Geospatial Semantics: A Textual Perspective


  • Michael Gavin University of South Carolina
  • Eric Gidal University of Iowa


geosemantics, literary geography, spatial hinge


The peculiar dynamics that literary geographers find between actual places and their fictional representations are dynamics inherent to all texts and all places. What James Thurgill has called “the spatial hinge” is a point of connection – a suture or touch between textuality and actuality – with widespread implications for mapping the semantics of place throughout textual corpora. Computational approaches to language and place reveal innumerable points of connection that help describe the very fabric of human society in all its textual and geographical complexity.

Author Biographies

Michael Gavin, University of South Carolina

Associate Professor, Department of English

Eric Gidal, University of Iowa

Professor, Department of English


Agnew, J. A. (1987) Place and Politics: The Geographical Mediation of State and Society. London: Routledge.

Burke, K. (1941) Philosophy of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Gavin, M. and Gidal, E. (2023) ‘The Conceptual Structure of Ossianic Space.’ Literary Geographies, 9(1), pp. 161-184.

Hones, S. (2008) ‘Text as It Happens: Literary Geography.’ Geography Compass, 2(5), pp. 1301-1317.

Hones, S. (2022) ‘Interspatiality.’ Literary Geographies, 8(10), pp. 15-18.

Thurgill, J. (2021) ‘Literary Geography and the Spatial Hinge.’ Literary Geographies, 7(2), pp. 152-156.






Thinking Space