1st Edition

Reanimating Regions Culture, Politics, and Performance

Edited By James Riding, Martin Jones Copyright 2017
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Writing regions, undertaking a regional study, was once a standard form of geographic communication and critique. This was until the quantitative revolution in the middle of the previous century and more definitively the critical turn in human geography towards the end of the twentieth century. From then on writing regions as they were experienced phenomenologically, or arguing culturally, historically, and politically with regions, was deemed to be old-fashioned. Yet the region is, and always will be, a central geographical concept, and thinking about regions can tell us a lot about the history of the discipline called geography.

    Despite taking up an identifiable place within the geographical imagination in scholarship and beyond, region remains a relatively forgotten, under-used, and in part under-theorised term. Reanimating Regions marks the continued reinvigoration of a set of disciplinary debates surrounding regions, the regional, and regional geography. Across 18 chapters from international, interdisciplinary scholars, this book writes and performs region as a temporary permanence, something held stable, not fixed and absolute, at different points in time, for different purposes. There is, as this expansive volume outlines, no single reading of a region.

    Reanimating Regions collectively rebalances the region within geography and geographical thought. In renewing the geography of regions as not only a site of investigation but also as an analytical framework through which to write the world, what emerges is a powerful reworking of the geographic imagination. Read against one another, the chapters weave together timely commentaries on region and regions across the globe, with a particular emphasis upon the regional as played out in the United Kingdom, and regional worlds both within and beyond Europe, offering chapters from Africa and South America. Addressing both the political and the cultural, this volume

    List of Figures 

    List of Tables

    Notes on Contributors




    Introduction: A New New Regional Geography

    Martin Jones

    Part I: Culture

    1 Writing Regional Cultural Landscape: Cultural Geography on the Norfolk Broads

    David Matless

    2 Regions Rock: Heavy Metal and the Role of Music in the Construction of Regional Identity for the British Midlands

    Jesse Heley and Marc Welsh

    3 On Parochialism

    John Tomaney

    4 Mapping Cultures of Regional Perception and Conception: A Cultural Cartography from Northeast Brazil

    Jörn Seemann

    5 Regionalists and Excursionistes: Catalan ‘Regions’ and National Identity

    Venetia Congdon

    Part II: Politics

    A Radical New Regional Geography: Notes on a Revolution

    James Riding

    7 The Crisis at the Centre of the United Kingdom: Exploring Scottish Independence and Democratically Disruptive Regions

    Philip Johnstone

    8 From ‘Fly Frontier’ to ‘Cotton Country’: Social Change and Agrarian Transformation in the Northwest of Zimbabwe

    Nicholas James

    9 Intertwined Spatialities: Discursive Construction(s) of Central Germany

    Roger Baars and Antje Schlottmann

    10 Regions, Regionalisms and Identities: Towards a Regional Mess

    Kaj Zimmerbauer

    11 City-Region Building and Geohistorical Matters

    David Beel, Martin Jones and Ian Rees Jones

    Part III: Performance


    James Riding is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Space and Political Agency Research Group/RELATE Centre of Excellence at the University of Tampere, Finland.

    Martin Jones is Professor of Human Geography and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University, UK.


    'This is a welcome and provocative collection which reveals a resurgence of regional geography, from a spectrum of perspectives. Drawing on a range of detailed case studies, the authors show why regions matter, on the ground, and in the mind, as a locus of social and economic life, a lens on prevailing geographical processes and patterns, and as a resource for imagining alternative, possible worlds.' — Stephen Daniels, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Nottingham and editor of Envisioning Landscapes, Making Worlds: Geography and the Humanities, and The Iconography of Landscape

    'Through a refreshingly-diverse and contemporary set of chapters, this book fully delivers on its title and its promise. Reanimating Regions gathers a distinctive and international set of voices and perspectives. If the fortunes of 'the region' as a conceptual frame and substantive topic have risen and fallen through time, then here we see a strong and fresh case made for regionality as cultural form, political crucible and performative inspiration.' — John Wylie, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Exeter and author of Landscape

    'Region – both as a generic idea and a tool used in governance, classification and distribution – has become increasingly significant during the last few decades. At the same time regional identities and political regionalism have gained popularity at and across various spatial scales, displaying the meaning of regions for economic and cultural life, social reproduction and related struggles. This exciting book brings together an interdisciplinary and international group of scholars and artists who open novel perspectives on what regions are and do, and how we should understand their functions and power in the contemporary globalizing world.' — Anssi Paasi, Professor of Geography, University of Oulu and author of Territories, b