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The Representation of Domestic Space in Modern Culture
Volume Editors: Gerry Smyth and Jo Croft
Space has emerged in recent years as a radical category in a range of related disciplines across the humanities. Of the many possible applications of this new interest, some of the most exciting and challenging have addressed the issue of domestic architecture and its function as a space for both the dramatisation and the negotiation of a cluster of highly salient issues concerning, amongst other things, belonging and exclusion, fear and desire, identity and difference.
Our House is a cross-disciplinary collection of essays taking as its focus both the prospect and the possibility of ‘the house’. This latter term is taken in its broadest possible resonance, encompassing everything from the great houses so beloved of nineteenth-century English novelists to the caravans and mobile homes of the latterday travelling community, and all points in between. The essays are written by a combination of established and emerging scholars, working in a variety of scholarly disciplines, including literary criticism, sociology, cultural studies, history, popular music, and architecture. No specific school or theory predominates, although the work of two key figures – Gaston Bachelard and Martin Heidegger – is engaged throughout.
This collection engages with a number of key issues raised by the increasingly troubled relationship between the cultural (built) and natural environments in the contemporary world.
Author: George Hagman
Author: Marilyn Charles
One of the challenges in psychoanalytic work is to find ways to enliven the space when working with individuals whose thinking is highly constrained and who have little capacity for play. This incapacity often signals a split between valued and devalued aspects of self. In cases such as these, self-protection becomes paramount and may profoundly impede growth, as whatever is not known is perceived as dangerous, rather than being a challenge that invites further development. For the therapist who must create aliveness within the consulting room, we are caught by the very real threat that this aliveness poses to the defensive structures on which the patient’s equilibrium rests. Movement thus can be quite precarious. In this volume, Marilyn Charles considers how notions of “play” and “myth”, as brought into the literature by Winnicott and Bion, can help to provide an interim space in which impossible realities can be constructed at a safe enough reserve that we can more actively consider them and thereby create possibilities, rather than foreclosing on them.