Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

ToC for Mallory & Simpson-Housley 1987

August 4, 2014

Mallory, William E., and Paul Simpson-Housley. 1987. Geography and Literature. Syracuse University Press.

Caviedes, C. 1987. “The Latin American Boom Town in the Literary View of José María Arguedas.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 56–77. Syracuse University Press.

Griffin, J. 1987. “Geography as Destiny in Harriette Arnow’s Kentucky Trilogy.” In Geography and Literature: Meeting of the Disciplines, 95–113.

Jones, L. 1987. “Thomas Hardy and the Cliff without a Name.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 169–84. Syracuse University Press.

Miller, J.W. 1987a. “Anytime the Ground Is Uneven: The Outlook for Regional Studies and What to Look Out For.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 1–20. Syracuse University Press.

Mitchell,. 1987. “Landscape and Literature.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 23–29. Syracuse University Press.

Paul, A. H. 1987. “Russian Landscape in Literature: Lermontov and Turgenev.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 115–31. Syracuse University Press.

Pocock, D.C.D. 1987. “Haworth: The Experience of Literary Place.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 135–42. Syracuse University Press Syracuse, NY.

Preston, P. 1987. “A Grim and Original Beauty”: Arnold Bennett and the Landscape of the Five Towns’ in William E. Mallory and Paul Simpson-Housley.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, Syracuse, NY, 31–55.

Robinson, B. 1987a. “The Geography of a Crossroads: Modernism, Surrealism, and Geography.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 185–98. Syracuse University Press Syracuse, NY.

Rosowski, S. J. 1987. “Willa Cather and the Fatality of Place: O Pioneers!, My Antonia, and A Lost Lady.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 81–94.

Shami, J. 1987. “John Donne: Geography as Metaphor.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines. Ed. William E. Mallory & Paul Simpson Housley. Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 161–67.

Vermette, R. 1987. “Terrae Incantatae: The Symbolic Geography of Twelfth-Century Arthurian Romance.” In Geography and Literature: A Meeting of the Disciplines, 145–60. Syracuse University Press Syracuse NY.

new citations with abstracts

August 4, 2014

Daniel, L. A. “Norteño Imaginary Spaces: A Typology of the Fictional Towns of Guillermo Arriaga, David Toscana, and Alfredo Espinosa.” Hispania 88, no. 2 (2005): 257–66.

Abstract: Narrative space–real or imaginary–is essential for the realization of a novel. An examination of fictive space in three contemporary Mexican norte?o writers reveals they share certain commonalities. Also, the novels are generally set in small fictional towns that tend to be manifest in one of two forms: a realistically depicted place that doesn’t exist in the real world either by name or location, or an existing town with a name change. Information on its founding or the detail given to its physical description aids the reader’s willing suspension of disbelief in order to accept the invented place as a real community and to subsequently identify with and relate to it.

Johnson, K.L. 2007. “Writing Deeper Maps: Mapmaking, Local Indigenous Knowledges, and Literary Nationalism in Native Women’s Writing.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 19 (4): 103–20.

Parsons, Coilin. 2008. “Literary Maps: Cartography in Anglo-Irish Literature”. PhD, Columbia University.

 My dissertation proposes maps as key to navigating the landscape of Anglo-Irish literature. The Anglo-Irish Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century depended on the maps produced by the Ordnance Survey of the British army between 1824 and 1841 for much of its raw material. This material came from the extensive investigations in history, archaeology, and folklore carried out by the employees of the survey, as well as from the maps themselves. I argue that the survey’s historical and cartographic contributions are central to the work of Irish writers from the apocryphal translator James Clarence Mangan to J.M. Synge, and W.B. Yeats. “Literary Maps” reinserts these authors’ works into their contemporary cultural and disciplinary context—the development of a significant and effective tool of British government in Ireland—and argues for the centrality of mapping to their understanding of history.

I also make an intervention into the study of colonial mapmaking, reading the maps and associated publications of cartographers from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. I argue that the history of cartography in Ireland undermines our understanding of maps of colonized spaces as a seamless language of power; while maps promise to encode and consolidate power, they also facilitate the unbinding of that power. Though the process of map-making offers new imaginative possibilities for Irish literature in English, the traffic is by no means one way, and my dissertation hinges on the symbiotic relationship between describing Ireland in maps and describing it in imaginative literature. Mangan, Synge, and Yeats all offer compelling alternative visions of landscape, history, and folklore that constantly interrupt the appearance of order so carefully constructed in maps, exposing and exploiting the fissures that I identify in my reading of the work of the Ordnance Survey. In addition, these writers look to maps to provide an imaginative idea of landscape that overcomes the narrow, sectarian divisions of the nationalist movement, and proposes an inclusive, cosmopolitan vision of the state. “Literary Maps” attempts to recuperate the shared history of mapmaking and literature in Ireland.

Perenič, U. 2013. “An Overview of Literary Mapping Projects on Cities: Literary Spaces, Literary Maps and Sociological (re) Conceptualisations of Space.” Neohelicon, 1–13.

The status of literary mapping projects as applied to national capitals or large cities invites fascinating modes of exegesis. The use of literary maps, now one
of the main tools in spatially-oriented literary studies, reveals, among other phenomena, the relationship between real and imaginary spaces. This essay proffers
two options: maps used in literary studies in a limited fashion and in tandem with spatial studies—i.e., geographical analyses—or a renunciation of maps when literary imageries of cities are determined to be fictional and unreal. The latter possibility is supported particularly by modern sociological (re)conceptualisations of
space, which, prior to the spatial turn in post-modernist studies, advocated the view that (city) space is a result of specific material features and of the social dynamics and practices of the users of that space. All considered, it is time perhaps that literary studies reconsider these models and the (appropriate or inappropriate) use of maps.

29 new citations for pre-1990

July 28, 2014
Just added —
Alexander, David. “Dante and the Form of the Land.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 76, no. 1 (1986): 38–49.

Butler-Adam, John F. “Literature and The Night–Time Geography of Cities.” South African Geographical Journal 63, no. 1 (1981): 47–59.

Cerveny, Randall S., and Sandra W. Brazel. “Sherlock Holmes and the Weather.” Weatherwise 42, no. 2 (1989): 80–84.

Dutt, Ashok K., and Ramesh C. Dhussa. “The Contrasting Image and Landscape of Calcutta through Literature.” Proceedings of the Association of American Geographers 8 (1976): 102–6.

Emery, F. V. “English Regional Studies from Aubrey to Defoe.” The Geographical Journal 124, no. 3 (September 1958): 315.

Geikie, Archibald. Types of Scenery and Their Influence on Literature. Macmillan, 1898.

Gilbert, E.W. “British Regional Novelists and Geography.” In British Pioneers in Geography, 116–27. Barnes and Noble, 1972.

Goodey, Brian R. “Mapping ‘Utopia’: A Comment on the Geography of Sir Thomas More.” Geographical Review 60, no. 1 (January 1970): 15.

Jay, Leslie J. “The Black Country of Francis Brett Young.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 1975, 57–72.

Lamme III, Ary J. “Geography in Children’s Literature: A Florida Survey.” Journal of Geography 86, no. 4 (1987): 160–64.

Loyd, Bonnie. “The Changing City Landscape in Children’s Books.” Journal of Outdoor Education 13, no. 2 (1979): 15–20.

Manzi, E. “The Geographical Novel of Emilio Salgari.” In International Geography. U of Toronto Press, 1972.

Martinson, T.L. “From Agatha Christie to Frank Herbert: Tracing Geographical Themes in Popular Literature.” Geographical Perspectives 43 (1979): 10–14.

Mill, Hugh Robert. Guide to Geographical Books and Appliances. George Philip & Son, 1910.

Noble, Allen G. “The Emergence and Evolution of Malgudi: An Interpretation of South Indian Townscapes from the Fictional Writings of RK Narayan.” Proceedings of the Association of American Geographers 8 (1976): 106–10.

Pirie, G. H. “Mostly ‘Jubek’ Urbanism in Some South African English Literature.” South African Geographical Journal 64, no. 1 (1982): 63–71.

Porteous, J. Douglas. “A Preliminary Landscape Analysis of Middle-Earth during Its Third Age.” Landscape 19 (1975): 33–38.

Reynolds, Robert C. “The Geomorphology of Middle-Earth.” Swansea Geographer 12, no. 1 (1974): 974.

Salter, Christopher L. “Signatures and Settings: One Approach to Landscape in Literature.” Dimensions of Human Geography: Essays on Some Familiar and Neglected Themes, 1978, 69–83.

Seamon, David. “Phenomenological Investigation of Imaginative Literature: A Commentary.” Environmental Knowing: Theories, Research and Methods, 1976, 286–90.

Spolton, L. “The Spirit of Place: DH Lawrence and the East Midlands.” The East Midland Geographer 5 (1970): 88–96.

Tuan, Yi-Fu. “Literature, Experience and Environmental Knowing.” Environmental Knowing: Theories, Research and Methods, 1976, 260–62.

Warton, D. Short List of Novels and Literary Works of Geographic Interest. London: Leeds Branch of the British Geographers Association, 1920.

Whittington, Graeme. “The Regionalism of Lewis Grassic Gibbon.” The Scottish Geographical Magazine 90, no. 2 (1974): 75–84.

Wright, J. K. “Geography of the Odyssey.” Geographical Review 18 (1928): 157–58.

Wright, J. K. “Homeric Geography.” Geographical Review 16 (1926): 669–71.

Wright, J. K. “The Geography of Dante.” The Geographical Review 14, no. 2 (1924): 319–20.

Wright, John K. “Geography in Literature.” The Geographical Review 14, no. 1 (1924): 659–60.

Zelliot, E. “Literary Images of the Modern Indian City.” In Urban India: Society, Space and Image, 215–23. Duke University, 1970.

9 new citations added

July 18, 2014

Bavidge, J. 2006. “Stories in Space: The Geographies of Children’s Literature.” Children’s Geographies 4 (3): 319–30.

This paper argues for the uses of children’s literature in the study of children’s geographies. It focuses in particular on the nature of representations of urban space in children’s literature, a genre more usually connected with the pastoral and explores the narrative strategies and approaches of children’s literature which does venture into the city. I propose five modes in which the city is written for children and ask, from the position of literary criticism which distrusts children’s stories‘ ability to speak for children, how far these modes can be said to coincide with children’s lived experience of the city.

Borin, L., D. Dannélls, and L.-J. Olsson. 2014. “Geographic Visualization of Place Names in Swedish Literary Texts.” Literary and Linguistic Computing.

This article describes the development of a geographical information system (GIS) at Språkbanken as part of a visualization solution to be used in an archive of historical Swedish literary texts. The research problems we are aiming to address concern orthographic and morphological variation, missing place names, and missing place name coordinates. Some of these problems form a central part in the development of methods and tools for the automatic analysis of historical Swedish literary texts at our research unit. We discuss the advantages and challenges of covering large-scale spelling variation in place names from different sources and in generating maps with focus on different time periods.

Caquard, S., and W. Cartwright. 2014. “Narrative Cartography: From Mapping Stories to the Narrative of Maps and Mapping.” The Cartographic Journal 51 (2): 101–6.

This paper provides an overview of the multiple ways of envisioning the relationships between maps and narratives. This is approached from a map making perspective. Throughout the process of editing this special issue, we have identified two main types of relationships. Firstly, maps have been used to represent the spatio-temporal structures of stories and their relationships with places. Oral, written and audio-visual stories have been mapped extensively. They raise some common cartographic challenges, such as improving the spatial expression of time, emotions, ambiguity, connotation, as well as the mixing of personal and global scales, real and fictional places, dream and reality, joy and pain. Secondly, the potential of maps as narratives and the importance of connecting the map with the complete mapping process through narratives is addressed. Although the potential of maps to tell stories has already been widely acknowledged, we emphasize the increasing recognition of the importance of developing narratives that critically describe the cartographic process and context in which maps unfold – the core idea of post-representational cartography. Telling the story about how maps are created and how they come to life in a broad social context and in the hands of their users has become a new challenge for mapmakers.

Earhart, A. E. 2014. “‘After a Hundred Years / Nobody Knows the Place’: Notes Toward Spatial Visualizations of Emily Dickinson.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 23 (1): 98–105.

Abstract:This essay speculates on possible digital manipulations of the relationships between Dickinson texts—the letters and poems—and their spatial contexts and posits that such approaches are ripe for exploration by Dickinson scholars. The 19th-Century Concord Digital Archive is used as a case study to explore how literature scholars might locate research questions that would be supported by visualization approaches. The article explores the potential for representational and interpretive approaches to visualization, positing that interpretive uses hold the most scholarly promise. Examining possible tools that might be used by scholars, including GIS and Neatline, the article argues that such tools help us, as Jerome McGann writes, “imagine what we don’t know.” The article ends by cautioning scholars to resist simple, positivistic spatial representations that fix representations. Instead, the article encourages scholars to use visualizations to disrupt, reorder, and expose new forms of inquiry.

Lang, A. 2014. “Canadian Magazines and Their Spatial Contexts: Digital Possibilities and Practical Realities.” International Journal of Canadian Studies 48 (-1): 213–32.

The digitization of literary texts and periodicals brings with it exciting possibilities, including the ability to create visualizations of places and trajectories using mapping technologies. However, such mapping also has the potential to be somewhat perilous, as researchers need to invest significant amounts of time without always being certain in advance about the intellectual benefits that will result. In this article, I ask what it means to map place in relation to little magazines—places of publication, places mentioned, places whose broader imaginative pull is attested to by depictions of travel and tourism—and consider not only how but also why and when it is worth going to the trouble of geocoding texts from literature, literary history, and book history. I take several case studies of digital projects which use mapping of various sorts to explore what can be discovered from geographical and other forms of visualization, and I suggest particular kinds of data, and text, that are especially beneficial to bring within the ambit of this kind of methodological approach.

Morrison, S. 2013. “Requiem’s Ruins: Unmaking and Making in Cold War Faulkner.” American Literature 85 (2): 303–31.

Morrison’s essay calls for closer scholarly attention to Faulknerian geography in its historical specificity by demonstrating the effects of post-WWII urban crisis on Faulkner’s Cold War writing. To this end, the article reads Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun (1951) as not only a response to industrialization and militarization in the South, but as a sustained novelistic reflection on modes of urban renewal in both the United States and a Europe under reconstruction through the Marshall Plan. By unearthing the bivalent history of US urbanism’s sounds and spaces, Requiem for a Nun interrogates US mass culture at a crucial moment in its foreign expansion, during a period when many Europeans feared an Americanization of their cities and cultures concomitant with US-funded postwar rebuilding. The text’s fictive geographies represent a Faulknerian spatial imagination unthinkable in isolation from the urban panics—both domestic and international—of the early Cold War, allowing us to rethink Faulkner’s strategies for imagining political community in this time. Through images of ruined and renewed urban forms, as well as the sounds that accompany material urban change, Requiem registers the tolls of both a mass-market consumerism that the United States sought to promote abroad and a schema of spatial and social reconstruction rooted in conditionality rather than forgiveness. In this way, the article calls attention to the geographical complexity of Faulkner’s engagement with a post-WWII US market empire.

Schweighauser, P. 2006. The Noises of American Literature, 1890-1985. University Press of Florida.

Schweighauser traces the acoustic imagination of American literature from naturalism to postmodernism. He reads the noises writers represent as fictional responses to the social, cultural, and political changes and conflicts of modernity and postmodernity. Exploring the social functions of literature, he also suggests that literature itself, in its constant search for new language forms, has become a source of revitalizing noise in the channels of cultural communication.

Vandevelde, T. 2014. “‘Are You Going to Mind the Noise?’ Mapping the Soundscapes of Parade’s End.” In International Ford Madox Ford Studies 13. Rodopi.

West-Pavlov, R. 2014. “Inside Out – The New Literary Geographies of the Post-Apartheid City in Mpe and Vladislavić’s Johannesburg Writing.” Journal of Southern African Studies 40 (1): 7–19.

