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Ghost Cathedral of the Blackland Prairie: Waxahachie, Texas, Places in the Heart and the Superconducting Super Collider

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Part of the Historical Geography and Geosciences book series (HIGEGE)


Methods blending approaches in historical geography, GIScience and text can aid in extirpating how various perceptions of landscape (cultural and physical), identity (individual and collective) and sense of place (historical and contemporary) coalesce around a specific locale, or place. Data drawn from the IMPUS Historical GIS database and other sources were contextualized in this chapter’s exploration by the use of the following “text maps”: the film, Places in the Heart (1984), the novel Einstein’s Bridge (1997) and the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering site location report for a Federal government superconducting super collider (SSC) tunnel ring project. Drawing on the socio-cultural and historical contextualization provided by these cinematic, imaginary and engineering “text maps”, a GIS deep mapping of the local and deep history of Waxahachie, Texas, juxtaposes a cartographical filmscape of the 1930s Texas Blackland Prairie with a sideshadow model of the SSC project, abandoned by the Federal government in the 1990s.


  • Waxahachie
  • Filmscape
  • Local history
  • Places in the Heart
  • Superconducting super collider
  • GIScience sideshadow

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-37569-0_1
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Thanks to our UT Arlington geography professor, colleague and friend, Dr. Andy Milson for comments, suggestions and edits.

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Travis, C., Reyes, J. (2020). Ghost Cathedral of the Blackland Prairie: Waxahachie, Texas, Places in the Heart and the Superconducting Super Collider. In: Travis, C., Ludlow, F., Gyuris, F. (eds) Historical Geography, GIScience and Textual Analysis. Historical Geography and Geosciences. Springer, Cham.

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