern
agricultural period and some of the social and economic impacts of that
change in the thirties and earlier period into the present modern era. I have
looked at the social issues as well as the economic issues of agriculture.

DOW: You looked at agriculture, in general, not a particular crop?

ANDERSON: That's right. I'm not so much interested in specific crops as the
overview of how people live and what the problems are for agriculture as part of
the economy as a whole.
DOW: Now you were Chairman at Gainesville for how many years?

ANDERSON: I was Chairman for ten years at the University of Florida
in Gainesville from 1960 to 1970. Then I got a sabbatical and started working
on an early plantation agriculture study in North Central Florida in the
Suwannee Valley. In 1972 I was invited to take the position of Chief
Geographer of the U.S. Geological Survey.

DOW: Is this something you had in mind, working for the government?

ANDERSON: I had been with the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1952 to
1960. There I got a chance to practice agricultural geography, actually do
some studies dealing with the use of land resources for agriculture problems
related to it, and so forth; I was practicing that kind of geography.

DOW: Seems as though I've heard you say that, perhaps, they ought to
have called it the U. S. "Geographical" Survey.

ANDERSON: This is a very interesting point. The U. S. Geological Survey was
founded in 1879 and in 1882 John Wesley Powell became the second Director of
the Survey. He established a post of Chief Geographer at that time primarily
to undertake the topographic mapping of the United States. Powell's work in
the West was particularly keyed to looking at the man-environment
relationships there. He was very keenly aware that the West was quite a
different landscape than the East and that we had some real problems if you
were going to settle the West. He looked at this from a geographical

DOW: He was a geographer, philosophically?

ANDERSON: I think Powell was philosophically a geographer. Jimmy James,
(Preston James) has been writing an article on the story of Powell and his
interest in geographical matters.

DOW: Who was the first geographer for the U. S. Geological Survey?

ANDERSON: The first geographer (I cannot remember just what his name
was) didn't stay in the position too long. They discontinued the position after
about 1900 for a while and then re-established it.

DOW: And your predecessor?

ANDERSON: Arch C. Gerlach, who had been with the Library of Congress
in the Geography and Map Division of the Library.

DOW: Just what are you and other geographers doing for the U. S. Geological

ANDERSON: We are now engaged in mapping the land use of the entire
United States at a scale of 1:250,000, using a classification system
that we developed at the Survey that could take full advantage of
remotely sensed data, like the high resolution U-2 photography (the
mapping photography for the Survey). We're not currently using
LANDSAT type data for this mapping, but we have a LANDSAT experiment
in which we're looking at its capabilities down the road.

DOW: How many geographers are with the Survey?
ANDERSON: We have about forty-five to fifty geographers in our
geography program which is in the Land Information and Analysis Office. In
other parts of the Survey there are quite a number of geographers working for
the other divisions, the Geologic Division, Water Resources Division, etc.

DOW: Are there any cartographers there?

ANDERSON: Lots of cartographers working for the Geological Survey,
particularly in the Topographic Division.

DOW: What are some of the research frontiers in geographical research?

ANDERSON: In as far as our interest in doing land use-land cover
mapping we are interested in developing good use of a lot of the new
sensors that are coming along, like the LANDSAT capability. Looking at the
possibilities of getting these in a complementary mode so that they
complement each other and give us more information by working them together.
I think there needs to be a lot more done in this area and we feel that just
ending with the land use map is no good. We need to learn how to use those
maps to solve real world problems. So we're putting the maps into a
geographic information system, digitizing them. This gives us an analytical,
interpretive capability that I think is needed when we want to address energy
issues (the strip-mining of coal, the environmental issues) as to how we
protect our environment and at
the same time carry on the necessary development to get the resources we need
so badly.

DOW: Do you have people looking at the economic and social patterns as well?

ANDERSON: We do. Yes. We have, for example, (since we're here in New Orleans)
a study just being completed on the impact of offshore oil development on the
Louisiana wetlands and, also, the impact of onshore oil development in the
earlier period.

DOW: So it's not just mapping; I mean, many geographers...

ANDERSON: Not at all, that's very important, I think. The map is a tool for
understanding the earth better and that's where we should pick up and do our

DOW: Are you still making the plastic shading relief maps?

ANDERSON: Those are not being done now; they have discontinued that.

DOW: Because of the expense?

ANDERSON: I think that, and they did not seem to (except for continental areas
and so forth) take too well for classroom use.

DOW: How do you see geography as a discipline, looking into the future?

ANDERSON: I'm very optimistic that more and more geographers will find
employment in helping to resolve key issues and key problems that relate to the
use of resources. In the United States we have not been understood as a
discipline as well as in England, Canada and other parts of Europe.
DOW: What about in the government? When you say: " I'm a geographer", do
they know what you are and what you represent?

ANDERSON: Sometimes no.

DOW: Do you have the same frustration (as others)?

ANDERSON: You have to explain. You have to tell them what you are
doing and they begin to understand then; it's something you have to
keep working at, I think.

DOW: What would be some other opportunities in the federal service?

ANDERSON: The U.S. Bureau of the Census employs a lot of geographers
in taking the census of the population (getting the maps ready to take
a census); it's a big job. There are geographers working in the State
Department on political issues. The Law of the Sea, for example, it's
got some very interesting geographical dimensions. There are geographers working
with the Environmental Protection Agency in trying to regulate environmental
land use.

DOW: What about in the recreational aspects, the National Park System?

ANDERSON: There are geographers employed in developing a better network of parks
and recreational areas, getting these into the places where people live and
actually can make better use of them.

DOW: What are your plans for the future?

ANDERSON: Well, I hope to get back into research after I finish up this job
of getting the United States mapped over one time. We're hoping to finish
this job by 1982 and we will start updating our maps and, maybe, by that time
I'll get back into some research.

DOW: That's what you're waiting to do?

ANDERSON: I sort of would like to do that again, yes. It's been an
interesting job and we've been doing a lot of fascinating things, but
I look forward to that.

DOW: Thank you very much, Jim.
              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 5pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                 Geographer on Film:
                                  JOHN S. ADAMS (1938-   )
                              University of Minnesota

                                  Interviewed by
                                Maynard Weston Dow
                              Plymouth State College

The Denver Hilton                 April 24, l983             Denver, Colorado

DOW: John Adams of the University of Minnesota, how did you get started in

ADAMS: Well I didn't get started in geography, I got started in economics. I went
off to graduate school in 1960, walked onto the campus at Minnesota with a research
fellowship and met Walter Heller. I told Walter I wanted to study consumer
economics and regional economics and he said: "Well, you came to the wrong place,
nobody here does that". He sent me around to talk with some of the faculty, and I
started taking courses with Jacob Schmookler, who became my advisor shortly before
he died. I soon bumped into some of the geographers at Minnesota, took two courses
from Cotton Mather, then one from Fred Lukermann and thought that they were kind of
neat. I hadn‟t known that they taught courses like that at the University. Then I
took a course from John Borchert and that was also pretty exciting. Of course, Fred
Lukermann was just in from the field and sported a Buffalo Bill beard and riding
boots, and I thought this is an interesting fellow and interesting department. So I
used geography as my outside field with my master's degree program in economics and
then I was hooked. As I was completing Ph.D. coursework in economics but feeling
increasingly out of place, I met Fred walking across the campus one day, told him I
was frustrated with economics, and he said: "Why don't you come over to geography?"
I thought about that for a while, because I was going to sleep reading economics
books (even though they were very pleased with my progress) and I decided to go.

DOW: Well, what was happening at Minnesota when you were a student there?

ADAMS: The Economics Department was a big item on campus and the Geography
Department was a smaller but active place. Borchert and Lukermann, along with some
of the others were busy reacting to some of the heavy handedness that Broek had
wheeled as Head (1948-56), when he apparently had insisted on advising all the
Ph.D. students. Borchert had an offer to leave Minnesota and the whole fuss was
settled when Borchert become Chairman, then Mather three years later as rotating
chairmanships became the norm. I came into the department while Mather was
Chairman. They were in the business of creating a new program and at the center of
that effort were John Webb, Fred Lukermann, Phil Porter, and Ward Barrett; John
Borchert was viewed as the old father figure at the time (he was about 43!) and
that was the group.

DOW: Was Fred your advisor?
ADAMS: Fred became my advisor, but I worked with just about everybody in the

DOW: How did you happen to go to Penn State?

ADAMS: Allan Rodgers   talked to Fred Lukermann in the spring AAG meetings in l966
and he said: "Who do   you have coming out of Minnesota?" And Fred said: "John
Adams." He came back   from the meetings and Fred says: "Call Allan Rodgers." I
called Allen Rogers,   he invited me out for an interview, and the next day he
offered me a job.

DOW: Those were the days of the old-boy network.


DOW: Did you know what was going on at Penn State?

ADAMS: I had no idea.

DOW: What did you discover when you arrived?

ADAMS: A pretty exciting group of people. Wilbur Zelinsky, Peirce Lewis, Peter
Gould, Paul Simpkins, and Tony Williams were all there at about the same time.
Allan gave me a lot of encouragement. He told me later he‟d hoped I‟d succeed him
as chair. I also spent time with George Deasy, Phyllis Gries (whose position I
filled), Will Miller, and Fred Wernstedt. In fact, I got on well with the entire

DOW: Didn't you collaborate on a book with Gould and Abler, Spatial Organization?

ADAMS: Sure. During the fall I arrived in l966, Peter was eager to interact with
me, because I had a lot of technical training from my economics days with
mathematics and statistics. Peter thought that was he going to save the world. Tony
Williams had just come from Michigan State skilled as a computer programmer. We
felt we must be able to create an ideal introductory graduate seminar for new
graduate students in geography, and we did the following fall. We thought that the
seminar would translate into a book, which we wrote (Abler arrived in fall 1967 and
joined the group; Tony later dropped out), which came out right at the end of the

DOW: How successful was the book?

ADAMS: Peter said: We don't know how to write this book, and it's never been
written before, but if we do it everyone will read it and figure out a better way
to do it, which they did. In that sense we all felt it was really successful. And
it sold well.

DOW: So it was a pioneer in that sense?

ADAMS: Yes, we thought so. Others did too.

DOW: Why did you return to Minnesota?

ADAMS: The Minnesota people drafted me, they dragged me back. I was looking to
leave Penn State, because I wanted to study cities and Happy Valley Centre County
Pennsylvania didn‟t have very much in the way of cities. So I looked at half a
dozen options and Minnesota was the best one. I didn't particularly want to go back
there and neither did my wife, because we both grew up in the Twin Cities area (I
in Minneapolis; she in Bloomington), but we went back.

DOW: When you went back did you have a purpose in mind to do a particular kind of

ADAMS: Yes! Comparative urban study. In the summer of l970, which is when I moved
to Minnesota, I had already been serving on the Commission on College Geography and
had started meeting a few of the heavyweights in our field. Warren Nystrom took a
liking to me, and thought I was a great young fellow with my head on straight. The
AAG started at that time to promote a series of task forces that he thought might
not only bring geographers together to do more useful collaborative work, but also
provide sponsored research overhead monies through the Central Office that would
help the Association develop a more professional support base in Washington. We
were busy buying buildings and enhancing the staff and I was in the middle of that.
One of the task forces had to do with urban problems and Brian Berry, John
Borchert, David Ward, Jay Vance, and Frank Horton were the central people in that.
I met with them in Chicago for a two-week workshop. A large bunch of folks, perhaps
25, were assembled by Brian and the others to address the question: What should we
be studying as geographers that pertain to cities? Then we met, again, in Berkeley
at the end of summer l970. They asked me how would I like to put together a
proposal to NSF to do an urban study based on the l970 census. I said I didn't know
how to do it, but I wasn't going to shrink from an invitation of that kind. So I
said yes.

DOW: That's how the Urban Atlas [A Comparative Atlas of America’s Great Cities:
Twenty Metropolitan Regions, by Ronald F. Abler, John S. Adams, and Ki-Suk Lee.
University of Minnesota Press, 1976] came to be. Is that correct?

ADAMS: That's right. The central question within the NSF proposal was: “What
progress had been made during the 1960s in addressing the various urban problems of
the decade, and how can census materials and contemporary quantitative methods be
used to answer the question?”

DOW: There is a connection here with the High School Geography Project, isn't

ADAMS: Well, the connection for me was I was a consultant on the High School
Geography Project while I was still at Penn State and that's when I met Nick
Helburn. That led to my contact with Warren, and that led to my association with
the Commission on College Geography and, I think, that in that sense there is a
connection. We were trying to figure out how to teach better at the undergraduate
and graduate levels, and then we tried to figure out how to produce better
scholarship to feed those educational processes.

DOW: Do you think they saw the High School Geography Project as a vehicle for
recruiting high school students into the discipline?

ADAMS: They may have, but I wasn't part of the original brain trust that put HSGP
together. I came in as a young assistant professor at Penn State to read some of
the materials and comment on them. My understanding was that it was an attempt to
upgrade the curriculum, and to bring it into the late 20th century.

DOW: Is it fair to say that it was not a successful a project?

ADAMS: I think it is fair to say that it wasn't successful in the sense that the
stuff didn't get used. Macmillan buried the stuff, as far as I am concerned, and we
all felt badly about that. In the sense that it was part of a process that put
together the energy for some of the summer institutes that we had during the 1960s,
and later, it was successful, because it put school teachers together with
university professors and research types. I think it pushed the whole fraternity
ahead quite a bit.

DOW: What do you think about the final product of the Urban Atlas?

ADAMS: I'm very proud of it. I thought that virtually all of the reviews were
highly favorable, nationally and internationally. The book sold almost three
thousand copies, which amazed people. Our vignettes have never been duplicated;
some of them were very, very good.

DOW: It's a nice piece of work from my viewpoint. You are now the President or
retiring President of the AAG. Are you the youngest President?

ADAMS: I don't know. I've been asked that question, and have never taken the time
to check, I've been too busy.

DOW: Would Brian Berry, perhaps, be a close runner there?

ADAMS: He is pretty close. Risa Palm is pretty close, also.

DOW: I see. We will have to check the books3, posterity will have to tell us that.
As President, or Past President, what comes to mind as one of the crucial issues
in geography in the early l980s?

ADAMS: Geographic education. We've got to do something to get more geography into
the schools, and we've got to get some of the movers and shakers of America to
recognize that and start putting pressure on the elite colleges and universities
where the large fraction of America's talent goes to college. We are getting
started on that now and I think we'll have results in ten years.

DOW: But it's people like you and me that have to work at this. We have to devote
our time.

ADAMS: That's right.

DOW: Are there people out there that are willing to sacrifice?

ADAMS: I think there are. I don't think there is any question that there is a
commitment. Our numbers are just too small, but we are heading in the right

DOW: How has your work since l970 affected your views of geography?

  Editor's Note #2: After the merger (1948) of the AAG with the American Society of Professional Geographers the executive duties of
the President for the enlarged membership interfered with the preparation of a presidential address. For twelve years the office of
Honorary President was utilized to permit an individual an uninterrupted year to prepare an address. With the appointment of a full-time
Executive Director in 1966 addresses were once again delivered by the elected president.

   Those who served as Honorary President include: Carl O. Sauer* (1956), Derwent Whittlesey*(1975), George B. Cressey (1957), John
B. Leighly (1958), Stephen B. Jones (1959), John E. Orchard (1960), C. Warren Thornthwaite (1961), Andrew H. Clark (1962), Edward
A. Ackerman (1963), F. Kenneth Hare (1964), Fred B. Kniffen (1965), Preston E. James* (1966). An asterisk denotes they also served an
elected term as President.
ADAMS: My work at the university level at the University of Minnesota has
convinced me of how absolutely central geography is. We are very highly regarded
there, and the geography curriculum is right in the center of the College of
Liberal Arts curriculum. At the graduate level, in related areas of research and
policy analysis nationally and internationally, I as a teacher and a scholar have
had all of my commitments validated in many ways. I don't have any second
thoughts about what I'm doing and my experience in the Association and national
and international activities has just worked out very well.

DOW: Do we assume that you will phase out of Association activities or will you
always have a foot in the door?

ADAMS: On the contrary. I think that you can be much more effective after
you've gotten to know the members of our fraternity in all the centers of
geographical research and practice.

DOW: Let's speculate. Would you come back, perhaps, in twenty years and be
the President for the second time?

ADAMS: Sure, if somebody asked me.

DOW: It has been done before, is that correct?

ADAMS: I don't know if anyone ...

DOW: I think, perhaps, Sauer was President twice2, but that may be wrong. Do
you have any ideas on that?


DOW: No?

ADAMS: I'm ready to do it.

DOW: You're ready to do it. All right. Well, we will come back in twenty
years, perhaps before, and do this process again. Thank you very much for
taking time today.

ADAMS: Thank you.

             Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                                  Maynard Weston Dow
                                 Geographers on Film
                             Plymouth State University,
                               Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          W. G. V. BALCHIN (1916-   )
                          University College, Swansea

                                   Interviewed by
                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                               Plymouth State College

10 Low Wood Rise,                  May 17, l982           Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Ben Rhydding
DOW: Professor Balchin, Professor Emeritus of University College Swansea,
when and how did you become interested in geography?

BALCHIN: Like so many geographers of my generation a remarkable teacher of
geography first generated interest in the subject at the secondary stage of
my school career. His name was Richards and I subsequently collaborated with
him in the publication of two school textbooks. He had been fortunate in
being trained in the early twenties by both Professor Roxby of Liverpool
University and Rudmose Brown of Sheffield University.

   With A. W. Richards' encouragement and assistance I persuaded the
Headmaster of my school to initiate sixth form geography and eventually
secured County and State Scholarships which took me to Cambridge.

DOW: Who were among the geographers have influenced you the most?

BALCHIN: I've been very fortunate in being influenced by a considerable
number of eminent British geographers. Indirectly through the school
Geography master Professors Roxby and Rudmose Brown. Directly I had the good
fortune to go to Cambridge in the pre-war period when Professors Frank
Debenham, Alfred Steers and Vaughan Lewis formed the core of the physical
geography teaching. But we also had H. C. Darby and R. W. Stanners on the
human side.

   After Second World War I joined the Joint School of Geography of King's
College London and the London School of Economics as a Lecturer and here came
into close contact with such well known names as Professors Rodwell Jones,
Dudley Stamp, Sidney Wooldridge, Gordon East, and S. H. Beaver. I think that
my senior geographers would agree that in the immediate prewar and postwar
period these two schools dominated British geography.

DOW: Well, speaking of World War II was your geographical training useful
during the war?

BALCHIN: Yes, I think it was of considerable value. I took the Geodetic and
Topographic Surveying option in Part II of the Cambridge Geographical Tripos
and on the outbreak of war in l939 was rapidly absorbed into the Hydrographic
Department of the Admiralty. In company with two other officers we were made
responsible for producing all the Fleet Air Arm navigational charts.
Subsequently, the Joint Services Map Charts used by the invasion forces in
Sicily, Italy, and Northern France.

DOW: In what sense was the Department of Geography at Swansea a pioneer in
the post-war development of geography in Britain?

BALCHIN: In the first place I think the actual building we occupied was of
considerable interest to geographers since Swansea possessed one of the first
Departments in this country to be planned on the drawing board. The
University expansion of the fifties produced new accommodation for the
Natural Sciences in Swansea and for the first time purpose built facilities
became available for Geography. As well as the normal lecture theatres,
lecture laboratories, staff and research rooms, stores, offices, a large map
library and photographic rooms, special laboratories were provided for
advanced undergraduate and post-graduate research in geomorphology,
hydrology, pedology, cartography, meteorology, and photogrammetry. The
Department was also amongst the first in the country to acquire vehicles for

   The building itself included many innovations for the time ranging from
power operated black out curtains and cork paneled walls for display
purposes, to special service benches in all staff rooms and laboratories.
Along with the apparatus acquired a half a million pounds was invested in the
Department of Geography. As a result, the Department at Swansea soon became a
focus of attention as a succession of new departments of Geography began to
emerge both at home and overseas in the expanding university situation of the
l960s. The annual departmental record reveals that over fifty universities
and institutions from all over the world sought building, development and
equipment advice and information from Swansea during this period.

   The Department also pioneered academic ideas such as graduate map
librarians, graduate cartographers, tutorial assistants, graduate
administrative assistants, and overseas field class for both students and
teachers. Other departments subsequently took up many of these innovations.

DOW: Well, we can see a lot happened while you were at Swansea. What do you
consider to be your most significant geographical achievement during your
tenure as Head of the Department at Swansea?

BALCHIN: The students that passed through the department were, of course, our
first concern and thanks to a loyal team of colleagues, I can only recollect
two students who failed to graduate in the whole of my twenty-four years in
Swansea. During this time over 3000 students were successful in geography.

   We were also active nationally in a number of areas. I was able to
initiate early on some interesting research on University location in Britain
and there is clear evidence that the analytical work undertaken in Swansea
played a significant part in the selection of seven new universities of the
late l950s and early l960s. These universities were the last to be
established in Britain along traditional, historical, and geographical lines.
  Research work was also undertaken into the problems of the national water
supply and some of the results were incorporated into the Water Act of l963.
In the l970s attention was directed towards the concept of graphicacy.

  As well as encouraging a family team spirit in the Department; members of
staff were also encouraged to write out their own lecture and research work.
Over forty books, as well as, several hundred papers emerged from the
department during my Headship. Looking back now it was clearly an exciting,
productive and memorable time.

DOW: Well, speaking of productive, you have certainly had a productive
career. Have you any unfulfilled geographical ambitions?

BALCHIN: I would have to confess to a large number. There are the inevitable
places that one has not succeeded in visiting despite some widespread travel
in most continents. There are also the inevitable pieces of research that the
administrative chores of latter years prevented one undertaking. There are
the inevitable unwritten books. But these are all rather personal items.

  At the national level I have been working during the last few years
promoting the idea of a national decennial land-use survey to be undertaken
in association with the population census. The First Land Utilization Survey
by Sir Dudley Stamp and the Second Land Utilization Survey by Miss Alice
Coleman have shown the value of this kind of geographical assessment and
analysis. Government is unfortunately slow to act in this field. The idea
however, has now become enshrined into policy documents of the recently
formed Land Decade Educational Council.

  I would also like to see a general acceptance in educational quarters of
the concept of graphicacy. Geographers now seem to be using this term without
difficulty, but to be fully effective it need to be accepted alongside
literacy, numeracy, and articulacy. But perhaps once again, this is just a
matter of time.

DOW: Well, you've advanced many challenges for us and I hope that some of
them, at least, can be met. Thank you very much for taking the time with us

BALCHIN: Thank you.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                        ALICE M. COLEMAN (1923-        )
                         King's College, London

                                  Interviewed by
                                    J. C. Pugh
                              King's College, London

Royal Geographical Society,    April 28, l982                   London


PUGH: Miss Coleman, you've been on the staff at King's College, London since
l948. Can you give an outline of your previous education?

COLEMAN: Yes, at the time when I left school very few people went to
University and so I trained as a teacher. I took my degree after that by
evening classes at that marvelous institution, Birbeck College, which as you
know, London University devotes purely for people, who are taking part-time
degrees. There were two very inspiring professors,
E. G. R. Taylor and S. W. Wooldridge and I was fortunate enough to get a
first class degree, which qualified me for a university post.

PUGH: Are there any other geographers who have had any special influence on
your career?

COLEMAN: Oh, yes! Many. Professor Balchin was one of my colleagues when I
first came to King's for a few years and I was very much impressed by his
command of different branches of geography. He encouraged me a great deal in
both my early geomorphological work and also in my later land use work. We've
collaborated on a number of joint papers. In fact, between us we invented the
term "graphicacy." Professor Dudley Stamp, he also was a colleague, and I
had been fascinated by his school textbooks. It was one of the things that
lead me into being a geographer. When I decided that I was going to follow in
his footsteps by launching the Second Land Utilization Survey of Britain then
he gave me a great deal of very generous help. Professor Kenneth Hare
broadened my horizons by arranging me to undertake land use work in Canada.
Of course, you yourself, as my Head of Department for the last few years have
always given me a great deal of academic support for which I'm very grateful.

PUGH: Thank you. Your land use work, Miss Coleman, is generally regarded as a
major contribution to geography. What did you have in mind when you started
on the Second Survey?

COLEMAN: I wanted to get a contrast with Dudley Stamp's First Land
Utilization Survey. He had recorded the agricultural and the urban decay of
the inter-war period. His work had lead to agricultural improvement measures
and urban planning. I thought it would be a good thing to record the crest as
well as the trough.

PUGH: You've certainly introduced a very attractive series of maps. Have they
shown what you expected? This is one example. (Pugh holds up a map for

COLEMAN: Regarding agriculture, yes they do. But the planning didn't live up
to expectations. I think, perhaps, I could illustrate it in general, not from
this map, at the moment. (Another map is displayed). This is a very
generalized summary of everything we found from all our maps.

   What planning had done was to take the townscape, the inner city, which is
shown in red on here, and over empty people out of it, leaving behind
thousands of derelict sites. All in amongst new soulless housing; flats, lots
of flats. Then the redevelopment on the fringes was very scattered sprawl
(red is the settlement), which fragmented the farmland shown in green and
caused a lot of it to go idle, because it was no longer economic to work.
This zone which we call "urban fringe" is eating away at the farmscape so
quickly that if we don't call a halt we will lose the lot within two hundred
years. Then the farmers are trying to compensate for this loss of land by
reclaiming some of the moorland and the heath and that is eroding away our

wildlife habitats. So there is a complete chain reaction of land use
dislocations from the inner city going right up to the wildscape.

PUGH: Your work then in effect, carries a message.   Do you think it's being

COLEMAN: Oh, yes it is in a gradual piecemeal sort of way.

PUGH: Apart from the factual evidence and the interpretation of your maps
here have you developed any new geographical techniques?

COLEMAN: Yes, we had to, because as you know, the Second Land Use Utilization
Survey was conducted on a shoestring. That meant we had to find a cheap and
quick way of area measurement. I conducted a very thorough study about the
comparative speed, and cost, and accuracy, and so on, and finally invented
the idea of systematic point sampling. At that time geographers thought that
it was essential to have random sampling, but gradually it has been accepted.
Systematic sampling is perfectly alright for land use maps of this kind which
are random in themselves and systematic sampling is now known to be more
accurate and also much quicker. Then the other main technique that we
developed was a method of pattern recognition. There is so much detail on
these land use maps that it was important to be able to generalize it somehow
and from this diagram we found a very precise pattern recognition technique,
which would differentiate townscape and urban fringe, farmscape, marginal
fringe, and wildscape. We've been able to get that so that independent
workers can reproduce the same boundaries to the nearest millimeter. It is
quite reproducible and we also have tried very hard to make sure that it
reflects the real world.

PUGH: Would you like to say something about the urban work that you've done
following up from this?

COLEMAN: Yes, because of the inner city problems we felt it was essential to
do some more inner city work. Oscar Newman's discovery of the relationship
between architectural design and levels of crime made us feel that we'd like
to do this in a geographical way. So we have mapped types of architectural
designs throughout two London boroughs, four thousand blocks of flats, and
we've been trying to relate it to different kinds of social malaise other
than crime. For example, we have found that there are fifteen design
variables, which are significantly related to the amount of litter in the
entrances to block of flats. We are going ahead to look at other things such
as truancy and broken glass and we hope suicides and children in care, and so

PUGH: Are the architects taking practical note of your findings, Miss

COLEMAN: Well, quite a number of them have invited me to go and talk at
conferences or at the schools of architecture, so I think so.

PUGH: Good. What about rural land use? Are you still taking an interest in

COLEMAN: Oh, yes. I think, it's essential because I see the whole rural-urban
spectrum as being inter-linked. I've been doing two things. One is to study
the upsurge of vandalism on farms. This map is actually shows all the
farmers, who responded to my questionnaire in the Farmers Weekly. In contrast
to that, this map shows those farms where there were more than thirty
different types of vandalism experienced. The other thing is that the Second

Land Utilization Survey has produced the only comprehensive maps of a semi-
natural vegetation and I would dearly like to see that published.

PUGH:   Well, thank you very much.

                Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                                Maynard Weston Dow
                               Geographers on Film
                           Plymouth State University,
                             Plymouth, New Hampshire

                               GEOGRAPHER ON FILM:
                            JEAN GOTTMANN (1915-1994)
                              University of Oxford

                                   Interviewed by
                              Maynard Weston Dow
                            Plymouth State College

School of Geography,           May 10, l982                     Oxford
University of Oxford

DOW: Professor Jean Gottmann, here we are in Britain interviewing British
geographers. You have had quite an unusual career, I wonder if you would
review it for us?

GOTTMANN: I've been now for fifteen years here in Oxford, but, of course, I'm
originally French and still of French nationality; I had all my education in
France until age twenty-five. I've been also, in a way, an American
geographer. I've been now for forty years or so a member of the Association
of American Geographers and, for longer than that, a fellow of the American
Geographical Society. This I recognize is unusual, but I think it's very good
for a geographer to be in as many countries as possible and to have as
diverse an experience as possible.

DOW: In your experience, especially in your days when you studied, are there
mentors who have had a particular impact upon you?

GOTTMANN: Yes. There have been many, of course,   among my teachers.   But,
particularly, Albert Demangeon at the Sorbonne,   who was my teacher in the
University, who was also my first boss, because   I was his assistant, (his
research assistant) for four years from l936 to   l940.

DOW: What kind of research did you do with him?

GOTTMANN: Human geography, chiefly human geography of France. At the same
time I was getting my own research (he was directing me) which had to do
with irrigation around the Mediterranean. I wrote my first serious, if you
want, research, for which I had my first review published. It was only an
article that got published, but I had a review in the Geographical Review.

DOW: The first time?

GOTTMANN: At that time when the Review was published I was about twenty-two,
maybe twenty-three.

DOW: You hadn't completed your formal education at that point?

GOTTMANN: Not quite, but that was a sort of little piece that I published; it
was on irrigation in Palestine. That was the beginning of the study of
irrigation around the Mediterranean.

DOW: Speaking of research, what are the contexts in which
Megalopolis developed?

GOTTMANN: My Mediterranean and agricultural interests were
interrupted by the Second World War. I happened to arrive in the
United States at about the time of, almost exactly, Pearl Harbor;
a few weeks later I traveled to Washington. I was already
headquartered, then, at the Institute for Advanced Study in
Princeton, New Jersey, an Institute with which I was associated
for more than twenty-five years in sort of a recurring basis. I
never had a permanent appointment there, but an invitation to
return when I wanted to.

DOW: Unusual for a geographer, would you say?

GOTTMANN: I think that I was the only geographer who was more
than one term at the Institute unless something new has developed
very recently. There have been, maybe two, one French and one

British geographer, who were there for a term or so in the forties and
sixties. I don't think that any geographer has been there since.

DOW: So then how did the term "megalopolis" come along?

GOTTMANN: I was traveling from Princeton to Washington by train. That you
could still do, then. I was fired by the density of large or medium-size
cities along that axis. On my trip back from Washington I stopped off in
Baltimore to see Isaiah Bowman then President of The Johns Hopkins
University. I knew him a little before. He asked what had impressed me the
most in my first weeks in America. My answer was automatically the density of
big cities between New York and Washington. I think that was the birth moment
of Megalopolitan research.

DOW: What of the word itself? How did that come about?

GOTTMANN: The word itself - that was l952. At a luncheon at the Institute for
Advanced Study, discussing my research with a group of colleagues, we were
joined by the then Director of the Institute, the physicist Robert Oppenheimer,
who was another important influence on my life later on. Oppenheimer hearing
what I was saying about my research on big cities said, "Well, what you are
talking about is a "megapolis". At that time the physicists were beginning to
talk about megatons. There was a classicist at the table, Harold Cherniss, who
immediately protested: "Megapolis is not correct, it has to be "megalopolis"
because "polis" is feminine and we have to be correct in Greek. That by the way
gives you an idea of the benefits of frequent periods at that Institute.

DOW: Cross-fertilization.

GOTTMANN: The purely inter-disciplinary aspect of it.

DOW: Yes. What was the influence that Oppenheimer had later on; if you could
review that?

GOTTMANN: He was the person (on the Board of Trustees of the Twentieth Century
Fund) who suggested to the Board of Trustees that they should sponsor my study
of Megalopolis, (1961) and then we discussed those matters very often with him.
He was very helpful.

DOW: What about your current interest in Japan?

GOTTMANN: That started in l967, my first trip to Japan at the invitation of the
Japan Center for Area Development Research. Since then I've been eight times to
Japan over fifteen years. I have become very interested in Japanese urban

DOW: Do you go as an advisor?

GOTTMANN: I have been part of a team of Japanese students of urbanism; a few
other foreign experts have been part of that team at different times in the
fifteen years. I don't think that any foreigner has lasted on it as long as

DOW: Do you see any hope for their urban development?

GOTTMANN: Oh, yes! I think it's one of the great successes of our modern
urban world.

DOW: Did they have a head start in thinking? In the sense that they were
trying to think ahead in their development.

GOTTMANN: That they have always been doing and they are still doing.   In
l967 they were already talking about the information society before anybody
else and they were projecting to the twenty-first century.

DOW: All right. What would you consider to be your most important
contribution to geography?

GOTTMANN: Mine? I really am the last person to know. I think I've contributed
to the study of large cities. I have been working also in Political
Geography; I may have contributed something in that field. What? Is for
others to decide. I may have also contributed something to the understanding
of human geography between, at least, three different countries (Britain,
France, and the United States). Possibly Japan would be a fourth one now. I'm
beginning to get some interest in Italy too; maybe a fifth one? I don't know.

DOW: You're, perhaps, too modest to answer this question, but do you think
that your name is very well known as a geographer in

GOTTMANN: That's what I'm told. I've been shown that it figures
even in some current Japanese dictionaries.

DOW: Along with "megalopolis", perhaps?


DOW: Thank you very much for taking time to meet with us this afternoon.

GOTTMANN: Thank you for coming here.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                          ROBERT P. BECKINSALE (1902-1998)
                             University of Oxford

                                  Interviewed by
                             Geoffrey J. Martin
                        Southern Connecticut State College

New Haven,                    October 18, l975            New Haven,
Motor Inn                                                Connecticut

MARTIN: This is Robert P. Beckinsale of the University of Oxford. Robert, how
did you start on your early professional career?

BECKINSALE: Well, Geoffrey I went to a grammar school in the Cotwolds at Burford,
which had had a very famous geographer called Peter Heylyn in 1656. I read his
books and decided I would read geography. When I left the grammar school, I had
to go to find an honors course in geography, there were very few in England. The
nearest was in London; there was no honors course at Oxford. On the other hand
they decided I must go to a residential university. So my advisor sent me to
Reading University, which was residential and there I read for a degree (full
honors degree in geography) at London University from 1926-1929.

MARTIN: In your earlier published work was the thrust of your writing
geographical or more geomorphological?

BECKINSALE: No, very much geographical. My earliest works were so-called
"companions": Companion into Gloucestershire, Companion into Berkshire and so
on, and these sold extremely well. The idea was that geography was
excessively dull. It was a string of facts quite uncorrelated and I decided
that in these works, I would combine culture, history, architecture,
industries, and the whole of the geographical phenomena in an interesting and
coordinated way. They were, if you like, sort of sugarcoated pills. They
attracted people to geography without mentioning the term geography.

MARTIN: Can you tell us something of your earlier university work that lead
you into government assistance in World War II and the nature of that

BECKINSALE: Yes, my early university work was mainly in hydrology (this sort
of thing, climatology) so when World War II broke out I was forced into
British Naval Intelligence. There we were - shut up for six to seven years. I
worked on many secret reports, much secret work (invasions and so on) and
also took part in the writing of huge books with detailed information in them
for the use of officers. These were beautifully illustrated, beautifully
published by the Oxford University Press and the Cambridge University Press;
they are now available to the public. I was largely responsible for four
large volumes on Iberia and the Atlantic Islands.

MARTIN: Now since 1939 you have been at Oxford University. You have come
across numerous very able students. Could you tell us something of these
students? I believe Richard Chorley was one, and could you tell us something
of the definitive projected four-volume History of Landforms?

BECKINSALE: Yes, Geoffrey, we choose our own students from among a vast
number and in most years I chose two or three. Over forty years it mounts up
in two colleges. Among my many, many able students there has been Yi-Fu Tuan
and Richard Chorley. Richard Chorley and myself (or should I put it the other
way)? That's right, Richard Chorley and myself decided long ago that there
was no history of the study of geomorphology, so we set out to write one.
What we did was to lecture (he lectured at Cambridge and I at Oxford for
years on this) and eventually we set out on Volume I, The History of the
Study of Landforms. This was completed in 1964. It sold out almost
immediately and it encouraged us and the publishers to go on to more volumes.

MARTIN: Could you tell us something on Volume II? I think it's about 870 odd
pages on William Morris Davis.

BECKINSALE: Volume II was a surprise to us. When we set out we didn't like
William Morris Davis, but after we had studied his books (which took many
years), his letters and his correspondence at Chicago and other universities,
we decided we must give a whole book to William Morris Davis, because he was
the greatest geomorphologist who ever lived. Eventually this massive tome
turned out, as you said, to be 880 pages and we still haven't finished with
him. In Volume III, we will say more about his wide international influence.
You know about this Geoffrey? He was the great influence in Europe, the
great influence in Australia and New Zealand, the great influence in Japan
and he was, of course, a great influence in the United States.

MARTIN: What is your plan for Volume III and Volume IV?

BECKINSALE: For Volume III we intend to start in 1893 and go up to 1943 to
Robert Horton, when Robert Horton came into stream numbering. We think
there's a break there to modern geomorphology, which is excessively and very
pleasantly numerical and quantitative. So in Volume III we shall do Davis, do
the great French scholars, the great German scholars and we should try to
find some great scholars in Britain. (Laughter).

MARTIN: I want you to talk about one or two of your other publications,
especially Land, Air, and Ocean, which seems to be evergreen. Then I wish you
would say something about the Madingley Lectures, which seem to have done so
much to change the face of geographic direction in Britain and elsewhere.

BECKINSALE: Yes, of Land, Air, and Ocean it was first published in 1943. It
received a rapturous welcome, it was a new physical geography. We hadn't had
one in Britain for many decades. The French liked it and (I'm very pleased to
say) the Russians adored it. They thought it was simply what we call "the
cat's whisker". It's gone from strength to strength; it's still used widely.
It's being revised and I am thinking eventually of turning it into an
environmental science, but the fact is I can't kill it, it won't die.

   The Madingley Lectures (I'm glad you asked about those) were held at
Cambridge in a lovely mansion for many years. Here invited speakers gave
their idea of what certain aspects in geography ought to be in a modern age.
This was the great revolution in British modern geography. It was expressed
in Frontiers in Geographical Teaching, which sells all over the world like a
novel. We feel that the Madingley Lectures really were one of the great steps
in the changing direction of geography from crude environmental determinism
towards numeracy and various new forms of behavioral expressions.

MARTIN: What other work do you have currently in progress other than Volumes
III and IV? And if I may also ask, what use have you made of archives in your
work of the last several years?

BECKINSALE: Geoffrey, this is your pigeon. We greatly admire your Huntington
and (I hope you don't mind me saying this) your Jefferson. We think this is
what's wanted and we are very anxious to see your Bowman. You've helped us
with correspondence and archives very much. What we do is go throughout the
world, Strasbourg, Berlin, Cologne, anywhere. Oslo, Chicago, Clark University
(Worcester); anywhere we go we search through their letters and
correspondence. We are trying to see the inner-thoughts of the great men and
this we feel is really important. We see their inner-works, and, of course,
everyone has access to their external publications.

MARTIN: Most recently we've had a development (in the International
Geographical Union and within the Association of American Geographers) to try

and institutionalize, to preserve and maintain archival collections. I
suspect (I'm quite sure, in fact) that you would support the notion that we
should put our resources in that direction, rather than have these hidden,
lost, or scattered.

BECKINSALE: Yes, Geoffrey I do. We have the finest collection of Davisiana
(Richard Chorley and myself) in the world. They came from his family and we
feel that letters and correspondence of great geographers must be treasured
and stored. May I butt in about modern geography? It is my great delight in
modern geography to see the new trends towards numeracy and towards problem-
oriented themes. We must get away from learned lumber (which is useless) to
problem-oriented geography. It will make geographers, what I call, decision-
makers. It will put us in the general stream of science and make geography a
very honored and a very revered profession.

MARTIN: Finally, what of this work on Britain that you are currently

BECKINSALE: The work on England is a huge volume and we are setting out (my
wife and I) to "out - MacKinder" MacKinder. It's a geographical portrait of
great detail. Do hope you like it.

MARTIN: Thank you very much, Robert, for sharing something of your craft with
us today.

BECKINSALE: Thank you Geoffrey. May I say good luck to your Bowman.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 5pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                             JOHN HOUSE (1919-1984)
                             University of Oxford

                                Interviewed by
                              Maynard Weston Dow
                            Plymouth state College

School of Geography,              May 10, 1982            0xford, England
University of Oxford

DOW: Professor John House, how did you become interested in geography?

HOUSE: Like many people at school, I developed an interest in landscapes and
field study. I was inspired by a particular teacher and this is how I began.

DOW: Who was this teacher?

HOUSE: This was Mr. Clark. In Bradford.

DOW: Did you have any special fellow-student relationships as you went on in
graduate school?

HOUSE: I was a student here in Oxford, an undergraduate just before the war.

DOW: Who were some of your contemporaries?

HOUSE: A good many students; Mr. Baker was my tutor. He was a historical
geographer, but my interest moved more in the direction of economic and
social geography. Of course, like many people at my age, I went straight into
the services upon graduation and had six years in the Army.

DOW: Did you work in the intelligence phase?

HOUSE: Yes, I did. Particularly in relation to the Normandy Operation and the
campaigns throughout Europe. So this gave me the notion of the utility of
geography in reaching some of the problems of the times.

DOW: Is this how you moved into applied geography?

HOUSE: I think very much it is. I came back like a lot of people from the war
with the vision of a new world that worked itself out into planning and the
belief that the geographer had a contribution to make.

DOW: In a few words how would you define applied geography?

HOUSE: It is the application of geography to the contemporary problems in the
economy and society, but more specifically it's come to mean service to a
client - a client who might be in government {local or national), commerce or
industry. In other words it's hoping to solve the problems, which other
people pose to you as an applied geographer.

DOW: Would planning come under this?

HOUSE: Very much so. One of the aspects of applied geography is that it's
concerned with the future. That you have to be able to work out forecasting
and scenarios of alternative futures; which is a very exciting field to be

DOW: Does applied geography require special training?

HOUSE: This has been discussed. Essentially it is an extension from general
geography. But at the same time, it is a more rigorous applied field, which
requires it's own techniques. It requires problem solving ability and the

understanding of what a range of potential clients might want. So you have to
understand the decision making process, whether it's in government or in
industry. It probably does require a measure of specialized training, but on
the graduate level by special option courses, and preferably by, at least,
one year of post-graduate course applied geography.

DOW: In general do you think that British universities give this practical
training to the geographer?

HOUSE: Some do, but not many. Because there is a general feeling among many
British geographers that applied geography is general geography. To be more
effective, particularly in an interdisciplinary field, I feel we need to have
specific training.

DOW: Would behavioral geography be one of the things that you...

HOUSE: Clearly that comes into applied geography - policy making, a good many
aspects that conventional geographers have not given much attention to in the

DOW: What do you see as the limitations of applied geography?

HOUSE: Perhaps, that it has been pre-occupied over the last twenty or thirty
years with particular problem studies and has not developed its own
theoretical frameworks. To some extent that might be a sign of weakness. I
think, also, it has been insufficiently inter-disciplinary in its content.
But, after all,
in the planning field any social scientist must have a relationship to many
other disciplines. Of course, it has had many achievements.

DOW: Has geography taken a back seat in these interdisciplinary

HOUSE: No, I don't think it has. It's rather followed its own course. By
studying regional problems, regional development problems, urban problems and
problems of the environment; without perhaps, having had sufficient
relationship to other disciplines.

DOW: Would the geographer be the one that would bring in the regional
analysis - perhaps, better than any of the other discipline?

HOUSE: Yes. Initially, applied geography had much to do with regional
But it's moved on from there into more specific systematic fields of study.
It has widened its purview.

DOW: As you see it, it's more than geography as the synthesizing discipline?

HOUSE: Yes, but in applied geography, as in geography generally, the
generalist's ability, (which is the synthesizing ability) is very important.
Applied geography, like geography, shouldn't be seen simply as a collection of
specialist skills.

DOW: What then would be an achievement for applied geography?

HOUSE: In Britain the major achievements in applied geography have been

initially, in the regional development field - the whole problem of regional
imbalance (inequality in society and economy). The ability of our
understanding regional and sub regional differentiation is to bring
fundamental analysis to bear on the development of policies - advice to
government, if you wish.

DOW: Is there any national overseeing of these regional councils? I don't
know how you refer to it.

HOUSE: Yes, that's right. Of course, regional planning has been a very
important field in planning in Britain. We have had eight regional councils
in England - Economic Planning Councils; one of which I served on for seven
years. We were concerned with regional strategy formulation and the analysis
of regional problems, acting as a catalyst between local government and
regional government.

DOW: But there is coordination between the regions?

HOUSE: There is at the level of the Ministry, which is the Department of the
Environment in London. There, too, applied geographers are involved as
specialists (in-house researchers) studying many of these regional questions.

DOW: What opportunities have developed for applied geography?

HOUSE: Particularly in the field of land-use planning at local government
level, but also at the central government level in what are called the
Research Classes of the Civil Service. These are both fields in which
geographers are employed as specialists and have made a considerable

DOW: Would an undergraduate be able to apply for this kind of opportunity?

HOUSE: Yes. Initially on completion of a three year course in geography. One
can apply through an open competition to     both local government and central
government. But in central government one doesn't normally require additional
specialist training in planning, whereas in local government you have to
study (as well as your geography) for a qualification in town and country

DOW: Would the local government be a village or a group of villages that
collectively look at planning?

HOUSE: No. It's a larger unit than that. Initially, the county boroughs, which
are the large cities and the administrative counties. But today     (since the
1974 Local Government Reform) these are now counties, which include the large

DOW: You've been in the States quite a bit. How do you see the problems or
the accomplishments of applied geography there? How do they differ here than
from the States?

HOUSE: I think, in the States you have to take the point, first of all, that
the governmental process is altogether different. Secondly, that the whole
notion of planning is, perhaps, more controversial in the States. Since the
New Deal there have been opportunities for many geographers in the States.
Brian Berry one thinks of in urban planning and Gilbert White in the whole

environmental and hazards field to give two examples. Geographers have made
considerable, individual contributions. But then, again, in the States
geography as a discipline has not quite the same status as it has in Europe
for one reason or another.

DOW: Do you have any ideas as to why?

HOUSE: Perhaps, because geography in the States has been taught mainly in
relation to the teaching profession in schools and continuing education. But,
at the same time I should I add that applied geography in the States is now
growing rapidly, perhaps most especially in the field of commerce and

DOW: As you say, isn't it interesting that teaching in the past was applied
toward the teachers themselves, yet as you know, there is very little
secondary geography in the States.

HOUSE: This is true. Yes, certainly.

DOW: Quite a paradox.

HOUSE: That's right.

DOW: How do you see applied geography in the future?

HOUSE: I think what we need to do is to relate applied geography much more
closely to the policy making process. To understand how decisions and policy
are made we need a much better dialogue as social scientists with government
(local and national) and with commerce and industry. By such a better
dialogue we can achieve much more than we have.

DOW: Do geographers have a good lobbying effect in this country?

HOUSE: In Britain?

DOW: Yes, with the government?

HOUSE: We do what we can. Service on various committees with government
officials helps them understand better what contribution we might make, but
of course, the whole time it has to be a continuing dialogue. Geography is
changing, planning is changing - the opportunities are open all the time.

DOW: Thank you very much, Professor House. We appreciate your taking the time
this morning.

HOUSE: Thank you.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                          RICHARD J. CHORLEY (1927-2002)
                                University of Cambridge

                                   Interviewed by
                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                               Plymouth State College

University of Cambridge         May 10, l982               Cambridge

DOW: Professor Richard Chorley of Cambridge, how did your early training in
geography influence your later role in the discipline?

CHORLEY: I suppose, really, that I was quite fortunate in my teachers. I did
my undergraduate work at Oxford and my tutor there was Robert Beckinsale.
Although the training I got was pretty traditional and qualitative, he did
inculcate in me a belief in the need for a role in human-environmental
synthesis. He was essentially critical of established modes of thought and, I
think, I got some of that from him. Then I went over to Columbia in New York
and I was extremely fortunate there to be a student of Art Strahler, who, of
course, at that time was developing his ideas regarding the application of
the scientific method to environmental matters. He was very much concerned
with quantitative techniques and quantification. He was beginning to apply in
a very general way systems thinking to geomorphology. I suppose that I was
able to take some of these ideas and try subsequently to introduce them into
geography rather more broadly by means of physical geography. So in that
sense I would regard myself as being fairly very fortunate in the teachers
that I had.

DOW: What was the time period that you were with Strahler?

CHORLEY: I was a research student at Columbia between l951 and l954, then I
went to Brown University as an instructor in geology and I came back to this
country in l957. Shortly afterwards I came to Cambridge and I've been here
ever since. Of course, I met Haggett here around about l959.

DOW: l959. Well that leads to my next question. What other scholars have had
an influence upon you?

CHORLEY: I suppose that certainly Haggett did. He and I were both born and
raised in the same corner of West Somerset, a rural area in this country, but
I hadn't met him until I came here. I was very much influenced by his feeling
of innovation and his concern for forms, explanation and description; an
explanation of form in geography and that struck me as being very important.
Another person who has influenced me directly via personal contact was
Stanley Schumm, who is now at Colorado State University, one the foremost
American geomorphologist. I met him at Columbia and he has continually been
concerned with the development of process response ideas in geomorphology.
Another person, who influenced me, although a little bit later, was Bill
Krumbein of Northwestern, who again was a real innovator in the sense that he
was introducing quantitative techniques into geology in the early l930s. He
made a very good impression on me. Of course, there are lots of indirect
influences, people that I didn't meet until long afterwards, but influenced
me and, I suppose, one of these was Bill Garrison. I thought that his work in
the l950s was extremely important, not simply because of the number of
students that he turned out, but also because of his commitment to
quantitative modeling and to studying ideas of connectivity rather than
regional subdivision. I thought that was a really important idea. But also,
Torsten Hägerstrand who, of course, I've met many times subsequently, but
struck me at the time the l950s that his work on stochastic explanation was
very important, highly innovative and really very different from anything
that I had been exposed to in traditional geography. So I've had quite a
variety of people influence me, some by personal contact and others by their

DOW: Have you carried on correspondence with some of the people you've
mentioned like Hägerstrand and Garrison?

CHORLEY: Oh, yes. I've carried on correspondence and met with them. Of
course, Bill Krumbein died two or three years ago, but all the others.

DOW: As far as you know is there any connection between Garrison and Krumbien
at Northwestern? I know they were there, but perhaps at different time

CHORLEY: I don't really know; they may very well, they have the same sort of

DOW: What do you regard as your major contributions to geography?

CHORLEY: I suppose that I did take part in the first wave in what is called
quantitative geography in the l950s and in the early part of the l960s. That
was over, as Ian Burton pointed out, by about l963. But what it really did
was promote the functional process response study, one's interest in form,
process and the interrelationships of process and form; generally on
reasonably small time scales. In my own work this really came out, in so far
as I was very much involved, when I came back to this country. I was very
much opposed to traditional ideas in denudation chronology in geomorphology.
I believe that this was based very largely upon highly ambiguous subjective
studies and I believe that really the future of geomorphology rested in these
process response studies, dealing with more immediate matters. Right around
l960 I was very much involved with attacks on chronology and the situation in
this country was fairly unpleasant. I remember, a short time after coming
back from America, being introduced to a very, very eminent geomorphologist
in this country, who when he found out I was a student of Strahler he looked
at me (I had never spoken to him before) and said: Next time you see Strahler
tell him I'll spit at him. He turned and walked away. That was one thing. I
suppose another thing I have tried to do is attempt to define physical
geography in such a way as to maintain the necessary physical component of
geography. I tried to do this naturally in terms of the systems approach,
this is where I believe that systems is important. Also, I have been
increasingly dominated by practical demands. I've always been attracted by
theory, I've always tried to deal with theoretical matters and have met with
plenty of people, who deal with practical things. Another thing would be to
try to proselytize - it would be a healthy innovation in geography. If there
is anybody watching this out there fifty years from now I hope you are your
enjoying your systems studies. (Laughter).

DOW: Well, many of your students are carrying on this tradition would you

CHORLEY: Well, yes. One or two.

DOW: How would you compare the main problems of geography in l982 with the
possibilities for geography in l982?

CHORLEY: I think there are a number of problems. One is that we tend to be
concentrated very much on process, social, economic, and physical. At least,
we have tended to this balanced with proper concern with form, which I think
is important. In some branches of the discipline we seem to be concentrating
on problems, which are on too small scales in space and time. I think there
is a very healthy move towards the investigation of socio-political causation
in geography and that's important. But I'm afraid that some people are
tending to change the object of geography, which is becoming for some people,
a sort of subjective vehicle for social change and I've got some doubts about
this. Also, I'm a bit worried about quantitative spatial studies, which have
been pretty central and have always been central to geography, because they

seem to be concentrating so much on the analysis of phenomena, which are of
rather marginal geographical influence. I think geography is not concerned
with the spatial analysis of everything, but only within certain ranges of
space and time. I think too little thought is being given to the whole
question of the subject matter of geography. I think also, that there is a
continued decline in the importance of the role in physical geography and
that is unfortunate. I think that it's partly due to technology breaking the
man-land relationships, but I think it's also partly due to the fact that
physical geographers are not consistently redefining their discipline. Also,
I think that the big problem for us is this whole problem of systems
interfacing, how you interface the physical with the human system. How do you
interface systems having to do with functional equilibrating with historical
change and, I figure, that these are going to be the big matter that people
are going to have to face up to.

DOW: One thing you have said is that there is some renewed interested with
the environment, as we know it today. You haven't seen the resurgence of
interest in physical geography?

CHORLEY: There is a resurgence of interest in it, but it tends to be very
much dominated by human considerations. I would like to see a much more
reasonable balance, particularly on the teaching side. In my view they tend
to be taught that it's inseparable.

DOW: I see. Well, thank you very much for taking time this morning.

CHORLEY: It's a pleasure.

                     Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1988), 4pp.

                                             Maynard Weston Dow
                                            Geographers on Film
                                        Plymouth State University,
                                          Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                            Geographer on Film:
                                         ELLA O. KEENE4 (1902-1992)
                                            Keene State College

                                                  Interviewed by

  First published in Harmon, John E. & Rickard, Timothy J. 1988. Interviews with New England Geographers, Geography in
New England, A Special Publication of the New England/St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society: 66-69.

                                 Thomas Havill
                              Keene State College

Keene State College             March 19, l981            Keene, New Hampshire

HAVILL: I would like to introduce Ella O. Keene, Professor Emeritus at Keene
State College. She served here from 1943 to 1967 and has been in retirement
since then. She's also a lifelong native of the state of New Hampshire. Ella,
how did you happen to become a geographer?

KEENE: I think it was largely by accident. A case of being in the right place
at the right time with the proper credentials. After I received my diploma
from Plymouth Normal School, I taught for several years. Then I decided that
I needed some stimulation other than what I received in a small New England
town. I began searching for a place where I could work toward a bachelor's
degree without taking a year's residence. The only institution that would
accept me under those conditions was Clark University. At that time Clark was
under the direction of Dr. Wallace Atwood. He was President of Clark, and
also Head of the Geography Department. There was plenty of opportunity to
take summer courses in geography. That's what I did and became bitten by the
geography bug. I continuted on and got a B. Ed degree in the teaching of
Geography in Education.

HAVILL: You were teaching in public school then?

KEENE: I was teaching in public school.
HAVILL: You taught both elementary and high school?

KEENE: I taught elementary for "umteen " years and then went to high school
four years. I enjoyed the high school experience very much. As I said,
becoming a geographer was a matter of being in the right place at the right
time. When I came to Keene it was a matter of circumstances and the fact that
I did have credentials. During the 1940s Washington was taking all the
geographers that were warm bodies to Washington to work. My predecessor
decided that the grass was greener in Washington than it was in Keene, so
there was a vacancy in Keene. Fortunately I was qualified and hired for the

HAVILL: This was Keene Normal School then?

KEENE: No, in 1940, Keene Normal School became Keene Teachers College and so
when I first came we were going through the throes of becoming a liberal arts

HAVILL: So there was an opening here during the war and you...

KEENE: I came in the summer session actually to teach some young women who
were going out to be teachers in the fall because they had compressed their
program. Actually, no one told me what I was supposed to teach to this group
of young women. So I started out and outlined what I thought was a good
course (1) for people that were going to teach in elementary schQol and (2)
for general education. I think today it would be called a course in regional
geography. I wanted it to be complete enough so that it would be respected in
any college of repute. Some of the students thought it was a little
difficult, but nevertheless most of them survived it.
  In 1945 veterans began coming back from the war and in this first group, I
had twenty-seven of all manner and descriptions. We had two officers. We had

several who had not received their diplomas from high school. They had no
choice in what they were going to study, because the program was outlined for
them at Keene State according to faculty members who had the time to teach
them. So I was elected. They were promised that if they did well at Keene
State they could transfer all their credits to the University. There began
the problem. Several did try to transfer to the University and immediately
the University strongly questioned what Keene State was doing in geography.
The first question was that we were not following a correct outline. Well, I
sent them the outline of the regional geography I had been teaching and heard
no more for two or three weeks. The next was that the instructor was not
qualified. We passed that hurdle. The last one was that we were not using the
right textbooks, that we were using elementary texts. It so happened that all
veterans returning that were going to take geography were supplied Finch and
Trewartha's Elements of Geography and the University was using the same text.
I don't think the University was very happy, but at least geography became
  Our troubles weren't over in geography. It was very difficult to be a lone
geographer. It was like being a Maytag repair man. Anyhow, one October day
the President called me into his office and said: "There will be no geography
taught at Keene State next year." I was so shocked that I didn't say anything
and walked out. I went to the fall meetings, (at that time it was the
National Council for Geographic Education) and I talked with several of my
former professors and several people that I knew, and asked what I should do.
They asked me to give them the President's name and address, which I did. I
heard no more about it until just before the April meetings. Again I was
called to the President's office and he said: "What do you wish to teach in
geography next year?" Fortunately, I was primed for him. I gave him the same
four courses I had been teaching and added two more, and suggested they could
be alternated by semesters. I didn't realize what had been going on until I
discocvered later that Dr. Albert Carlson from Dartmouth and the President
were state officers in the PTA. I rather think that on some of the long
drives returning from Coos County or from the Seacoast Region that the
President received a free and liberal education in what geography ought to be
doing. When I went to the national meetings in the spring several people
asked: "Did your president show you the letter I wrote?" I hadn't seen any of
the letters, but I could give them the good news that geography was intact,
at least, for another year. I might say that on the business of the
University not wishing to accept our credits, I could well understand why it
was. It was then that I received a copy of what I was supposed to have been
teaching, and believe it or not it said: Semester One teach the subject
matter of Grade 3 and 4. Semester Two teach the subject matter of Grade 5,
Semester Three teach the subject matter of Grade 6. Semester Four teach
Europe and Asia together.

HAVILL: Things have changed a trifle.

KEENE: Yes. Being a lone geographer was really a problem. Our administration
had a great deal of difficulty in deciding that we needed some maps. At one
time I wanted the topographic sheets that covered the state of New Hampshire.
The price has gone up since then, but at that time they cost $16.00. I went
in to ask for them. Oh my, no! I couldn't have them, and I was so angry that
1 went up to the store and purchased them and put them up on the wall at the
back of the classroom. We were being inspected for re-certification and one
of the inspectors came in and said: "Oh my, you're using the topographic
sheets of New Hampshire. That's good." The President who was with him, ducked
out with a very red face. It's amazing to me how many changes have taken
place since, say, 1950.

HAVILL: In terms of financing and so forth?

KEENE: Financing, equipment. There seems to be a better understanding of what
is needed in geography.

HAVILL: You've had a role for some period of time in terms of the New England
- St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society. Have you noticed changes in that?

KEENE: In the early days it was still considering public education. For
instance, there was a Councilman from each of the New England states. At
several times, not only did we attend the New England geographical
conferences, but we held state conferences. I remember that I chaired one
that was held at St. Anselms in Manchester, attended by both professional
geographers and people that were teaching geography in the schools.

HAVILL: Have they always gone to Canada periodically or is that a
more recent... ?

KEENE: I think the going back and forth is more recent, but you have to
remember that during the war years you just couldn't get any transportation.
Transportation has always been a prime factor in where those meetings were

HAVILL: I would guess from what you're sayil1g that the organization is more
active today, or in the last decade, than it was certainly...

KEENE: Yes. Much more active in the numbers of people attending. At one of
the first meetings of the AAG that I attended there were only eighty people
present. I was not able to be a member, but I was invited to attend. That was
a national AAG meeting and there were only eighty people present. This
reflects the larger number of geographers after the war.

HAVILL: Now there are several thousand. I was wondering if you would care to
remark in terms of your role as a woman in geography?

KEENE: Of course, when I first went into geography women were not a
curiosity. Practically all the geographers were women. A few men taught at
the universities. In the high schools and in the teacher's colleges almost
all of them were women. It seems to me in ending this that we might say that
geography today is, perhaps, more alive in the state colleges than it is in
some of the universities. Partly I think because they had such an early start
in training teachers for teaching geography in the public schools.

HAVILL: And then those teachers in turn came back to the colleges as faculty?

KEENE: That's right.

HAVILL: Well thank you very much for the interview.

KEENE: Thank you, Tom.

HAVlLL: You're welcome.

                         Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1988), 7pp.

                                             Maynard Weston Dow
                                            Geographers on Film
                                        Plymouth State University,
                                          Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                              Geographer on Film:
                                              PETER NASH5 (1921-   )
                                             University of Waterloo

                                                  Interviewed by

  First published in Harmon, John E. & Rickard, Timothy J. 1988. Interviews with New England Geographers, Geography in
New England, A Special Publication of the New England/St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society: 85-92.

                              Maynard Weston Dow
                              Plymouth State College

                                 August 19, 1977
                             Bristol, New Hampshire

Editors' Harmon and Rickard note: The indented material in italics is
excerpted with the author's permission from Peter H. Nash, The Making of a
Humanist Geographer: A Circuitous Journey, in Geography and Humanistic
Knowledge, Waterloo Lectures in Geography, Vol. 2, Department of Geography
Public Series No. 25 pp. 1-22, edited by Leonard Guelke (Waterloo, Ontario:
Department of Geography - Waterloo University, 1986. The 1977 interview is
printed in its entirety.

DOW: Peter, how did you get into geography?

NASH: Ever since 1 was a youngster, my family did a great deal of traveling
so I saw many parts of the world. I became very much interested in different
countries, landforms, maps and rocks. I decided to study geology at UCLA.
When I was in the U.S. Army in World War II I saw so many cities being
destroyed and wondered what would be built in their place. I became more and
more interested in urban geography, and that's how my interest in urban and
regional planning, architecture, and so on developed.

I certainly started my inspections at a very early age from the balcony of
our Frankfurt apartment on the Untermainkai. Watching the tugs and pleasure
boats on the Main River conjured questions and images in my mind. The same
thoughts came to the fore during my clandestine sprees to the Hauptbanhoff
five blocks away. Where were all these places that these steaming monsters
came from and where were they going? Soon my father's huge atlas was my
favorite book and I drew my own little maps - some of imaginary places. Many
leisure hours were spent sitting on the carpet in his study examining in
detail the wonders of his majestic globe. The stories of Karl May, probably
about a dozen volumes, such as Winnetow, the fascinating accounts of Heinrich
Schliemann's excavations, particularly of Troy, and the adventurous
expeditions of Sven Hedin expanded the horizon. It is little wonder that my
early geographic education took roots. Teutonic Heimatkunde in a German
elementary school and a more refined facts memorization approach in English
high school became a working amalgam. Geography teachers liked me: I knew my
facts and always drew nice little maps and charts to illustrate my answers:
It is not surprising then, that when I had to declare a major upon entering
university, I selected 'Earth Sciences' and chose more geography than geology

DOW: You had your undergraduate training at UCLA and then went to Wisconsin
and Harvard. Would you contrast the graduate days at Wisconsin and Harvard?