This article examines the strategies used by Johannesburg writers Phaswane Mpe and Ivan Vladislavić in their texts Welcome to Our Hillbrow (2001) and Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked (2006) to make sense of the bewildering transformations of post-apartheid Johannesburg. I begin by sketching the transformations of the city in the wake of the dismantling of apartheid-era segregation, sketching in particular the way in which the city has been turned ‘inside out’. Then, in the texts by Mpe and Vladislavić, I examine figures of the ‘inside out’, specifically Mpe’s use of narratological loops and Vladislavić’s implementation of the figure of the Möbius strip, to show how these recent literary texts have attempted to elucidate the vertiginous demographic changes in the city.



new citation: literary geographies of Toronto

March 2, 2014

Tavares, David, and Marc Brosseau. 2013. “The Spatial Politics of Informal Urban Citizenship: Reading the Literary Geographies of Toronto in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For.Zeitschrift Für Kanada-Studien 33: 9–33.

Abstract: This article offers a geographical reading of Dionne Brand’s novel What We All Long For (2005), which provides readers with an ambitious portrayal of everyday life in contemporary multi-cultural Toronto. The article considers how the places and spaces of Toronto, and their quotidian inhabitation by characters in the novel, play a key role in structuring the urban lives and identities of Brand’s immigrant characters and their second-generation children alike. Through a discussion of generational differences, the article highlights the relationships between space and the politics of identity central to the novel’s portrayal of the city. More concretely, it argues that What We All Long For generates and circulates a powerful representation of the politicized socio-spatial processes through which ‘informal urban citizenship’ is contested in Canada’s most culturally diverse city. The focus on informal urban citizenship is intended to capture the embeddedness of this and other novels in the ongoing definition and redefinition of social and cultural identities in contemporary multi cultural cities. At the same time, the article hopes to illustrate the potential of the concept of informal urban citizenship to inform research in the sub-field of literary geography and the potential of literature as a point of departure for exploring the socio-spatial dimensions of this fascinating concept.

new MA thesis citation

February 15, 2014
Jenness, Roger. 2013. “Landscape and the Geographical Imagination of J.B. Priestley: 1913-1930”. MA, University of Sussex.
There are a number of studies on J.B. Priestley’s life and work including assessments of his novels, social and political writings and contribution to English culture. Some of these studies have commented on Priestley and landscape, especially his attachment to Bradford and rural Yorkshire. There are no detailed studies, however, relating to his geographical imagination. The purpose of this research is a survey and interpretation of Priestley’s work to form a source of information and ideas relating to landscape, dwelling and topophilia as the basis of his geographical imagination. The thesis will consider, firstly, what he wrote relating to the origin and form of his attachment to Bradford and rural Yorkshire as indicated by his articles in the Bradford Pioneer in 1913, a Labour newspaper published in Bradford. The thesis explains the extent to which he continued this attachment in his later work after the First World War before writing about London. In the next stage I approach the novel Angel Pavement in terms of his responses to London in relation to the provinces. Finally, the research is concerned with how Angel Pavement represented the landscape and identity of London in about 1930. The main contribution of the research is its detailed response to Priestley’s thoughts on urban and rural landscapes in his early journalism and popular fiction. The research is organized around two main themes. The first of these is concerned with the origin of Priestley’s attachment to Bradford and rural Yorkshire. The second considers how this attachment has influenced later work, in particular how he approached writing about London.

updated crime fiction list

February 15, 2014

Beasley, C. 2011. “From Hansom Cabs to Harbour Raves: a History of the City in Australian Crime Fiction.” Interdisciplinary Themes Journal 3 (1) (November 21).

Birkle, C. 2003. “Investigating Newark, New Jersey: Empowering Spaces in Valerie Wilson Wesley’s Detective Fiction.” Sleuthing Ethnicity: The Detective in Multiethnic Crime Fiction: 133.

Chu, M. 2000. “Someone Else’s Southerner: Opposed Essences in the Italian Novels of Michael Dibdin, Magdalen Nabb and Tim Parks’.” In Crime Scenes: Detective Narratives in European Culture Since 1945, 73–85. Rodopi.

Chu, M. 2011. “Crime and the South.” In Italian Crime Fiction, 89–114. University of Wales Press.

Farish, M. 2005. “Cities in Shade: Urban Geography and the Uses of Noir.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 23 (1): 95 – 118.

