Forgotten Footpath Fellow?: The latent legacy of geographer Sir Archibald Grenfell Price

Author: Cecile Cutler

Cutler, Cecile, 2014 Forgotten Footpath Fellow?: The latent legacy of geographer Sir Archibald Grenfell Price, Flinders University, School of the Environment

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Abstract Sir Archibald Grenfell Price was a man of substance in Australian society. He was an author, an educator, a concerned Christian, a broadcaster, a politician, a pioneer and a mentor to many. Price received a knighthood for his achievements; his name lives on in the University of Adelaide residential college. He is a very interesting and complex man. During his long career Grenfell Price concerned himself with many issues. These were key issues of his time, and some remain relevant today. In particular he investigated successful and unsuccessful settlement patterns, especially that of Europeans in tropical regions. Additionally he identified the characteristics of settlement which enabled some groups to be more prosperous than others. Price's writings had an impact on his peers and contemporaries and it is likely his contribution helped shaped patterns of Australian settlement in its tropical regions. Price was well regarded in society in Adelaide in particular, and yet now, some forty years after his death, he is little known. Grenfell Price's enormous legacy of ideas on a range of contemporary issues is thought-provoking. To understand why he is now known to only a few people within the geography discipline - the discipline in which he taught and wrote many of his books - three of the books which cover most of his publication career are considered in detail. The impact of his ideas is discussed by analysing references to his work by later researchers; this is a new evaluation method, applicable beyond this research, which has been developed to gauge Price's contribution to the discipline of geography. Further, Grenfell Price is compared with other academics of his time to assess how his peers regarded his work and his legacy. Overall it is concluded that Price was an outstanding man of his time, but his legacy is overshadowed by more outspoken and opinionated contemporaries. International events, social and cultural changes, and his apparent reluctance to adapt limited his renown.

Keywords: Sir Archibald Grenfell Price,tropical settlement,geographic legacy,impact measures

Subject: Environmental Science thesis, Enviromental Studies thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2014
School: School of the Environment
Supervisor: Associate Professor Alaric Maude