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Holistic Houses and a Sense of Place

Contextualizing the Bishop Museum Hale Pili Exhibit through Archaeological Analyses

Jennifer G. Kahn

increase our interpretive abilities for museum collections and exhibits in the long term, particularly in reunifying folk housing and other objects with location, a sense of place, and locale. Archaeological analysis of the Bishop Museum’s hale pili

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Alla Bolotova, Anastasia Karaseva, and Valeria Vasilyeva

assumptions that are common in mobility studies about the weakening of a sense of place because of the increased mobility of modern societies. This article is based on the comparison of three regions of the Russian Far North: the Central Murmansk region, the

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Nunzia Borrelli and Peter Davis

This paper describes the main characteristics of ecomuseums as a prelude to analyzing the ways in which they interpret the relationship between nature and culture. It appears that ecomuseums have the capability to interpret this relationship as a dynamic process. However, ecomuseum practices are not simply dedicated to conserving aspects of heritage, but also provide a system of norms and values that contribute to shaping habitus and where “genius loci“ or sense of place can manifest itself. If society is to contribute to the preservation and valorization of nature, then frames of reference - such as the ecomuseum - can seek to inform and change attitudes and perceptions of the nature-culture dynamic. Consequently, people, communities, and democracy lie at the heart of ecomuseum philosophy, encouraging groups and individuals to work together to contribute to improving the environment. Social actions and the negotiation of forms of capital are essential to the process.

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Off-grid Mobilities

Incorporating a Way of Life

Phillip: Taggart Vannini

Drawing from sensory ethnography, the present multimodal writing—accompanied by photography and digital video—documents and interprets the mobilities of off-grid living on Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, Canada. The data presentation focuses in particular on the embodied experience of off-grid inhabitation, highlighting the sensory and kinetic experiences and practices of everyday life in a community disconnected from the North American electrical grid and highway network. The mobilities of fuel and energy are presented in unison with ethnographic attention to the taskscape of everyday activities and movements in which off-grid islanders routinely engage. The analysis, based on Tim Ingold's non-representational theory on place, movement, and inhabitation, focuses on how the material and corporeal mobilities of off-grid life body forth a unique sense of place.

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Martyn Bone

In 1980, Lewis Simpson published an essay entitled ‘The Closure of History in a Postsouthern America’. Simpson coined the term ‘postsouthern’ to denote the emergence of a new literary moment in which a central concept of southern renascence writing, ‘the history of the literary mind of the South seeking to become aware of itself’, no longer appeared to operate. Though Simpson’s initial definition of ‘postsouthern’ was tentative and particular, the neologism introduced into southern literary and cultural criticism an imperative to reassess the legitimacy of other established tropes, beliefs and constructs. Hence, Michael Kreyling has suggested that ‘Simpson characteristically had picked up on the symptoms of the postmodern/postsouthern before the rest of us.’ As it has been extended and reapplied by subsequent critics such as Kreyling, ‘postsouthern’ has been ‘an enabling word’ – similar to and synonymous with ‘postmodern’– with which to reassess the meaning of such foundational terms as ‘south’ and ‘southern’.

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Bill Devall

The death of American environmentalism has recently been proclaimed by some commentators (Schellenberger and Nordhaus 2005). Such declarations tend to be limiting because they fail to explore and evaluate the historical context of international, national, and regional social forces and social changes that shaped the American environmental movement over the past century. In this essay, I propose to explore the important question of the decline of American environmentalism within the context of a recurring theme pursued by the American movement: the protection of places wherein we dwell. David Brower has called this the practice of Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration, or CPR (Brower 1995).

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Andrew McCumber

between the dominant aesthetics of nature that drive this project and the material realities of Santa Barbara’s climate and physical geography by answering the question of how Santa Barbarans’ sense of place is impacted by citywide cultural preferences for

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Where Is Southern Literature?

The Practice of Place in a Postsouthern Age

Scott Romine

Of the several stock answers to the perennial question ‘What is southern literature?’, the importance of ‘place’ (or the presence of ‘sense of place’) surely ranks near the top of the list. Immediately we are faced with a paradox: How can any regional literature be distinguished on so ambiguous a basis? Places are, after all, found everywhere and in all literatures, and it is doubtful that even a rigorous poetics could reliably identify a ‘sense of place’ that is distinctively southern. To complicate matters, ‘sense of place’ often seems to imply being located not merely in a distinctive region, but in a distinctive way; the term connotes something that is not just geographically different (a southern variation of a thing that exists elsewhere), but qualitatively different (a thing distinctive to the South). ‘Sense of place’, then, serves as both a description (southern literature has it) and a distinction (southern literature has more of it than other literatures). For my purposes here, it precisely the nebulous content of ‘place’ that makes it so useful as a point of entry into examining how critics have defined and practised southern literature; because of place’s conceptual instability, what stability it does possess can be ascribed almost exclusively to how it has been used. Arguably, the location of ‘place’ is not so much in the South or in southern literature as in the critical discourse about those things.

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Dismantling the Monolith

Southern Places – Past, Present, and Future

Barbara Ladd

Most of us in southern literary studies have taken for granted the idea that southern literature is grounded in a ‘sense of place’, but questions about the meaning and significance of that sense of place have been troubling, particularly when linked in U.S. literature (as seems always to be the case) with the idea of ‘regionalism’. Is a literature ‘grounded in place’ necessarily a ‘regional’ literature? Many – including Eudora Welty – would say that it is not: ‘“Regional” is an outsider’s term’, she writes, which ‘has no meaning for the insider who is doing the writing, because as far as he knows he is simply writing about life …’ Nevertheless, for Welty, ‘Location [italics mine] is the ground conductor of all the currents of emotion and belief and moral conviction that charge out from the story in its course’.1 ‘Place’, in other words, is a matter of ‘location’, of ‘situation’, a ‘conductor’ of the currents that move and move through a literary text; and unlike ‘region’ as it has usually been understood, ‘place’ and ‘location’ are subjective, experiential, insiders’ terms. If this is so, why has the sense of place been so closely linked with regionalism in U.S. literary history? It is especially odd when one considers that the sense of place suggests something that ‘centres’ whereas regionalism evokes ideas of the periphery, so that the literatures of the periphery are often said to be ‘centred’ in that famous ‘sense of place’, whereas those literatures of the ‘centre’ are presumably unplaced. The answer probably has something to do with the fact that Americans imagine change and possibility in terms of a flight from, or liberation from, place. This has been one very powerful version of the American Dream. But change and possibility, those forces that move narrative, might be more accurately imagined as a transfiguration of – rather than as a flight or liberation from – place.

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Introduction

History as a Resource in Postmodern Societies

Máiréad Nic Craith and Michaela Fenske

How do people use history to shape their lives, places and ‘worlds’? Which kind of history do they use, and in what ways? What are the functions of history in this context? How do people interact with places and spaces by constructing history, and what are the implications of these constructions for a sense of place? These are some of the questions explored in this special issue of the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures on history and place-making.