Goulet, A. 2007. “Legacies of the Rue Morgue: Street Names and Private-Public Violence in Modern French Crime Fiction.” Modern Language Quarterly 68 (1): 87–110.

Goulet, A. 2008. “Malet’s Maps and Butor’s Bleston: City-Space and Formal Play in the Roman Policier.” L’Esprit Créateur 48 (2): 46–59.

Hausladen, G. 1995. “Murder in Moscow.” Geographical Review: 63–78.

Hausladen, G. 1996. “Where the Bodies Lie: Sense of Place and Police Procedurals.” Journal of Cultural Geography 16 (1): 45–63.

Howell, P. 1998. “Crime and the City Solution: Crime Fiction, Urban Knowledge, and Radical Geography.” Antipode 30 (4) (October 1): 357–378.

Jenkins, J. 2011. “Out of Place: Geographical Fiction(s) in Håkan Nesser’s Inspector Van Veeteren Series.” Cartographic Journal, The 48 (4): 285–292.

Kadonaga, L. 1998. “Strange Countries and Secret Worlds in Ruth Rendell’s Crime Novels.” Geographical Review 88 (3): 413–428.

Kinsman, M. 1995. “A Question of Visibility: Paretsky and Chicago.” Women Times Three: Writers, Detectives, Readers: 15–28.

McManis, D. R. 1978. “Places for Mysteries.” Geographical Review: 319–334.

Miskimmin, E. 2013. “‘Crossing the “Shadow Frontier”’: The Criminal Underworld in Detective Fiction from the Victorians to the Golden Age.” Online.

Ng, K. G-Y. 2002. “Policing Cultural Traffic: Charlie Chan and Hawai’i Detective Fiction.” Cultural Values 6 (3): 309–316.

Pezzotti, B. 2012. The Importance of Place in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction: A Bloody Journey. Fairleigh Dickinson.

Pieri, G. 2007. “Milano Nera: Representing and Imagining Milan in Italian Noir and Crime Fiction.” Romance Studies 25 (2): 123–135.

Rinaldi, L. 2009. “Bologna’s Noir Identity: Narrating the City in Carlo Lucarelli’s Crime Fiction.” Italian Studies 64 (1): 120–133.

Schmid, D. 2012. “From the Locked Room to the Globe: Space in Crime Fiction.” In Cross-Cultural Connections in Crime Fictions, 7–23.

Wells, C. 2004. “Urban Dialectics in the Detective Fiction of Manuel Vázquez Montalbán.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 40 (1) (January 1): 83–95. doi:10.1093/fmls/40.1.83.

Wells, C. 2007. “The Case of Barcelona in Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s Detective Fiction.” Romance Studies 25 (4): 279–288.

new PhD citation — “textual mapping”

February 10, 2014
Mastro, Julia Elizabeth Ramaley. 2008. “Jules Verne’s Textual Mapping: Plotting Geography”. PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jules Verne designed his series of Voyages extraordinaires around the premise of painting or depicting the earth. It is with this in mind that I explore the idea that Verne is a geographical writer whose style reproduces a voyage, or an itinerary, that creates overlap, or a space of communication, between the ordinary and the fictional worlds. The product of this overlap, or this style, is what I term the textual map, which is a metaphor for the reading experience as a compilation of movements through a geographical location described textually. The textual map differs from the literary map, therefore, because rather than linking to or identifying a location in order to assign it a relative place, it assumes a perspective that is at the ground level so as to describe movement through instead of over a geographical location. The textual map and the associated literary and geographical terminology express Verne’s style that is nonlinear, an amalgam of his own research, and the impressionistic manner by which he combines descriptive geographical visions to convey a space rather than a place, as expressed by de Certeau.
Specifically, I concentrate on Deux Ans de vacances, Le Phare du bout du monde and En Magellanie, three of the Voyages extraordinaires and in which Verne visits the most southern area of South America. With each of these textual maps, Verne employs a textual legend, or a key to reading the geographical novel, and a way for the author to write a perspective that is part of the geography rather than a view of it from a distance. I classify three categories of the legend: the identification of the island location, the movements of the characters who inhabit the island and the author’s own narrative voice. Studying these aspects of Verne’s writing and the textual map, or studying Verne as a geographical author, allows for an interdisciplinary approach to reading an author who was himself interdisciplinary in the sense that he crossed traditional lines of discourse and applied his research in a product-oriented manner.

