Spatial disorientation is of key relevance to our globalized world, eliciting complex questions about our relationship with technology and the last remaining vestiges of our animal nature. Viewed more broadly, disorientation is a profoundly geographical theme that concerns our relationship with space, places, the body, emotions, and time, as well as being a powerful and frequently recurring metaphor in art, philosophy, and literature.
Using multiple perspectives, lenses, methodological tools, and scales, Geographies of Disorientation addresses questions such as: How do we orient ourselves? What are the cognitive and cultural instruments that we use to move through space? Why do we get lost? Two main threads run through the book: getting lost as a practice, explored within a post-phenomenological framework in relation to direct and indirect observation, wayfinding performances, and the various methods and tools used to find our position in space; and disorientation as a metaphor for the contemporary era, used in a broad range of contexts to express the difficulty of finding points of reference in the world we live in.
Drawing on a wide range of literature, Geographies of Disorientation is a highly original and intruiging read which will be of interest to scholars of human geography, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, cognitive science, information technology, and the communication sciences.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Claude Raffestin
Part I: Orientation/disorientation
1. Orientation/disorientation in physical space
2. (Dis)orienting oneself in thinking
3. Philosophies of disorientation
Part II: Lost subjects
4. It doesn't matter which way you go: the lived body and disorientation
5. "On the origin of certain instincts"
6. Different spatial abilities
Part III: The labyrinth of the world: places of disorientation
8. The city: a labyrinth where you are never lost
9. Lost in an unfrequented wilderness
10. Lost in cyberspace and art
Marcella Schmidt di Friedberg is Professor of Geography at the ‘Riccardo Massa’ Department of Human Sciences and Education at the University of Milano–Bicocca, Italy. Her research interests include cultural geography, island studies, gender geography, and the history of geographical thought. She is a member of the Editorial Board of ACME and Chair of the IGU Commission on the History of Geography.