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Textures of Identity in the North of England
Volume Editor: Christoph Ehland
Thinking Northern offers new approaches to the processes of identity formation which are taking place in the diverse fields of cultural, economic and social activity in contemporary Britain. The essays collected in this volume discuss the changing physiognomy of Northern England and provide a mosaic of recent thought and new critical thinking about the textures of regional identity in Britain. Looking at the historical origin of Northern identities and at current attitudes to them, the book explores the way received mental images about the North are re-deployed and re-contained in the ever-changing socio-cultural set-up of society in Northern England. The contributors address representation of Northernness in such diverse fields as the music scene, multicultural spaces, the heritage industries, new architecture, the arts, literature and film.
Volume Editors: Robert Burden and Stephan Kohl
In the papers collected in this, the first volume of the Spatial Practices series, Englishness is reflected in the spaces it occupies or dwells in. Broadly influenced by a renewed and growing interest in questions of cultural identity, its emergence in Victorian theories and fictions of nationality, and the new cultural geography, the papers cover a rich variety of spaces and places which have been appropriated for cultural meanings: the rural countryside and farmland of the Home Counties in the early nineteenth century as Arcadian idyll in Cobbett, as the land to die for in war propaganda, and as nostalgia for a unified, organic English culture in Lawrence, Morton and Priestley’s travel writing, but also in the Shell Tourist Guides to motoring in rural England; English moorland; the sacred geographies of monuments in Hardy and others; the traditional seaside deconstructed in Martin Parr’s photography, and the sea as English Victorian imperial territory and its symbolic breezes in Froude’s travel writing. The English landscape is also a paradigm for the description of other places in D. H. Lawrence’s travel writing or for the colonial territory itself in Rushdie’s writing India, a displacement of other landscapes. This collection of papers examines the assumption that constructions of rural England provide the basis for an understanding of Englishness.