NASH: This was quite a contrast; at Wisconsin there was an emphasis on
memorization and fact gathering. The curriculum was quite rigid, whereas at
Harvard there was much more emphasis on individual research and ideas. When I
came to Harvard it was just like the opening of a whole new world so the
contrast to me was very, very, strong.

Now I was ready to leave Southern California for the heartland of U.S.
geography. Madison, Wisconsin was my choice. I had written Hartshorne a
couple of letters and I was offered a graduate instructorship. Finch and
Trewartha were there - authors of the most widely used college introductory
geography textbook. The department was run like the army, and General
Trewartha was in command. If you knew your climatic facts you were a good

soldier, and as a drill sergeant I had to drill them into the students.
Students were evaluated on the basis of the amount off acts they had
internalized, regardless of background and level of education. Once I was
called into the chairman's office and dressed down for reading to my freshman
introductory physical geography class a couple of pages about the cyclone
'Maria' in George R. Stewart's Storm. 'The reading of fiction has no place in
a geography class!' I was told. No lebensraum for the humanities here! I
realized the hopelessness of my explanation as it produced a sarcastic smile.

The greatest impact on me during the first year at Harvard was the immersion
into the third dimension. Architecture meant the creation of new landscapes
and I discovered the plastic element of design and its importance. If you
don't like a certain type of music, you don't have to listen to it. If you
don't like a work of art, you don't have to go to the museum. But if you
don't like a building, you frequently still have to look at it or even live
in it. The products of architects and landscape architects are in full public
view, and our products were pitilessly scrutinized.

DOW: Who were some of your mentors at Harvard?

NASH: In geography it was primarily Derwent Whittlesey, Ed Ullman and Ed
Ackerman. All three of them are gone now, but I remember them with much

At the other side of the Harvard Yard, in the 'Institute for Geographical
Exploration' on Divinity A venue reigned Derwent Whittlesey, the wisest and
most gentlemanly geographer I had encountered. Whittlesey taught a field
course on 'The Boston Metropolitan Area, taken primarily by architects and
planners. He had told me that his interest in cities had been kindled via
Colby, and especially Blanchard during the latter's frequent stints at
Harvard, particularly while the Grenoble geographer was undertaking his
detailed studies of Montreal and other Quebec cities. Whittlesey's geographic
study of cities had a firm historical base, and his useful concept of
'sequent occupance' was invariably demonstrated by him in the field. He
explained how the human occupance of an area, like other biotic phenomena,
carries within itself the seed of its own transformation... But beyond being
an original thinker, Whittlesey's strength was that he could link the
perceived past with the envisioned future. His urban studies had four
elements: city functions, urban forms, locus and site. He showed how the
forms express the functions, always in terms of the locus and site. He was
hurt that some colleagues felt that he accepted uncritically the Davisian
assumption that process is implicit in stage. At the top of a page lying on
his desk entitled 'Suggestions for Function of Geography, 'which 1 found
shortly after his death and have kept as a memento, he had written: 'Assumed
Purpose: To Study the Present in light of the Past and for Sake of the
Future. '

DOW: Can you tell me about the demise of geography at Harvard?

NASH: It was a very painful period for me and for everyone concerned. Harvard
was in financial difficulties, some departments had to be cut and it was
decided that geography would be one of them. President Conan contacted Isaiah
Bowman, a geographer who was the President of Johns Hopkins at the time and
asked him what it would take to make the Harvard Geography department the
best. He said: Five or six full Professors. That would have cost six million
dollars and Harvard just didn't have this kind of financial backing. That,
plus certain personality conflicts and differences of opinion among various
people caused the downfall. For a young graduate student this was a very
painful experience.

One of the strongest influences in my academic career, if not the strongest,
was Arthur A. Maass. I had taken a course 'Resources, Conservation and
Government' from this young professor of government. He became a full-fledged
member of the small official 'McKay Committee' to report on the future of
geography at Harvard, and Edward Ackerman, Henry Kissinger and several
others, myself included, met with him on several occasions. Never did I hear
'geography' so brutally attacked as a discipline! Maass had read Hartshorne,
and Kissinger said that he did. Their consensus was that if the best
geography had to offer was this teutonic compilation of facts, a great
university under financial stress might be better off without it. It is a
pity that other works, representing more 'humanistic' scholarship, such as
Semple's Geography of the Mediterranean, were not selected for reading.
Geographers invited to the meeting were rather mute, perhaps fearing an
Asinus asinum fricat accusation. Isaiah Bowman's report to President Conan
was not at all helpful.

DOW: How does Hamilton Rice fit into this picture?

NASH: Hamilton Rice had created the Institute for Geographical Exploration.
He wasn't actually on the faculty at Harvard, but he (one of the benefactors)
had this huge building built on Divinity Avenue. Erwin Raisz, the famous
cartographer, worked there, had geography classes, and labs were taught

DOW: Did he have anything to do with the demise - Hamilton Rice?

NASH: There was some animosity between Hamilton Rice and Isaiah Bowman and
I'm sure that this disaffection between these two gentlemen had something to
do with it. In addition, Isaiah Bowman felt that his own Department of
Geography at Johns Hopkins should be the best, not the one at Harvard.

DOW: What do you think about the appointment of Brian Berry? (Editors' Note
Brian Berry is no longer at Harvard)

NASH: I am very happy about that, because it may be the beginning of the
renaissance of geography at Harvard, even though it's not in Arts and
Sciences; it's in the Graduate School of Design. Brian Berry is perhaps the
most imaginative and most productive among the young geographers.

DOW: Do you think he may pull some geographers in with him?

NASH: Eventually, I hope he will. To some extent he already has. There is a
lot (geographic thinking going on in the Graduate School of Design, although
it isn't officially labeled as such.

DOW: Not labeled as geography. I'm familiar with your work, Peter. How come
you've never worked at the core of geography?

NASH: My students ask me that once in a while in the course that I'm teaching
on The Nature of Geography. That takes us to the point: What is the core? I
don't think the core is necessarily at the center of a discipline, like the
core of an apple. It can be the skin of an apple. In geography, (which is
supposed to be an integrating science) much significant work can be done at
the periphery. What must we do? Digest some of the, most important findings
from other fields within the framework of our current geographical knowledge.
I like to think of the core being at the periphery.

My sabbatical year as Visiting Professor in the Institute of Human Sciences
of Boston College gave me time to reflect on my relationship to geography
after a long period devoted primarily to more professional activities,
including planning, university administration, and consulting. During this
time the 'Quantitative Revolution' was born, peaked and began to subside.
Much of what I did read in the scholarly journals had little appeal or was
too mathematical for my old-fashioned taste. But during this period I had
another one of those encounters in life with an individual who provides a
whole new dimension to understanding and who give impetus to a fresh approach
to problems and issues... Constantin Doxiadis, charismatic and peripatetic
Greek architect/planner/philosopher and inventor of Ekistics, the science of
human settlements, could easily have 'passed' as a geographer. He had an
uncanny ability to analyze and synthesize, and his 'anthropocosmos' model
provided a counterpoint to Christaller's 'central place' theory. Doxiadis
mixed teutonic order and efficiency with Mediterranean flair and artistry.
This is not suprising for a Greek who studied architecture in Berlin. To me
the Ekistic Logarithmic Scale provided order in my thinking. His propensity
to decorate his research with a large assortment of neologisms provided a
distinct flavor to his unique style. In time, Ekistics became to me a quasi-
epistomology at the hard core of a spectrum ranging from realism to
existentialism. It has scienticity, if not scientificness, yet leaves ample
room for imagination, design and a multiplicity of human adventures. Ekistics
developed at the time 'Regional Science' was born, and Doxiadis demonstrated
much congruence between the two fields, except that ekisticians were almost
exclusively involved with human settlements and were not so quantitatively

DOW: How about examples of some peripheral geographers, contemporary ones?

NASH: There are very few geographers that are actually looking at the

DOW: Would Harold Mayer be one?

NASH: I think so. He is one that I mentioned and he is also a highly
respected city and regional planner.

DOW: What about individuals who are not geographers?

NASH: Those are the ones that I was thinking of. Like Ian McHarg and John B.
Jackson, landscape architects, anthropologists like Ed Hall, who are doing a
great deal of geographic thinking, but are in peripheral disciplines. I think
we have to connect up with these people and expand our field.

DOW: What about your own work in peripheral geography?

NASH: In some ways my work in city and regional planning is very peripheral.
I am one of those few geographers who can point at things in the landscape
and say that these buildings are here and these streets are here because of
my activities. I've worked for the federal government, for urban governments,
for housing authorities and in university administration, for instance.
Whether it was as Dean of the Graduate School at Rhode Island or in the
Faculty of Environmental Studies at Waterloo, I can say, that I helped
geography peripherally to see to it that my colleagues could do the very best
work they could by integrating their activities with architects, planners,
ecologists and so on.

After several years of professional planning at the state, federal and local
level, I resigned as director of the Planning Department of the City of

Medford, Massachusetts. At that time it was a great deal of personal
satisfaction to me actually to see a few redeveloped city blocks and major
new public buildings in Medford and be able to point to them and say to
myself: These buildings are here solely owing to Nash's professional efforts,
I realized that a geographer had changed the human landscape of a portion of
a city. But the attraction of the calmer academic life became continually
stronger, and I accepted the position of
Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of North
Carolina. Except for a seminar on Planning Theory, my teaching was of the
'nuts and bolts' variety. Education of planners at Chapel Hill was still
primarily in the 'architecture and engineering' mode, untouched by the
humanities. So it was with pleasure that I accepted two years later the
headship of the Geography Department at the University of Cincinnati, which
had just separated from geology. Soon it was molded into a 'Department of
Geography and Regional Planning. ' Sitting in Nevin Fenneman's former office,
I thought that the earlier occupant might smile if he saw how the
'circumference' of geography had
expanded in his beloved building. But the planning portion attracted,
increasing larger number of students, and when I left for Rhode Island four
yea after my arrival, the planning program became an independent unit and an
'acral' portion of geography was severed. I regretted having to terminate my
part-tin studies at the University of Cincinnati Law school, where I had
completed all fir year courses... Yet a return to New England was welcomed,
especially by my family.

At the University of Rhode Island, where I became both the Dean of the
Graduate School and Director of the newly established Graduate Curriculum in
Community and Regional Planning and Area Development, I had, for the first
time, son administrative clout. One of the first steps we took in developing
the curriculum was to establish the 'Interdisciplinary Seminar' on 'Trends in
the Contemporary Environment. ' It was the core of the first year of graduate
study. Meetings we held twice a week for three hours throughout the year,
limited to the twenty-four entering students. Eight faculty members
participated at every meeting, and the clout mentioned made possible the
necessary adequate financing and require regular attendance of all faculty as
well as students. The interdisciplinary objective was achieved as each
professor chaired discussions based on readin/3 from books selected by him
for a period of four weeks. Involved were the fields c architecture, civil
engineering, geography, landscape architecture, philosophy) political science
and sociology. (The professional planning faculty was required to attend
also.) It was gratifying to observe how, over the years, ideas were sharpened
and defined within the disciplines of the participating faculty especially by
geographers Lewis Alexander and Edward Higbee. Their publications, although
very good prior to that time, subsequently achieved higher quality because of
their exposure to the varied humanistic influences. Never before or since
have I seen an educational effort yielding such success as that core seminar
in Rhode Island in the sixties. But it needed adequate funding and clout, and
both vanished from the scene in the seventies. It is fondly remembered by
alumni and faculty.

DOW: Did they have a tendency to go out on their own tangents? Were they a
difficult group to administer?

NASH: At Waterloo?

DOW: At Waterloo.

NASH: My hope when I took over the Deanship, there, was that we might

eventual eliminate the professional, school and departmental boundaries
entirely. This wasn't possible; there is too much of a union card feeling:
I'm a geographer. I'm an architech (People don't really want to give this up.
But, I think, we've woven some permeable membranes and people begin to talk
to each other, especially in terms of ecology I future studies. These
artificial departmental boundaries no longer are so important merely
established for administrative convenience.

DOW: Do you have any preference for geography or planning, seeing this is
what you have concentrated on in your career?

NASH: I like to think of myself both as a geographer and as a planner, but as
I get older I become more and more nostalgic about geography.

DOW: Why?

NASH: I was turned off for a while with the demise of geography at Harvard
when it became somewhat less relevant. Now I see that it's one of the few
areas where we can integrate in a very relaxed way all these different areas
of knowledge that are focusing on the interrelationship of man to his
environment. So I feel more and more drawn to geography now as I begin to
approach another era in my academic career.

DOW: Can you tell us briefly about your association with the IGU?

NASH: I was deeply involved in the development of the IGU Commission on
Applied Geography in 1960 when it was formed in London. Since that time we've
been meeting regularly, almost every year. Many volumes have been published
and one of the great benefits has been the deep personal relationships that
we have evolved in this Commission; with Shafi in India, with Philipponeau in
France, Sochava in the U .S. S. R. It's gotten the action-oriented
geeographers all over the world more closely together. The IGU has performed
a very important function.

My association with (the commission) made me aware of the much broader scope
of geography and the need to broaden intellectual horizons. Values, goals,
feelings, beliefs, attitudes and visions were the salient issues of these
meetings in Prague, Liege, London, Rhode Island, Brittany, Yokohama, Recife
and also in Waterloo. We realized how much we were all concerned with
studying the future, and that Gedankenspiele are a humanistic activity. It
was largely the stimulation of many of these encounters that made me channel
my activities into 'future studies' these past years, including involvement
in the founding of Canadian Association for Future Studies in 1976. Yet the
broad exposures to a variety of humanistic influences of respected colleagues
from many nations made me question my own axioms and my own ways of knowing.

DOW: Would you say that applied geography has arrived?

NASH: It has not only arrived, it's no longer an issue. It's been completely
accepted. More or less the Commission has been so successful that it has
worked itself out of existence.

The battle to make 'applied geography' acceptable started in 1960 in Sweden
and came to an end in Paris in 1984, when the IGU Commission was dissolved.
It is no longer an issue! About one hundred papers were presented at the
Eighth Annual 'Applied Geography Conference' at North Texas University in

... The ubiquitous topic of 'boundaries' has always fascinated me, and has

surfaced repeatedly in this account. It is symbolic of my journey. I suppose
it started with my frightening crossing of international boundaries in my
youth. It was stimulated by McBryde in his talks on the Ecuador/ Peru
boundary disputes. It was fired up by Broek 's lectures on Ratzel's concepts
on Grenzen. It was extended by Hartshorne's discussions of functional thrust
in his Political Geography course. It was stimulated by listening to
Whittlesey and Stephen Jones debating the historical impact and extent of
compages. It achieved consistency via Doxiadis' ekistic logarithmic scale. It
was enlarged by Gottmann's learned lectures on boundary decision-making, with
special reference to the politics of circulation. It was impacted by
Haushofer with his cynical views of boundaries as a national geopolitical
tool. As indicated, many role models, exemplars and mentors have contributed
to my strange love/hate affair with the concept. Yet the salient clue for my
disaffection for boundaries can be found in the entry I provided for the
Thoughts on my Life' section of Who's Who in the World more than a decade

I have never worried about boundaries, whether geographical, intellectual,
disciplinary, or any other type. One has to follow those avenues where one's
intellectual curiosity points the way, even if these paths lead to entirely
different territories. The world of reflective thinkers is inhabited
primarily by splitters and drillers, but the lumpers and spreaders are
increasing rapidly in this era of knowledge explosion, and I am a standard
bearer of this salient force as I help to create better futures. (Cf. a
recent update: Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who, Chicago, 43rd edition
1985-85, pp. 2383-2384)

This is the reason for my constantly increasing affinity for the humanities,
which ceaselessly intensifies my journey. Humanistic thought has expanded the
past boundaries of our discipline and will continue to dilute them in the
future dimensions of time and space.

DOW: Thank you very much Peter.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (1983), 7pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                               Geographer on Film:
                           CARL O. SAUER (1889-1975)
                      University of California, Berkeley

                               Interviewed by
                         Preston E. James (1889-1986)
                              Syracuse University

Department of Geography         August 24, l970       Berkeley, California

                         Geographers on Film: The First Interview6
                      Carl O. Sauer Interviewed By Preston E. James

  Editor's Geoffrey J. Martin's Note: The following is a transcription of the
first film interview of a remarkable series produced by M. W. Dow. This
series has been duplicated and is on deposit with the Association of American
Geographers archival collection in the American Philosophical Society.
  M. W. Dow is now in the process of transcribing each of these interviews
which will also be placed on deposit7 with the Association archives. This
interview was accomplished at Berkeley on August 24, 1970, on the occasion of
the 66th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

JAMES: This is Professor Carl Sauer who is retired as Professor of Geography
at the University of California at Berkeley and is one of the great figures
in geography during the present century. He started in his work at the
University of Chicago way back in the period before World War I. And you were
a graduate student at Chicago when?

SAUER: Well, I was a graduate student in Chicago beginning in 1909 and I had
been at Northwestern the year before. I was raised in a good Methodist family
and turning me loose into the bad world was somewhat of a jo1t, so they sent
me to Northwestern.

JAMES: You know I had not heard this about you before, Carl.

SAUER: You had not? You see, in this little Missouri town and college where I
grew up there was a lot of interesting country around there. It was
geographically very varied to my good luck, from good prairie country to
rather wild Ozark canyons (you call them in the west) and I got interested in
physical geography and I read. That little college had all the publications
of the Geological Survey and some of the state surveys. I read these old
books that were done in the 19th century about how Powell, Viller(?) etc.,
went out and saw the country and wrote about it and I thought this was great
stuff. So when I left Missouri I went to Northwestern expecting to be a
geologist and I got into a good geology department; U.S. Grant, the II, was
the Head.

    It was petrography. I worked at petrography for a year and I learned that
you didn't look at the country or the beds of the rock, you looked in thin
sections. They were interesting, they made very interesting patterns when you
turned the stage. I knew well before the year was advanced that if that was
geology that it was not my dish. Northwestern had a couple of instructors up
from Chicago (while they were doing their Ph.D.) and one of them was a chap
by the name of Decker; he later became State Geologist of Oklahoma. He said:
"You're in the wrong place here, I think you should go down and see Professor
Salisbury at Chicago. This ought to be the place where you would work and
you're probably going to become a geographer."

 This was first published as: Dow, Maynard Weston., 1983. Geographers on Film: The First Interview, Carl O. Sauer, History of
Geography Newsletter, Number Three, December: 8-12
 Editor's (MWD) note: This was true in 1983, but copies of the GOF series are now (2004) with (1) the AAG archives at AGS-
Milwaukee and (2) the GOF collection deposited in the National Gallery of the Spoken Word (NGSW) at Michigan State

    So I went down and Salisbury (probably the forgotten great of geography
in this country) didn't quite throw me out, but he gave me a rough going over
and then he wrote me a letter and offered me a fellowship there. Fellowships
in those days meant that you got $320.00, you paid $120.00 back in tuition
and then you did any sort of work, from tending the library to running quiz
sections, that they asked you to do. That's how I got to Chicago. I found it
was the right place, because Salisbury had started the first academic
Department of Geography that was bilateral or multilateral. It was the right
place to go to and the right time to go.

JAMES: Salisbury was really quite famous for the seminar that he had. He used
to get graduate students and under-graduates and by questioning and
discussing in an informal manner in a seminar, he would draw out their very
best efforts.

SAUER: Informal! He would beat the "bejabbers" out of them! That was my
roughest experience I ever had. He stuck me into that class, a famous year
class, that every graduate student in geology and geography took. I certainly
knew less than anybody in that class; this is not even arguable. Well, the
first day in that class he started off looking at his cards and picked out
Sauer over here, Simpson over there. He gave us the works for a whole hour.
This thing went on with almost no letup for a month and the class met five
days a week.

JAMES: He asked you questions and things like that?

SAUER: Asking us questions. I was the cornered rat, there wasn't anything to
do excepting finally to bite back. I would have gone home if I hadn't been
ashamed to go. It was dreadful.

JAMES: But, now he did a very different kind of a job than William Morris
Davis. Davis was really a master lecturer.

SAUER: I never heard Salisbury talk for more than five minutes.

JAMES: Yes, that's it!

SAUER: He used the Socratic method in a marvelous way. Well, then one morning
he came in and I thought, oh Lord, here we go again. He looked at me and
grinned; a great big smile over a face that hardly ever smiled. He left me
alone for the rest of my time there.

JAMES: Well, but he made you feel you had performed more than you knew that
you could perform, at least, that's been the experience of some other people
who worked with him.

SAUER: Yes. Well a nice quality about Salisbury was that he never went for
"yes men." You had to have a pretty good disagreement with Salisbury before
he was interested. I had it. I didn't know it. I hadn't wanted it.

JAMES: That was a great formative period in American geography, because out
of that seminar came the largest number of people who staffed the new depart-
ments of geography being set up in those days; they came out of Chicago. Not
very many people came from Davis to do this.

SAUER: You see, Davis was the physiographer, the physical geographer, and
only those who wanted to go for what later became known as geomorphology were
likely to go to Harvard. Also, those who weren't scared of Harvard. Most of
us midwestern boys were.

JAMES: This is very interesting you know, some of these ideas about the back-
ground of geography are of fundamental importance in understanding what
happened since.

    Now, Carl wants to say some things about his experience with Salisbury in
connection with field study. Field study was one of the things that was em-
phasized at that time.

SAUER: In those days of rough professors and respectful students, Salisbury
told me at the end of the first year: "You're not going home this summer,
you're going to go into the Illinois Valley and make a field study of the
upper Illinois Valley for the Illinois Geological Survey as to what that
country is like." I said: "Yes Sir," and then I said: "What shall I be
looking at?" He gave me one of his famous stares and said: "That's not my
business, that's your business. At the end of the summer I may find out
whether you can look at something." He came down several times during the
summer; those were days when you either walked or you had a buggy. I took him
out in the buggy and showed him various things I had been looking at and
thinking about and he'd ask questions. He never made any comment as to
whether I was on the right track or he thought I was on the wrong track. He
just asked questions, shook hands, and disappeared. At the end of the summer
he said: "Now you sit down and write this thing." I did and here is another
quality I attribute to the old man. When I got the thing done (it was a
rather long job) although he was one of the busiest men in the university (he
was not only Dean of the Graduate School but of two departments he was head)
he took days, perhaps weeks, in reading what I wrote and commenting on it for
clarity and for simplicity. So I think if I did learn to write (I'm not sure
I ever really learned to write) but if I did, it was this old gentleman
taking a lot of time out of his very very busy life to help me put this job
in order. So he is a grand memory of mine

JAMES: Carl, I want to ask you some questions about another old geographer of
that period. Wellington Jones was a close friend of yours at Chicago and
Wellington had been to Argentina in 1912 to work with Bailey Willis on some
land classification work. I think he had the idea, (I believe it was the
first time that this had been presented) that not only should you make
detailed maps of a certain degree of generalization for the physical
character of the land, but also at the same scale, studies of land
utilization on the same kind of map.

SAUER: He did that alright.

JAMES: And you see before that there had been a tendency to make a study of
geomorphology and then make some remarks about the human response. Now, isn't
Wellington Jones one of the first people who had this idea? You and he wrote
a paper in 1915 on the way to approach the geography of the small
agricultural area. Remember that paper?

SAUER: I remember, but I haven't looked at it in two generations. Yes, one of
the good qualities about Wellington Jones was that he was always wanting to

see for himself. He came alive anytime that there was a chance to go out   in
the field and look at something. I don't know what happened to him (this   was
after the time I had connections at Chicago) but he suffered in classes,
working up an hour's lecture became a great burden to him. Then he would   go
off into the fields and the lakes of Michigan or into the Rockies and he
would be fine. I guess he was just the kind of wild creature that didn't   take
to confinement.

JAMES: I think this is a very good remark, because he was excellent in the
field. Even in his later years (after he had retired) he still could come
back and take people on a field trip and make it exciting.

SAUER: Yes, but he never went off on the deep end on this matter of
converting agriculture into figures.

JAMES: Yes, that's right. I remember his remark about models, theoretical
models: That a model tells you how a thing would work, if it doesn't work the
way it does. He has a lot of little quips like this that are credited to him.

   You came out here, though, to California after you had been at Michigan,
where you had worked a little bit in land classification and had started the
Michigan Land Economic Survey. But you came out here to California and you
went into quite a different kind of career. You became very much interested
in interdisciplinary work, across the border of anthropology and history. You
want to tell us a little bit about that period?

SAUER: Well, I left Michigan not because things weren't going well there for
me. In fact, when I had resigned at Michigan and taken the place out here,
the Dean of the University (who was Effingger at that time) came around to me
and he said: "You ungrateful pup. Here we have raised you until you are
something for us and you leave us. Why didn't you give us a chance?" I said:
"I was afraid that if I told you that I wanted to leave, you would talk me
out of it." So there was no break there, excepting that I wanted to learn
about things that were more different from what I had seen, thought about,
and read about in the Middle West.

You see, in those days, geographers didn't take off for the ends of the earth
for months and months at a time. So I came out here. I didn't come because of
the attractions of the California climate or any thing of that sort. I came,
I think, to get a new breather. When I landed out here I found that there
were so many people here, who knew so much more about the things that I
needed to know something about: whether it was agriculture, or soils, or
trees, or physical geography, or climate, that it would take me years and
years to start in at the level of knowledge that there was here. So the first
Christmas (we had Christmas vacations of more than a month at that time) I
said to the lads who were out here with me, let's go across the border into
Mexico where hardly anything is known about anything. This was sort of a
primitive way of going exploring. So we went down to lower California
(Thornthwaite, Horace Byers, Sam Dickens, Peveril Meigs) and we looked at the
country. We had, at least, partly the feeling that we were the first people
looking, who had some sort of academic background to look. I went into Mexico
for discovery. Now it's just that simple.

JAMES: Your work in Mexico, of course, has been tremendous and very
productive; it certainly opened up an entirely new field for American

SAUER: When we started going down into Mexico we could look at things that
hadn't been well looked at and described before. The original idea was to
learn about the Spanish way of life against our more or less Anglo-Saxon way
of life. To my surprise I found that I couldn't get very far on Spanish
towns, Spanish missions, Spanish agriculture without knowing about the
Indians, whom they were working with. I'd learned something about Indians; I
had no intention of getting interested in Indians, but the whole structure
rested on the Indian base. So then I began to learn something about the
Indian cultures and the Indian tribes; a little about the language groups of
the Indians. In that way I got in touch with Kroeber and Lowie and this was
for many years a very valuable relationship. It was Lowie, for instance, who
introduced me to Ratzel. Lowie thought Ratzel was a great mind. I had only
known Ratzel by the very limited perspective that we had through Miss Semple.
It was this Lowie-Ratzel introduction that gave me a new opening, an opening
of the geography of life of primitive peoples. I might never have gotten into
it if it hadn't been for this originally quite, accidental connection. So I
became an Indian geographer without having intended to do anything of that
sort. This, of course, took me back in culture and in time and when they
asked me to give the Bowman lectures at New York, I thought, you might as
well express what you think and hope about agricultural origins and
dispersals. So it's not a planned course, if anything, it's the fortunate
chance to see openings and get into them.

JAMES: I'm very much interested in what you have to say about Ratzel. You
know, Ratzel, of course, came over to America at one time and you have some
new insight on the result of this American trip on his philosophy.

SAUER: You see, he was making a living by writing articles for a newspaper at
Cologne. They had published things that he had written when he was gathering
marine worms and things on the Mediterranean. He didn't have a job so since
his letters were being read, they said, you go over to the United States,
it's an interesting country right now and write us some letters. Well, he
stayed over here for three years and, in addition to writing the letters, it
was that time that made a geographer of him. When he came over here he was a
zoologist (temporarily a journalist) and it was during these three years when
he traveled from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific that he had some very nice
pieces on cities. Now, whoever thought of Ratzel as a city geographer, but he
has some thirty essays that deal with the nature .of life in different
cities, from Boston to New York, down the Atlantic coast to Savannah, then
the cities in the interior, and winding up in California. Awfully good
qualitative descriptions, appraisals of what urban life was like in the
United States and how different it was from the old world. He was a little
bit worried about it, but he liked the United States. He said the drawbacks
of life in the United States are those of vigorous youth that has not learned
moderation. In that way he got on to the discussion of soil destruction by
agriculture, especially in the South, but mostly with the cities. How
inventive they were, how they built and how they wrecked buildings, how they
went for more and more rapid movement. This was alright for youngsters (and
that's what we were in this country) but this country was going to come out
all right, because as we grew up we would get moderation and balance and we
wouldn't do the extreme things of reaching for endless increase of
population. He thought we would get to two hundred million. He thought it
might take a couple of centuries to do that. But in the process we would
settle down. He said something about the nomadism of American life, which he
considered a passing feature too. But, as we get older we would become

citizens of the place in which we live. This readiness to jump from one place
to another would disappear. This is especially interesting in the way in
which he saw dynamic things moving in the United States, but he thought they
would diminish and instead, of course, they have increased as nobody imagined

JAMES: He also became interested in the Chinese here in California, didn't

SAUER: Yes, that's what got him his first university job, his lecture on
Chinese emigration.

JAMES: Is that so, you mean in Germany?

SAUER: Yes, at Munich. That was his habilitation and this, of course, at an
elementary level was dispersal and diffusion.

JAMES: And did you say that he was the one who invented the German word

SAUER: So far as I know, nobody ever used it before him and he used it a
generation before anybody else used it in print, so far as I know. And he
used it over and over again. He used it in regard to cotton and tobacco
farming, he used it with regard to lumber devastation. He even knew (although
he didn't use the term raubbau there) that some of our eastern cities were
amazingly smokey, more so than cities in Europe, at least, on the Continent.

JAMES: In other words, he was on the edge of environmental destruction-air
pollution and all the rest of these things.

SAUER: He probably, if he had continued much longer, he might be one of the
fathers of ecology.

JAMES: This is remarkable. Of course, the interesting thing is that he went
back to Germany, then, and wrote his books and became famous then as an
environmental determinist.

SAUER: Yes, but he overspoke himself occasionally. But still this is a lesser
and an occasional side of Ratzel. It isn't the dominant thing in him.

JAMES: It's too bad that Miss Semple picked up that side of him. She picked up
that theme and didn't get the major picture.

SAUER: This has never been explained so far as I know. She was charmed by the
old gentleman's lecturers there at Leipzig. She sat at his feet and adored
him and maybe this was a semester in which he was going that way.

JAMES: Thank you very much, Carl.

SAUER: It's been nice to be with you.

Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                Maynard Weston Dow
               Geographers on Film
           Plymouth State University,
             Plymouth, New Hampshire

               Geographer on Film:
          JOHN FRASER HART (1924-   )
            University of Minnesota

                    Interviewed by
                 Maynard Weston Dow
              U. S. Air Force Academy

Muehlebach Hotel               April 24, 1972    Kansas City, Missouri

DOW: John Fraser Hart of the University of Minnesota, one of the
distinguished interviewers of this series. I think it is time we get back at
you. Can you tell us how you got into the field of geography?

HART: Well, Wes, it goes back to my Navy days, an old navy man would
appreciate that. We spent a lot of time wandering around the Pacific.
There is an awful lot of water in the Pacific; we went to new
places and new ports and there was always a curiosity about what the
next island was going to be like. What's the next port going to be
like, what things are like. Then I looked around for information on this and
discovered the Joint Army and Navy Intelligence Series
(JANUS reports) and those were very interesting to me. I've been told
by people that worked on them that they are nothing but factual compendia,
all these facts about places. When you are going into a new island or new
port this is what you want and I realized as I read these things and looked
at them that I was pretty ignorant about a lot of places. I needed more
information than I knew and it occurred to me this is geography.

   Now before the war I had taken an undergraduate degree in
classical languages and there didn't seem to be much market for a
Classicist after the war. I had been thinking a lot during the war and I
decided that I would go back to the University of Georgia just to
look around. The only objective I had in going back to Georgia was
to take a course in the Geography of the Pacific Ocean. I still haven't
had it, but I did take some other geography courses. They were very
interesting and then in the fall I thought I might take some geography
and I went down and there was a very able, energetic, dynamic Chairman
of the Department who had just come there, a fellow named Merle Prunty. Merle
really educated me in geography; he gave me books. I owe a tremendous amount of
gratitude, because one afternoon a week for four hours he sat there and grilled
me and then he would gave me a stack of books and say: Okay, next week you read
these and I'll grill you on those. So it was a tremendous program and, of course,
Merle was also very much concerned at that time, because geography needed to
become quantitative. So he said: Better go and get some statistics courses and
really pick up these things that geography is going to be needing in the future.
And after a year of this post-graduate work, which was really an undergraduate
program, I went on to Northwestern. At Northwestern I had the rare good fortune
of working under Malcolm Proudfoot. Proudfoot was a driver, he martyred his
students and a lot of them didn't love him for it. He also martyred himself,
because he drove himself twice as hard as he drove anybody else, which was
tragic. But Proudfoot, in the early 1930s, was working on the hierarchy of retail
centers in cities. His dissertation came out of Chicago in the mid-1930s as a
very clear model of the pattern of retail centers in cities. It's really far
ahead of his time. I don't think a lot of the people knew the work he was doing
there. But he was a driver and he made you get out and dig. Also at the time we
had some very stimulating graduate students in the department. People like Don
Dyer, Fred Dohrs, Larry Sommers, Bill Garrison and Bob Goodman.

DOW: I had no idea you were together with that group.

HART: Yes, that was a great bunch. Dean Rugg was there at the time and, I
think, we learned most of what we learned from our fellow graduate students.
It was a stimulating bunch and we were forced to get out and hump; so that
was a useful experience, very exciting. I am a Southerner and Merle wanted me
to come back to Georgia, which was very flattering. So I went back to Georgia
and, once again, I was with a group of people who just really were

tremendous. Merle was Chairman, Cotton Mather, Wilber Zelinsky, Jim Leahy,
and James Woodruff. It was a young group, a feisty group and we were a
sparkling group. Things were happening all the time, plus it was a group of
geographers in an area that was changing. At that time the South was in the
transition to the New South and it was a chance to see a lot of the processes
that we talk about in geography.

DOW: This was in the mid-50s?

HART: No, this was, I went there in 1949, early 50s. The whole agricultural system
was changing and as Cotton and I looked at this we realized that fences were part
of the change. So we wrote a paper on fences. We realized that Southerners were
wasting their manure, so we wrote a paper on manure. A lot of the things we were
doing then were, because we saw the imbalance in the South. The changes,
adjustments, that were taking place and this gave us a chance really to look at
these, while they were going on. Of course, the Department was a terrifically
lively place. That sort of got me thinking about these things and probably started
off on a lot of what I wanted to do. Then I went to Indiana and we had a very
interesting group there. Again a terrifically, exciting group of people: Yi-Fu
Tuan, Arlin Fentem, Earl Brown. There was a lot of discussion there about these
problems. Then, I think, an extremely useful thing that happened. In 1963, I guess,
Mr. Sauer came to Indiana. George Kimble got him to come there for eight weeks and
Mr. Sauer gave an eight-week seminar. He liked to talk and I like to talk and he
was kind enough so that everytime I had a chance I went in and talked to him, I got
educated again.

DOW: Retooled?

HART: Retooled. So I guess you could say that Merle gave me an
undergraduate program and Mr. Sauer gave me a graduate program. That
was a time when we were searching our souls in geography in this
country, trying to figure what we should be doing. I was doing a lot
of soul-searching and, I think, Mr. Sauer gave me the idea that each of
us has to develop his own personal philosophy of what geography is and
pretty well stick to it. I think I sort of settled down about
then. The next year we had another marvelous man, Estyn Evans, and he
got me thinking about a lot of things. So that those two visitors really made
Indiana a very rich experience. They helped me do something else which was
long overdue. People saw the paper on fences, which is all right, and they
saw the paper on manure piles, which sort of raised some eyebrows, and they
saw a lot of other papers that didn't have that much in common. They said:
You're getting engrossed in an awful lot of directions and it was a fair
charge. I had to think about it. I decided that there must be some common
thread that only I was interested in.
Then I said to myself: What is it that makes me interested in all these
divergent things? I decided this was the look of the land, appearance of
landscape, morphology of landscape, and so ever since then I've been seeing
how these various pieces all fit together into a package.

   Now I've been monologueing here and I told you I was going   to do that,
because as an experienced interviewer, I think partly because   I have been an
interviewer in this series, and people may have seen a little   more of me than
they want to. I'd like to ask you about this series of films.   First of all
how did the film series get started?

DOW: Well, we teach a course in Geographic Thought and a colleague of
mine, Orin C. Patton, was trying to think of a way in which we could
make the course more alive. We came up with the idea: Wouldn't it be nice to
have Aristotle on film for ten minutes? To make a long

story short I wrote to my good friend and colleague, Jimmy James, to him for
assistance and said: Do you suppose we could get Mr. Sauer on film? He said:
Why don't you try and we wrote to Sauer and he said he would be happy to do
it, if we would come to Berkeley. Well this was the 1970 San Francisco AAG
meeting so we kicked off the project in Sauer's office and did five more
interviews while at the meeting. It started on a very meager budget; this is
not a fancy production, but we hope it will get better as time goes on.

HART: Well how do you go about identifying the members of the geriactric

DOW: That's a very difficult situation. It's quite arbitrary. Trying to
generate some interest in the personalities involved I have made most of the
selections, only out of expediency. Looking at some of the old timers, the
middle-of-the-roaders and the young Turks, as it were. I would like to see a
commission, perhaps, take this over if this is considered a worthy project.

HART: Well I think you garbled the words I used. Wilma Fairchild's phrase the
geriatric generation. Some people of our discipline think you actually should
have stuck to the people, who are senior members of the profession. I think
those people can be identified fairly well. How do you go about getting the
younger guys? What's the criterion on some of the younger

DOW: It's somebody that I would say is making some contribution
in the literature at a early age and thus has created interest among
the younger students, especially younger graduate students. Peter Gould or a
Dick Morrill, this type of individual and we've gone after them.

HART: People graduate students really want to know about.

DOW: Yes, exactly. Now let me ask you something. As editor of the
Annals, what do you look for in a manuscript? That's a tough one

HART: That's an easy one. I think a lot of people fail to realize the
Annals is a journal and like any other journal the Annals is a medium
of communication. As to the first question what we look for in
a paper is: Does it have a message for geographers? I guess the second
question: Is this message appropriate to the people who read the
Annals? There are some very important messages for geographers. I am a
teacher and there are many things that I as a teacher need. The Annals
is not a journal designed for teachers. There have been some papers, really
outstanding papers, that are really better designed for the teacher of
geography, i. e. for me as a teacher, rather then me as a research scholar. I
think there are other journals that are appropriate to that kind of article.
We do look for the message for geographers and then, of course, the next
question: Is the packaging of the paper. My job as editor, sort of a mid-
wife, I try to get the package in such shape that people can read it,
hopefully with a little bit of pleasure, as well as, professional.

DOW: Would you care to go on record and say how many manuscripts you
get and how many you accept?

HART: So far, the average has been about eleven or twelve manuscripts a
month, which is about three or four a week. I don't like to play the game of
rejection rates, because a lot of manuscripts go back to the authors for more
work. Somebody asked me the other day what percentage of manuscripts arrived
ready to go to press and I my guess was one percent. There are some real

professionals in the field; they've had a lot of experience writing papers,
they do a first class job of it and their stuff is ready to go. Most of us
need some help and most of our manuscripts need to be worked over and so an
awful lot go back and get returned to the author. I hope they come back
vastly improved, but I don't try to make a distinction between the manuscript
if it goes back for more work, because I like to think that if somebody
prepares a manuscript that he thinks is good enough to send to the Annals
that there probably is a message that ought to be in the geographic
literature somewhere.

DOW: Well thank you very much Fraser, it's been a pleasure talking to

HART: Thank you, Wes.

                Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                            DAVID J. M. HOOSON (1926- )
                       University of California at Berkeley

                                 Interviewed by
                               Geoffrey J. Martin
                       Southern Connecticut State University

The Galt House Hotel              April 15, 1980         Louisville, Kentucky

MARTIN: It is my pleasure to introduce David Hooson, who is Professor of
Geography and Dean of the Social Sciences at the University of California at
Berkeley. David, I would like to ask you what are the influences that have
played on you and led you into geography?

HOOSON: Yes. I'm a firm believer in looking at the historical and geographical
context within which people come into a field. In my case I should say that I
grew up on a working farm in a secluded valley in North Wales. This experience
prepared me very well for geography, because here was a kind of geographical
microcosm, you might say. Our father was one of the early humus farmers in that
area and was making the soil and had an early impact (man's impact) on nature,
plus the vagaries of climate. It was that sort of man-environment relation that
became clear to me. But also the world situation (I was growing up in the
Depression) in the way that it bore on the whole of this geographical complex,
i.e. comparative advantage of competition for farm products from abroad, the
distance to markets and all those things. The complex of human and physical

  When I was a teenager on that farm I happened to be put in contact, just by
chance, with one of the early founders of British geography, H. J. Fleure, who
was then just retiring from the Chair of Geography and Anthropology at the
University of Manchester. He was one of the most remarkable people I have ever
met who you might say turned me on to geography. A man of great wisdom and
breadth who, originally a zoologist, became an archaeologist and anthropologist.
He was very much a geographer in the broad humane sense and directed me into it.

  So, when I put aside all other options that I had for career prospects, I went
up to Oxford University and elected to study geography. There my tutor was E. W.
Gilbert, who later became the Head of the Department of that School of Geography
at Oxford, which was, in fact, the oldest school of geography in Britain. In
some ways he was more of a romantic than Fleure. He was a humane geographer of
great worth and interests, one of much concern with regional approaches, with
the personality of regions from a human point of view and with the history of
geography. It so happened that when I was a young student, only seventeen, there
during the war Gilbert was spending a great deal of time with H. J. MacKinder,
in his 80s, who was the founder (I suppose we would agree) of modern British
geography and the founder of that Oxford School. So by some kind of second
remove I got contact with MacKinder although I never met him personally. Gilbert
was writing the life of MacKinder and articles about him; he was very enthused

with him. Therefore, there was this notion of the chain of events in the history
of geographical thought.

  I went away from there and had my education interrupted by the war (spent two
or more years in Monsoon Asia in the Navy) as a weather forecaster. I came back
and went into graduate work at the London School of Economics, which introduced
me to a different strand of British geography, one that was more economic, more
applied, more statistical with the main figures there being Dudley Stamp, R. O.
Buchanan and Michael Wise, who is now President of the International
Geographical Union. He was my supervisor on my Ph.D. I worked on population
geography; population distribution was a focus for my studies. This has really
been with me as a convenient focus (which makes sense to me) over quite a long
period of my studies.

MARTIN: Let me ask you about your particular interest in Soviet geographical
thought, David. Recently I stumbled across your introduction to the Anuchin
translation, which does something to summarize the considerable amount of work
you've done in the last twenty years. How did you got into the study of Soviet

HOOSON: Here again the context is very important. During the war (war is a great
teacher of geography as you know) I thought I knew everything about the Soviet
Union (from the campaigns and so on) but then I put it behind me. It was
rekindled by an invitation to come to America in 1956 to teach at the University
of Maryland (which is in Washington) for me to develop Soviet Geography. Of
course, we rise to occasions like this, especially as it was at a much higher
salary than I was getting at the University of Glasgow. The time was right,
undoubtedly for it then. If you remember it was not only the last gasp of the
European Imperial order (the Suez affair), but Russia was on the up and up for
sure. Sputnik was going up, Khrushchev was making his famous speeches against
Stalin and for a new order in the Soviet Union. It was very exciting, a lot of
things were happening. So I wrote two books on the Soviet Union from a regional
point of view and got into this very vigorous disputation of the Soviet geography
that you mentioned around Anuchin. This interested me in geographical thought
going back into pre-Soviet Russian thought (which hadn't been worked on up until
then, which is very important) and, also, comparatively with other national
schools. I developed a kind of Super Power comparative orientation at that point;
the move to Washington was ideal from my point of view.

MARTIN: Can you tell us something about your last fifteen years at Berkeley?

HOOSON: Yes. In talking of context I came into Berkeley at the time when it was
just dissolving into a kind of turmoil with the Free Speech Movement and the
various student riots, which spread around the world out of Berkeley. This was
very disconcerting in many ways, but nevertheless introduced me to another sort
of world. Apart from the campus as a whole the Berkeley school of geography with
Sauer, who was still active then, was quite different - traditional and
historically oriented. I knew Sauer very well for the last ten years of his life
when he was mellowing. I was not beholden to him and had not been a student of
his, but learned a great deal from him. As you know I wrote recently a little
piece on him trying to evaluate his place, which I think, is very high, but we
shouldn't ignore his prejudices and inconsistencies.

  This was a very interesting time, I found Berkeley very congenial, because
still the department had a historical approach, almost entirely, in various
ways, which was not so common in the rest of American geography.

MARTIN: By way of summation would you care to say something about your view on
the prospects for geography in this country?

HOOSON: Yes. Let us say they should be very good. I've never been able to see
why they are not, or why geography has such a hazy image in this country
compared with many other countries. I've seen a great deal of changes in the
Social Sciences that have happened in the last few years, which I think, have
been for the better. More humane, more philosophical, more historical, more
comparative. This has happening to geography too, I think. It seems to me that
the time is right. When you think of the ignorance in this country - let's say
about Afghanistan on the one hand (its significance), or the coal-fired world of
the Ohio Valley, or Appalachia on the other - the need is there. I think that
the geographical imagination should catch fire very soon again in this country,
which would be not before time.

MARTIN: Thank you very much indeed, David.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 3pp.

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                              Geographer on Film:
                           PETER HAGGETT (1933-   )
                            University of Bristol

                               Interviewed by
                             Maynard Weston Dow
                           Plymouth State College

University of Bristol            May 3, l982               Bristol, England

DOW: Professor Peter Haggett, some years ago you were invited to participate in
Geographers on Film, but you declined. Why have you changed your mind?

HAGGETT: I think being placed on film in this way, Wes, is something of a
problem for two reasons. The first is that one's ideas about the subject are
constantly evolving and the thought of being caught and put in a glass box, as
if that presented my views on geography, would for me represent an end to
learning, whereas, in a sense, as a student you are continually working and
working away. The second reason is that, I think, that it was about five years
ago the request came from a good friend Don Janelle at Western Ontario. I think
I had worked just about half way through my university career (I was about
twenty years from being a radical young student) and I had about another twenty
years to go before, hopefully, some of the patina of old age came upon me. So
half way between, like waters at slack tide, there I was largely an
administrator and I didn't want my views on geography to be captured in this
kind of way. But now you've trapped me in my lair down here in Bristol and so I
can't say no.

DOW: Well, you see it's not necessarily going to be a written word or a spoken
word that will be cast in concrete; you may come back twenty years from now if
that's agreeable.

HAGGETT: I hope I'm around. (Laughter).

DOW: What led you into becoming a geographer?

HAGGETT: Some people, I imagine, come into geography by accident, but in my own
case it was a very distinctive choice. I have to go back some years to when I
was a small boy at school. I went to one of those very small village schools (a
two roomer I suppose you'd call it in American terms) here in the English
countryside. I was taught by two little old Quaker ladies, one of whom was very
interested in the subject. I took a scholarship to local grammar school and
around the age of fifteen or sixteen or so, I found myself in a school in
which geography comprised three or four of the study units in the upper level
forms and it was very important to me. My problem was which subject to do?
Whether it was math, geology, or geography.

  I got involved in a very bad football accident and found myself in hospital
for about eight or nine months having to lie flat on my back so I had to see
what reading I could do. Some of the reading I had there was, in fact, varied
books on geomorphology by Charles Cotton, the great New Zealand geomorphologist.

I can remember seeing all these books and with sort of a curious system of
mirrors having to look at this and my fascination grew and grew. I decided I
wanted something that would give me the opportunity to study physical geography
and geomorphology, in particular. So off I went to Cambridge as a young man to

DOW: Could you comment briefly about Cambridge in the early l950s?

HAGGETT: Cambridge in the early l950s was something of a powerhouse. I say that
in the sense that I was there at the time with some extremely bright
undergraduates, who now occupy positions all around the geographical world.
Michael Chisholm is Professor at Cambridge, Peter Hall at Reading. We were a
young competitive crew together. We were all in the same college together. We
had a brilliant tutor, a man who looks after you, a man called Gus Caesar,
officially Augustus Caesar. Gus Caesar was a great tutor, a very hard man and,
perhaps, like Sauer in his early days, very tough, very logical, really very
insistent in fact that we produced a good package and did very heavy work in
geography for him. Then again, the Cambridge system was that you were given a
great deal of ability to go and read in other subjects to follow your own links
through. I was tutored by an outstanding glaciologist Vaughan Lewis, who was
tragically to die in a car crash while visiting the U. S. in Chicago. He, in
fact, was heading a group, which was trying to apply mathematical models to ice
movements. The kind of people he had working with him, like Max Perutz was to go
on and win a Nobel Prize later in another quite different area. These were a
very bright group and I was fortunate to be part of Cambridge at an exciting
time, people coming back from the war and lots of ideas flowing back into

DOW: How did you come to write Location Analysis in Human Geography, 1966?

HAGGETT: What happened was that after Cambridge I went down to University
College, London to my first post and was on the staff with H. C. Darby, the
great historical geographer. I spent a couple of years there, very happily, then
was invited to go back to Cambridge. In those days one had to teach just
everything. I taught South American Settlement, Photogrammetry, all sorts of
things. But, I was allowed to give one second year course, really of my own
choosing as a kind of gift, as it were, for giving other lectures. I chose to
try and talk to the undergraduates there about the exciting work that I saw
going on at that time both in Europe and, indeed, in North America. It was a
time when books like Arthur Lösch's The Economics of Location was being
translated, Christaller's translation was just becoming available, and von
Thünen's was soon to become available. There seemed to be a flow of exciting
locational ideas and research coming out of the groups at Northwestern and
Seattle. It was a great period. So what I tried to do for the undergraduates at
Cambridge was to try and make some kind of sense of these in a lecture series.
The lecture series seemed to be going well. I was not doing much research in
this area myself, I was sort of a battle correspondent telling them what was
going on, trying to respond to the recent pages in the journals. So in a sense
Locational Analysis was my lecture course and I wrote it out and when I finished
writing it I looked down the list of publishers and took the first one beginning
with A for Arnold and went down to London with a big bundle of papers under my
arm and said: Would you publish this? The Head of the publishing there was a
specialist in English poetry so my great virtue was he knew nothing about
geography. So what he did in a sense was to say: Well it looks unusual, I'd
better send it to a geographer to get a view on this. He sent the manuscript to
Professor Frank Monkhouse at Southampton University and Frank said: Well, it may
not be good geography, but at least it's different from any other geography
books, so lets go ahead and try it. So off the book went and it was interesting
what came from it.

DOW: Did this lead to Geography: A Modern Synthesis, 1982?

HAGGETT: It did in some ways. I was visiting Northwestern University partly to
work with my Michael Dacey, partly to work at the Transportation Library on a
book with Richard Chorley on networks. The telephone came through from Harper's
in New York saying: We were the old Mark Twain publishers, how would you like to
produce something in the same area and how would you like to produce a book on
geography as a whole? Having just produced one book, I guess, you feel in that
state of exuberance where, in fact, it looks like books come easily. So I
thought: Oh yes, I'd write a book on geography. When do you need it? In one
year's time? Two year's time? Maybe it was six or seven years time before the
book eventually came out. In some ways I think the book, which actually appeared
was very heavily altered by a very fine editor at Harper's, which in a sense
changed it around and made it readable from my English.

DOW: How about your current research?

HAGGETT: My current research is very much on the applications of diffusion
models to diseases and epidemics of various kinds. Some of the ideas I've got
from talking to a good friend Torsten Hägerstrand in Lund and, also, David
Kendall, the great statistician in Cambridge. I'm just back from the States from
the Centers for Disease Control, where I've been working with a group there, who
are applying models of this kind particularly based on measles and influenza. So
that's the work I'm likely to do.

DOW: Finally, what do you see as the main contributions of geography as a
university subject?

HAGGETT: Sitting as I do for the last three years in the Vice-President's
office, as it were, of the university I had to get outside geography and try and
look at it from the outside. From the outside it seems to me it's a very
important subject and holding together, trying solve the environmental and
social ideas that are currently operating within the academic world. I think, in
fact, it brings contributions in terms of its technology. It brings
contributions in terms its concepts, and it brings contributions, also, in terms
of its general ability to integrate ideas of regional distinctiveness, ideas, in
fact, of spatial structure, and ideas of environmental awareness. All those
come together in a very unusual way.

DOW: Does the future seem any brighter to you than it did in l950?

HAGGETT: I think, in fact, that as you solve one problem the solution to one
problem is not a solution, it's two new problems. So I see different problems,
but I think, it's in good shape for the next ten years or so.

DOW: Well thank you very much for taking your time this afternoon.

HAGGETT: It's been a great pleasure. I look forward to twenty years down the

DOW: Twenty years later.

Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 13pp.

                                             Maynard Weston Dow
                                            Geographers on Film
                                        Plymouth State University,
                                          Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                           Geographer on Film:
                                     J. ROWLAND ILLICK8 (1919-1997)
                                           Middlebury College

                                               Interviewed by
                                             Maynard Weston Dow
                                           Plymouth State College

Americana Inn                                   October 19, 1985                                   Albany, New York

DOW: Rowland Illick of Middlebury College, what stirred your interest in the
discipline of geography?

ILLlCK: Wes, I think it began when I was a kid in China. My folks were
missionaries there; my father was a biologist at the University of Nanking. We
did a lot of traveling. We were curious about the things that we saw. Not only
did we collect different things, but we always asked questions about why these
things were the way they were. My father insisted that we find out about the
backgrounds of these things. I suspect that was the beginning of why I became
interested in where people live, what they did, why they did it, and when they
did it, because that's my definition of geography. Not only that, but I had an
opportunity of traveling through much of Asia, a good part of Europe (at an
early age), as well as North America. Also, my father started me collecting
stamps and that had a lot to do with my interest in different parts of the

DOW: When you were a young boy in China you didn't know you were a geographer,
did you.

ILLlCK: I had no idea what it was until the sixth grade when I had a lady
teacher, who had me drawing maps of South America and putting products on it. I
loved maps. I suppose just drawing these maps got me so interested and motivated
in this class that I did very well in that program; that was one of the major
reasons I became interested in it.

DOW: Did your father's occupation have anything to do with your attending
Syracuse University?

ILLlCK: It certainly did, because being in China until I was graduated from high
school I had no idea about different colleges or programs. It so happened that
both my parents, mother and father, attended Syracuse University. They thought
that there might be a possibility of me getting a scholarship at Syracuse; it
looked good to me so that is where I went.

DOW: As I recall doesn't the University have Methodist connections? Was it a
theological school?

  First published in Harmon, John E. & Rickard, Timothy J. 1988. Interviews with New England Geographers, Geography in New
England, A Special Publication of the New England/St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society: 70-84.

ILLICK: It has a strong Methodist connection. It was started by the Methodists.
My folks were Methodists and that is probably why they went there. I think the
tuition then was something like $275 a semester and I got a scholarship; it was
relatively reasonable.

DOW: So you were there in the late 1930s. How did you get connected with

ILLICK: I had a teacher by the name of Mrs. Cressey in the Shanghai American
school who taught me history. When she learned that I was going to Syracuse she
said I must look up George Cressey, who was her cousin; he taught geography
there and she thought that I might like that field. When I got to Syracuse it
turned out that he was my freshman advisor because I had come from China; and he
was interested in China and I was assigned to him. That was the beginning of a
very long friendship that helped me enormously, because he was a mentor for me
and helped me to get to places like Beirut and Middle Eastern institutions where
I taught for a while. He was always very supportive of the things that I did.

  I didn't actually take a course, however, in geography until I was a junior. I
did know that it was around, but I didn't really know what the scope of this
field was in the college sense. I had thought I was going to work toward being a
foreign service person. In Nanking, the capital of China, where I lived, I
always like the notion of travelling in different countries and working for our
country. I studied political science, economics, sociology and the types of
things that diplomatic peoples probably would have looked at. I realized that if
I was to become a diplomat I would have to represent my country on issues that,
sometimes, I didn't fully support. Then I realized that maybe education was the
answer. I decided that I could get to foreign countries by teaching there, and I
could be a free spirit. I could speak to anybody freely and, that is how it
turned out.

 George Cressey was one of the major turning points in my experience. In terms
of how he taught, his dynamism, his great enthusiasm for the world at large and,
particularly, for his interest in Asia, because that was my first interest.

DOW: I had a slight association with him. I went to Syracuse to study under
Cressey, as well, but as you know he died rather quickly, I think it was cancer,
wasn't it?

ILLICK: It was a cancer, yes.

DOW: I thought Cressey was one of the better teachers I've ever seen. As you say
he had such enthusiasm, he knew how to get the students involved. Could you
reflect upon that for a minute?

ILLICK: Absolutely. Syracuse had an annual competition to see who was the most
popular teacher on campus and usually it was Eric Faigle, another geographer.
But in my judgement, it was George Cressey. He was challenging, interesting,
enthusiastic and excellent teacher. He had done his fieldwork, knew his stuff
and knew how to present it. He lived it in class. All of these things really
convinced me that I wanted to be more like the way George Cressey presented

DOW: Did you ever go out in the field with him? I'm sure you did.

ILLICK: Oh, yes. I took geomorphology with George Cressey and at that time, I
believe, it was the first geomorphology course taught in the United States.

George taught it, there was no textbook and we had to read many professional
articles. Among graduate students and the undergraduates there the saying was
that George used to weigh our notebook, or put a ruler against it, to see how
many inches of material we had accumulated to determine what grade we were to
get. We were in the field with him almost every week.
DOW: I recall one day we were on a field trip in the Adirondacks. We were in
echelon in several cars and he stopped the car, ran to the side of the road,
stood on a rock, looked to the West and said: "This is where the Adirondacks
begin." I'm not quite sure how he knew, but as a graduate student I was very
impressed with that.

ILLICK: I can say something about that, because there was a Wallace Atwood Prize
for geomorphology; it was given annually at that time and amounted to a hundred
dollars. When I was a senior I was given the job as George Cressey's Research
Assistant at the College. In Lyman Hall, which had very high ceilings, there was
a map of all the New York state topographic sheets put together. George asked me
to draw all the physiographic boundaries of New York state. I spent a semester
on a stepladder looking at the contours of this topographic map of the entire
state, and then put it on a map about page size. He looked at it, made a few
adjustments and that became the physiographic map of the geomorphic regions of
New York state. He then wrote a text to go with it and won the Wallace Atwood

DOW: Did you get due credit?

ILLICK: I didn't get any credit. I was an assistant in those days.

DOW: That's the way the system works. All right, what about your Master's thesis
at Syracuse?

ILLICK: When I attended Syracuse as an undergraduate there were only six majors
in the whole discipline out of a total of six thousand students and probably
twelve graduate students in 1940, 1941. Syracuse did not, at that time, have a
Ph.D. program; so they tried to make their master's program the best in the
country. George Cressey used to say it was sort of a small Ph.D. He had
accumulated a good faculty and our requirements included (no language
requirement) an eight hour written exam and the writing of a thesis based on
fieldwork. It took probably two years, or if you worked all summer you could get
through in a year and a half; then we had an oral defense. I wrote a thesis on
the "Standardization of Geographic Symbols" because I was interested in
cartography. The other part of that thesis was the devising of a new way of
representing the third dimension on maps. This was one of the very first times
that I had done anything of significance when it came to writing and
illustrating it with a lot of maps. Joe Russell, who had been brought from the
University of Illinois, was my cartography teacher. George Cressey and Joe
Russell were the two really important people in my life at that time. I finished
the thesis in 1941 and considered it a very substantial piece of work compared
to the other schools, where a couple of papers and some courses were offered,
but no thesis was involved. I thought that this was good training for what I was
to do, which was a Ph.D. at Harvard

DOW: We should note here that you were at Syracuse prior to Preston James.

ILLICK: A long time prior to Preston James. Yes.

DOW: The only reason I mention it is that many people associate Jimmy with
Syracuse; he went there in '45 or '46, I believe, right after the war. You
mentioned Harvard; how did you happen to go there for your Ph.D.?

ILLICK: I was doing my Master's work at Syracuse and I wanted to know whether I
really wanted to go into geography professionally as a teacher. My father had
been a teacher and I was always interested in it. I also had to handle some of
the labs at Syracuse. I found I enjoyed being with young people, running field
trips and taking responsibility for some of the classes so I decided that I
would go for a Ph.D.

  In 1938, when I was a junior, I decided to attend the AAG meetings, which were
then held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There were a couple of us who wanted to go,
including a fellow from Harvard, who had come to Syracuse to go with us. We got
in an old jalopy, a Model-A Ford, and started off in the wintertime, because the
meetings were held after Christmas at that time. We got as far as Missouri and
the car just fell apart. We bought a second-hand car, and managed to get to the
opening session of the AAG in Baton Rouge. I must say that I was somewhat taken
back, because I went to the desk to register and said that I was a geographer.
They said: "Are you a member of the AAG?" I said: "No, but I'm a geographer, I'm
a student at Syracuse." They said: "I am sorry, but you are not eligible to
register for this program, because you have to have had two or three published
papers; you have to be invited to join this organization."
  As I looked around I only saw about forty professional geographers attending
this meeting. Carl Sauer was President that year and I wanted to hear him. I was
really put in my place. I was, also, looking for an opportunity of going to
graduate school so I thought I would check with some of the graduate school
representatives there. For example, both Harvard and Michigan had programs that
dealt with Asia. Michigan had Bob Hall interested in Japan and Asia, I had heard
about that. Harvard had the Harvard-Yenching Institute with John Fairbank and
Edwin Reischauer. I thought either of those schools would be of interest to me.
First, I asked the representatives from Michigan if they had any scholarship
assistance, because I had very little money. They said they had none; I wasn't
too enthusiastic about pursuing that route. But Derwent Whittlesey, Harold Kemp
and Ed Ackerman were there. Harold Kemp happened to see me and came over to
talk; he was always very interested in people. These were three bachelors all
teaching at Harvard; Ed Ackerman had been their student. I was much taken with
the fact that they took it upon themselves to come over and speak to me, who was
a nonentity there, I was a junior in college.

DOW: No status whatsoever.

ILLICK: No status whatsoever. Harold Kemp said: "What are your plans?" I said:
"I'd like to go to graduate school." He said: "Would you consider coming to
Harvard?" I said: "Sure." He said: "We can give you five hundred and twenty
dollars. Four hundred dollars will pay your tuition, a hundred dollars you can
use to live on and twenty dollars would be for the health fee." Well that was
better than nothing so I accepted.

DOW: When did you begin?

ILLICK: I began there in 1941.

DOW: Was your experience interrupted by the war?