2 new PhD theses

February 9, 2014

Crowley, Dustin. 2013. “The Geography of Narrative: Representations of Place in African Literature”. PhD, University of Kansas.

Questions of geography have been prominent in the criticism of both African literature in
particular and postcolonialism in general, including, for instance, issues regarding the nation,
globalization, and the urban. Yet most discussions regarding these geographic concerns have
remained dichotomous, resulting in criticism that fails to attend to the complexity with which
African authors tend to represent the places of their writing. By engaging with a wide range of
work in cultural geography, this dissertation develops what might be termed geocriticism, a
model for understanding such geographic issues through the relations of space, place, and scale.
With this model, the dissertation argues for ways to understand concepts like the nation or the
local/global not as essential categories with set characteristics, but as relationally and historically
particular constructs. By doing so, we can attend with more nuance to the ways African authors
represent the conditions and relations of place in their narratives. The model of geocriticism
developed in this dissertation elucidates the ways each of the authors discussed in some way
understands the particular conditions and locations they write about as being influenced by largescale
entanglements with the continent and the world. Despite their geographic and historical
breadth and varied representational strategies, they all in some sense engage with questions about
“Africa” and it’s place-in-the-world, providing both multiform ways to understand the
consequences of Africa’s position and various alternative visions for the continent and its
constituent places.

O’Hogan, Cillian Conor. 2013. “Geography and Space in the Poetry of Prudentius”. PhD thesis. University of Toronto.

This dissertation examines the themes of geography and space in the poetry of the late antique Latin poet Prudentius (348-c.405 CE). The first chapter discusses the geography of reading, and suggests that Prudentius’ Peristephanon provides a means for the reader to experience the sites of the cults of the martyrs by reading about them rather than by having to travel to see them. It is also argued that the varying orders of the poems of the Peristephanon in the manuscript tradition can be explained by the differing interests of early readers, and that the arrangement extant in one group of manuscripts can be seen to be the result of organising the poems to fit a geographical itinerary. The second chapter investigates the intertextual aspect of literary journeys, and argues that late antique descriptions of journeys are as much indebted to the literary tradition as they are to “lived” experience on the part of the narrator. This chapter focuses in particular on Ausonius’ Mosella, and the third, ninth, and eleventh hymns of Prudentius’ Peristephanon. The third chapter discusses the representation of the city in the works of Prudentius, and shows how Prudentius’ approach to the civic nature of martyrdom in the Peristephanon must be related to the contemporary Christian perception that earthly civic obligations are not fundamentally incompatible with participation in the heavenly city of the afterlife. The fourth chapter examines the representation of pastoral spaces in the Liber Cathemerinon and the discussion of farming and religion in the Contra Orationem Symmachi. The final chapter addresses Prudentius’ descriptions of works of art and architecture, particularly churches, and argues that Prudentius exhibits a marked preference for the word over the image as a means of conveying knowledge. A brief conclusion suggests that Prudentius’ representation of physical and imaginary spaces is always governed by a belief in the primacy of the written word, and by a fundamentally bookish approach to the world.

new in theses & dissertations

November 21, 2013

Donaldson, Christopher. 2012. “The Local Poet in the Romantic Tradition”. PhD, Stanford University.

Many poems evoke a sense of place; few poems, however, forge a lasting connection between a poet and a particular locale. In The Local Poet in the Romantic Tradition, I chart the evolution of this latter type of poetry and document its influence on readerly tastes in Britain over the last two hundred and fifty years. Parting ways with previous studies, I take the view that local poetry is defined less by its invocation of specifically named locations, or even by a proclivity for amassing topographical detail, than by the cultivation of a special kind of poetic ethos. Drawing on the works of William Wordsworth as well as a range of pre- and post-Romantic poets, I examine different instantiations of this ethos and outline the contours of the tradition of local poetry in Britain from its origins in the eighteenth century to its rise to prominence in the Victorian era.