Geographical Aesthetics : Imagining Space, Staging Encounters book cover
1st Edition

Geographical Aesthetics
Imagining Space, Staging Encounters

ISBN 9781138546929
Published February 5, 2018 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

Geographical Aesthetics places the terms 'aesthetics' and 'geography' under critical question together, responding both to the increasing calls from within geography to develop a 'geographical aesthetics', and a resurgence of interdisciplinary interest in conceptual and empirical questions around geoaesthetics, environmental aesthetics, as well as the spatialities of the aesthetic. Despite taking up an identifiable role within the geographical imagination and sensibilities for centuries, and having what is arguably a key place in the making of the modern discipline, aesthetics remains a relatively under-theorized field within geography. Across 15 chapters Geographical Aesthetics brings together timely commentaries by international, interdisciplinary scholars to rework historical relations between geography and aesthetics, and reconsider how it is we might understand aesthetics. In renewing aesthetics as a site of investigation, but also an analytic object through which we can think about worldly encounters, Geographical Aesthetics presents a reworking of our geographical imaginary of the aesthetic.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: for geographical aesthetics, Harriet Hawkins and Elizabeth Straughan. Section 1 Towards a Lively Aesthetics: On aisthA*sis, 'inner touch' and the aesthetics of the moving body, Mark Paterson; Anime cosplay as love-sublimation, Paul Kingsbury; Activist pedagogies through Ranciere's aesthetic lens, Naomi Millner; Relational urban interventions, Ashley Dawkins and Alex Loftus. Section 2 Aesthetic Encounters: Comforting others: sociality and the ethical aesthetics of being-together, Danny McNally; The artifice of landscape: photomontage in the work of Beate GA tschow, Alex Vasudevan; Biostratigraphy and disability art: an introduction to the work of Jon Adams, Hannah Macpherson (with Jon Adams); Death drive: final tracings, James Riding; Aesthetic regard for nature in environmental and land art, Emily Brady. Section 3 Tissues and Textures: Reimagining the Surficial: The mantle of the Earth: surfaces, landscape and aesthetics, Veronica della Dora; Thinking with/as a frog: art, science and the performative image, Deborah Dixon; The contested aesthetics of farmed animals: visual and genetic views of the body, Lewis Holloway and Carol Morris; Conclusion: reimagining geoaesthetics, Harriet Hawkins and Elizabeth Straughan. Index.

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Harriet Hawkins is a Senior Lecturer in Historical and Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway University of London, UK and Elizabeth Straughan is an Honorary Research Associate in Geography at the University of Glasgow, UK.


’Geographical Aesthetics burns and blisters. A startling collection of essays centered on aesthetics and space, the book ignites, showering sparks and little fires of provocation for a more lively aesthetics to take hold. The essays are historically aware and politically attuned, indeed, the book is a thorough treatment of the historical and political, a distribution of space, time and politics in encounters, engagements, movements and creative practices. The chapters engage a variety of topics ranging from cosplay to border activism; landscape art; disability; geologies; science; and agriculture. In this, Hawkins and Straughan have expertly brought together fascinating interrogations of the tissues, textures, tendrils, surfaces, depths, volumes and atmospheres of the imagination, creative expression, and the sensible.’ Peter Adey, Royal Holloway University of London, UK ’This carefully-crafted work interrogates how aesthetics is politicized, spatialized, thought, and felt. Seamlessly, synthetically, Hawkins, Straughan and colleagues critically and creatively analyse elements of the aesthetic in geographical encounters that reinvigorate a geography of surfaces. The effect is to demonstrate the importance and utility of a richly geo-aesthetic understanding of the world.’ Elaine Stratford, University of Tasmania, Australia