ILLICK: The war had started and because I was teaching in the program (running
the labs in both physical and economic geography for Kemp and Whittlesey) I was
exempted from the draft at that time, although I had strong feelings about how
to resolve difficulties in world matters. I had been raised as a staunch
Methodist. They had just had a national convention where they had urged all
their members not to support war as a way of solving problems. My minister at
Syracuse had urged me to sign a pledge card not to support war. That was about
three years before Pearl Harbor. As soon as we were in the war it turned out
that that minister was on my draft board. I thought that was a rather strange
thing for a Methodist minister, especially one who had been urging us for
several years to support a non-violent position. I had known about people like
Gandhi and Kagawa. My own personal experiences in China with revolutions, civil
war, destruction all around me and starvation had led me to believe that there
were other ways. I heard about the Quakers so I decided I would join with that
group that was using a non-violent approach. That meant that I had applied for
what was called the conscientious objector status. That was the position I was
in when the war started. Eventually the draft called me up, and I was assigned
to a camp in Big Flats, New York, where I worked for the U. S. Department of
Agriculture. They were growing baby trees for propagations throughout the state
of New York. That was all that the government could come up with that would be
of a non-combatant nature. Later on I went to Maine to work in a mental
institution as an attendant; it was really a school for mentally retarded
people. I served two years there and also part-time in Washington working with
conscientious objectors. We were assigned for a while to go to Southeast Asia
with the American Friends Service Committee to do aid work, but Representative
Bilbo of Mississippi put a rider on a big appropriation bill for military
affairs saying that federal money should not be spent to send conscientious
objectors anywhere. That effectively locked us here in the United States; we
couldn't go abroad. People like Gilbert, myself, John Brush and a lot of others
of the same persuasion were not able to go overseas. (Editor's note: White
served as a CO in Europe during WWII. He took part in relief work in
concentration camps and children’s' canteens in Vichy France, operated under the
German Occupation and finally was interned in Germany. See White's 1972 and 1984
GOF interviews and Online GOF Transcriptions). We've maintained those feelings
more or less ever since.

DOW: Did you know John and Gil in those days?

ILLICK: I knew Gil White. I didn't know John Brush until some years later.

DOW: What was the climate like at Harvard during the Whittlesey, Kemp, and
Ackerman regime?

ILLICK: Ackerman was called to Washington right away; he worked in what was
called the OSS for a while. Near the close of the war when General McArthur was
in Japan, Ed Ackerman was the Chief Economic Advisor (geographic advisor) for
General McArthur and he wrote a very fine book on economic aspects of Japanese
life, so he was away from Harvard most of the time. I only saw him sporadically.
The people I knew best were Whit and Harold Kemp. They lived in a small
apartment just off the Harvard Yard. They had a very civilized way of living
because they quit work every afternoon at 4:00 and had tea in their apartment.
That was open house for anybody who wanted to come - the undergraduates and
graduate students were always welcome in their home at that time. They would
discuss current events, world affairs, almost any subject. Later on we would
usually go out for a meal some place in downtown Boston and always on Friday
afternoon we attended the Boston Symphony. We went to frequent ballets and the
opera; we were very culturally oriented. Almost every weekend we were out
together in their convertible on a trip to Cape Cod, Northern New England or
some place in the southeastern part of New England. They treated me as a member

of the family, because I was the only graduate student at that time.

DOW: Well, now after the war did more students come in?

ILLICK: Yes. George Lewis, for example, was a senior at the time. He was in one
of my classes. I guess I had George when he was a sophomore, somewhere in there;
he was in one of the labs that I was responsible for.

DOW: What about Saul Cohen?

ILLICK: Saul Cohen came afterwards. But Don Patton was there and he was one of
the outstanding students that they had as an undergraduate. He was strongly
influenced, as well as George, by both Whit and Harold so he became a
geographer. I probably learned more geography from Derwent Whittlesey than
almost anybody else. He challenged me all the time to explain why. Every time
you write a geographic sentence you must not just make a statement of fact, you
must defend it. This is what Whittlesey taught me. He was Editor of the Annals;
he was a very meticulous person in terms of writing. I had done well in English
at Syracuse; I thought I knew how to write. When I started to write papers for
Whittlesey they were handed back with all kinds of red lines and marks. Too many
punctuation errors, clichés, split infinitives. Using nouns as if they had life
to them; they didn't, they were inanimate. He taught me a lot of things about
good writing and he was very fussy. Anybody who submitted a professional article
for the Annals had to meet Whittlesey's standards. He wasn't going to sit there
and do all that work for them. These two people, Whittlesey and Kemp, and a
third person at Harvard made a big impact on me - Erwin Raisz. One of the
reasons I really wanted to go to Harvard was to study with Erwin Raisz because I
loved drawing maps; he was just super.

DOW: You've picked up some of his talent haven't you?

ILLICK: I love his physiographic three-dimensional drawings, because they bring
a map to life for any age group. You don't have to explain it to them.

DOW: He wasn't considered part of the department?

ILLICK: He was hired by Hamilton Rice, who had married Mrs. Widener after her
husband was lost on the Titanic. That family had given Widener Library. Hamilton
Rice, who was a very wealthy medical doctor, lived in Newport. His avocation was
exploration. He wanted to get some kind of academic recognition so he gave
Harvard the Institute for Geographical Exploration located on Divinity Street.
It was supported by him directly. I understand that Harvard gave him a
Professorship in return for that financial gift. He not only gave them the
building but he maintained it and hired the staff including Erwin Raisz, a
Librarian, and a group of other technicians.

DOW: What time period did the building come into existence?

ILLICK: That was in existence before I got there. I think probably in the
thirties sometime.

DOW: I'm not sure that this question can be handled but did Rice's association
with that Institute have anything to do with the demise of geography at Harvard?

ILLICK: It may have, because not everyone was permitted to take his course. He
taught the course at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He would drive up in
his chauffeured car, and begin his lecture at 12:00; he had a white goatee and
very formal dress. He lectured to the boys on his explorations in Venezuela in
the Rio Negro region.

DOW: No geographic training, right?

ILLICK: No geographic training that I know. Harvard College indicated that
Rice's course could be taken only if a student had a B average. A lot of the
affluent young boys from the prep schools around the Harvard area would take
this course on their way through Harvard. Sometimes this got them interested in
geography. Some of them turned out to be very good people. But it was not a
difficult challenging course; it was sort of a recounting of events that
Hamilton Rice had experienced.

DOW: So that could be part of the demise.

ILLICK: It could have been that they would say: "If that's what geography is,
maybe we don't need it here." I want to make one more comment about the Harvard
situation. Ed Ackerman returned after the war and was asked by the Department of
Geology and Geography (it was a joint program) to make a proposal to the
President as to what the future of geography could be at Harvard. I don't have a
copy of this, but I saw it at one time. It was about a forty page, single-spaced
typewritten memo outlining all the possibilities that could be Harvard's if they
wanted to start what Ed Ackerman envisioned as probably the most powerful and
finest geography department anywhere on the North American continent. They
already had many people in place like C. F. Brooks, meteorologist at Blue Hill
Observatory in Milton, Erwin Raisz, an outstanding cartographer, Whittlesey,
Ackerman, and a range of other people in cognate fields.

DOW: What about Ullman? Was he coming on board then?

ILLICK: He hadn't come on board yet; during Whittlesey's period outstanding
geographers from Europe came and spent a summer there. Harvard was really on the
map. It was the center where the Annals were issued and everybody knew
Whittlesey for his book on political geography, The Earth and The State. He died
too soon to finish his excellent book (in progress) that dealt with Africa. He
had written a book on economic geography and was very prominent in all these

 Harvard had all this potential. When Harvard finally decided against the new
geography program (they said for economic reasons), I think probably for
political reasons as well, that meant that the number one Ivy League school had
turned geography down. Ed Ackerman went elsewhere and after that it was only an
occasional geographer that was brought in like Ed Ullman as a one-person
operation, or maybe two. It wasn't a strong full-fledged program. Yale gave up
geography, Brown never had it, and Cornell hadn't had much of anything in
geography. That meant that Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, and
Dartmouth were the only Ivy institutions that were offering geography.
DOW: Now that brings us to Middlebury. How is it that you have spent forty years
at Middlebury?

ILLICK: After spending those years at Harvard I finished all my course work and
was underway with my thesis. I had hoped to return to China and decided that one
of the things China needed most was to be reforested. I was interested in forest
products and what could be done to improve the whole environmental situation in
North China where it had been denuded. At Harvard I thought if I could work with
Northern New England's forest products businesses (the primary industries)
perhaps this would be one thing I could contribute in teaching geography in
North China, where I had hoped to go. Therefore, I made this proposal to study
the primary wood using industries of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. There was
no need for me to stay at Harvard when I could be earning money by teaching and

paying the school debts that I had incurred to go to graduate school. So I
looked around for some opportunities to teach after the war. I had the choice of
going to Florida State College for Women, the University of Georgia, and
Middlebury College. It so happened that Middlebury College had a Harvard
economics professor as their new President and Derwent Whittlesey showed me a
letter indicating that they are looking for someone who would each geography at
Middlebury. Was I interested? I had known about Middlebury because I had been to
Silver Bay and Lake George while at Syracuse and had visited Middlebury a long
time ago. Little did I know that this was where I was going to spend the next
forty years. I thought it would be a good idea, because I would be in the middle
of the area where I was doing fieldwork. At that time I was in Maine so I hitch-
hiked overnight by truck, arrived early in the morning and found that the
President was on the Breadloaf Campus preparing for Commencement. I was told by
a secretary that if I could find a car and drive to Breadloaf (about eight miles
away in the mountains) he would interview me there. I didn't have any car so she
said that if I would drive one of the President's cars I'll introduce you to
him. That's how I arrived in Middlebury. President Stratton told me I was hired.
That was a very simple procedure compared to what people have to go through now.

DOW: You were the only geographer there?

ILLICK: I was the only geographer.

DOW: Were you the first one?

ILLICK: No, I wasn't the first one. The first person was Phelps Swett, a
Middlebury professor who had gone to MIT; he was teaching engineering drawing at
Middlebury. You wouldn't think they would have a course like that there, but in
those days it was sort of an open-ended program. He had a sabbatical in 1926 and
had gone to Clark University. There he came in contact with Ellen Churchill
Semple and Ellsworth Huntington, who later wrote Civilization and Climate. They
were some of the big names there at that time. He was so mightily impressed by
these people he said: The Middlebury students are being denied a great
educational experience; they have to have geography. So here was an engineer who
saw the need. That taught me a lesson later, (this is an aside) when the AAG was
trying to get geography introduced in a lot of other schools. They sent some top
geographers around and tried to do it from the outside recommending that the
institutions ought to teach it. I learned that the way to get something started
was to work from the inside. If you find a prominent professor who sees the need
for geography and get him to work on it your chances are much more enhanced.
That's exactly what he did. Phelps Swett said that we need a geographer, told
the President, the President wrote to Harvard, Whittlesey showed this letter to
me and I applied. A year earlier, Middlebury had employed a geographer by the
name of Sidley McFarland, an English geographer. He left after one year to go to
Syracuse-Utica where he initiated the geography program. The other person in the
program at Middlebury was a geologist. A geologist, an engineer and myself. My
first job was to attend all the geology courses and then run all the field
trips. Every afternoon I was in the field or helping with the indoor labs, as
well as teaching a few courses in geography.

DOW: Your Cressey training came in handy.

ILLICK: It came in handy. Being a small school of 1200 and a one-person
geography program I had to teach everything that a small school ought to have in
geography. Of course, it didn't rank as a major - it was just teaching courses.
I had to be a generalist and that suited me fine, because I am a generalist in
my interests, I'm interested in everything. Whether it was political geography,
geography of Latin America, senior seminar, doing research work, field methods,
physical geography, economic geography, I was it at the time. I would rotate

courses. I did that for ten years. Eventually they hired another full-time
geologist which permitted me to work full-time on geography. Within ten years we
had a major. A major with one person, mind you. Audacious, but we had so many
students that I had to give labs two, three or four times a week; I was very
busy. I was carrying something like twenty-two to twenty-five hours of class
work and field work; I was tired. At the same time I was writing my Ph.D. thesis
and doing fieldwork.

DOW: Who is the next person you brought on board?

ILLICK: After years of applying for assistance the next person was Vincent
Malmstrom. A very happy choice. Probably one of the better decisions I've made
in my life, because he was outstanding. He was from Upper Michigan, had gone to
the University of Michigan, taught in Texas for a year, and then at Lewisburg.

DOW: Bucknell?

ILLICK: Bucknell University. He was filling in there and looking for a job. I
heard him give a paper in Montreal. I decided that's the kind of a person I
wanted, because he was interested in everything. He was an excellent speaker,
very well organized and seemed to like small town life. I wanted somebody I
could work with compatibly. He came and we really put geography in the
Middlebury curriculum. We were one of the best-attended departments of any of
the programs at Middlebury; people just couldn't understand this. It had nothing
to do with gut courses because we had nothing to do with the admissions of who
came; Middlebury had pretty high standards. We were getting some of the very top
quality minds, too. We were very pleased because a lot of them went on to
graduate school; some of them went on long before Vince came. For example, Phil
Porter at Minnesota. He was one of my first students who went off. Other people
were Joe Wood, Susan Hanson, Perry Hanson; they were in the era when Vince was
there. We had a very lively program with maybe twenty or thirty seniors
graduating every year and about twenty to thirty students each from the freshman
to the junior year saying they were interested in geography. It was a very
close-knit group. They are the folks who keep coming back and expressing their
appreciation for their experience at Middlebury.

DOW: What is time period that you and Vince were together?

ILLICK: That was from about 1957 and continued about 20 years. In that time we
moved from one President of the College to another, and that President, although
a classicist, could not understand why geography was at Middlebury. He said
"Here are all these other schools like Middlebury: Williams, Amherst, Trinity,
Bowdoin, Wesleyan (the little Ivy League) and not a single one with geography.
What in the world is Middlebury (with limited finances) doing with a geography
program?" That's one way of looking at it. The other way? What is Middlebury's
geography program doing that's good? Is this something that has been of benefit
to our curriculum? If so we ought to be able to tell the other guys: "Look we
have a good thing going here, why don't you follow suit? There the College's
philosophy seems to have been to be a follower. "If they don't have it, we won't
take it." Just like the Ivy League schools say: "If Harvard drops geography why
should other schools have it?"

DOW: What's the status of geography at Middlebury now?

ILLICK: We had two major investigations by two succeeding Presidents. The first
one had a committee assigned to check with many universities; from Chicago to
Harvard and from McGill to the University of Pennsylvania to find out why they
taught geography or why they didn't. This committee was made up of a biologist,
a mathematician, an American Literature person and a woman from the

Administration. They spent an entire year on this check-up and wrote, I thought,
the first powerful supporting document for geography that could have been
written. It was a pleasure to see it coming from non-geographers. They said that
we were addressing some of the basic issues confronting society today from
energy, pollution, world food problems, conservation measures, population
growth, planning, the whole works. That these were the kinds of things that
geographers were doing. Furthermore they discovered that of all the people who
were graduating from Middlebury, geographers had a higher percentage of people
getting jobs than most other departments. When people said: "Why should my son
or daughter major in geography? What can you do with it?" This showed them that
geographers were really wanted. Whether the people knew what the word
"geography" meant didn't seem to make any difference. It's what they could do,
they got jobs and went to good graduate schools. These were our two major
objectives. We were reinstated.

  Subsequently, ten years ago, another President came, a political scientist,
and he couldn't understand either why geography was at Middlebury. When I was
working for the State Department in Africa for two years, 1978-1980, Perry
Hanson replaced me as Chairman. It turned out that there were some disagreements
in the administration as to what was going on. They decided that we didn't need
geography at Middlebury anymore. They thought I was close to retirement and
because the other people who were on hand were on one-year contracts, this would
be a very auspicious time to dump the whole thing. They also said that we could
not hire any new additional faculty because of financial constraints. We had the
very unusual problem of having to appeal for reinstatement; (after being at
Middlebury for thirty-five years) to plead before many of the committees in the
College that we would like to continue and that we would like to be readmitted
as a full-fledged department.

  We won that one, too, and that's one reason I stayed on because I didn't want
to have thirty-five years of all of my efforts there just disappear. I had hoped
that maybe this would be a way of getting geography back in. As a matter of
fact, the University of Vermont thought they would like to have a geography
department. One of my close friends in political science, Andrew Nuquist, called
and said: "Rowland, you are teaching geography at Middlebury, who would you
recommend that we get to teach geography?" I called Syracuse, and Preston James,
who was there at that time, suggested Ted Miles as a good person to start it. So
I feel because of my strong friendship and long-time contact with Andrew
Nuquist, both in Lebanon and before that in Vermont, that that's the way you can
get things started. I also got geography started at Norwich University in
Northfield, Vermont. One of our graduates is there. SUNY Plattsburgh also asked
for advice on geography - whether they should teach it and who should come.
Whether Middlebury appreciated it or not we were instrumental in getting
geography going in other places.

  Not only that, Wes, but a cognate field, Environmental Studies, was introduced
at Middlebury. Twenty years ago an ecologist, Howard Woodin, and myself thought
we needed environmental studies as an interdisciplinary course at Middlebury. We
thought that fitted beautifully in a liberal arts curriculum. You wouldn't
believe it, but we were told on the faculty floor that this was not a liberal
kind of a course. When you have all the sciences and most of the social sciences
tied into this thing I thought that was the prime example of a liberal kind of
an education, but we started it and we drew many people who came to Middlebury
just for that program. Then Dartmouth, the University of Vermont, and Williams
College followed suit. I would say that is an example of where it paid to be a
leader instead of waiting for somebody else.

DOW: But Williams doesn't have a geographer involved.

ILLICK: They don't have a geographer involved. No.

DOW: Would you say, as you are about to leave Middlebury, that geography is in a
good state of health?

ILLICK: It is. Bob Churchill is the chairman. He is a person of many skills.
He's a physical geographer, a great field person, loves the North and goes to
Alaska every summer with a group of students from the University of Vermont and
our northern studies program at Middlebury. He is excellent in computer-type
technologies, photography, remote-sensing, almost any of the technologies that
geographers use. He is a good practitioner, a good teacher, a good researcher
and publishes lots of papers. The students, who are here at this meeting, are
presenting a paper that was done in association with Bob, because it was written
in his course on research methods.

DOW: We've run the whole gamut of New England here, but we haven't talked about
NESTVAL. What about your activities with NESTVAL?

ILLICK: I always wanted to take my students to see what professional geographers
were doing. I was never taken by my professors at Syracuse; I went on my own as
I told you. I thought the nice thing about New England is that we can get
together. We have met at Dartmouth, in Maine, at the University of Connecticut,
and many other institutions including Middlebury. It was small, it was more or
less like a big family at that time. For example, Van Valkenberg at Clark, was
one of the better-known names; Van English at Dartmouth. In those days it was a
matter of just getting in your car and going - if you could bring students,
fine. I always managed to bring between ten and fifteen students. These people
were not allowed to have cars when they were at Middlebury as undergraduates.
This gave them a chance to see something along the way when we went to a new
place. We made a real field excursion out of it. It was a two or three day trip.
We all sort of camped together and made it very inexpensive. I lived with the
students instead of staying in a motel like we are doing now in rather expensive
conditions. We could make it work like that. NESTVAL was in its infancy. We
didn't have Proceedings, we didn't issue papers. We usually had a social time,
recreation time. We almost always had field trips. We didn't have concurrent
sessions. We sat through all the papers that were being delivered. I like that
because I feel we miss too much when we get together as a big group like we are
doing today. I invited NESTVAL to Middlebury at one time. They all fit in the
Middlebury Inn. Today, we would never be able to do that. So it's an entirely
different beast.

DOW: Is it a beast? Or do you think it has a purpose?

ILLICK: It has a purpose, a very good purpose. What I'm pleased with are the
number of undergraduates who come. We old timers that come all the time (we like
to see each other and that's very beneficial), but I'm interested in getting the
young people here because that's the future of our discipline. That's where I
think that NESTVAL comes in. If they can't afford to go to Los Angeles from New
England, at least, they can get to our own local communities.

DOW: It is a healthy sign to see the young people.

ILLICK: It's a very healthy sign; I can see my students here today. I was
listening to their papers (just before I came here) and they were so interested
in what other people were saying on their particular problem and in people who
are working in the same field. It gives them a chance to exchange views. And
we're giving them a prize for their best performance, too.

DOW: Within Middlebury?


DOW: I thought, perhaps, you were giving a little prize within your own

ILLICK: We do that, too, but I'm saying on the NESTVAL level.

DOW: Finally, let's discuss for a moment your research interests.

ILLICK: My research interests are tied into my overseas experiences because I
was born in a Third World country - China. A desperately poor country, people
starving, three hundred million Chinese, many of them starving to death
surrounding my house, for example. On my way to school I would see little
children laid out to starve, because there wasn't enough food. I had always been
interested in what could be done to help this world in an ecological sense
(geographical sense) to improve the life-support systems for food and living.
When the opportunity came to teach at the American University in Beirut, I was
delighted to go. There I was able to establish the first Field Program in
geography at the American University in Beirut.

 Ten years later I was invited to start the geography program at the University
of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia at Dhahran. There, too, I traveled
throughout the Kingdom. I was in charge of their program of social science,
humanities and starting geography. I was also to write a book about Saudi Arabia
for the Saudis.

  Finally, my last opportunity of doing fieldwork extensively was for the State
Department, Agency for International Development, in Mauritania, West Africa
from 1978 to 1980. There I was the environmentalist. My job was to make the
base-line studies of the environmental conditions of that desperately poor
Sahelian country. Then make suggestions as to what kind of projects could be
developed to aid these people to help themselves. Working with them and the U.S.

 These are the things that I have focused my research attention on. My papers
and publications deal with seeking out local entrepreneurs. For example in
Mauritania as a way for getting small projects instigated. If you come in with
money and try to get a new oasis developed and find that the people there aren't
very supportive you're not going to be very successful. But if you can find
someone who is motivated to put even their own small, paltry income into the
effort and be a leader, then you are going to get somewhere. I think that's what
A.I.D. is now working on, looking for special kinds of people in the local
countries that will be the chief motivating factor. I found a number of examples
of this in Mauritania and that's where some of our projects that we worked on
are now most successful. That, and firewood production and developing forests in
Southern Mauritania and throughout the Sahel. Grassland management; how can we
develop those for the Sahelian countries?

In Asia, I did some research on the Joint Commission for World Reconstruction
which is a joint operation between the U.S. and local farmers in Taiwan. In
fifteen years they achieved a miracle in economic development from a run-down
agricultural system to one that is exporting food and also helping to support
the industrial picture. That was a very successful program in Taiwan.

 In Saudi Arabia, I became interested in historical geography, because I found
potsherds, flint, tools and sometimes obsidian lying right on the desert floor.

I was part of a group of people who discovered thirty-two separate Ubaid sites
on the Eastern Arabian shoreline. The Ubaids of the Tigris-Euphrates delta were
probably the first pot makers that we know about. Here were exactly the same pot
types found all along the eastern seaboard of Arabia, a region that most people
thought had nothing in it. So by being able to observe and put things together
as geographers try to do (interdisciplinarily) I think we were able to come up
with a pretty good explanation as to who these people were, when they got there,
why they were there, and why they disappeared. When I attended the Third Asian
Archaeological Meetings in Bahrain, while I was in Saudi Arabia, the top people
in Asian Archaeology and the Ubaid culture were in attendance. We took our
sherds and other artifacts to Bahrain and asked them what they made of it. They
said you people have found what is undeniably Ubaid culture remnants. That was
just one spot in Saudi Arabia. I then visited the Yemen border in Saudi Arabia
and here I found artifacts of a city that was engaged in the old gold,
frankincense and myrrh trade coming out of Muscat and Oman via the southewestern
corner of Arabia north to Medain, Saleh, Petra, and to the eastern Mediterranean

 My work with Vince Malmstrom in Middle America on the calendar and pyramids of
the Maya were other valuable field experiences in Third World states. There
we're trying to tie China with the Maya people, because there were so many
similarities between these two cultures. We believe there is a very intimate tie
and maybe it even goes back to the Persian Gulf. So it all sort of ties
together. Our goal really is to train Middlebury students to be better world
citizens, to be more understanding and appreciative of people in the rest of the
world and not just here in the United States.

DOW: If they could find a better role model than you.

ILLICK: I wouldn't say that.

DOW: As we listen to you and observe all the energy that you've put into the
program at Middlebury (its ups and downs and your research) I was thinking here
in the last few minutes (we have discussed the young students around today) that
I wish they could look at this tape and follow your lead.

ILLICK: Thank you, Wes, you're very kind to say that. I do feel appreciative for
the experience of having seen at least two generations of students at Middlebury
and their frequent return. Now, if I don't retire soon the third generation will

DOW: I hope that you and I have another opportunity to come back and pick up
some of these points that we have missed today.

ILLICK: Thank you very much, Wes.

DOW: Thank you, Rowland.

                     Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                                             Maynard Weston Dow
                                            Geographers on Film
                                        Plymouth State University,
                                          Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                         Geographer on Film:
                                     GEOFFREY J. MARTIN9 (1934- )
                               Southern Connecticut State University

                                               Interviewed by
                                             Maynard Weston Dow
                                           Plymouth State College

Hyatt Regency Hotel                              April 12, 1978                           New Orleans, Louisiana

DOW: Geof, in many geographers' minds you're the composer of Jefferson,
Huntington, and Bowman. What are the circumstances which prompted you to
undertake such a project?

MARTIN: I view these three works as a triad. They represent what I call the
ontographic departure from Davisian physiography, Davis at Harvard (he derived
intellectual descent from Agassiz, Pumpelly, Shaler) made a very profound
study...he synthesized what had previously been done in geology (and the cross-
over from geology) into a physiography, a Huxleyan physiography. He realized
that he needed to set his own students, as it were, his disciples, to a study of
life response. I selected Jefferson, Huntington, Bowman as the three figures who
represented that ontographic departure and yet responded to the Davis model and
the system. I don't see these three works as biographies though they are
biographic. In genre, I remember one of Carl Sauer's letters to me, referring to
geography as "the subject in quest of a discipline perhaps" and Gordon East's
remark to me that "geography is yet a high art."

DOW: Your Forewords are by Preston James, Arnold Toynbee, and Richard
Hartshorne. What's the story behind the Toynbee contribution?

MARTIN: Toynbee was a good chum of Huntington; we corresponded considerably and
I visited him in Chatham House, London. He told me that some of his happiest
moments were spent with Huntington picking cranberries in New England, that he
and Huntington discussed the whole matter of the rise and fall of civililzation,
but they came at it differently. Huntington had provided an envirbl1mental
platform, whereas Toynbee was thinking in terms of challenge and response, a
historicity, a chronology. I proposed to Toynbee that in a way his acquisition
of Huntington's environmental platform and his total adoption of it in his
eleven volume A Study of History, constituted the XY axes, as it were, of his
perception of civilization with special reference to the Christian-Judean
tradition. I thought it was very appropriate that Toynbee would introduce the
Huntington book.

DOW: As you look at these three individuals that you have chosen to compose your
triad, do you think that you tied them together very well? Or did you leave off
and then pick up?
MARTIN: I didn't try to marry the three together. They I think, most
  First published in Harmon, John E. & Rickard, Timothy J. 1988. Interviews with New England Geographers, Geography in New
England, A Special Publication of the New England/St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society: 114-117.

interestingly represent three strands of the ontographic departure but each
personality leaves his indelible impress in his own way. Jefferson was the
severe craftsman with his early pioneer work in the urban field and his work
with the Inquiry. His maps for Woodrow Wilson et al were distinctly different
from the leadership, the marriage of the academician, politician and
administrator par excellence in Bowman. Huntington, of course, is a totally free
spirit with his Civilization and Climate rolling right through majestically with
a certain grandeur to the Mainsprings.

DOW: When you started on Huntington I'm sure you had a particular position, did
it change as you got to know the man?

MARTIN: I tried to cleanse myself of any position; I had a built-in admiration,
because I'd read some of Huntington quite early on in my own geographic studies
in England. But I didn't let any values impose themselves upon me, (in an
obvious manner...values, of course, are omnipresent) which I suppose is one of
the veiled criticisms of my Huntington book - that I didn't come to conclusions,
I didn't attempt to say whether his analysis of climatic change was right or
wrong. I mean I traced evidences in what I hope is a reasonable and thorough
manner; other people can come to conclusions more or less man by man.

DOW: Would Huntington's work be accepted today as modern geography?

MARTIN: Well that's hard to say. Minds   of that largeness are very, very hard to
find and they are rare. Those were the   days when a man would get up in the
morning, eat a thorough breakfast, and   trespass universally across the
disciplines. I'm not sure we have many   of them left.

DOW: You don't think we do?

MARTIN: We might, but it's a little difficult, perhaps, to here and now sort out
the minds. There are those very large minds; we have some people who are
literateurs, write, and see very beautifully today in the field, but I'm not
sure we have anybody quite like Huntington.

DOW: What are your plans? Do you have any future works in the mill?

MARTIN: Currently Preston James and myself are writing the official history of
the Association of American Geographers to be delivered in hard cover at
Philadelphia on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary and that, right now, is
sufficient in itself. I should be remiss if I didn't mention that Harm De Blij
and Clyde Kohn are offering a chapter each in the post-1950 period. But James
and I are handling the antecedents, the official opening of the AAG in 1904, and

DOW: This will be available in April of '79?

MARTIN: Yes, April of '79 it will be available. My other plans; this really
constitutes an interruption. Many years ago I had hoped to write a large work on
the history of geography in North America and I saw this as, perhaps, a two or
three volume work. I haven't changed my plans. How long it will take (maybe ten,
maybe fifteen years) would be determined by the amount of support I could find
for it and I find getting support a bit difficult.

DOW: How does a person decide if they are going to more or less make a career
out of writing about geographers?

MARTIN: I suppose it is in part the British approach to geography, at least,

that segment of the British approach which I experienced in what we call the
grammar school. Yes, from my own Aunt Anna, who was a high school principal and
very, very fond of geography, fed me on Meiklejohn at breakfast time for several
years. But then coming up through the London School of Economics and a
relationship with Sidney Wooldridge of Kings College at the graduate level, I
think I was pushed in the direction of the evolution of thought. I consider this
to be rather significant, understanding what we have done in the past;
especially, I'm interested in post-1859, the period of Darwin's book. To
understand where we are at the present, we need to understand the shift in
paradigms, the shift in the competitive discussion; I find this most
fascinating. I think it's rather helpful for man and geography to understand
really what geography is all about.

DOW: Did you come to this country to study American geographers, or are you
studying them because you're here?

MARTIN: I didn't come for that purpose per se but I carried with me an interest
in it.

DOW: Is there an interest in American geography in the U.K. today?

MARTIN: Well, I think, that an interest is being developed in the whole genre of
geographic thought. After all the American wilderness-conquest element, if you
like, of American geography is noted. Now let me develop this just a little bit.
We have the AAG Committee on History and Archives, which in the last seven or
eight years has done remarkable things. Your very series of Geographers on Film
is important. It represents an archival medium, a different medium, a visual
medium. Carl Sauer has now passed and that was, I believe, your first film -
interviewed by James. It's a marvelous thing for people to understand something
about the personality of Sauer; you read his "Morphology of Landscape," now you
can put this film together with him. Secondly, we have the IGU Commission on
Geographic Thought. Preston James' book All Possible Worlds has enabled people
at state colleges (and elsewhere) who don't want to adopt readings to create a
course to develop this historical perspective.

DOW: Do you think that's important for the modern student?

MARTIN: I think it is, yes. If we're not careful we will go out into the field
and we might possibly start to count rows of beans in a field. In other words
microscopic is important, but the larger view is important too. I think the
larger view can be sustained, nurtured, nourished, encouraged by a historical
perspective; by a look at the last, well, however many years you want to slice
off. If you want to go back to Hartshorne's The Nature of Geography, that's fine
and admirable; it's evergreen, it's as good today as it was then. I choose to go
back a little earlier. I suppose I'm prejudiced, but I like to think it has
utilitarian value, apart from the fact that a little reminiscence and a little
recollection had intrinsic value. Not to go hagiographically and worship these
people, but to look at them as they were and give them their credit and due;
they were the people who made the field what it was and is.

DOW: Do you think that courses on thought are going to increase or decrease with

MARTIN: Over the last ten years one can demonstrate and document an increase; at
least, in this country. I attribute that in no small part to James' All Possible

DOW: Yes, and your work too, Geof.


DOW: We appreciate this opportunity.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                          RONALD J. JOHNSTON: (1941-     )
                             University of Sheffield

                                 Interviewed by
                               Maynard Weston Dow
                             Plymouth State College

University of Sheffield           May 17, l982               Sheffield, England

DOW: Professor Ron Johnston of the University of Sheffield, how did you develop
an interest in urban, political, and quantitative geography?

