Mobilizing Place, Placing Mobility

The Politics of Representation in a Globalized World


What role does ‘place’ have in a world marked by increased mobility on a global scale? What strategies are there for representing ‘place’ in the age of globalization? What is the relationship between ‘place’ and the varied mobilities of migrancy, tourism, travel and nomadism? These are some of the questions that run through the ten essays in this collection. The combined effect of these essays is to participate in the contemporary project of subjecting the links between place, mobility, identity, representation and practice to critical interdisciplinary scrutiny. Such notions are not the property of particular disciplines. In the era of globalization, transnationalism and readily acknowledged cultural hybridity these links are more important than ever. They are important because of the taken-for-grantedness of: the universal impact of globalization; the receding importance of place and the centrality of mobile identities. This taken-for-grantedness masks the ways place continues to be important and ways in which mobility is differentiated by race, gender, ethnicity, nationality and many other social markers. This book is a concerted attempt to stop taking for granted these themes of the age. Material discussed in the essays include the creation of cultural routes in Europe, the video’s of Fiona Tan, artistic and literary representations of the North African desert, the production of indigenous videos in Mexico, mobile forms of ethnography, the film Existenz, Jamaica Kincaid’s writing on gardens, the video representation of sex tourism and ways of imagining the global. Authors include: Tim Cresswell, Ginette Verstraete, Ernst van Alphen, Ursula Biemann, Laurel C. Smith, Nick Couldry, Isabel Hoving, Renée van de Vall, Inge E. Boer and Kevin Hetherington.
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Biographical Note

Tim Cresswell is a senior lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He is the author of In Place/Out of Place: Geography Ideology and Transgression (University of Minnesota Press, 1996) and The Tramp in America (Reaktion Books, 2001). He is co-editor (with Deborah Dixon) of Engaging Film (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002).
Ginette Verstraete is professor in Contemporary Intellectual History at the University of Amsterdam. She is the author of Fragments of the Feminine Sublime in Friedrich Schlegel and James Joyce (SUNY Press, 1998) and is completing a book on Tracking Communities: Travel, Technology and the Politics of Location. She has co-edited (in Dutch) volumes on cultural studies, on mobility and on globalization.

Table of contents

Preface. Tim CRESSWELL: Introduction: Theorizing Place. Ginette VERSTRAETE: Heading For Europe: Tourism and the Global Itinerary of an Idea. Ernst VAN ALPHEN: Imagined Homelands: Re-mapping Cultural Identity. Ursula BIEMANN: Touring, Routing and Trafficking Female Geobodies: A Video Essay on the Topography of the Global Sex Trade. Laurel C. SMITH: The Search for Well Being: Placing Development with Indigenous Identity. Nick COULDRY: Being Elsewhere: The Politics and Methods of Researching Symbolic Exclusion. Isabel HOVING: Remaining Where You Are: Kincaid and Glissant on Space and Knowledge. Renée VAN DE VALL: Immersion and Distance in Virtual Spaces. Inge E. BOER: No-Man’s Land? Five Short Cases on Deserts and the Politics of Place. Kevin HETHERINGTON: Whither the World? Presence, Absence and the Globe. The Contributors. Index.

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