Historical Geography

Dr. Patrick Reitinger


My research perspectives follow the Central European tradition of historical geography, which developed since the 1970s at the interface of geography, history and archaeology. I am concerned with the theories and methodologies of regional geographic research practice and its disciplinary history from two particular points of view: Firstly, historical geography emerged in the Federal Republic of Germany as a response to the criticism of the concepts of Länder-, Landes- and Landschaftskunde, which had been formulated in West German geography since the Kiel Geographers' Conference in 1969. It opened up early on to constructivist research approaches without losing sight of the fundamental historicity and materiality of spaces, and in doing so consistently located itself internationally and interdisciplinarily. Secondly, after the end of the Cold War, it quickly succeeded in integrating East-Central European perspectives on regional geographic research practices into a pan-European discourse. This tradition of historical geography thought along with the development of theories and methods also questions of applied research and thus contributed to a regional, national and European transfer of knowledge.


I place myself in this transdisciplinary research environment as a geographer who combines humanistic-hermeneutic methods with methods of interpretative social research. My perspective on landscape and space is shaped by the sociological tradition of the social construction of reality by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann and its further developments in social constructivist landscape geography according to Olaf Kühne, communicative constructivism as read by Hubert Knoblauch or the communicative space (re)constructions by Gabriela B. Christmann. In addition, I connect to the theoretical discussions of the Collaborative Research Centres 1199 "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition" in Leipzig and 1265 "Re-Figuration of Spaces" in Berlin. I use research methods from the sociology of knowledge and the history of science to develop regional geographic theory. In my empirical research projects, I mainly investigate political processes in rural-peripheral regions as well as borders, border spaces and cross-border relations with a regional focus on Eastern Central Europe.


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After a Bachelor's degree in governance and public policy at the University of Passau (2016) and a Master's degree in social and population geography at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg (2018), I received my doctorate in historical geography in Bamberg with a thesis on the spatialisation of relevance and the emergence of the Bavarian Ostmark in the Weimar Republic (2022). As a staff member at the Chair of Historical Geography at Otto Friedrich University Bamberg, I led two international research projects on the development of rural regions in the Bavarian-Czech border region since the end of the Cold War (2019-2021). I was a visiting scholar at the Collegium Carolinum in Munich (2019) and at the Research Centre for Cultural and Historical Geography at Charles University in Prague (2020). I currently teach historical geography and regional geography as a lecturer at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg, am an associate member at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on Eastern Central Europe in Marburg and a research associate in the research area of historical geographies at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig.