Journal cover Journal topic
Geographica Helvetica
Geogr. Helv., 72, 393-404, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Standard article
10 Oct 2017
Revolution ohne Kiel und ohne Revolution – Die quantitativ-theoretische Geographie in Erlangen
Katharina Paulus Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Geographie, Wetterkreuz 15, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Abstract. This article aims at expanding the predominant narrative of a Quantitative Revolution in German-speaking geography, to develop a more complex and multifaceted perspective on this chapter of the discipline's history. For this purpose, I take a closer look at the institute of geography in Erlangen. Eugen Wirth, the long-term chair holder in Erlangen, argued that here, in contrast to the majority of other institutes, the implementation of quantitative methods started in 1932, when Walter Christaller submitted his thesis: Central Places in Southern Germany. According to Wirth a dissertation supervised by him in 1969 was a further step towards the use of quantitative methods. I argue that Wirth made a significant contribution to the debate on quantitative theoretical geography in Germany with his textbook Theoretical Geography published in 1979, although the book was subsequently criticised and strongly rejected by Bartels and others as a conservative embrace.

By examining this local negotiation process, I develop one of many narratives, that stand opposed to a unified account with which the general assembly of geographers in 1969 and Bartels' Geographie des Menschen uniquely motivated the abandonment of the concept of Länderkunde.

Citation: Paulus, K.: Revolution ohne Kiel und ohne Revolution – Die quantitativ-theoretische Geographie in Erlangen, Geogr. Helv., 72, 393-404,, 2017.
Publications Copernicus