Category Archives: Geography

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Online versions of our printed catalogues are available to browse. Please follow the links below to your subject(s) of interest.

Most of our catalogues are available in two formats, ‘eCatalogue’ which is a ‘page turning’ document, and standard PDF which loads in Acrobat Reader. Both versions include links to full book details on our website, for further information and for ease of ordering.

Don’t forget, ALL orders on our website receive 10% discount.

Pioneering women in Post-War Architecture and Planning

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

In marking the celebration of International Working Women’s Day on March 8th this year, it is good to look back and recognise the achievements of pioneering women who made their mark in society and broke new ground in their chosen professions, during the critical post-war years. Two such women are Mary Beaumont Medd, a public-sector school buildings architect, and Jacqueline Tyrwhitt, architect, landscape designer/city planner, journalist and educator.

A life in education and architectureMary Beamont Medd (Née Crowley) began architectural practice at the height of the depression. It was Elizabeth Denby, who introduced her to a user-centred approach to design and this concept of planning around the occupants’ needs would become the hallmark of her school buildings programme.

Hired by Hertfordshire’s education department in 1941 and the first architect to be employed by the county, she initially supervised huts erected for the wartime school meals service, but soon moved on to plan for post-war school building within the education department.

When Hertfordshire acquired an architect’s department in 1946 and a schools team was created, Mary joined them. She designed the first school, Burleigh infants, at Cheshunt – it was just three square prefabricated classrooms, separated by intimate courts for play, but the whole of Hertfordshire’s school-building programme developed from that modest prototype.

She made contacts with the best teachers, learned what they were trying to do and watched children in and out of classes. By bringing this direct and – far rarer among architects – systematic observation of habits and needs to bear on designing schools, she acquired unique authority in primary school planning. It was enhanced when she teamed up with David Medd, the ablest practical designer among the Hertfordshire architects.

In 1949, David and Mary married. The Medds were revered for superlatively tailoring their schools to child-centred education. Beyond what they designed themselves, their advice and thoughtfulness saturated Britain’s post-war schools and helped win them an international reputation.

Mary died in 2005 leaving an architectural legacy which displayed her exhaustive attention to children’s and teachers’ needs and their human expression in subtle, modulated spaces, neither completely open nor closed. Working with invariable anonymity, she was contemptuous of fame.

A Life in Education and Architecture: Mary Beaumont Medd, by Catherine Burke, University of Cambridge, UK provides more than a biography of Mary Medd (née Crowley), one of the foremost Modernist architects in the UK. This book critically examines her innovative designs for school buildings in post-war Britain. In doing so, it provides a detailed exploration of the relationships between architects, educators, artists and designers in shaping a new approach to designing for education.

Jaqueline TyrwhittMary Jaqueline Tyrwhitt (Jacky) attended St Paul’s Girls School in Hammersmith and hoped to work for a history scholarship to Oxford, but her father did not allow her to pursue that course. Instead she studied at the Royal Horticultural School obtaining a General Horticultural Diploma, followed by a course at the Architectural Association School in London where she was greatly influenced by Patrick Geddes’ view of town planning, as organic growth responding to the needs of society rather than as a pattern to be imposed on society.

After various jobs and study periods in gardening, agriculture, architecture, town planning and industry, she was, during the war, made Director of Research at the School of Planning and Regional Reconstruction as well as Director of Studies at the School of Planning and Research for Regional Development, positions that she held for seven years, during which time she was much involved in the reconstruction of a devastated post-war Britain.

It was in 1947 that she met the Swiss art historian Siegfried Giedion and subsequently became one of his fervent admirers, translating and editing all his major works. Subsequently her links with thinkers in the international architectural world became stronger and in 1951 she left England for Canada.

The next fourteen years were spent mainly in North America, working for the School of Graduate Studies in Toronto, for the United Nations, and then at Harvard University, all in the field of town and regional planning. While she was working for the UN in India in 1953 she met the Greek architect and visionary, Constantine Doxiades, who became the third major influence on her thinking.

In 1969 she retired from her professorship at Harvard and came to live permanently in Greece. In addition to creating her garden there and giving hospitality to a constant stream of family, friends, students and colleagues from all over the world, she continued to work as an editor, teacher and consultant. The night that she died, 21 February 1983, she was working on the final details of her gardening book.

Jaqueline Tyrwhitt: A Transnational Life in Urban Planning and Design, by Ellen Shoshkes, Portland State University, USA, is an intellectual biography which, not only details the landmark contributions of Jacqueline Tyrwhitt, working alongside Geddes, Sert, Giedion and Doxiadis, but also indicates their relevance for contemporary scholars and practitioners, particularly those concerned with ‘healthy’ community design and sustainability.

Tourism Books from Ashgate and Gower

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

Our high quality Tourism list has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, with a strong focus on heritage tourism, tourism and culture and sustainable tourism. The study of tourism is inherently interdisciplinary and with this in mind we have brought together our key books on tourism research from across our social science, humanities and business publishing programmes in this new Tourism webpage to make it easier to navigate the titles and series we offer in this area.