JOHNSTON: Basically by having to be one, in the first place, with urban
geography. I had no training in it at all as an undergraduate, there were no
courses at Manchester and I did my M.A. thesis on a rural topic. It was when I
was appointed to Monosh University in Australia they wanted me to teach urban
geography and also to do research in urban geography on Melbourne where none had
been done at all. So in effect I became an urban geographer by learning to teach
it and to do research.

DOW: You are self-taught.

JOHNSTON: I am self-taught. And quantification I did at exactly the same time.
When I was a research student in Britain in 1962-1963 it was in the air. It was
just beginning really then and, again, it was self-teaching, self-awareness that
this was a good way to do research.

DOW: As you began your research interest what were you concentrating on?

JOHNSTON: In urban geography it was social areas in the city in Melbourne.

DOW: Who among your mentors and colleagues have had an impact upon in your

JOHNSTON: At the start at Manchester the person, two people, I suppose. Firstly,
was the Head of Department, Percy Crow, whose influence was much more a general
one, that intellectual activity is good and encouraging you to do whatever you
wanted. Then Walter Freeman, who encouraged me in writing and helped me a very
great deal in that sense. From then on it was merely those people I worked with
and, I think, particularly the people I worked with in New Zealand, where it was a
department of some fifteen people. I think it was much more integrated and there
was much more people helping each other out than I have experienced anywhere else.
It was just working with a group of people of about the same age; very disparate
interests, but we just jelled.

DOW: New Zealand?

JOHNSTON: I moved to New Zealand after three years in Australia and that's

really where it jelled.

DOW: You know we often discover some of our more interesting studies by chance.
You have put your name on a book in the last two or three years, Geography and
Geographers, 1979. How did that come about?

JOHNSTON: It started when I moved here to Sheffield in 1974. When I was
appointed Stan Gregory wrote to me and said we'll let you in easily and you need
only teach one course. By the time I arrived nine months later I was down to
teach four courses, one of which was part of what is our compulsory final
undergraduate course on the history of geography. I developed an interest in
teaching this (basically since 1945) and after a few years it jelled and the
book came.

DOW: Had you thought of that as an interest prior to this challenge?

JOHNSTON: No. No. It purely rose out of the challenge of teaching.

DOW: What kind of readings did you do in the beginning to get you prepared?

JOHNSTON: I suppose one of my assets is I've always been able to reasonably keep
up with the reading. It was a question of re-reading what seemed to me then
important. Dick Chorley's edited Directions in Geography (1973) had just come
out and there was still Chorley and Haggett's Integrated Models in Geography
(1967), of course, a fairly new book. Wayne Davies' book on The Conceptual
Revolution in Geography (1972) had just come out and Michael Chisholm's book
Human Geography: Evolution or Revolution (1975) was by then in the press; I saw
it in proofs. Those were the sorts of books.

DOW: When you're teaching did you go back to things like The Nature
of Geography (1939)?

JOHNSTON: Yes. I had to re-read that again, it was a bit of sweat.

DOW: A bit of a sweat. Now when you wrote your book, which I believe was
published in 1979?


DOW: How come you chose to focus on American and British geography?

JOHNSTON: Basically because I can only read English. That's a bit harsh, but
also, of course, because I wouldn't have done it if I didn't feel that it was a
relatively closed system, which could be treated adequately.

DOW: Its subtitle was Anglo-American Human Geography since 1945 as I recall?

JOHNSTON: That's right.

DOW: So you choose to ignore the physical aspects of geography?

JOHNSTON: I chose to, basically, as I say in the preface, because I've no real
competence in the physical. Obviously it was part of my undergraduate training,
only for two years, and since then I've done nothing in it at all. Although one
clearly is aware of what's going in a department like this one. But I chose to
ignore it and my belief is that it's a valid choice. But a part from the
relatively short period when there was a great shared interest in quantitative
methods, the two have increasingly drifted apart in recent decades.

DOW: Well that leads me to my next question. What do you think of pros and cons
are in the positivist aspects of geography?

JOHNSTON: Well, the pros are fairly obvious, rigor and replication, and for many
people the excitement to do that sort of work, which is very enjoyable for me.
Many aspects of it are enjoyable and stimulating. The problems are the problems
of something being assumed as having, I think, a greater validity over a wider
range of applications than then turns out to be the case and I think this is the
fundamental criticism. I think, what each one gets from Marx and other scholars
that whether one is making a claim or not, one can be seen to be making
generalizations, which are too grand rather than limited to the particular
subject area of study that one is concentrating on.

DOW: Did you go through this process yourself?

JOHNSTON: Very much so. Yes. When you asked me where I started quantification, I
suppose, the first decade of my career I was spending hours a week on computers
and later began to question it.

DOW: And you thought number crunching was where it was at, at that time?

JOHNSTON: Yes, I was totally absorbed with it all. I think that's the difference
and I still do plenty of number crunching. But I'm trying, at least, to set it
in a wider context.

DOW: In a wider context is the way you see it today. Would you just say what you
think is against it then?

JOHNSTON: I think most against it is the belief, which can be there, that
it is everything and not only basically a descriptive tool, a rigorous
descriptive tool. I think, also the problem that it can be used in ways that you
didn't want it to be used.

DOW: Do you have a example?

JOHNSTON: I have an example where I was involved in New Zealand. I did some
research on voting patterns at a local election. I made some comments, it's a
small town and you can obviously get public coverage quite easy. There was
something wrong with the electoral system and one could technically counter this
and the political party in charge did. They produced the biggest gerrymander I
have ever seen. That was an abuse of a method; once the method exists it can be
unfortunately abused.

DOW: What do you, think about the pains and joys of putting your ideas and
contributions into words?

JOHNSTON: It gets more and more painful; it was very painful at the start. I
found writing very difficult to start off, not sitting down and picking up the
paper, but doing it in a way anybody could understand what I was writing. That's
where Walter Freeman was a major help to me. I find now that the main pain is
starting. Once I start it comes out fairly easily and the joy is seeing my
secretary type it up and the fact that she can read my handwriting.

DOW: So it's an easier process now.

JOHNSTON: It's an easy process once I can get myself in the situation to start.

DOW: Do you have a particular schedule for your research writing? Like two hours
a day?

JOHNSTON: Not really. I'm rather disorganized in that sense. I often work at
home from say eight in the morning until ten thirty and do a lot of my writing
then. It's not particularly programmable.

DOW: Now with your interest in methodology can we expect another book?

JOHNSTON: I am expecting to finalize a manuscript this week.

DOW: You are. What is it?

JOHNSTON: There are two. One is called Philosophy and Human Geography: An
Introduction to Contemporary Approaches. The other is a revised edition of
Geography and Geographers, which is not a major revision, but there is quite a
lot of change in there.

DOW: How do you assess the contemporary difficulties in our discipline?

JOHNSTON: I think the problems are very much of scale, very different from the
problems of scale that they were fifteen or twenty years ago, but the scale of
one philosophy which is very much a macro philosophy of searching for general
processes going on in the society. Others are empirical philosophies seeking to
account for particular events, particular happenings. I believe that somehow
they are going to be fused together and that's where I'm working now. I am
rather content with the way it's going for me.

DOW: For you?


DOW: Would you, you probably don't want to put your hat on the line, but what
about the rest of the people in this country?

JOHNSTON: I think in this country quantification is having a reawakening and
there is an awful lot going on under quite a lot of debate. I think in this
country less so than perhaps in yours. We are not being so clearly forced into
applied geography and the impact of the discipline in public policy although it
is there. It's not, I think, quite as strong.

DOW:   Well, thank you very much for taking time this afternoon.

                 Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 7pp.

                                 Maynard Weston Dow
                                Geographers on Film
                            Plymouth State University,
                              Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                 Geographer on Film:
                            HAROLD A. WINTERS (1930-    )
                                 Michigan State University

                                 Interviewed by
                            Maynard Weston DOW
                          Plymouth State College

Marriott Hotel                April 22, 1987         Portland, Oregon

DOW: Professor Duke Winters of Michigan State University, what are your
origins as a geographer? What is your background?

WINTERS: I was raised in the till plains of Illinois. I've always had a
curiosity about the landscape, even as a kid. After the service I finally got
to school, a little late; I was about twenty, twenty-one when I started. I
went to Northern Illinois University and completed an undergraduate degree in
geography. Actually, it was an earth science degree so it had a lot of
geology in it as well. I really enjoyed both fields. Ed Thomas preceded me
through the program by a year or two; he had gone on to Northwestern. I
admired Ed, his talents and his good advice and I followed him to
Northwestern in 1955.

DOW: This is the same Ed Thomas that we think of as a quantifier?

WINTERS: Yes. I think Ed Thomas was one of the very first of the
quantifiers in the modern sense of the word.

DOW: Who were some of your fellow graduate students when you arrived?

WINTERS: It was a very interesting group of people. Harm de Blij, Ed Thomas,
of course. Frank Thomas, Ray Northam, who's at Oregon State, and Robert H. T.
Smith, who is now a president out at Perth. Peter Gould was there, so it was
a very interesting group of graduate students.

DOW: Who were your mentors?

WINTERS: The man I worked with was Bill Powers (W. E. Powers), who was just a
splendid geomorphologist. He worked mainly alone in his career. He was a
southern-raised boy, who went on to Harvard and proved himself intellectually
with an economics degree. He eventually ended up in the Geology Department at
Northwestern. When G. Donald Hudson formed that Geography Department he
brought Powers over with him.

DOW: How would you describe Northwestern in those days?

WINTERS: Oh! It was a magnificent place. I'll never be able to thank that
university enough for the support it gave me as an assistant. The faculty it
had assembled there was superb. Clarence Jones, Malcolm Proudfoot, Ed
Espenshade, Clyde Kohn, and of course, Powers, as well. It was just a
splendid place.

DOW: Did you have contact with all of them in a formal way?

WINTERS: Certainly. The graduate students were all in one big office on the
top floor of University Hall. To get there you had to go by, around, or near
faculty offices; you were very much under their view.

DOW: How would you respond to the idea that suggests: "I learned more from my
fellow graduate students than I did from the faculty." Have you heard that
one before?

WINTERS: (Laughter) Yes. I guess I don't know if I learned how to keep out of
trouble, but my fellow graduate students got me straightened out a number of

DOW: We think of you as a physical geographer at Michigan State.   How did you
happen to go there?

WINTERS: It was a roundabout trail, but I've been there now for twenty years;
I've arrived at a place that I'm comfortable with. After graduating from
Northwestern in 1960 I was at Northern Illinois University for several years.
I very much enjoyed that place. I had done my undergraduate degree there and
that's not always the most comfortable thing, but they treated me with
tolerance and patience. I was there for a time, then I came to Portland State
University, and spent a short time here.

Then the opportunity came along to go to Michigan State and that was just
absolutely ideal for me. My interests are in geomorphology. I'm interested in
continental glaciation and especially depositional landforms associated with
continental glaciation. There's no place better in the world than the state
of Michigan. Look at any glacial map of Europe or North America and you'll
see that there's no place that's more centrally located for the study of
continental glaciers.

DOW: Were you the only physical geographer brought in at that time, or were
there others?

WINTERS: Yes, I was. Dieter Brunnschweiler was there before me.
He was doing some periglacial geomorphology and some climatology. There was a
move then to strengthen the physical program at
Michigan State University. It's a very innovative university and
a very innovative department. So I was able to join him and then
shortly later, we added a climatologist. That was the basic nucleus for a
growing physical program.

DOW: How many physical geographers do you have now?

WINTERS: We are down to two or three, it depends on how you count them, but
that's temporary in that we will be adding, if all goes well, at least two
physical geographers.

DOW: As a department at Michigan State does you has a specialty within
physical geography? What do you emphasize?

WINTERS: That's a good point. Jay Harmon, my climatology colleague, and I have
given this a great deal of thought and had discussions with other associates as
to how to direct the department. How to philosophically put it together? Jay
and I both have a spatial approach to our subject. He's interested in spatial
aspects of synoptic climatology. I'm interested in spatial aspects of
geomorphology. We have developed a theme of study of the Great Lakes area. Our
meeting ground is that landscape and he approaches it from a climatological
side, I approach it from a geomorphological side. It works nicely if you can
get people who want to contribute along those lines. Michigan State is a land
grant university and so it has a theme of service to the state. That theme fits
nicely within the university structure, although, of course, we're basically
interested in research, not extension work.

DOW: What do you emphasize within your research?

WINTERS: I'm interested in obtaining a clearer understanding of the
assemblage of glacial landforms, i. e. how they actually fit together: two
ways: spatially and then in terms of their historical development. Let me put
it this way. A lot of people look at glacial landforms in terms of individual
features: a kame here, an esker there. People sometimes travel to kames and
eskers; they will travel miles and miles to look at this and that feature. My
question: What is everything else in between and how does it all fit together
spatially? So the spatial assemblage of glacial landforms is a fascinating

I'm also interested in an alternative notion to de-glaciation, rather than
the classic model that most students are familiar with. I am interested in
the stagnation processes and how they affect landscapes. Those landscapes are
quite different than the classical end moraines, recessional moraines, and so
forth. I'm also interested in interlobate areas, which are the most complex
of all glacial landscapes in the Midwest. Those are not studied well and need
a lot of work. So I'm interested in those spatial approaches and at the same
time the relationship of the present day landscape to the paleolandscapes.
We've had numerous glaciations and with each de-glaciation there was a
landscape. A lot of the present day landscape in areas of continental
glaciation are palimpsest, i.e. they reflect a previous landscape, which in
turn reflects a previous landscape, which in turn reflects the bedrock

DOW: Sounds somewhat like a physical "sequent occupance," following the
notion of human occupance of area, like other biotic phenomena, carries with
it, its own seeds of transformation, or something like that.

WINTERS: In a way, yes. (Mild laughter). You have glacial occupiers glaciated
by another glacier.

DOW: Let's see if I can follow your idea. You would like to look at kames and
then two or three miles out, observe an esker. Are you interested in the
connection between these?

WINTERS: Oh no. I say what we should do, rather than go out and look at
individual features within the landscape, is to see how all of those fit
together. How are they related to one another and more importantly ask
questions about the terrain in between those areas. A fuller understanding
rather than point data; I'm interested in the whole pattern. I think there
should be more done in that area.

DOW: Are you alone in this as a physical geographer?

WINTERS: A lot of geomorphologists, my younger colleagues, are interested to
a great degree in process form; the relationship of the form of things to
processes. I'm more spatially oriented, than a lot of geomorphologists. The
reason for that is I try to put things together within a spatial context.
Regional geomorphology, for example, is the most exciting field there is and
if it's taught well, I think it can be a tremendously effective course.

DOW: Is there a tendency, perhaps, for the younger physical geographers to be
more of a geologist than a geographer?

WINTERS: I am worried about that a little. They are really talented with
their training and all the tools they have, but I worry that the geographic
dimension may suffer a bit in favor of a highly technical geo-physical
dimension. There is nothing wrong with a geo-physical dimension, but if in

the process of doing that you lose the geography, I'm disappointed. I think
geography is intrinsically interesting.

DOW: Within the last two or three years I understand you had quite an
experience at West Point. Tell us about that.

WINTERS: In 1982-83 my wife and I were there. I was invited to join the
faculty as a Visiting Scholar. It was an interesting, attractive idea. I've
always found that any visiting professorship has been very productive. I
would encourage anybody who has that opportunity to take it, to go to other
places. I'm adventurous in that light and so is my wife. We decided to go,
but I never dreamed it would be as rich and as fulfilling as it was.

I was working basically with a number of captains and majors, younger
officers, who were teaching their physical course. It is called Terrain
Analysis there but you would know it as physical geography. The idea was to
meet with them once a week and discuss the upcoming lectures, techniques and
strategies. It was just absolutely delightful. You have the most highly
motivated, talented, dedicated, young colleagues you could imagine. All they
needed was more finesse, a little encouragement, or a little help with
lecture organization. I worked with those officers for the first term. Then
the second term, the second semester, I was able to teach a Visiting
Professor's course; I taught a couple of courses in geomorphology for the
Cadets. It was great.

DOW: Have other geographers been invited to participate in this program?

WINTERS: Yes. I think the first was John Florin at North Carolina. I followed
him in '82-83. Clifton Pannell has been a visitor there; I know he had a
great experience. Mel Marcus was a visitor for eighteen months; he had year
and a half experience. I know of those three. I know Mel especially well and
I know the other two; no question about it, they all had as rich an
experience as I did.

DOW: Speaking of Mel Marcus, you were together with similar interests in the
state of Michigan for a long period of time. I believe he is an alpine
glaciologist, rather than continental. Did you have a chance to discuss
mutual interests?

WINTERS: Yes. I wished Mel had never left the state of Michigan. I've often
wondered what would have happened if Carl Sauer had stayed at the University
of Michigan in 1921 and if Mel Marcus had stayed at the University of
Michigan rather than moving on to Arizona State. Knowing Mel there would be a
geography department at Ann Arbor right now; I would have much preferred to
see that.

Mel and I went to Michigan the same year. He was at Rutgers, I was at
Portland State. In 1965 we both arrived in Michigan at the same time.
Shortly, because Mel, as you know, was gregarious as well as a talented guy,
I was able to make his acquaintance and we set up a joint seminar. He
wouldn't meet in East Lansing and sure as heck I wasn't going to meet in Ann
Arbor; so we met in Jackson, which was a town halfway between. I thought it
was very innovative, a creative thing. Here we had graduate students and
advanced undergraduates from two fine universities meeting on neutral ground.
I must say there was some healthy competition to demonstrate that both
programs had talent and promise. It was exciting.

DOW: Mel was coming to Rutgers as an instructor just as I was finishing my
Master's degree.

WINTERS: Small world.

DOW: Yes, isn't it. Now let's get back to Michigan State. Do you have any
appreciation for the department as an historical entity? When did it begin?
WINTERS: I'm not an expert on its origins, because I didn't arrive until
1965. Of course, geography was originally associated with geology and around
the middle 50s it was separated into two departments. Larry Sommers, who was
a geographer, had been there probably five, six or seven years. He was named
chairperson and that began its development as a geography department as such;
a relatively small department then: Clarence Vinge was there, Paul Morrison,
a couple of other people. It was going along nicely then, the big growth in
universities was taking place during the late 50s. The growth accelerated and
during the 60s it just took right off. The department rapidly grew in numbers
and in talent: Allan Philbrick, Julian Wolpert came through, Baruch Boxer,
Harm de Blij, Roger Kasperson, Jim Wheeler, and Gerry Rushton. A whole
slew of incredibly talented people came through and stayed for some time.

DOW: They moved on and you stayed.

WINTERS: They moved on and I stayed; I was sorry to see everyone of those
people leave, but I certainly wasn't sorry I stayed. It's been a tremendous
university for me. I have an undying appreciation.

DOW: How many do you have on staff there?

WINTERS: It depends on how you count them. Some are here, there or elsewhere.
We have around sixteen or seventeen people that would be identified now as
strictly geographers. But within the last year, two programs were moved
within the jurisdiction of the Geography Department. You have a department on
one hand and you have the programs on the other. They are going to be
administered by the Geography Department. A Landscape Architecture program
from one side, and an Urban Planning program from the other side. We are
adding positions in both of those programs. We are looking for people who can
contribute both to the programs and to the Department. We will increase the
richness, the breadth of the department that way.

At the same time we are increasing the size of the physical program by a
couple of faculty. We have a well-established cartography program; I think
one of the best in the country. We also have a regional development program
that is excellent. So we've got quite a bit of breadth. We don't try to cover
everything. We use a philosophy that's wrapped around clusters. We try to
develop a cluster here - physical geography, a cluster there - cartography, a
cluster in regional development. I think you have to do that to have enough
depth and strength to offer a fine graduate program.

DOW: How many graduate students do you have in residence?

WINTERS: There must about thirty or something like that. Now there was a time
in the late 60s and the early 70s that we had as many as sixty or seventy
graduate students. Of course a lot of the graduate departments were quite
large. I think we were a little bit too large, then. Maybe we shouldn't have
ballooned up quite so fast. Paul English and I used to sit and talk about
that a lot - about the size of the graduate program. Paul was there for a few
years, too.

DOW: Based upon what you've just sketched for us, how do you see the
Department, let's say in 1995?

WINTERS: You can never predict the future. I do it based on optimism, which I
think is justified by the fact that Michigan State University is innovative.
That's been a strong point of the University as well as the Department. So I
think in terms of optimism and flexibility. The 1990s could be absolutely
superb in East Lansing. The Department has matured a lot, we have some
terrific talent at all levels; people like John Hunter, who is superb, he's a
premier scientist, as natural a geographer as anyone in the world. We have
people like that and people in the middle lanes that are moving along very
nicely. We have a good faculty now and have opportunities for growth in terms
of new faculty and these cooperative programs. We may even end up with some
new facilities. I shouldn't say anything about that now because it's not
finalized, but there's a very good chance of that as well. For a young person
Michigan State could be tremendously exciting in the 90s.

DOW: As you reflect about your career in geography, what would you number
among your more significant contributions?

WINTERS: First you should know that I'm dedicated to geography. As I said
before, it is intrinsically interesting. It's a powerful point of view; you
get that message across two ways: through teaching and research. As far as
teaching is concerned I consider that simply as the transfer of knowledge.
Not very much of that is original, but it's very important; I believe that
teaching is important, I like to teach. If you ask me what is significant I
would say: If I made a difference in some students lives, if they think back
on me as from among one, two, or three of their very best professors, if I
was remembered like that by some of my former students, I would feel good
about it.

But that's just half, the other half is research. I think, my most
significant contribution there is a clearer understanding of
the assemblage of landforms, glacial landforms in the Midwest, in
general, and Michigan, in particular.

DOW: Do you have a special view of geography, or of what geographers ought to
be doing?

WINTERS: Yes, I have a hope that geographers will never lose and continue to
develop a synthesis in their work. To put things together in a geographic sense
and to champion that point of view, because that is our strength, the beauty of
our field. As far as I am concerned that's where the excitement really comes

DOW: And we might be losing that if we don't constantly remind ourselves?

WINTERS: I think we should remind ourselves regularly. I don't want to get over
reflective here, but I have the impression that some geographers got into the
field because of a good basic course in geography. In the process of their
graduate training and their specialization in research they have lost sight of
the very thing that was most appealing to them in the beginning. You can do
research, become very specialized and make great contributions and should; you
have a responsibility to do that. But I don't think you should ever lose view
of that basic appeal that geography has. It's just as rich as the great
literature; it's just as fine as excellent science.

DOW: On that idea we will bring to a close these proceedings. I want to thank
you very much for sharing a bit of your valuable time with us today.

WINTERS: It's a great pleasure to visit with you. I've enjoyed it

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 4pp.

                              Maynard Weston Dow
                             Geographers on Film

                                        Plymouth State University,
                                          Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                            Geographer on Film:
                                       EDWARD J. MILES10 (1926-1992)
                                           University of Vermont

                                                 Interviewed by
                                               Maynard Weston Dow
                                             Plymouth State College

Radisson Hotel                                   November 5, 1983                         Burlington, Vermont

DOW: Ted Miles, of the University of Vermont, would you share with us a
little bit about your background, particularly your undergraduate and
graduate days?

MILES: My undergraduate education was done in Canada at the University of
Western Ontario. I am a Canadian by birth and my undergraduate degree was in
history with a minor in geography. In 1948 I came to Syracuse, finished a
Master's there in 1950 then left, for five years teaching including a three
year stint overseas. I came back to Syracuse in '55 and finished my Ph.D. in
'58. During those years my great influences were Preston James, Robert
Dickinson and Clyde Patton.

DOW: Did you specialize, at all, in Latin American studies under Preston

MILES: No, I was not a Latin Americanist. I was far more interested in the
development of geographic thought and Jimmy was beginning to work on All
Possible Worlds at that time. He was interested in that area.

DOW: You were responsible for the establishment of geography at the
University of Vermont. How was that done?

MILES: I had gone to Indiana after Syracuse and Vermont wrote Syracuse in
1961 saying they were looking for somebody who could do something with the
course in Geography for Teachers and a course in political geography.
Syracuse had given them my name. I began to deal with them in 1961 and
actually ended up coming in 1962. Prior to that they had had at one time
either Rowland lllick, and then later on, Vince Malmstrom from Middlebury,
who had come up every other semester and done one course for the education
majors. Interestingly enough the Dean at that time was a classicist and a
Rhodes Scholar, for whom geography was very respectable; there was no problem
selling him. So I agreed to come on the basis of a handshake and they said
essentially: "We'll give you five years (if you'll agree to stay at least
three) to see what you can do about developing geography." I came, took over
the course that was required by the Education College and the course in
political geography that was being offered in the Political Science
Department, and added an Introductory Geography (a world regional) and an
introductory human course. That was in 1962. The University was expanding
rather rapidly at that time. I enjoyed the classroom. With the university
growth geography enrollments expanded very rapidly. By 1964 the enrollment

  First published in Harmon, John E. & Rickard, Timothy J. 1988. Interviews with New England Geographers, Geography in
New England, A Special Publication of the New England/St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society: 110-113.

had gotten to the point where I couldn't handle it all and they agreed to let
me bring in another person. Hal Meeks came in 1964, Barnum in 1965, and Gade
in 1966; in 1966 they created a department. It was a struggle at Vermont,
because we had opposition from two areas. For every course that we put
through the curriculum committee we were opposed by the History Department on
one side and the Geology Department on the other. History was very much a
Harvard department which felt that geography was discredited; Geology was
afraid of the competition in the physical. The great support came from
Economics and Political Science. I had chosen Political Science as my home
for "bread and rations," so to speak, (rather than Geology the alternative)
and had strong support from poli-sci, which was led by people from Michigan
and Wisconsin who knew what geography was. So in 1966 the Department was
created. By '69 we beqan to offer a modest Master's program and when I
stepped out as Chairman in 1973 after eleven years we had an eight person
department: The University had grown from 3200 to 7700. We had been able to
maintain our good teaching in the classroom with popular instructors, to put
in a major and blunt the criticism from History and Geology. We moved faster,
perhaps, than anyone anticipated. We were very fortunate.

DOW: In the early days, did you teach a course in political geography?

MILES: One of the very first courses I taught was in political geography and
I still teach it.

DOW: This helped bridge the gap, perhaps, with the political science people.

MILES: Yes. That was very important.

DOW: A rather unusual thing, isn't it, to have political science and
geography get along?

MILES: We still have a double-listed political geography course with
Political Science. Ironically our historical geography courses are double-
listed with the History Department.

DOW: You've been very successful here at Vermont. Is this part of the trend
that we are seeing here in New England?

MILES: When I came to Vermont in '62, I remember three or four other people
at state universities as opposed to state colleges. Bill Wallace was at New
Hampshire, I think, alone. Lou Alexander was at Rhode Island, Terry Burke had
been at U. Mass. for, I think, a year, George Rumney was at Connecticut and
that was about it. The load had been carried by the former state teachers
colleges which had become liberal arts colleges, with very little in the
universities. All of these departments began to expand, but for some reason,
maybe because of the phenomenal growth at Vermont, we were able to expand
faster. I have seen all of the departments at the state universities in New
England become departments except at Maine and it wasn't until Vic Konrad
came to Maine that there was any geography there.

DOW: So we are relatively healthy in New England.

MILES: We are relatively healthy. When I went to the first NESTVAL meetings
at Rhode Island in '62, it was a very small group. I started into the NESTVAL
organization in the usual route of State Representative, then Secretary-
Treasurer, Vice- President, and President. I can remember meetings in New
Britain, Connecticut, when I was President, where we were delighted if we

could scare up twenty papers and have sixty people in attendance. I think the
growth has been phenomenal since then. It's due to the efforts of a lot of
people in New England.

DOW: You've been very active in the development of Canadian Studies, locally
and nationally. Could you comment about that?

MILES: One of my major foci in geography has been regional geography. When I
came to Vermont I wanted a course that I could teach without a lot of
preparation, because I was building the department. I offered a course on
Canada that became very successful. There was a new man in history who was
also interested in Canada, an ex-Canadian, and we conceived the notion of a
Canadian Studies Program in 1963 and started the program that has take off
and is now one of the two centers in the United States funded by the
Department of Education. We have a very strong program. In 1968 a small group
of five people established the Association for Canadian Studies in the U. S.
That has grown into a large viable organization. I've been involved from the
very beginning as one of the founders, the person who actually suggested the
establishment of the organization and have been privileged to serve as
President. I see it as a logical extension of my interest in regional
geography in terms of looking at our closest neighbor. It makes a great deal
of sense and our location is what has really produced the strength of
Canadian Studies at Vermont.
DOW: How do you see regional geography fitting in these days?

MILES: I see the beginnings of a resurgence of regional geography. I have
been very disturbed by the tradition in the AAG to write off regional
geography. If people look at those departments that have not been threatened,
they will find that they are the ones that have kept their regional courses
as service courses for enrollments, while still going the systematic route
with their own majors. I see that as an insurance policy. I think that if we
were willing to offer more regional curses we would have larger enrollments.
We ought not to abandon that tradition.

DOW: Yes. How many regionals do you have at DVM?

MILES: We offer the full gamut of Latin America, Africa, East Asia, Europe,
Canada and the United States as separate courses. We offer at least three, if
not four, regionalcourses every semester.

DOW: And you have good enrollments?

MILES: We have good enrollments in those; not only geography students but
many from history, poli-sci, anthropology and education majors; we draw
twenty to thirty every semester in each of the regional courses.

DOW: How do see your most important contribution to the discipline?

MILES: I would say the establishment of the department here at Vermont now
with eight people (seven of them tenured) and a Master's program. As an

extrapolation of that my contribution in the Canadian Studies realm has
maintained the tradition of regional geography.

DOW: As you look back did you foresee in 1962 anything like the success
you've experienced at Vermont?

MILES: I did not anticipate (in '62) the success we've had. I thought we
might have a three or four person independent department in ten years.

DOW: Your contribution is most appreciated. You've been recognized by the
Canadian Studies group and also NESTVAL.

MILES: I have and I am very appreciative.

DOW: We are very proud of it. Thank you very much for taking time today to
join us.

MILES: You are quite welcome.

                    Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 1-3

                               Maynard Weston Dow
                              Geographers on Film
                          Plymouth State University,
                            Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                 Geographer on Film:
                           RICHARD HARTSHORNE (1899-1992)
                              University of Wisconsin

                                   Interviewed by
                                 Geoffrey J. Martin
                         Southern Connecticut State College

University of Nebraska           April 27, 1979               Lincoln,

MARTIN: Dick, would you like to tell us something about the sources of
inspiration for your writing The Nature of Geography?

HARTSHORNE: Yes, I described that recently in the 75th anniversary number of
the Annals, but I could, perhaps, sum it up by saying that for a number of
years when we met at annual meetings or in the spring field sessions
questions would come up about geography: what it is, how it should be
defined, and so on. I first found these very interesting, exciting
discussions. Then points (I felt good points) were made by me or by somebody
else, but the next time we met the same questions came up; the same answers.
People didn't seem to remember what had been said before and I got the

"Well here we go again, we are just going around and around
the same old mill."

I had done a little reading in journal literature, because I was interested
in political geography, developing it and the teaching of it. The material
was largely in German; the Germans had done more in that than anybody else.
I found German geographers (when discussing this topic) evidently sat down,
wrote it out and got it published. Those who discussed after them referred to
their publications (their writings) either agreeing or disagreeing. They
developed some body of common knowledge and gradual understanding. There was
far more agreement (it seemed to me) among the German geographers on basic
issues; so they went on discussing other issues. So I felt (I had in the back
of my mind) that that ought to be done and sometime maybe I would do it.
But, I was postponing it because I was planning some work in political
geography. Then a couple of accidental events at one meeting sort of forced
my hand. The editor of the Annals said: "Won't you give us something on
this?" I had criticized the lack of such material. He said:

"Won't you give us a brief bibliographical article?"
I said:

"Yes, I would be glad to do that".

It started and before very long I found that I was really doing a major job
of searching out, finding and presenting the discussions that had gone on in

America and other countries; particularly on these questions. It started out
as a short article but as somebody said I evidently was pregnant with this
subject and I just couldn't be finished with it until it arrived. It arrived
as a very large book thanks, of course, very largely to the encouragement of
the editor, Derwent Whittlesey, who kept writing to me - I was by this time
in Europe working on it - and he kept writing urging me to go further and
sending suggestions, questions and so on. So that's how it ultimately
developed in spite of myself.

