Anne Buttimer

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Anne Buttimer (31 October 1938, Ireland) is a Emeritus Professor of Geography of the University College Dublin. Her main fields of scholarship were the history and philosophy of science, focused on the geographical thought and practice, and the interactions of science and policy. In her long academic career her interests were urban and social geography, migration and identity, environmental experience, nature and culture, environment and sustainable development and human dimensions of global change. She wrote several books about these subjects, for example ‘Dwelling, place, and environment: toward a phenomenology of person and world’ (1985) with David Seamon and Robert Mugerauer. She did empirical studies on the human experience of place, space and movement and wrote the book ‘The human experience of space and place’ (1980) on this subject, with David Seamon.


Anne Buttimer grew up in County Cork, Ireland. In 1958 she was awarded a master in Geography at the University College of Cork. After this Buttimer, being very religious, joined a group of academic nuns examining the role of the new developments in social sciences for the wider school curriculum in Washington. In 1965 Buttimer got het PhD exploring alternative, particularly French, approaches to ‘social geography’. This was also a critique on the other geographers in the ‘60s that, especially at Washington, promoted geography as spatial science and quantitative techniques. After a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Louvain in Belgium Buttimer became Assistent Professor of Geography at Seattle University. Later she worked in Scotland, USA, Canada, Sweden and Ireland and published a lot of work internationally. Since 2003 Buttimer is Emeritus Professor of Geography of the University of Dublin.


Anne Buttimer made some influential contributions on the history and philosophy of geography. She argued for a humanistic approach to life and learning and undertook the Dialogue Project with Torsten Hägerstrand. She also did collaborative studies in sustainable forestry and agriculture in the 1980s and 1990s. She published a lot internationally during her fourty years as a geographer.

Important publications

  • Buttimer, A. (1971) Society and Milieu in the French Geographic Tradition. Chicago, Illinois, AAG Monograph, No. 6: Rand McNally and Co.
  • Buttimer, A. (1974) Values in Geography. Washington, D.C.: Commission on College Geography.
  • Buttimer, A. (1980) Home reach and the sense of place. In A. Buttimer & D. Seamon (Eds.), The Human Experience of Space and Place. London: Croom Helm.
  • Buttimer, A. (with T. Hägerstrand) (1980) Invitation to dialogue. Department of Geography: University of Lund.
  • Buttimer, A. (1983) Creativity and context. Lund Studies in Human Geography: Sweden.
  • Buttimer, A. (1983) The practice of geography. London: Longmans.
  • Buttimer, Anne. Nature, Water Symbols and the Human Quest for Wholeness. Seamon, David & Robert Mugerauer, Dwelling, Place, and Environment: Toward a Phenomenology of Person and World. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1985: 257-280.
  • Buttimer, A. (1988) The wake of Erasmus. Saints, scholars and studia in mediaeval Norden. Lund: Lund University Press.
  • Buttimer, A. (1993) Geography and the human spirit. Baltimore, Md.:: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Buttimer, A. (2001) Sustainable landscapes and lifeways. Scale and appropriateness. Cork: Cork University Press.
  • Buttimer, A. (with Tom Mels) (2006) By northern lights. On the making of geography in Sweden. London:: Ashgate Press.

Honours and Awards

  • A post-doctoral fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation 1965-1966
  • Fullright-Hays Visiting Professor in Social Ecology to Sweden 1976
  • Association of American Geographers Honors Award 1986
  • Honours Award, Taiwan Geographical Society 1990
  • Ellen Churchill Semple Award, University of Kentucky 1991
  • Professor of Geography and Head of Department University College Dublin 1991
  • Secretary and chair of the Commission on the History of Geographical Thought, International Geographical Union
  • Vice-President of the International Geographical Union 1996
  • Royal Geographical Society (UK) Murchison Award 1997
  • Royal Scottish Geographical Society Millenium Award 2000
  • President of the International Geographical Union 2000
  • Membre D'Honneur, Sociéte de Géographie 2001
  • Socio D'onore Societá Geografica, Italiana, 2006
  • Doctor, honoris causa , University of Joensuu, 1999
  • Doctor honoris causa , Tartu University 2004
  • Fellow of Royal Irish Academy, Royal Geographical Society (UK) and Academia Europaea
  • Johan August Wahlberg Gold Medal, Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography 2009 for contributions to humanistic geography and the development of geography in Sweden.



  • Published by Lisa de Visser ...?
  • Page slightly enhanced by Iris van der Wal - 15:58, October 21st 2012
  • Picture added by --AnneStrien 10:13, 26 October 2012 (CEST)
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