Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Literary Geographies journal 1(1)

July 30, 2015

The first issue of Literary Geographies is now available online!

1(1) July 2015


‘Editorial’ Sheila Hones, Neal Alexander, David Cooper, James Kneale, Juha Ridanpää

‘On Literary Geography’ Neal Alexander

‘Beckett’s Manywheres’ Jason Finch

‘A “tottering lace-like architecture of ruins”: The Wartime Home in Elizabeth Bowen’s The Heat of the Day’ Emma Zimmerman

‘”Lithogenesis”: Towards a (Geo)Poetics of Place’ Jos Smith

‘Amplifying the Aural in Literary Geography’ Sheila Hones

Book Reviews of

Katherine Cockin (ed.) (2012) The Literary North. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 288pp., £56.00 (hardback), ISBN 9780230367401.

Neal Alexander and James Moran (eds) (2013) Regional Modernisms. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press,  248pp., £70.00 (hardback), ISBN 9780748669301.

John Hegglund (2012) World Views: Metageographies of Modernist Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 224pp., $53.00 (hardback), ISBN: 9780199796106.

Mark Storey (2013) Rural Fictions, Urban Realities: A Geography of Gilded Age America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 208pp., £47.99 (hardback), ISBN 9780199893188.

Barbara Pezzotti (2012) The Importance of Place in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction: A Bloody Journey. Madison, NJ.: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 222pp., £52.95 (hardback), ISBN 9781611475524.


Literary Second Cities conference

November 21, 2014


Literary Second Cities

The Second International Conference of the Helsinki Literature and the City Network
Åbo Akademi University, 20-21 August 2015

Keynote speakers:
Professor Bart Keunen, Comparative Literature, Ghent University, Belgium
Professor Marc Brosseau, Geography, University of Ottawa, Canada

The conference ‘Literary Second Cities’, invites sessions on new approaches to the study of literary second cities in any historical period or part of the world. A session ideally consists of (at least) one chairperson and 1-3 papers, with a length of approximately 20 minutes for each paper. We invite sessions on subjects including, but not limited to, the following themes:

– the industrial city, as opposed to the cosmopolitan capital driven by finance and consumption;
– scaling the city, including comparisons between cities of different magnitudes;
– the provincial capital;
– lesser-known shadow partners of major cities
– former capitals and declined or marginalized cities;
– mobilities and secondary cities.

The deadline for the preliminary call for sessions is 30 November 2014. The language of the conference is English. Please send proposals (length approximately 300 words) to

A call for papers will follow in the course of November.

For more information contact:
Jason Finch, Åbo Akademi University (
Lieven Ameel, University of Helsinki (
Markku Salmela, University of Tampere (

The second international conference of the HLCN will be devoted to the topic of literary ‘Second Cities’ – the literature of cities that come second (or third, or fourth) to the ‘first cities’ within their national or supra-regional context, and that have remained largely understudied in literary urban studies. What, for example, can literary experiences of Chicago or Boston tell us about urban developments in American fiction, and how do literary Marseille or Lyon provide new perspectives on the role of Paris in fiction? And how do questions of urban scale reverberate in the literature of cities that are not undisputed centres? The search for answers to these questions contains the potential to revise a whole literary-historical tradition.
Work on the literary city continues to be disproportionately focused on the biggest and most glamorous of (Western) world cities: the likes of London, Paris and New York. The bonds between these cities and the literary canon have proved durable, and in a long-standing tradition of urban literary studies, modernity and literature are perceived as coming truly together in a few global metropolises. There are reasons to challenge such a selective focus in the twenty-first century. Paris may have been ‘the capital of the nineteenth century’, as Walter Benjamin famously stated, but today’s globalized late modernity is much less comfortable with such ideas of single, representative, ostensibly self-sufficient cities.

