In, of, out, with, and through

New perspectives in literary geography

Authored by: Marc Brosseau

The Routledge Handbook of Literature and Space

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138816350
eBook ISBN: 9781315745978
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315745978-2

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Abstract

Geography’s relationship with literature is no longer a disciplinary oddity. Seminars, special sessions in annual conferences, special issues of geography journals, and collective books see the light every year. Review papers, chapters in cultural geography textbooks, entries in human geography dictionaries or encyclopedias, and the publication in 2015 of the first issue of the journal Literary Geographies all bear witness to the greater legitimacy and relevance of this relationship. As much as it was somewhat marginal or peripheral until the 1970s, geographers’ use of literature is normalized as a disciplinary practice, so much so that we are now hearing calls to redefine the terms according to which the relationship should be established; while some think it is time for a new “state of the union” so to speak (Bédard and Lahaie, 2008), others believe it is necessary to “reforge” the connections (Saunders, 2010). These efforts at redefining what literary geography should be about are neither the first nor, to be sure, the last. However, past and future sources of renewal most often come from a combination of approaches that did not meet until a certain point in time. Since the turn of the 1990s, the growing number of interlocutors has contributed to the emergence of new ways of conceiving and approaching literature and, consequently, new ways to respond to emerging questions. The more recent renewal of the relationship between geography and the humanities can only accelerate this process (Daniels et al., 2011; Dear et al., 2011; Tally, 2013; GeoHumanities, 2015).

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