Some recent book highlights include:

Tourism destination developmentTourism Destination Development (edited by Arvid Viken and Brynhild Granås, UiT – the Arctic University of Norway)

’If tourism’s formative power in the making of societies is acknowledged, few contributions take this point as comprehensively into social science as this impressive volume edited by Viken and Granås. Through critical thinking and theoretically informative case studies, readers are taken aboard reflexive and situated investigations of the plural and multiple ways in which tourist destinations develop.’   Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, Roskilde University, Denmark

Volunteer tourismVolunteer Tourism (Mary Mostafanezhad, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa)

‘While excoriating volunteer tourism’s neoliberal underpinnings, this marvellous study also documents its transformative cosmopolitan hope for tourists, humanitarian organizations, and host communities that engage. A must read for anyone wanting to understand tourism’s potential for social justice, and why this is so difficult to achieve.’   Margaret Byrne Swain, University of California, Davis, USA

Travel tourism and artTravel, Tourism and Art (Edited by Tijana Rakić, Edinburgh Napier University and Jo-Anne Lester, University of Brighton)

‘Rakic and Lester have brought together a timely compendium of resources. In fifteen disciplinarily-diverse essays, the reader will learn about the historical, theoretical, and aesthetic dimensions of travel and culture. The anthology demonstrates that tourism and the arts are inextricably linked. A must-have for anyone interested in understanding how leisure is both meaningful and meaning making.’    Laurie Beth Clark, University of Wisconsin, USA

Remembering the Cultural Geographies of a Childhood Home

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Remembering the cultural geographies of a childhood homeRemembering the Cultural Geographies of a Childhood Home

‘A kaleidoscopic view of the 1970s in which the places, experiences, beliefs and reveries of a childhood in South Wales and the books, comics, television programmes, films and popular pursuits of the period constantly shift to create new and provocative perceptions of the cultural fabric and transformations of that difficult decade’   Mike Pearson, Aberystwyth University, UK

Peter Hughes Jachimiak,  author of  Remembering the Cultural Geographies of a Childhood Home talks about his own upbringing and early influences in a recent interview with the Daily Wales.

The book is, “about how all of us remember our childhood selves, and how we, as children, engage with the places and spaces of childhood. That is, our home, the immediate neighbourhood outside, the wider world beyond, and how both media and cultural texts of the time reflect all of that.” Peter’s childhood home was Ivy Cottage, Skewen, in the Neath of the 1970s and the book is fundamentally autobiographical: ‘‘Me, as an adult and a father, and my bringing up of our lovely little daughter, Mille, aged 4. For I wrote my book as I watched her grow from a baby to a toddler, to that of being a beautiful little girl. And, that’s a wonderful thing – to be able to write about one’s own childhood as you bring someone into this world.’’   The Daily Wales

To read the full interview including the author describing his political roots and passion for music follow the link here

The author, Peter Hughes Jachimiak, who is senior lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Creative Industries, University of South Wales has also produced a very entertaining podcast in which many of the themes and issues addressed in his book are explored. You can follow the link here

Environment and Sustainability Publishing from Ashgate and Gower

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

How do we secure a sustainable future?

Social science and humanities scholars have much to contribute to crucial debates around policy, as well as asking fundamental questions about how we understand the history of our environment and the impact of business, culture and society on sustainability.

The issue of how we secure a sustainable future for our society, the environment and natural resources does and should involve cross-disciplinary research.

With this in mind we have brought together over 150 of our key titles on environmental and sustainability research from across the Ashgate and Gower publishing programmes in our new Environment and Sustainability webpage to make it easier to navigate the broad range of titles and series we offer in this area.

Border Walls 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago this month raised hopes of a new borderless era however in recent years the border wall has been given renewed vigour, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel-Palestine. The success of these new walls in the development of friendly and orderly relations between nations (or indeed, within nations) remains unclear. What role does the wall play in the development of security and insecurity? Do walls contribute to a sense of insecurity as much as they assuage fears and create a sense of security for those ‘behind the line’? Exactly what kind of security is associated with border walls?

Borders fences and wallsTackling these questions, Borders, Fences and Walls edited by Élisabeth Vallet, explores the issue of how the return of border fences and walls as a political tool may be symptomatic of a new era in border studies and international relations. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, it examines problems that include security issues ; the recurrence and/or decline of the wall; wall discourses ; legal approaches to the wall; the ‘wall industry’ and border technology as well as their symbolism, role, objectives and efficiency.

Élisabeth Vallet has recently been interviewed by the Courrier International and her research has informed an article in the Washington Post.

Élisabeth Vallet is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and scientific director of Geopolitics at the Raoul Dandurand Chair at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada.

Why We Eat, How We Eat recognised by food think tank

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

Why we eat How we eatWe’re delighted that Why We Eat, How We Eat has been selected by the American-based nonprofit organisation Food Tank for their Fall Reading List: 20 Great Books About Food which highlights books that entertain, inform, and reaffirm the importance of food and agriculture. Why We Eat, How We Eat, edited by Dr Emma-Jayne Abbots and Dr Anna Lavis and part of Ashgate’s Critical Food Studies series, explores how foods and bodies both haphazardly encounter, and actively engage with, one another in ways that are simultaneously social, economic, political, biological and sensorial.

‘Eating is a bundle of activities and experiences, and involves both destruction and creation. While an everyday practice for everyone, it is both complicated and complex. This book is a masterful examination of the multidimensional nature of eating in symbolic, economic, political, material and nutritional terms, and it is a must-read for anyone interested in food and eating.’    Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford, UK

‘This fascinating book is such a timely and welcome addition to the field of food studies. It sets out to destabilise and challenge what we think we know about food and eating by bringing once separate categories into intimate proximity, to touch each other and produce a sensous map of the contours of eating. Spaces between meaning and materiality, commensality and viscerality, and knowledge and bodily practices are oiled and moved into provocative “conceptual hinges”, revealing complex and layered relations of eating. This work will undoubtedly shift theoretical and applied debates about food and eating to a new level, and will have significance to those many disciplines that have a vested interest in why we eat, and how we eat.’    Megan Warin, University of Adelaide, Australia

‘This fascinating book would be of interest not only to scholars in the social sciences and humanities interested in critical food studies, but to any reader interested in the social, cultural and political dimensions of food and eating practices.’    LSE Review of Books