Research on Place & Space


Site Concept & Purpose

These pages pull together work on the concept of place from a wide range of disciplines. The term “place” does not necessarily have the same implications or meanings in the different disciplines. Furthermore, other terms are sometimes used in place of place, such as home, dwelling, milieu, territory, and of course, space. None of these, though, are necessarily equivalent to the notion of place.

The purpose of this set of resources is to try to cross-pollinate the notion of place across disciplines. Philosophy, for example (my own discipline), has much to learn from the way that other disciplines conceive of place, even as those disciplines have drawn on the resources of philosophy in order to reflect on place.

There is no real attempt at a definition here, except perhaps by extension.

Contents and Organization

As can be seen, this set of resources begins from the concept of place, rather than space. I have added some space resources as they seem significant, and will continue to do so, but that may take awhile.

There are several types of resources here. First, I have tried to organize place resources in terms of disciplinary homes or origins. It is very difficult to categorize many of the entries in this resource. Something I have placed in the anthropology section, for instance, may just as well fit in any number of other categories. So, check several sections. If you think something is miscategorized, let me know.

In a few cases I have listed entries on more than one page; this is to facilitate browsing. I try to keep this to a minimum. I do not have a “single category” bibliography, which includes all the entries, so it is not (yet) possible to scan one document for what you want.

A second type of resource is what I have called “related terms”. Place is manifest and discussed in a variety of ways, and stands in contrast to many different terms. I have tried to capture the major ideas connected to place.

A third type of resource is synoptic. On the various pages I have listed things like bibliographies, centres, courses, and so forth. All these resources are collected in one place, under “All…”

There may come a time when this site is turned into a database, but I’m resisting that, as I think it is more useful to browse and discover new work, than simply to look for a specific work or do a keyword search.

The Site as a Portal

Each of the disciplinary sections includes a bibliography. A bibliography such as this can never hope to be completely comprehensive, given the burgeoning literature and the vagueness of the edges of the area; nevertheless, this is prepared in an attempt to collect as many central writings as possible.

As often as possible I have made links to publishers, for further descriptions of books or journals. If these are unavailable, my second choice is a link to Amazon or another bookseller. If you are an author and want to direct me to a good site that promotes your book, I’d be happy to link to it.

Contributing to the Site

If you are the professor or teacher of a course on place, or a student in a course on place, or anyone else who would like to contribute content to this research page, please e-mail

Recent Changes

This site has not been substantially updated since May 2006. Consequently, many links are no longer valid, and other resources have not been added. I will leave the site in place since it continues to be useful, even in its flawed state. I will also try to find the resources (support, time) to update it, but given current responsibilities, that may take awhile. Thanks for your patience.

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