English Topographies in Literature and Culture takes a spatial approach to the study of English culture. In order to gain a fresh perspective on constructions of English cultural identity, the collection treats geography, social spaces and spatial practices as well as representations of space and place as complex constellations termed ‘cultural topographies’. Individual contributions focus on writing landscapes, London psychogeography, heritage discourses, urban planning, and idiosyncratic spatial practices such as suburban gardening. In line with the ‘affective turn’, the investigated cultural topographies transcend the dichotomy between the material and the immaterial through embodiment and embeddedness, displaying a ‘new sensitivity’ in textual, visual and aural representations that seek to transcend an anthropocentric perspective. Space thus emerges as both political and shaped by affect.
Ina Habermann is Professor of English at the University of Basel. She is Director of the Centre of Competence Cultural Topographies and author of
Myth, Memory and the Middlebrow: Priestley, du Maurier and the Symbolic Form of Englishness (Palgrave 2010).
Daniela Keller is a PhD candidate at the University of Basel working on literary depictions of Germany in contemporary British fiction with a particular focus on the relationship between physics and fiction.
Table of contents
English Topographies: Introduction (Ina Habermann and Daniela Keller)
I Writing Landscape
1. The Making of Edgelands (Michael Symmons Roberts)
2. “Untranslated landscape”: Recent Poetic Prose of Kathleen Jamie and Paul Farley/Michael Symmons Roberts (Christian Schmitt-Kilb)
3. Wilderness Effects and Wild Affects in UK Nature/Travel Writing (Kylie Crane)
II London Psychogeography
4. Running Rings Round London: Psychogeography in Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital (Ina Habermann)
5. Bleak London: (Neo-)Dickensian Psychogeographies (Susanne Gruss)
III Heritage Discourses
6. British Suburban Sitcoms and Television Heritage: The Good Life and Keeping Up Appearances (Christiane Schlote)
7. Brontё Soundscapes: The Role of Soundtracks in Adaptations of Wuthering Heights in Brontё Heritage Discourses (Jenny Bavidge)
8. Topographies of Detection: Literary Tourism, English Heritage and the Making of Agatha Christie Country (Barbara Eichhammer)
9. From Cityscapes of the Past to Brave New Worlds of the Present – Heritage and the Politics of Urban Revitalization (Richard Stinshoff)
IV Individual Spatial Practices
10. Spatial Practices of Eighteenth-Century Domestic Travellers and the Idea of the Nation (Stephan Kohl)
11. Reinforcing Local Identities Through Landmarks and Their Representations in En-passant-media. The Special Case of the Angel of the North (Jakob F. Dittmar)
12. Domestic Garden Landscapes of Memory, Mortality and Beyond (Franklin Ginn)
The book addresses academics and students in English Literature, Media and Cultural Studies as well as Human Geography and Cultural Anthropology. It will be of interest to academic libraries.