Macintosh at the ICHG

On the stage at the ICHG. Photograph courtesy of Julian Baker.

On the stage at the ICHG. Photograph courtesy of Julian Baker.

Last week I was fortunate to participate—along with c. 700 others—in the 16th International Conference of Historical Geographers. It was a wonderful event and a model of organisation, scholarship, and collegiality. On the last day of the conference (somewhat jaded by a week of early mornings and late nights) I presented in a session convened by David Lambert and Peter Merriman: “Mobility and empire“.

My paper, “William Macintosh’s Travels: colonial mobility and the circulation of knowledge”, was a version of a book chapter written in early 2012 which has, since then, been inching its way through the production process and should emerge in 2016 in a forthcoming volume of the Springer “Knowledge and Space” series. Having sat dormant for so long, it was good to dust the paper off and introduce some of my Macintosh work to colleagues. A number of useful questions, not least concerning Macintosh’s apparent transition from slave owner to advocate of individual rights, have given me much to think about.

In addition to the other excellent papers in the session, particular highlights during the conference were provided by the three plenary speakers: Catherine Hall, Bill Cronon, and Simon Schaffer.

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