Spatial turn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spatial turn is an intellectual movement that places emphasis on place and space in social science and the humanities.[1] It is closely linked with quantitative studies of history, literature, cartography, and other studies of society. The movement has been influential in providing mass amounts of data for study of cultures, regions, and specific locations.[2]


Academics such as German philosopher Ernst Cassirer and American historian Lewis Mumford helped to define a sense of "community" and "commons" in their studies, forming the first part of a "spatial turn."[1] The turn developed more comprehensively in the later 20th century in French academic theories, such as those of Michel Foucault.[1]

Technologies have also played an important role in "turns." The introduction of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has also been instrumental in quantifying data in the humanities for study by its place.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Guldi, Jo (2011). "What is the Spatial Turn?". Scholars Lab - University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Cordulack, Evan (17 October 2011). "What is the "Spatial Turn"? A Beginner's Look". College of William and Mary. Retrieved 22 October 2014.