We are familiar with the importance of 'progress' and 'change'. But what about loss? Across the world, from Beijing to Birmingham, people are talking about loss: about the loss that occurs when populations try to make new lives in new lands as well as the loss of traditions, languages and landscapes. The Geography of Nostalgia is the first study of loss as a global and local phenomenon, something that occurs on many different scales and which connects many different people.
The Geography of Nostalgia explores nostalgia as a child of modernity but also as a force that exceeds and challenges modernity. The book begins at a global level, addressing the place of nostalgia within both global capitalism and anti-capitalism. In Chapter Two it turns to the contested role of nostalgia in debates about environmentalism and social constructionism. Chapter Three addresses ideas of Asia and India as nostalgic forms. The book then turns to more particular and local landscapes: the last three chapters explore the yearnings of migrants for distant homelands, and the old cities and ancient forests that are threatened by modernity but which modern people see as sites of authenticity and escape.
The Geography of Nostalgia is a reader friendly text that will appeal to a variety of markets. In the university sector it is a student friendly, interdisciplinary text that will be welcomed across a broad range of courses, including cultural geography, post-colonial studies, landscape and planning, sociology and history.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Nostalgic Commodities and Nostalgic Resistance 2. The Anxieties and Adventures of Green Nostalgia: Environmentalism after Constructionism 3. Nostalgia across Asia: The Uses of the Past and the Dilemmas of Authenticity 4. Migrant Nostalgias: The Persistence of Loss 5. Nostalgia for the City: Conservation, Mobility and Critique 6. Getting Back: The Forest, Home and the Local Walk Conclusions
Alastair Bonnett is Professor of Social Geography at the University of Newcastle, UK.