From the Lighthouse: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Light: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

From the Lighthouse: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Light

1st Edition

Edited by Veronica Strang, Tim Edensor, Joanna Puckering


292 pages | 10 Color Illus. | 45 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781472477354
pub: 2018-04-24
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What is a lighthouse? What does it mean? What does it do? This book shows how exchanging knowledge across disciplinary boundaries can transform our thinking. Adopting an unconventional structure, this book involves the reader in a multivocal conversation between scholars, poets and artists. Seen through their individual perspectives, lighthouses appear as signals of safety, beacons of enlightenment, phallic territorial markers, and memorials of historical relationships with the sea. However, the interdisciplinary conversation also reveals underlying and sometimes unexpected connections. It elucidates the human and non-human evolutionary adaptations that use light for signalling and warning; the visual languages created by regularity and synchronicity in pulses of light; how lighthouses have generated a whole ‘family’ of related material objects and technologies; and the way that light flows between social and material worlds.

Table of Contents

360° OF ILLUMINATION (Veronica Strang) LIGHT MATTERS (Veronica Strang) An Early Sun (Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis) Light and Matter (Robert Fosbury) LIGHT AS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (Veronica Strang) Shedding Light on the Limitations of Microalgal Production (Kevin Flynn) Sunflowers (Joanna Puckering) In the Cambrian Light… (Glenn A. Brock) Light and the Evolution of Vision: A Conversation with Rob Barton (Joanna Puckering) ON THE EDGE OF THE DARK (Veronica Strang) Lighting Space (Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis) ATTRACTIVE AND REPULSIVE LIGHT (Veronica Strang) Biological Lighthouses (Margo Haygood and Bradley Tebo) Cosmic Signallers (Ulisses Barres de Almeida and Martin Ward) Lighthouses of the Insect World (Joanna Puckering) PHENOMENOLOGICAL LIGHT (Veronica Strang) Visual Rays: The Light within the Eye (Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis) DIVINE RAYS (Veronica Strang) Lighthouses in the Bible: Symbols of Enlightenment and Salvation (Joanna Puckering and David Wilkinson) The Aesthetics and Ethics of Visible and Inner Light: A Conversation with Douglas Davies (Joanna Puckering) Light as Metaphor and as Technology, c. 1700–1900 (Tom Mole) Guiding Light: The Early Modern Lighthouse as Image and Emblem (Richard Maber) LIGHTHOUSES IN TIME AND SPACE (Veronica Strang) The Colossus of Rhodes According to Giacomo Torelli (Jan Clarke) ‘Places of Light’: Lighthouses and Minarets (Joanna Puckering) ‘On lofty cliffs, where the sea pounds the rock…’ Lighthouses in Early Medieval England (David Petts) The Redistribution of Light and Dark at Sea (Tim Edensor) TECHNOLOGIES OF LIGHT AND POWER (Tim Edensor) Technologies of Light (Brian Bowers) The Fresnel Lens: Enabling Lighthouse Technology (Gordon D. Love) Early Lighthouse Lamp Technology (Steve Hoon) BUILDING THE LIGHTHOUSE (Tim Edensor) The Physicality of Lighthouses (Steve Hoon) The Modern Lighthouse: A Sculpture by Accident (Steve Millington) Sky-tower as Icon (David Cooper) Turner’s Lights (James Purdon) Illuminating Science: Scientific Expertise and Lighthouse Reform in 19th-Century Britain (Hannah Conway) Light Offshore: Governing Dark Waters in Shipping Straits (Kimberley Peters) A Personal View from the Lighthouse (Richard Woodman) The Materiality of Lighthouses (Steve Hoon) Shining a Light on Lighthouse Resilience in the 21st Century (Patricia Warke) Enmeshed in Geographies of Sand, Sea and War: The Lighthouses of Skagen Odde (Tim Edensor) Lightships (Karen Sayer) MATERIAL RELATIVES (Veronica Strang) Wish Image (Peter Adey) The Extraterrestrial Lighthouse: St John’s Beacon, Liverpool (David Cooper) THE BODY OF THE LIGHTHOUSE (Veronica Strang) The Lighthouse at Cape Reinga (Veronica Strang) Horn Section: John Tyndall’s 1873 Foghorn Testing Sessions (Jennifer Lucy Allan) Disturbing the Peace: The Cloch Foghorn and Changing Coastal Soundscapes in the 19th Century (Jennifer Lucy Allan) Foghorn Requiem (Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena) Death of a Lighthouse (Caitlin DeSilvey) LIGHT MESSAGES (Tim Edensor) Ambiguous Beams (Tim Edensor) Lights across the Sky (Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis) Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer (Joanna Puckering) Trinity House and the Formation of the Modern British State (Steve Millington) The Lit Archipelago (Eric Tagliacozzo) The Albion Lighthouse: From Dutch Shipwrecks to British Colonialism and US Imperialism (Dini Lallah) The Lighthouse without a Light: Lighthouses, Exploration and Geography (Robert Shaw) The Lighthouse as Survival (Philip Steinberg) The Lighthouse as a Site of Refuge and Welcome (Uma Kothari) A Vigil: Disappearance at Sea, Tacita Dean, 1996 (Julie Westerman) The Deadly Lighthouse Beam (Tim Edensor) Moth Hunting in Sumatra (Charles Cockell) SPACE AND PLACE (Tim Edensor) The Rhythms of Place, the Rhythms of the Lighthouse (Tim Edensor) The Watcher at the Edge (Phil Wood) Relational Places: Lighthouses and Networks of Mobility (Robert Shaw) No Keepers (Chris Watson) THE ART OF LIGHTHOUSES (Veronica Strang, Joanna Puckering and Tim Edensor) ‘The Last Lighthousekeeper’ (Linda France) ‘There’ll be no landing at the lighthouse tomorrow’: Virginia Woolf and the Godrevy Lighthouse (Patricia Waugh) The Centenary Celebrations of Grace Darling and the Longstone Lighthouse (Ysanne Holt) Going Round the Twist (Peter Adey) The Haunted Lighthouses of Death (Peter Hutchings) Uncanny Architecture: Lighthouse, Catherine Yass, 2011 (Julie Westerman) ‘The Weather is Lovely’ (Julie Westerman) the Encircling of a shadow: The House of Light made Dark (Rona Lee) 360° (Veronica Strang) The Metaphor, Metaphysics and Music of Light in Medieval and Modern Thought (Tom McLeish) Wonder and the Lighthouse (H. Martyn Evans) CONCLUDING COMMENTS The Shifting Multiplicity of the Lighthouse (Tim Edensor) Interdisciplinary Reflections(Veronica Strang)

About the Editors

Veronica Strang directs Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study and is the author of The Meaning of Water (2004), Gardening the World: Agency, Identity and the Ownership of Water (2009) and Water: Nature and Culture (2015).

Tim Edensor belongs to the Geography Department of Manchester Metropolitan University and is the author of From Light to Dark: Daylight, Illumination and Gloom (2017), Industrial Ruins (2005) and editor of Geographies of Rhythm (2010).

Joanna Puckering works for the Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study. Joanna completed her PhD at the Department of Anthropology, Durham University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography