Bringing together a diverse group of scholars representing the fields of cultural and literary studies, cultural politics and history, creative writing and photography, this collection examines the different ways in which human beings respond to, debate and interact with landscape. How do we feel, sense, know, cherish, memorise, imagine, dream, desire or even fear landscape? What are the specific qualities of experience that we can locate in the spaces in and through which we live? While the essays most often begin with the broadly literary - the memoir, the travelogue, the novel, poetry - the contributors approach the topic in diverse and innovative ways. The collection is divided into five sections: ’Peripheral Cultures’, dealing with dislocation and imagined landscapes'; ’Memory and Mobility’, concerning the road as the scene of trauma and movement; ’Suburbs and Estates’, contrasting American and English spaces; ’Literature and Place’, foregrounding the fluidity of the fictional and the real and the human and nonhuman; and finally, ’Sensescapes’, tracing the sensory response to landscape. Taken together, the essays interrogate important issues about how we live now and might live in the future.
Part 1 Peripheral Cultures: 'You're not in Ireland now': landscape and loss in Irish women's poetry. At some distance from the Scottish mainland: urban television producers and Hebridean Islands. Part 2 Memory and Mobility: Placing affect: remembering strangers at roadside crash shrines. Speed and stillness: driving in the countryside. Part 3 Suburbs and Estates: Doomed developments in the desert: re-reading land development, the American family and ordinary places in a time of 'cruel optimism'. A child in the suburb. At once irrational and objective: photography's construction of place. Part 4 Literature and Place: 'Other than they were': fair places full of folk. Great plains' vernacular: why spatial idiolect matters. 'The last pure place on earth': Antarctic affect in Jenny Diski's Skating to Antarctica and Sara Wheeler's Terra Incognita. Plots: the narrative of place in contemporary nature writing. Part 5 Sensescapes: Dancing - worlding the beach: revealing connections through phenomenological movement inquiry. Listening at home. In-between places: envisioning and accessing new landscapes.
'This book takes us into a world that seems oddly familiar, but as it casts a critical light on the people, places and processes through which life is made, it reveals aspects of our world that too frequently elude and slip past us. Through passionate, rich and at times deeply moving prose, this is a book that encourages us to look-again and bring into plain sight the complex, intimate and lived nature of our everyday lives.' Angharad Saunders, University of South Wales, UK
"This ambitious and imaginatively conceived collection of essays constitutes a fertile and welltimed intervention in current debates around the literary and cultural perceptions and representations of place and space, and one which readers and scholars in the field of ecocriticism and creative nature writing will find both stimulating and thought-provoking. (…) In sum, this book offers an imaginatively varied, timely and wide-ranging, if at times eclectic, investigation of the ways in which affect theory, initially motivated by and rooted in Merleau-Ponty and other theorists, has moved on to facilitate and energise new cultural, literary and aesthetic interpretations of human(e) bodily responses to the natural environment". - Roger Ebbatson, Lancaster University