MARTIN: How much of this was written in Europe and how much in the States?

HARTSHORNE: I remember when I left to go to Europe I sent Whittlesey what I
thought was a nearly finished manuscript of about 200 typewritten pages. In
Europe I reworked that and it ended up 600 typewritten pages. Reworked and
new chapters added. In other words, at least, two thirds was added and nearly
the whole of it rewritten in Europe.

MARTIN: Almost a twin to it was the Perspective on the Nature of Geography.
You once mentioned to me, I believe, that one of the sources of inspiration
for this "Perspective" was the issue of the generic ideas vs. individual
cases. I wonder if you would care to elaborate on that?

HARTSHORNE: That was a big problem for a number of geographers. This came
to my attention as a result of the appearance of what can be called the
Schaefer article, which appeared to be an attack on what I had written in
The Nature of Geography in terms of the historical presentation of what
previous writers had said. That's a large part of the Schaefer article,
after which I wrote a piece showing the fallacies in his historical base.
What remained was the assertion of Schaefer that geography should be like
any other science, that it should seek for laws and that was the essence of
science. The study of individual cases was not science and didn't belong in
science. I found that quite a number of geographers were strongly
supportive, shared that view and had that idea, evidently, even before
Schaefer announced it so vigorously. Schaefer endeavored to explain to them
what I had discussed in The Nature of Geography. Schaefer had interpreted
what I wrote in The Nature of Geography as saying there were no laws of the
individual region. This is a common reaction of people: if there is an
issue, they demand an "either or" answer even though I was arguing the
situation as one in which the answer is both. In fact, this is common in
many other fields. This wasn't new to me. William Morris Davis, in effect,
had said the same thing in a much shorter number of words, but it needed to
be clarified. I attempted to do that in this book we call Perspective on The
Nature of Geography. There were ten questions that had arisen out of
discussions in The Nature of Geography which I attempted to answer in
"Perspective". That was the most important one and still remains, because
this is really a critical issue in the whole field of science.

MARTIN: These two books without question are an evergreen contribution. May I
ask, if you were to be invited to write a postscript to either "The Nature",
the "Perspective" or both do you have thoughts that would constitute a
postscript? Or have you said most of what you wanted to say in those two

HARTSHORNE: I think that what I would want to do would be to look through the
sorts of things that a new generation of geographers (who like to talk about
the new revolutionary geography) have done. To see what extent my feeling is
correct. If all of those can fit into the statements made by others before me
about The Nature of Geography and in the Perspective. Without requiring
revision, but rather addition, because for much of it they are concerned with
the developing of generic principles (laws) as far as possible and so on. I
had always said that that was an essential part of geography, but not the
whole of it. So I might (I'm sure I won't) like to try to do that, to include
it but somebody else can do it.

MARTIN: Thank you very much, Dick, thank you.

              Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 13pp.

                                  Maynard Weston Dow
                                 Geographers on Film
                             Plymouth State University,
                               Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                 Geographer on Film:
                           RICHARD HARTSHORNE (1899-1992)
                      re Hartshorne's Methodological Writings
                               University of Wisconsin

                                    Interviewed by
                                  Maynard Weston Dow
                                Plymouth State College

Hyatt Regency Hotel               May 5, 1986A            Minneapolis, Minnesota

DOW: Dick in 1972 you were first interviewed for this series at Kansas City;
Jimmy James was the interviewer. In April of 1979 Geof Martin, Jimmy, you,
and I were at the University of Nebraska, where we interviewed you and Jimmy.
Then, perhaps you recall, we made a thirty minute videotape of you and Jimmy
talking about 105 years of joint association in the AAG. It's really
terrific as the two of you carried on about your 105 years of joint activity.

HARTSHORNE: A 105 years?

DOW: That's what it was in those days. I know that you've been interviewed,
as well, at other institutions, but this afternoon we're picking up again. I
thought (if you would agree) we could concentrate our questions on your
methodological writings. For instance, what training did you have that
prepared you for the study of the history and philosophy of geography?

HARTSHORNE: The answer to that is very simple, I'm afraid. I would say none;
almost none. I had a seminar with Barrows at Chicago in which we discussed
what geography was about. But that, in fact, really was an exposition of a
paper he had just given as his Presidential Address, "Geography as Human
Ecology," and then applying that to different parts of geography. But I
certainly didn't learn how to study methodology, because I later realized
that Barrows hadn't studied it. He was just speaking of what he had come to

DOW:   What was in his heart.


DOW: You are noted for your work in methodology.     What drew you into such an

HARTSHORNE: I described it a bit in that article in the Annals.

DOW:   The March „79 Annals?

HARTSHORNE: The '79 Annals - in the 75th Anniversary issue.
Partly, because of questions that were raised in meetings when I gave a
paper. I think, more fundamentally, I shifted my main center of work. I had
been working in economic geography, including some studies of principles of
location of manufacturing industries. I was pleased to discover not so long

ago that Ed Taaffe and Bob Smith produced a book of readings in that area and
had one of my articles in (as, I think, one of the first) simply indicating a
start of the thinking in American geography on that subject.

DOW: Some may not realize that you were a math major, weren't you, at

HARTSHORNE: Yes. I was a math major at Princeton. I did use mathematics
figuring the material factors (costs) involved in manufacturing (in and out),
but it was not very complicated mathematics.

Then I was giving a course in political geography, because the department
decided it would be a good thing to have. I was interested in the subject and
so I started to give a course. The summer before I gave the course I felt I'd
better find out what I thought the subject was. I found the books were
chiefly in German, so I was reading them with that in mind. I found their
view on geography in general, of course, was involved and that corresponded
with what Sauer had been telling us in some respects, in other respects it
did not. But in any case Sauer's "Morphology of Landscape", and other
writings at the time allowed very little, or no place for political
geography. Particularly, the idea he had at the time of geographers were
concerned with what you could see, smell, or taste, I guess, physically
acceptable, and that didn't leave much for political geography. So that
started me thinking and got me into some lively arguments with Glenn
Trewartha at meetings; we weren't in the same
department then.

DOW: You were at Minnesota.

HARTSHORNE: I was at Minnesota and he was at Wisconsin. Anyway, what struck
me was that the argument was repeated and you got around to saying the same
statements on each side and weren't getting anywhere, except having a good
exciting time. But this seemed to me rather a waste of time and when I found
this German material I decided then that sometime I have to write this down
so that they will have to read what's said; they can't just dismiss it,
because they heard it. I described in that other article how I started to
write a short article to prove my point and it just grew and grew and grew
and I couldn't stop until 450 pages emerged.

DOW: You've said this before, but just give us a little context; what role
did Whittlesey play in this?

HARTSHORNE: In the first place he asked me for a bibliography as I had made a
criticism of another paper, because it had no
bibliography. I said:

             "The man doesn't know the literature."

So Whittlesey said:

             "What is the literature of the methodology that students in
              geography should know? Would I give him a paper?"

I said:

             "A short paper?"

I thought I could do it in a short time and that's when it
started. I said:

              "Could I annotate a bibliography?"

He replied:

              "Yes, that's fine."

Then when I sent him part of what I had done he said fine and raised some
questions; that was then the process for nearly a year. By then I had moved
to Europe planning to study the political boundaries in Europe, but Hitler
stopped that plan. I was out and saw one boundary the day just before Munich.
Whittlesey kept sending me questions and when I told him, or wrote to him:

"This is getting much too big for an ordinary article in the
Annals. I don't know what you're going to do about it?"

He wrote back:

      "I've thought about it and you let me worry about that. You
       go on writing all that needs to be put in it."

So that's how that emerged.

DOW: What did you hope to accomplish in writing The Nature of Geography?

HARTSHORNE: The first thing was that I hoped to provide material that would
make further discussions new or interesting, rather than just repetitious. I
had the main thought, partly because so many German geographers had come to
accept what Hettner wrote about methodology. By no means all. Even before him
most of the German geographers followed an inaugural address of Richthofen's;
they accepted Richthofen's general ideas. There was more agreement there than
anything in this country. I thought maybe if I covered the ground similarly
it will provide a basis and we'll

have no more arguments. Of course it didn't work out that way. (Laughter).

DOW: You didn't know what was lying ahead? (More laughter.) Did you have in
mind to continue such studies?

HARTSHORNE: No. I thought I'm done with that, now I can get back to doing my
work in political geography.

DOW: So was is going to be a one-time deal.

HARTSHORNE: A one-time deal. I did not expect to follow Hettner, who carried
on methodological discussions in his magazine all his life.

DOW: What were you engaged in otherwise?

HARTSHORNE: I was starting on studies of particular countries working out a
satisfactory way of making a geographic analysis of the political geography
of a state. Then this was interrupted by the war and I spent four years in
Washington doing practically no research, because I got an administrative job
as head of a large geography division. Then beyond that as an Assistant
Branch Chief with some responsibility over the whole research work in the

DOW: What division did you head up?

HARTSHORNE: I had headed the Geography Division, but we separated geographers
and put them in different regional divisions. I was technically Assistant
Chief of Research in the Branch of Research and Analysis.

DOW: You had no particular regional responsibility?

HARTSHORNE: No. I covered the ground.

DOW: Jimmy James did, on the other hand?

HARTSHORNE: He was in charge of the Latin American Division in the beginning.
It became clear that there wasn't any great problem for us in Latin America,
but there was much more work needed in Europe. Ackerman had been working in
the European field until he left so James moved into that.

DOW: What about your work in political geography, particularly after the war?

HARTSHORNE: After the war. I did a number of different things. I was up for a
Presidential Address and that gave me an opportunity to present my idea of
how political geography could be made a functioning, effective field. So I
had that paper on the functional approach.

DOW: Functional approach? That was a Presidential Address? I had forgotten;
I'm very familiar with it as I use it.

HARTSHORNE: I found that quite a number of people did use it and applied it
to particular states; subsequently I found I had left some things out, of
course. As late as the '60s, I wrote two or three more articles about
political geography, some of which were published in chapters in a collection
of books. One was for the discussion just on political geography after the
1964 IGU in England at Sheffield. That was a great pleasure, because it was a
relatively small number of people; I guess most of us English and American.
For discussions all of us could sit in one large circle in a room. We had
papers and I had written up a paper on the morphology of the state. I did
need to consider the shape and the physical characteristics of area in
relation to its problems of organizing itself, and so on.

DOW: While we are talking about the post war period, I think, we ought to
mention that you were the shepherd of the amalgamation of the American
Society of Professional Geographers and the Association of American
Geographers. Didn't you assume the presidency at that point?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. That's the point when I might have been called shepherd. As
it happens I had nothing to do with the plans for the merging as a joint
organization. I think Chauncy Harris did have quite a bit to do. I've
forgotten the others now, but I was told (by somebody on the nominating
committee who knew) the reason I was picked to be president before a couple
colleagues. For example, those who were older than myself or persons one
might have thought would be named. It was the beginning of our generation,
let us say. Jimmy James was the most obvious one I would have expected them
to name president before me. He was a year older and he had done quite a
number of things. But for some reason or other they knew it was going to be a
problem to get the two groups merged happily together, and they thought that
maybe I would be able to do that.

DOW: And you did.

HARTSHORNE: It occurs to me (I hadn't thought of it before) that it may have
been because in Washington I did act somewhat that way - as mediator. The
geographers there were brought in to work on intelligence, geographic
intelligence, with three different organizations - the Army, the Navy, and
this new upstart organization, Donovan's O.S.S. We shortly discovered the
rivalries. One English person (in the same position reported from London)
said he came to Washington on the assumption that the enemy was across the
channel. He said:

             "Now I've learned better, he is across the street."

(Laughter). Actually we had the geographers in different groups fighting,
because the admiral up here and the general down there were fighting with
each other.

DOW: Things never change in that respect.

HARTSHORNE: I suppose. I did have a hand. It made so much trouble that they
finally appointed a committee to work out joint basis for country surveys.
There were three officers - Army, Navy and myself. They were colonels and I
was in mufti uniform. By the way I discovered that the first couple of
meetings I was invisible.

DOW: They wouldn't pay any attention to you?

HARTSHORNE: They weren't rude, but they just didn't see me. (Laughter). I had
no rank. They didn't know how to talk up or down when they were arguing with
each other. (More laughter).

DOW: They didn't know what slot you were in.

HARTSHORNE: I found I had to wait until they got tired and then I could come
in, because they would see they weren't getting any where in their argument.
They weren't academic people, you see. At this level they didn't use their
geographers. They sent over a regular Army colonel, the Navy man was a
Marine, so they were both colonels and I was at no rank.

DOW: Now Jimmy was wearing his uniform in those days; was he not?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. Jimmy was in uniform. It did call for a considerable amount
of tact and diplomacy.

DOW: That's why you were chosen.
HARTSHORNE: We did get that worked out, put through; the system was put to
work. For one thing I suggested...I thought there was going to be a fight.
The Army man was very dubious, but the Marine said:

        "That makes sense, because this would be signed by the top
         admirals and generals."

There was to be an editor to be appointed so we appointed one of our OSS men,
Kirk Stone. If any changes needed to be made in the outline (it was pretty
detailed) the editor would be qualified to make the changes. They said:

        "Won't they have to get the generals signatures?" (Laughter).

        "For heaven's sake, they have too much work getting those
         generals together."

Well, we have ended up talking too long about that. That may have been the
reason they chose me.

DOW: That's very interesting; I'm glad we of went off on a tangent for a

HARTSHORNE: And you know that at the first banquet as President-elect I spoke
on the subject (the man usually doesn't speak) and Jimmy put that little
speech in his history of the Association.

DOW: Yes. I am aware of that.

HARTSHORNE: I never expected it would be in print. Yes that is a detour. I
did want to tell about one more, if I may, because this is a lost study and,
I think, one of the more important things I wrote - on the boundaries of
Alsace-Lorraine as determined by the Germans in 1871. I gave this paper and

         "If anybody asks the question (from The Nature of Geography,
          say) whether this is a paper in geography, history or
          political science, I will decline to answer; I will say:
          As a geographer you either found it interesting, or you
          didn't. You decide that."

Obviously it was history and so on. I should have put in the paper that the
important thing was that this is a matter that had been studied before by
other people with different answers. The geologists were excited, because
they knew where the iron ore was and they said that's why the Germans put the
boundary where it was, because of the iron ore. Only they didn't get all the
field, because they didn't know that there was iron ore beyond. That was not
true, they did know. Historians looked at it and said that had nothing to do
with it, that the strategic situation was the important reason. What I did
that was different. I used the historian's technique of getting the record of
the discussions, both the open and the concealed record of what the German
officials were saying and arguing among themselves; the historians had that
information. Also, as a geographer, I looked at the maps. By very good
fortune they (?) had published successive maps of the tentative boundary that
the German government had let them have. I could see where they had changed
them (the French were disputing it, of course), where the comprises were
made, or not made. I was the only person, who had looked at it both from an
historian's point of view and the geographer's point of view. Anybody that
did that, I think, would come to the same answer. The iron ore was not the
most important factor. It was, particularly, in the final decisions, the
final changes, something of a factor. But no more then a military cemetery
that the King of Prussia was anxious to include, because German noblemen
(officers) were buried there and their families would want them buried in
German soil.

DOW: When were you working on that paper? Was that before or after the war?

HARTSHORNE: After the war. There was an example of thinking in terms of the
culture of the time. Bismarck and the King of Prussia were not thinking in
terms of iron ore and steel mills, but they would think in terms of officers'

DOW: Isn't it something! We can pick up on this. Let's go back to some of
your methodological writings. What caused you to take up the subject again?

HARTSHORNE: Oh Yes! That was completely an external cause, of course; the
appearance of what was called a penetrating review. It was actually, of
course, a thorough-going attack on the principle conclusions in The Nature of
Geography by then an essentially unknown professor of geography at the
University of Iowa, Kurt Schaefer. Quite a number of people were, I would
say, taken in by this; they were impressed, at least. They asked if I had any
answer and I said:

        "I didn't think it really should need any answer."

They said:

        "Oh you can't leave it like that, because he just dismisses
         your conclusions."

So I got advice, I might say, from quite a number of people on this. Some
people thought I should not say anything. I talked with Whittlesey, who had
been editor for years (he later was president of the Association) and Platt,
who, also, was later president of the Association.

DOW: Did you discuss it with Jimmy? Do you remember?

HARTSHORNE: I don't think so, I certainly would have if I had seen him; I
don't remember. Whittlesey at a meeting, where I was talking with him, found
J. Russell Smith handy and told him a bit about it and asked what he thought,
whether I should write something. Smith said:

             "Yes. What's punk should be punctured." (Laughter).

DOW: When you say some people took to Schaefer's paper, were they colleagues
of yours (your age) or younger people? Can you generalize in any way?

HARTSHORNE: Let me think. I guess they were mostly younger; perhaps, I
couldn't name any who were not younger.

DOW: You have suggested what some the reactions of geographers were at this
time. What was your reaction?

HARTSHORNE: First I thought it were stupid. Then when I went through it I saw
that if you didn't think it was stupid then it was devastating. If what he
said was correct then it was devastating not merely for me, but it told
students this man Hettner didn't realize that he was torn between two
philosophies of science and vacillated from one to the other. He said
Humboldt said the same thing, that he wasn't talking about geography, but he
was talking about cosmology; he threw that right out.

DOW: So did you interpret this as an attack upon Hettner?

HARTSHORNE: Oh yes! It was an attack on Hettner's writings; yes. Definitely.

DOW: Did you accept this as a personal thing?

HARTSHORNE: No I didn't, but that's a long story.

DOW: Let's go into the idea of what ultimately resulted from "The Nature".

HARTSHORNE: I published a reply; the first reply, which pointed out all his
errors. All I found to be errors, misstatements, and misrepresentations. It
took approximately a hundred footnotes to show that; I put it in pretty

strong language. I think a lot of readers either got bored with it, or they
didn't approve of calling a spade a spade. Then they would ask if I had shown
there were flaws in it (that's the word they used - a few flaws), that I
hadn't met his logical thesis. I actually had (to a minor degree) in the
first publication. What I found was that a number of colleagues were
disturbed. They first accepted his argument, because they had similar
questions in their own minds. But they raised them perfectly straight without
any misrepresentations; they wanted me to answer those, so I said I would. In
effect, I really was answering the logical questions that Schaefer had
raised, but in terms of what these other people were asking. Which also
started as a small article that became a small book this time, called:
Perspective on the Nature of Geography. Andy Clark gave it that title.

DOW: He did!

HARTSHORNE: He was editor of the series and I was wondering just what to call
it. He came up with that idea and I took it.

DOW: It was a good idea.

HARTSHORNE: Incidentally he was a very good editor. A very good editor.

DOW: Do you remember what kind of a response your paper had; I think it was
in 1955? Did you get any letters as a result of this response that was
published in the Annals about two years later (after Schaefer's paper)?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. I don't think I got any letters. Oh! A former student, but
he was writing to me anyway.

DOW: Let's move on to "Perspective". What were the changes in "Perspective"
from The Nature of Geography?

HARTSHORNE: I think the most important change (this had nothing to do with
what Schaefer had written) was in response to a challenge from Sauer,
Whittlesey, and Andrew Clark; a discussion on historical geography, history
in geography. As a matter of fact I was hit on that by Stanley Dodge, when I
first published The Nature of Geography; the first response I got from
anybody. It was in the Annals (a whole of two numbers) and I expected a
response. The first response was from one of my oldest friends in the field,
Stanley Dodge - a postcard, largely negative. Said he liked the chapter on
the history of geography, but he couldn't tolerate (I was all wrong) on my
section on history in geography. If you knew Stanley, this is

DOW: I know of him, but never met him.

HARTSHORNE: Something in it conflicted with all that he was doing or wanted.
Later on Joe Spencer said when he read it, it allowed no place for his work.
I claimed that was not true. What I had argued (this was part of my argument
with Trewartha); Trewartha had taken Sauer's dictum or thesis.

DOW: "Morphology of Landscape"?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. To mean if he was going to make a geographic study of the
unglaciated area (the cuesta-form hills of western Wisconsin) he had to start
with the Indians, at least, for the first French settlement and go in to hunt
for artifacts. I don't know whether he found any artifacts, of course, but in
any case there is very little trace. Relatively little trace of the French in
there. I said I didn't object to his doing that, but the idea that every

geographer must do this? But they thought I was throwing history out. I will
say Sauer gave a Presidential Address in 1941; somebody referred to it last

DOW: "Forward to Historical Geography".

HARTSHORNE: Yes. Which he prefaced with his reaction to what I had written on
the subject in The Nature of Geography. That reflection struck me as very
hastily done without really having read what I had wrote more than once. I
didn't hear the paper; I wasn't at the meeting that year. I was unhappy, but
friends told me I shouldn't be surprised. I went on reading it and when Sauer
got on to what he was interested in himself, I thought: Now this is good. I
was all excited - to me it was a much better job than he had done on that
subject anytime before. I told my class in the subject that they must read
this article. Frankly I'd say skip the first few pages where he talks about
me (because it is all wrong), but from there on it's fine - very stimulating,
too. Then, of course, (even before we brought Andrew Clark to Wisconsin)
Andy and I found we were able to talk calmly and interestingly; he saw that I
hadn't thrown history out. When he got there I'm sure we had many
conversations and I found my mind changed quite a bit as a result of that. So
when he wrote that we had no conflict at all over that chapter (he was editor
when I was doing "Perspective"), it helped quite a bit.

DOW: Were there other changes from "The Nature"?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. Let's see. On the main subject of Schaefer's thesis where he
had a real issue (I should have said this before) some people said that if I
showed that everything he had said about what I had written was wrong then
there was no issue. I said:

        "No, there was. Schaefer said what he had learned from a
         philosopher of science (Bergmann) at his institution: that
         geography must be a science and science means finding
         scientific laws and prediction. This talk about regional
         geography, studying individual regions (what they call
         idiographic), that isn't science at all."

That was in conflict with what Hettner had said (and I was saying) except
that he said that I had said geography was entirely idiographic, or
essentially idiographic, something like that - there was no room for
scientific laws. I never said that; I had said both, but I found a lot of
people had gotten a similar impression. It's a matter of reading and getting
an impression from the pages, and so on, and not bothering to see if the
words really are what you understand.

DOW: If you read the article you do get the impression. If you know the
literature (as you did obviously) you see it much differently.

HARTSHORNE: They analyzed it, but I don't want to get that.

DOW: Let's not.

HARTSHORNE: I rewrote that chapter (what kind of science is geography?) with
the hope of making it clear; insisting on the importance of both aspects.

DOW: You had ten points you raised there, as I     remember.

HARTSHORNE: Yes. I had previously put at the beginning and Hettner had too.
No, Hettner put first his history of geography and said that his concept of

geography came out of its history. Then he put his logical justification, the
position of geography among the sciences, and I had used the same order. I
decided maybe that was a mistake. The proper order was to consider the
character of geography, as it's done, and then consider his theory about
geography's position among the sciences. That was to get away from the
argument that you start with his thesis and then everything follows from
that. I also reduced Kant's statement to its correct historic significance,
which I decided was relatively minor. If only because geographers of the 19th
century had forgotten Kant.

Oh! There is a very important item and this was new. Contrary to what all of
us had done before (and what I did in The Nature of Geography) I said we
should get away from the dualism of man and nature as though those were
separate things. Not merely semantically, because, of course, we know man is
part of the whole of nature. And really when we say nature, we mean nature
except man. That gets us into confused thinking as though this dichotomy were
real and there's no logical basis for separation of physical and human
geography, because obviously good human geography must include physical.

DOW: Are you stating that was a change from "The Nature?

HARTSHORNE: Yes, that was a change. That definitely was a change. Oh yes! I
actually quoted a statement from "The Nature" and said:

        "Obviously this is wrong."

DOW: What studies have you done recently in the history of
geographic thought?

HARTSHORNE: I guess that was an answer to a question that often comes up.
Doesn't geography study the distribution of anything? Or the distribution of
the things that we find in area, but geography studies the individual things
themselves. I had papers in Professional Geographer; I mention it because
several people told me that clarified the situation for them. I said
geography is concerned with this complex of things that makes the area what
it is in character. I have a couple of manuscripts from papers I gave that I
meant to get into finished, published form. One is on Kant; part of it is
saying that Kant is not nearly as important in geography as some of us
thought. Analyzing just what I think he intended in his statement; this is a
result of a book on much of the same subject by Joseph May.

DOW: I'm familiar with that.

HARTSHORNE: In fact, I came to the conclusion that May really had arrived at
this conclusion and should have within a few weeks after having started his
project. But that would have meant what he had expected to be a subject for a
dissertation didn't amount to more than ten pages, which would be an unhappy
result. Well, that's something I want to work on sometime.

DOW: Is Davis, perhaps, the other person? You gave a paper on Davis at
Lincoln in 1979.

HARTSHORNE: That's right. I'm glad you mentioned that because I got into that
somewhat by accident. The Germans were celebrating Carl Ritter through a
German-American geographer. We should do a paper on Ritter's influence on
American geography; his influence, both through Guyot, and Guyot to Davis and
so on. Following that I discovered (as Davis went on living) that Davis
established what everybody thinks is the Davisian view of geography by 1910.
This was incarcerated in concrete by one of his students, who made a

collection of his papers up to that time in a book. Everybody used that
thereafter not noticing Davis was writing, giving papers and publishing them
in which he was saying quite different things. I don't know how much Davis
realized how much he had changed. Right down to 1924 where he was talking
about the time-honored, centered basis, geography is the study of areas,
regions of the earth. Even in one case (he wrote it in German) he said as
Hettner has clearly demonstrated this and then chided himself on a valley in
Italy. It is doubly interesting because we know that Davis and Hettner had a
long and vigorous argument. Dickinson describes it as violent almost
(Dickinson should know he could be very vituperative) over the cycle of
erosion; Davis never agreed with Hettner on that, for certain. Apparently
(now I'm guessing, he doesn't say) that set him to reading Hettner's views
about geography and he liked that. I think it is characteristic of Davis that
he could be hammering away at Hettner on the cycle of erosion, but still say
on this you're right; I'll use that.

DOW: Now you discovered this yourself in later years? I mean Davis' views on

HARTSHORNE: Just when I was doing that paper. Now, of course, I really would
like to tell this story a little differently. Particularly when I came to
this paper of 1924 and saw that this was a paper he had given at the meeting
of the AAG in Cincinnati, Christmas 1923. That was the first meeting of the
AAG I had ever attended. So I'm sure that I went in the room to hear Davis,
because I had met him once for a few minutes. In fact he had told me to go to
Chicago for training. I'm sure I would have gone in to hear him. Before that
at the meetings I had breakfast with him. That is to say my advisor,
Wellington Jones, was there. We were scheduled to have breakfast together and
as we were going in he said:

        "There's old man Davis, alone. Why don't we go over join him?"

So we went over and joined him; there was a long conversation between Davis
and Wellington Jones and I sat there as a proper graduate student listening.
I can't remember saying anything. Then I heard this paper so I could have
told you I saw right there, that's the true statement of geography.

DOW: You didn't know at the time!

HARTSHORNE: I didn't realize it. (More laughter) I don't remember a thing.
(Laughter). I heard the truth. Who could disprove it? (Laughter continues).
Except, of course, then they would say:

        "Why didn't you tell us years before?"

DOW: Let's have a final question for you to ponder. It's twenty-five years
since you wrote "Perspective", would you make any changes if you were going
to revise it?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. That's a question Geof Martin has asked me a couple of
times, because he thinks it's time I sat down and started writing. I'd make
some more statements about history in geography. One thing (I came to this
negatively) if you take the Schaefer article seriously, his thesis (and I
think a lot of the younger geographers do), then they could argue Hartshorne
was right the first time: The author doesn't need to go hunting for French
traces. You could ignore the development of the history, because if you
established your laws of economics and geography (established the spatial
laws) then you just need to know all these facts and everything will work out

that way without your having to trace it in history. He has a statement in
his article (it's the old one you've seen) that if you knew all about all the
culture of a people and the environment of the country they're in, and so on,
then you could predict its history from there on. If you could predict the
history then you don't need to go back and trace it. You can figure it either
way. I'd always said that you have to go into history to understand what is
here that you can't figure out scientifically. This doesn't mean that you're
proving that it has to be what it is, because, of course, it didn't have to
have been what it is. But in order to understand, to get some comprehension
out of it (deeper than superficial) you won't know how it grew these
particular ways. I'll get an example right here. Have you seen Nicollet
Island here?

DOW: Yes. I saw it in Fraser's slides, yesterday. Did you see his

HARTSHORNE: Yes. You know, I did the first tour for geographers     of the Twin

DOW: From the air?

HARTSHORNE: That was the end point. In fact, I would say this is probably
significant in my background. You've heard about the younger group (Jimmy has
talked about), who called themselves "The American Geographers" - TAGs. All
right, one of our early meetings included half the day in Milwaukee, I think.
Somebody showed us the urban geography of Milwaukee and when we left (that
person wasn't there) I was discussing with Jimmy, or others, in my usual
carefree way that for various reasons this was not the way to look at urban
geography. Jimmy, equally characteristically, said:

        "Okay Dick, say next year we come to the Twin Cities and you
         show us how to do an urban area."

I tell you that's exactly what happened. That's why having opened my big
mouth got that in. I grit my teeth and went out that summer; drove around
with Frank Williams (he was interested surveying environments of the Twin
Cities) to figure what made it tick, so I would be ready come next spring to
show them. I don't know, I would say in this country I bet that was the first
urban tour that had been planned with research; well, in any case. Anyway, we
did fly over (took my study on the ground) and from statistics, both
emphasized the importance of railroads. It was particularly exciting when we
got up in the air and saw this huge map below us with such enormous amount of
total area (more than now, of course), it was railroad tracks all over the

DOW: And Nicollet Island?

HARTSHORNE: A perfect case. I had figured out (talking that day partly) the
focal point that made Minneapolis was, in part the falls, but not precisely.
It was above the falls where the island split the river and was easy to
bridge; one half of part of it. The other half was forded for a while, but
then the first bridge over the total river anywhere on the Mississippi was at
that point on that island. I said this is a generic situation. Island and the
river making an easy crossing to the center - Paris France, the Ile de la
Cite'. Now go on from there and look at this wretched island. When I was
studying it was much worse. They have a park on the south side now; there
wasn't any park there at all. It was largely unused. There was a remains of
an old estate; it had a big lawn. Somebody had a horse pasturing out there;
I've forgotten if I ever found out why, but then half of it was slums. The

sad point is it had once been owned by one person, who had offered it to the
city for $85,000. The City Council said the city didn't have money to throw
around, or waste like that on a park.

DOW Not much foresight there.

HARTSHORNE: Well, that you could hardly have predicted.

DOW: We ought to bring this discussion to an end, but perhaps we will pick up
on another theme on another day. Thank you very much, Dick.

HARTSHORNE: Thank you. I enjoyed it.

[EDITORS NOTE: Some hours later Hartshorne requested that I ask the following
question again]:

DOW: It's now twenty-five years since "Perspective". What changes would you
make if you could revise it?

HARTSHORNE: Yes, I'm glad you said if you could revise it, because Geoffrey
Martin has been asking me that as though, of course, I was going to do it.
I'm feeling more realistic, I think, that's not in the cards. But if I could
go back and change what's in print, what would I do? I've thought of this
numerous times. One, I would want to strengthen my support for historical
geography. If only for the reason that I'm impressed that the major aspect of
geography that has been successful in the last few decades is historical
geography. And also because of something that I hadn't noticed before in the
Schaefer article. What that does to Sauer and his historical geography. I
don't know whether any of the people in the field ever noticed that, but I
would point to it. The second represents a definite change in my thinking on
a matter that did not come up, particularly, when I was writing
"Perspective". In The Nature of Geography one chapter devotes a considerable
section arguing against the concept of regions as definite concrete objects
which could be studied generically like other objects. Stated in the extreme
that regions are different just as stones are different, but a region is no
more unique than a stone. Because it then occurred to me, thinking it over,
that the essential question is not: Is geography a science, or not? The
central question is what kind of science is geography? So the essential
question about regions is not region is earth.??? No! It isn't an object.
Yes! It is an object. What kind of an object is a region? I'd forgotten that
until a young graduate student wrote a paper on it in the Professional
Geographer. I've forgotten his name, but it was just in the last few years in
which he says this. He quotes me correctly as saying "they are not objects",
then goes on to argue that they are. Reading that made me look up my lectures
in Japan, because I remembered discussing this in Japan. Fortunately, my
sponsor made me write an abstract the students could have to read before the
lecture. The abstract has it in there: that the important question is what
kind of an object it is. You could say that biologists study animals. An
animal is an object just like a tree, or a rock, but also different. Or what
kind of an object is a region? What I said in the lecture was that it was
certainly a fuzzy region. Like a long-haired, fuzzy-haired dog. Imura, the
sponsor, who knew English well was puzzled as to how to translate that
"fuzzy-haired dog" into Japanese. I find my own thinking greatly helped on
this. This, by the way, is not as... then I remembered I merely had seen
this said before; it was said by Blaut. Do you know Blaut?

DOW: Yes, Jim Blaut.

HARTSHORNE: Jim Blaut in a short paper that he had in the PG twenty years or
so ago; I think it was since the "Perspective".   When I read that I was half
way on to this conclusion. In other words, it's another of those cases where
anybody is arguing on an either, or (fighting over is it this, or that?),
stop and think: isn't it worth somewhere in between? What kind of degree?
With that perhaps I will do a note for the History of Geography Newsletter
and get in sometime.

DOW:   Geof Martin will be looking forward to that.

HARTSHORNE: I had Geof in mind.

               Online Geographers on Film Transcriptions (2004), 12pp.

                                Maynard Weston Dow
                               Geographers on Film
                           Plymouth State University,
                             Plymouth, New Hampshire

                                Geographer on Film:
                          RICHARD HARTSHORNE (1899-1992)
                         re Schaefer-Hartshorne Dispute
                             University of Wisconsin

                                   Interviewed by
                                Maynard Weston Dow
                              Plymouth State College

Hyatt Regency Hotel               May 6, 1986B          Minneapolis, Minnesota

DOW: Dick, we're taking a few minutes this afternoon to discuss the personal
relations in the Schaefer-Hartshorne dispute over "Exceptionalism in
Geography", 1953. I might begin by asking:

"Is this topic appropriate, or is it necessary, for the understanding of this
particular dispute?"

HARTSHORNE: I would say in general this - it is not appropriate; it is
common, perhaps natural, when there is strong dispute. Such as that between
William Morris Davis and the German geographer, Hettner, over Davis' theory
of the Cycle of Erosion. That was very vigorous and later writers have
asserted that they were in strong personal opposition; I don't think they
were for a moment. They disagreed strongly on the thesis. They were both
strong-minded persons, who were given to talking straight; the dispute,
therefore, sounded very loud. In fact, at the same time, Davis was reading
Hettner's ideas on what geography was about and accepted them, took them over
- but that was another matter.

To assume the personal relationship to be important is to assume a scholar
cannot or will not control his personal feelings in writing about an
intellectual idea he did not agree with.

I once had a student in class who, as editor of the student newspaper
attacked me bluntly, I would say outrageously, in an editorial on the
position I had taken as member of a faculty-student committee on
extracurricular affairs. Another student in the class talked reasonably about
it with me, ending with:

"I hope you will not think about that in grading his
upcoming examination."

I responded:

"Aren't you asking me to act as an honest teacher? Of course, I will intend
to act as an honest teacher. In this case that should not be difficult, since
he is an able student. If he writes an `A' in the examination I will send in
an `A' for the course."

The personal aspect is not only not appropriate; if it is brought in a
scholar should realize that whatever he writes about it will probably be
wrong. What can one expect to know about the personal relationships between
two other persons. Anyone who supposes he knows a lot, still cannot expect to
be able to make judgments sufficiently reliable for publication. Now, why do
I think it's necessary to talk about this topic? It's necessary because it
has gotten out of idle speculation into irresponsible publication. In what
purports to be a memoir of Schaefer one writer presents an imaginative
picture of our relations as once close, then breaking off and leading to
"betrayal" and death. Later writers report these statements with the
suggestion that they are probably exaggerated, but nonetheless, in order to
understand the issues in the Schaefer-Hartshorne dispute it is necessary to
know the nature of their personal relationship.

DOW:   Were you aware of enmity, or dislike between the two of you?

HARTSHORNE: Not in the slightest. At no time.

DOW: It has been alleged that, perhaps, there was some. Is that

HARTSHORNE: It is commonly alleged that there was, but no one has presented
any evidence.

DOW: How many times did you meet Schaefer?

HARTSHORNE: That's the point. Just two times; a couple of days. We were
called upon to give papers before a meeting of economists; papers on
geographic aspects of American-Russian relations. Schaefer on geo-economic
relations, I on geo-political relations. They gave me that title.

DOW: Was that at Iowa?

HARTSHORNE: No, it was in Chicago, where the Midwest economists met in the
spring of 1946. (I think we happened to be picked, because the committee
arranging the program included a professor of economics from Iowa and one
from Minnesota, whom I knew pretty well while I was at Minnesota for sixteen
years; he was a very good colleague). We gave our papers and his is referred
to and quoted in the Schaefer memoir. They are published together in
Education magazine for 1946. There was very little discussion about the
papers. Anybody interested can find them in Education to read. My memory is
that they were printed exactly as we gave them. There was very little
discussion at the meeting and he and I went off and had coffee until my train
was to go, but we didn't discuss each other's papers.

DOW: What was the second time you met?

HARTSHORNE: The second time? At that first time he told me he was familiar
with my book, used it in his seminar, and had some points he wanted to raise
with me ( a difference of opinion) when we had the opportunity .

I said:    "Good".

He said:

"Would you come out to Iowa City and address my seminar? We       can talk
about them there".

I said:    "Good, of course."

Then I forgot about it until four years later I was invited by the department
to come out for a couple of days for this purpose. We had one meeting, I
think, the day before the seminar, an evening meeting at his apartment - his
home. I met his wife and he had a number of colleagues there for drinks and
food. My memory is that it was just general intellectual conversation - a
good intellectual group. I don't remember any of the discussion. I think he
took a minor role in the discussion. People asked me things about; wait a
minute, I don't know what they asked me. I mean, I don't remember at all,
except that it was pleasant.

The next day was the seminar and that was very interesting, because he
clearly had his students primed; I shouldn't say he had them primed, but he
had them taught to look critically and be ready with questions. I don't think
I have ever had an audience that had so many good questions. Very early on I
figured these people have done their homework.

DOW: They were sharp.

HARTSHORNE: I've got to be on my toes to come through with good answers. He
acted as moderator. I can't remember that he said anything himself, but just
controlled the discussion; he did it very well. I thought at the end that was
a good show. They were much freer to be critical than my own students at
home. I encourage my students to be, but still you can't get them to be fully
so. These people were really going after me, so to speak, but quite
impersonally. All questions were perfectly proper and in order, and I got the
drift. They objected to the comparison of geography and history. That's what
they were attacking. In fact, one of the students had written a paper for the
seminar, which she sent to me afterward. I read it and replied to a number of
her points. I thought it was a pretty good paper and I turned it over to
David Lowenthal, one of the students (a major in history) in my seminar. He
wrote her a longer letter disagreeing with her view of history. Well, that
was that weekend. A week or so after Schaefer wrote me a letter. I would like
for you to read it.

DOW: I will read from it, now. It's from Iowa City, dated May 17, 1950. I'm
going to read only a bit - it's not a very long letter:

Dear Hartshorne:

Just met my seminar on methodology and, of course, the Saturday morning
session was discussed.

Without going into detail of   the discussion, let me express my and the
students heartfelt gratitude   for that session. Naturally,   there was
disagreement here and there,   but everyone felt the same about your fortitude
and splendid response to the   questioning.

Then it goes on and he concludes:

Miller, Bergmann, Moehlman and Horn told me what a treat the evening was.
Again, thank you,

Yours sincerely,

F. K. Schaefer

HARTSHORNE: Those names are professors in the session. One of them, Bergmann,
is a Professor of Philosophy of Science there. I think if you read the whole

letter you would agree there's nothing in there that suggests any personal
conflict. I replied in a similar tone and told him what I have been telling
you. There was no more correspondence and I didn't happen to meet him
thereafter. I remember occasions when we might have, but we didn't meet. I
heard nothing from, or about him, until I found his article in the Annals and
on the first page was a footnote that he had died.

DOW: What did you know then, what have you learned since of his political
views and activities, and what about the consequences?

HARTSHORNE: Yes, I think that does have to be looked at, because some people
have written, claiming that there was a political difference, a contrast, of
which I was not aware. I would have to say I knew nothing of his political
activities, excepting that he may have mentioned working with the Social
Democrats in Germany before he came to this country, and as a refugee in
England working for similar organizations. Of such activities in this
country. I remember nothing. Undoubtedly we talked about Nazi Germany over
coffee. A year before the war we had been living in Vienna under Nazi rule
for a year, living with a lovely Jewish family. All our friends were anti-
Nazi. If you were living in a Nazi city you could have friends on one side,
or the other, but not very well both, because they didn't dare to appear
together. But I knew nothing of his political views in this country.

His talk (article) that was printed does give a clear impression of a person
who had more confidence, more trust in the government leaders of the Soviet
Union - Stalin at that time - than I would have had. But the idea that he
must be punished for expressing these views? I think if you read the article
you would say that any F.B.I. agent, who thought that ought to be looked
into, was an extremist. None of those with whom I had necessary dealings -
F.B.I. agents who came to ask us about any of our students, who were applying
for government jobs. If any agent had asked me about a student, who had
written such an article, I would say:

"Why do you want to talk about that? It seems to be a perfectly clear matter
of free speech."

I didn't. I guess I wasn't very interested, because I couldn't see any
geography in it.

You said consequences. It is that he felt he was harassed by the F.B.I. -
shadowed. He didn't tell me anything about that. I don't know that anybody
knows that he was. He was a refugee from the Nazis, he may well have had
experiences like that in Germany and he may well have thought that he was
being shadowed here. If you remember, Hildegard Johnson was telling us last
night about having to be photographed and fingerprinted, because she was an
enemy alien. Unless he got American citizenship very quickly after arrival
here, at the outbreak of the war, he must have been an enemy alien.

DOW: I can believe that. I am from a college town [Bowdoin College,
Brunswick, Maine] and our one first-generation German professor was harassed
during the war. He was not political; it was a wonderful, well-liked family,
but they were suspect, because they were German. So it wouldn't be unusual in
Schaefer's case, and, as you know, Schaefer gave lots of talks against Nazi
Germany in Iowa City. He was a Nazi hater. You would have thought that people
would have said: "Boy, he's a hero". Just the opposite from my experience in

HARTSHORNE: Yes. One writer, in the publication referred to earlier that was
spread widely in geographic circles insinuates strongly that I had tipped off

the F.B.I. about his activity; harassed by the F.B.I. - that he had a heart
attack and died. Either I, or the members of his department, or both, had
betrayed him - the implication is clear. In fact, I didn't know anything
about it, no F.B.I. man ever asked me about Schaefer, and if they had I
would have said:

"I don't know. I had no reason to suppose he was not an enthusiastic American

DOW: Let's talk about the paper for a moment. What did you know first hand?
Had you heard about this paper before its publication?

HARTSHORNE: Nothing. Not a thing.

DOW: You mean you picked up the Annals one day and there it is?

HARTSHORNE: That's right.

DOW: What was your reaction?

HARTSHORNE: At first I was amazed. I told you about the experience with him
and the part he played in the seminar. He obviously seemed intelligent and
his students were well- trained. I think he was a very good teacher. We have
to think that from what I observed in that seminar. So I thought this reads
like a very different person. Particularly, when I read through it on a long
plane ride. I had time, but no materials; I just put big question marks
against the statements in his paper, because I was pretty sure what I had
written in The Nature of Geography wasn't that. When I got home I looked
them up and, sure enough, it wasn't. Then, I might say, I shortly had a
feeling of anger, not at him, but at the Editorial Board of the Annals,
because I thought I should have been made aware of the article. In fact,
talking about it at the lunch table with Wisconsin faculty of other
departments several said:

"You mean the publication of your association did this, published it? Either
you should have been one of the critics, or given the chance to criticize it.
Or, at least, you should have been informed so that you could write a reply
be published in the same issue."

DOW: Concurrently.

HARTSHORNE: Nothing like that. I never did.

DOW: Do you have any idea why it happened that way?

HARTSHORNE: I don't know, although my prediction is that it did not occur to
them. I don't know of any case in the Annals where it was true. Now, when I
wrote a vigorous, critical review of May's book about Immanuel Kant's
geography they (The Canadian Geographer) sent the review to May for his
comments (they hadn't told me before, but that's all right) and printed about
a two page reply from May, along with my review. They told me (I heard later)
that they had great difficulty in getting him to accept editorial changes in
his reply.

DOW: Today this is done in the Annals, isn't it? Commentaries are published
concurrently, or shortly thereafter. I'm quite sure.

HARTSHORNE: That's right. It is done. Maybe they learned something.

DOW: Maybe they did. Let's go back. To your knowledge in 1953 no editor ever
sent this type of paper to an interested party (like yourself) to review it
before publication.

HARTSHORNE: No. I couldn't say that. I wouldn't, but I don't know of any
case. It obviously was a new idea when I wrote to Henry Kendall, the editor,
who was a good friend. He replied as though it had never had been done.

DOW: Is there any evidence that there was critical review of this paper?

HARTSHORNE: Yes, but I had wondered really. I couldn't understand why there
wasn't editorial changes of the English and the paragraphing. Particularly
questions about the contradictions. One page about Humboldt and then later
another page about Humboldt and you would think it was two different persons.
I wasn't told anything, of course, about the critics. Well, I wrote a round-
robin letter. They had at that time an Editorial Board (all their names
printed here) from whom he selected persons to review each paper. We knew
that the critics presumably were two unknown people out of these eight names.
I wrote a letter (with a copy to all of them to be sure to hit everyone) and
got a reply from just one, Steve Jones, who said that he had voted against
publication. He didn't tell me much about why he did and he rather defended
the others, who voted for it. In fact, he said that after he saw it in print
he was glad that they had printed it in spite of his voting against it.

DOW: He didn't say why?

HARTSHORNE: I saw him later on at meetings and had a very good time with him.
I never pushed him on that. But that essentially was all I knew until I
discovered the Schaefer papers; I'm going to be referring to those later;
they are important. These are the papers Schaefer's wife found in his office,
or in his home (I don't know which) about geography, including student term
papers, his own manuscript for some chapters in a book he was writing. That
includes the chapter that he later made into his methodological article.
There is an early edition of that, and his correspondence, including (and
this is the critical, important thing) his correspondence with Henry Kendall,
the editor, from which I had a copy made. This surprised me, because I had
been told by somebody, who thought they knew, that Henry had not deposited,
nor left, apparently, his correspondence as editor of the Annals anywhere.

DOW: It's gone?

HARTSHORNE: Gone, except this. [Editor's Note # 1: Hartshorne holds up
relevant notes and correspondence of Schaefer's]. Of course various authors
may have copies of their correspondence with Kendall.

DOW: But not his collection.

HARTSHORNE: Not his collection. Ehrenberg of the National Archives told me he
was unable to find any among what they had, and that's entirely possible.
Here we are, today in Minneapolis. The successor to Darrell Davis as new
chairman of the department at Minnesota, Jan Broek, told me that when he came
into the same office that Davis had occupied as Chairman and asked about the
office files, Davis had removed them all and, apparently, destroyed them. So,
if there were ever any nasty letters about me when I was in that department
they are destroyed. (Laughter).

DOW: We can be thankful for some things, can't we.

HARTSHORNE: In any case, your "consequences" question - this is important,
because it has been written and said that Schaefer had great difficulty in
getting his paper published. "Of course, there was strong opposition." and so
on, and a clear implication that somehow I had a hand in opposing it. As I
told you I didn't know it existed. I'll give you specific facts. He sent the
article, mailed it himself (he says on a piece of notepaper he had) on the
5th of December, 1952. He didn't hear, evidently, until April when Kendall
wrote apologizing that he had had surgery and had been in the hospital for a
time. He enclosed excerpts of criticisms that two of the readers had made,
named as A and B. A total of eleven points, urging Schaefer to look them
over, to consider them, and see if he didn't want to make some revisions in
the paper. [Editor's Note # 2: Referring to correspondence from among
Schaefer's papers, Hartshorne quotes from specific notes and passages. The
following is from Henry Kendall, dated April 14, 1953]:

    ...your manuscript has stirred up so much discussion among the members of
    the Editorial Board that I have found it very difficult to come to a
    positive definite decision. Even now, I'm going to hedge slightly.

What I would like you to do is to give some thought to excerpts of the
written critiques which follow. After you have considered them, I should like
to know if you care to revise your paper. If you still feel that the revision
is unnecessary and you wish the paper published, I should be happy to receive
it again.

HARTSHORNE: Do you think that is sort of a blank check?

DOW: Yes, I think so. Do you know if Schaefer revised it?

HARTSHORNE: Almost certainly not.

DOW: So it went back "as is", as far as you know.

HARTSHORNE: He did sit down (in the meantime he had a heart attack and was
out of teaching); he replied - here (I'll get you a copy). He replies on
single space, one, two, three pages to each one of the eleven criticisms, in
some cases demolishing it, he felt. In one case, I think unfortunately - his
answer, if he had put it in the paper, would have helped readers to
understand what he meant by "spatial relations". But, in general, it is all
negative and no indication of any change. I can't prove that because I only
know one copy, but a graduate student at the time believes that it was
unchanged. Certainly, where particular points are raised I can see that he
made no change.

DOW: You can see that in text of the criticisms. Right?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. He is not unique in that, by the way. Whittlesey had a case,
similarly, where there was very vigorous criticism and he offered a chance to
revise. The writer, who was one of our eminent members, sent it back
unchanged. He refused.

DOW: Was it published?

HARTSHORNE: It was published and then the criticisms appeared in print later.
I don't know why authors don't think about that. I write people as I have
with Ackerman; I sent him a draft of papers. Discussing a paper of his we
worked this both ways each time:

"If I misunderstood you, let me know, so that we have no

unnecessary argument in public."

Well. Several of the criticisms were very similar to mine, but lack specific
detail. I will read from Note I:

The author uses emotionally-loaded words without defending their
validity...This paper contains a mountain of criticism of everybody from Kant
on down, but gives birth only to a mouse of constructive thought.

And there is questioning about his idea - spatial relationships. Oh! These
are words that I would not have used:

On this business of laws he seems to me like a high school sophomore. He
seems to be impressed with the "laws" by economists, sociologist, and others.

DOW: We haven't time to look at the responses, but he did respond to each one
of those challenges. Is that right?

HARTSHORNE: Oh, yes. He responded to each one. In some cases just brushing it

DOW: When you read the paper did you consider it as a personal attack upon

HARTSHORNE: Before I answer that, there was one other previous criticism, and
this is very interesting. Before the Board got the paper the first criticism
was by his graduate students. He presented it one afternoon to a group of
graduate students and one of them, writing nine years later (Schaefer's
biographer circulated various people asking them questions) replied. He was
happy to hear that a memorial article was being prepared. [Editor's Note # 3:
In the following and other passages quoted herein, the editor has utilized
the actual archival resource. Most of the material is as Hartshorne read
during the interview, save for several small additions used here to amplify
the text. One such notable exception is the parenthetical reference to
Hartshorne below, who chose not to quote direct references to himself during
the interview.] The former graduate student says about the article (one thing
that's important) that Schaefer:

     ...had lengthy discussions with Professor Bergmann on the problems of
     methodology in Geography. As a result he became increasingly convinced
     methodology was a major problem and decided to deal with it in a
     article rather than as a chapter in a book. One afternoon...he had a
     group of us students out to his house at which time he read to us a
     preliminary draft of the article. As it turned out, this preliminary
     draft was the way the article was actually published. I remember clearly
     that when he asked for our comments, we criticized the way in which he
     handled the historical development of geography in the first part of the
     article. (The same part that Hartshorne criticized later). We commented
     that he would never let us get away with such sweeping general
     in any of our seminar papers.

(Laughter). Physician heal thyself. This student, by this time, was a
professor in one of our universities. So yes here was criticism, but
particularly in view of the criticism I would say that that paper went
through to publication with extraordinary ease.
But you asked me if I found it personal. No; I wrote so at the time. I
indicated in my reply that I sought to keep my reply in terms of the

substance of the material and not personal. I don't think I felt it as
personal. In so far as I was angry about it as I have said I was really angry
at the Editorial Board. Perhaps I shouldn't have been, but that was this
feeling I had.

Now, that's what I think. Other people might question that and it does take
some sharp distinction, because, unquestionably, I saw that this paper was
very damaging to my work. I mean, he says that in regard to my major source,
Hettner, that I had mis-represented Hettner to American geographers by
presenting only one side of an issue on which Hettner, at different times,
favored both sides - on the question of geography and science, - a science
of laws. My presentation (he thought) was one sided as the quotations were
selective. But, of course, you could always say that; quotations are always

DOW: You don't reproduce the whole thing.

HARTSHORNE: This was damaging and, as you know, the main purpose in what I
wrote was to provide students (geographers) with a reliable presentation of
the views of other geographers. If I couldn't interpret Hettner correctly,
why should any student rely on me at all. In fact, I am told (this is second
hand, but I can believe it) a student at one of these meetings was overheard
saying: "Oh! Hartshorne knew so little German he couldn't even understand
Hettner correctly." Now, if that were true, if all things Schaefer said in
his article were true (I should have said first), if he thought that about
what I wrote then he was quite right in telling the geographers about it. If
he believed this stuff was wrong, he should say so. He didn't present it as a
personal attack, you see, but it was an attack on my book, and, of course,
this same statement goes double. My rejoinder to that (by attacking what I
called his "mis-representation," and so on) damaged his article. Undoubtedly
that is painful for a person, your book is part of your life, so to speak;
but that's unavoidable. Whether I showed any personal bias, too, that's still
for somebody else to judge, but I didn't feel any.

DOW: In summary, on that idea you would say that you thought it was
professionally damaging to you?

HARTSHORNE: That is undoubtedly true. Yes. My colleagues, I might say, in the
department felt that I should defend myself from that attack.

DOW: I'm sure you're familiar with the French geographer Paul Claval, who in
the British Geographical Journal wrote his view of why you responded as you
did. Any comments there?

HARTSHORNE: Yes. That surprised me, in the first place, because he was the
first, and maybe almost the only geographer in France, who recognized what I
had written, by name. I was taking that personally until William William
Olsson told me, of course, the French won't quote foreign writers. On facts
in geography, yes, but on ideas, thinking, this is part of the French
complex. That's a long story, but I did then observe that this was true.
When they discuss methodology they will tell you what other French writers
are saying. But they discuss very few foreign writers; particularly no German
writers since Ritter. Vidal de la Blache was very enthusiastic about Ritter,
so Ritter got into French thinking. I never found a reference to Hettner. I
did find statements (it seemed to me) from modern French writing leading me
to think this man has either been reading Hettner or Hartshorne; I couldn't
tell which, because so much of what I wrote was from Hettner. But he doesn't
say so, until (the exception, which in a sense, proved the rule) an article

by a man named Hamelin in Quebec; he's the bridge between France and me.

Well, Claval, - I discovered later he's a young man - did some history of
geography of France ,and in his history of geography wrote about what I had
written. Very good, correct paraphrasing and so on; he understood thoroughly,
so I was surprised at what he wrote about my personal response to Schaefer:
it wasn't in terms of personal relations - it was interesting theory. It was
in academic terms: I had responded as someone whose status was attacked; this
was an attack on my status. I don't know whether he quoted or just used the
phrase "master theoretician" about geography.
I was smiling, because I had met that phrase before, not as an accusation,
just a statement (in a Russian publication, Moscow Literary Gazette) which
was damning American geographers as warmongers. I was the one primarily
named, because I was the master theoretician of American geography. I
realized, of course, that from a Russian point of view that was a very
important statement. The master is the master, he's the one telling the
American geographers what they should think. So I told my colleagues in the
department: I hope you now realize who's in charge here. (Laughter). That is
also a French heritage. Vidal! I never was so foolish as to think that I, or
anybody else, could hold that position in American geography, or ever
particularly want to. It didn't touch me at all. This, by the way, is
published in the British Geographical Journal, published in French. They
don't do that often, but he had written in French; they published it in
French. I have some difficulty with French, but I read it; my wife Lois read
French better and she read it until I was pretty sure of the meaning and I
replied in English. [Editors Note # 4: Hartshorne's first wife Lois
Huntington Wilde, whom he married in 1928 died in 1972; he married Donna
Taylor in 1978.] First I wrote that he had said a number of things which I
said were quite right, or I might disagree, or accept as his opinion, but
when he wrote of my personal concern for status, then he had completely
departed from terra firma. [Editors Note # 5: For Hartshorne's reply to
Claval, see Geographical Journal (1969), pp. 323-324.]

DOW: Let me ask you this. What was your main objection to the content of
Schaefer's paper? Was it his criticism, or his concept of "exceptionalism"?

HARTSHORNE: Exceptionalism. That was his title. No and that's where I have a
minor disagreement with friend McCarty. I found that if you merely analyze
the paper that exceptionalism is just a subordinate issue. It's not a clear
issue, of course, because it's an invented word. Steve Jones complained that
I didn't have a good index in The Nature of Geography. For example, he
couldn't find the word "exceptionalism" in it. (Laughter). Or "historicism",
which is one of the big words in Schaefer. I wrote Jones: "No, and if you
read The Nature of Geography, line by line beginning to end, you won't find
those words in there." Exceptionalism did not exist. It was the imagination
of Schaefer; and "historicism?" When I read that in Schaefer, I had to look
it up myself to see what it meant. I suppose I should have known the term,
but when I did look it up I found it in the Encyclopedia for the Social
Sciences - there were four or five different meanings, so that wasn't very
helpful. No. When I was telling somebody that I demolished Schaefer's theory
about Hettner's "exceptionalism" they said:

"You mean, then, there is no issue?"

I said:

"Oh yes, there is a real issue, because though he doesn't state it at the
beginning, it comes up repeatedly. In the end, you can see that's really what

he's talking about." [Editor's Note #6: Here, we find Hartshorne's summary of
Schaefer's position] He insisted that:

       geography is a science, it must be a science, (and science in his
       meaning, which he got from a professor of philosophy at Iowa); science
       is the business of establishing laws, the basis on which you can
       predict. Anything else is not science, whatever you want to call it.

Now he's not alone in that thinking; he referred to Bowman and I looked it
up. Bowman accepted that view without, I think, doing a great deal of
thinking about it. He knew physical scientists and others who have that, I
think, simplistic view of the question. He said geography is, only in part,
scientific, and some of the most important parts cannot be scientific. I had
discussed that, in fact, in The Nature of Geography. What do you do with the
parts that are not science and what standards have you for reasoning if it's
not science? I explained that this has been discussed by scientists for over
a hundred years or more.

DOW: Let me ask you this. Did you meet with criticism, and opposition to the
publication of your rejoinder?

HARTSHORNE: Oh yes. I did meet criticism, not opposition. Kendall said, by
the away, I could have as much space as there is for an article, and say what
I wanted. Then before I finished it, he was retiring and Kollmorgen was
taking it on and there was no opposition there. But I had sent a draft
manuscript to Kendall, which he sent to Kollmorgen, who at the time was at
the University of Washington for a spell. Of course, Ullman was there; I
don't think Steve Jones was, but either they were together (the three of
them) or they did it by correspondence. I guess he appointed them as the
editorial readers for my response and wrote me enclosing their comments; they
were full letters of discussion. At that time we had a visit from the Platts
at Madison, Bob Platt and Harriet, his wife. Bob was very interested; he read
through all this material and we discussed it. I wrote back in about a four
page reply to all three of them (three friends) accepting quite a number of
the suggestions. Particularly the question was whether this should be
published along with my answers to the questions that concerned them about
geography. I argued (and Platt) very strongly that they should be separated,
and not two papers in the same number. My letter says that I would hope for
more suggestions; particularly I wanted to be sure that it would not read as
a personal attack. Then when that was accepted it was decided that my first
response would be published separately, subject to normal editorial work for
which he was employing his sister (who was very good I learned, a very sharp
eye, a very good editorial critic) though not a geographer. In fact she
caught me in some places where she said: Isn't that a personal reaction? By
George, she was usually right, excepting that my objection was more often not
against Schaefer, but the editor and the unnamed readers from the Editorial
Board. I had been writing to them during the previous months causing the
editor to complain that I seemed to think a "crime" had been committed in
publishing the paper. That was his word, not mine, but perhaps it did explain
my thinking. The paper consisted in considerable part presentations of views
of previous writers, which if accepted by readers, would be certainly
damaging to the standing of those writings and writers. But the obvious
deficiencies in scholarship of the presentation should have warned qualified
editorial readers that it was probably a case in academic affairs of "bearing
false witness against others". My examination demonstrated in extraordinary
detail that the representations in the paper were false - a conclusion which
in the decades since no writer has challenged. More importantly, perhaps, it
is a crime against future students by telling them that Hettner's work was
passé, of no use; Hartshorne, he didn't understand, and so forth. They said

that might be true, but it wasn't proper in an article, and it shouldn't be
said there; if I wanted to write I should write to the Publications Board. In
my letter (if you read it you will find it in there) I said they were right
and I will excise all that. I think that she may have found some places where
I was still arguing with these persons, who were all my friends, you
understand. So my memory is that I accepted the great majority of her
questions. On a couple of them I thought I had a good reply, and that was
dealt with, so that there was no issue between us at the end.

DOW: Let me (I think we only have about a minute) end with this question.
What would be your response to those who might argue that the Schaefer
article helped spawn the quantitative

HARTSHORNE: Undoubtedly "it was the battle flag", as Jimmy James sometimes
said; if you think a revolution needs a battle flag. I suppose the answer
might be: "Yes." I always ask why they have to think there needed to be a
revolution; if they were fighting against something. In fact, one of a
number, for example, told Geoffrey Martin even if Schaefer's criticisms were
out of order, were fallacious , it served the purpose of attacking that book
(The Nature of Geography), which was apparently blocking their revolution,
their purpose. The reply to that was: "I didn't see why it did. If any of
them had been students of mine and said this is what they wanted to do, I
might have offered skepticism, but I certainly would not have said that
doesn't belong in geography. Or even if I had argued you can't expect to be
very successful in getting the laws, I'm not going to stop you from trying. I
have a perfect case: Joe Schwartzberg (although it wasn't about laws) wanted
to go to India and in various ways make a study of Indian villages. As he was
describing (I think, he wrote out his purpose) I thought how is he going to
be able to do this? How is he going to do this ,this, and this. Then I
realized I'm asking what would I do if I were trying to do what he proposes?
I don't need to go any further, I know perfectly well I wouldn't know how to
do it. I thought would Joe know how? I don't think he knows right now, how
he's going to do it. But I am confident he will find ways of doing it,
because I knew his work up to then. So I supported him in doing it, of
course, and I have been enormously glad ever since.
I understand I had followers, who read The Nature of Geography and said:

"This is the law and the gospel."

And say to their graduate students:

"No. The search for laws isn't the business of geography."

Warntz told me that's what happened to him. I asked once, because he made
some statement about why he thought the Schaefer paper was the gospel and so
grand. I said I would never have said no to you. But his major professor

"No. You can't do that in geography."

If the professor had told me I would have said:

"For heaven's sake, don't do that. I claim that The Nature of Geography is
the broadest sweep."

I thought I said that strongly in Perspective on the Nature of Geography, so
there shouldn't be any question thereafter. In fact, one of the group did
catch that, because he said since Hartshorne has agreed that this is "okay"

in geography, the revolution has arrived, is successful. As far as I'm
concerned there's no revolution, but it did make people push that aspect of
geography more than had been done.

DOW: On that note we will end.

HARTSHORNE: All right.

DOW: Thank you very much.