Find the full conference abstract at the conference website:

AAG 2015 cfp Worldly Literary Geographies Sessions

September 18, 2014

AAG 2015 – Worldly Literary Geographies Sessions

Convened by Philip Howell (University of Cambridge) and Dave McLaughlin (University of Cambridge)

Sponsored by the Cultural Geography Specialist Group

Literary geographies has we believe finally come of age, with significant and substantial contributions to make to our understanding of literature and its relations with the world beyond the text. As an interdisciplinary enterprise drawing on multiple strands of social and cultural theory it is particularly well placed to contribute to the developing interest in the relationship between literary works and the world. These sessions explore this relationship: first, in general terms, and second, with the specific thematic of mobility and circulation in mind.


Session 1 – The Work and the World


Maurice Blanchot, the critic most attuned to the necessary distance between the world and what he calls the work maintains that ‘To write is to withdraw language from the world’ (Blanchot, The Space of Literature, p. 26), and indeed to silence its incessant speech. But on the other hand, he acknowledges that the work has nevertheless to be ‘displayed in the world and filled with the world’s life and with history’s’, and, what is more, to be born again each time that form is read, in ‘the infinite variation of becoming’ (Blanchot, p. 205). Each new reader, we may infer, in his or her estrangement and distance from the ‘work’ and in her or his location in the world, restores freedom, possibility, and ‘novelness’ itself. Many other theorists, such as Bakhtin, Ricoeur, Bayard, Pavel, Moretti, in their different ways demonstrate that the world of the text is not closed off from the world outside it, and that the text has to transcend itself in the direction of the world: ‘every work of fiction … projects a world outside of itself, one that can be called the “world of the work.” In this way, epics, dramas, and novels project, in the mode of fiction, ways of inhabiting the world that lie waiting to be taken up by reading, which in turn is capable of providing a space for a confrontation between the world of the text and the world of the reader’ (Ricoeur, Time and Narrative, Volume 2, 5). This session explores the complexities involved in such a ‘worldly’ approach to literature: we invite both theoretical and substantively illustrated commentaries on returning the work to the world. We invite papers that address a range of interests within this broad area, including (but not limited to):


  • chronotopes, dialogia and heteroglossia
  • narratology and the spatializing of narrative
  • topography and topotropography
  • literary cartographies
  • fictional worlds
  • utopias and alternative worlds
  • mimesis and representation
  • reader response

Pease send abstracts of no more than 200 words to Dave McLaughlin, by Friday, 17th October 2014.

Philip Howell, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK (

Dave McLaughlin, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK


Session 2 – Mobility and Circulation


From paper money or printed flyers to the nineteenth-century periodical press, and from samizdat literature in Soviet Russia to modern bookstore reading groups, bibliomigrancy and the circulation of texts has long been a feature of how we write and read. Building on longstanding interests in the ways in which geographies are represented on the page, literary geographers have in recent years demonstrated that the relationship between books and the world is a two way street: authors and readers represent and recreate ‘real’ world geographies on the page; at the same time, representations of geographies can ‘leak out’ into the ‘real’ world, helping to redefine spaces in literary terms. Yet, researchers have so far been less concerned with the corporeal and imaginative mobility of books, authors and readers, in affecting how geographies are represented on the page and how readers respond to them.


This session seeks to explore the ways in which the movement of books and their readers, particularly through types of circulation, contributes to the binding of literary geographies to the material world. We invite papers that address a range of interests within this broad area, including (but not limited to):


  • Connections between physical mobility and literary representations of mobility
  • Representations of mobility that overspill the page
  • The relationship between mobility and stillness in literary texts
  • Authors’ movements and its impact on their work
  • Mobility of readers and fans
  • Literary pilgrimages and tourism
  • Circulation of periodicals and newspapers
  • Urban texts
  • Commuters’ reading material
  • Reading groups

Pease send abstracts of no more than 200 words to Dave McLaughlin, by Friday, 17th October 2014.


Philip Howell, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK (

Dave McLaughlin, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK


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.



LGs books available for review

July 17, 2014

The online journal Literary Geographies is looking for reviewers for these books:

  • Patrick M. Bray, The Novel Map: Space & Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century French Fiction (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University, 2013)
  • Andrew Radford, Mapping the Wessex Novel: Landscape, History and the Parochial in British Literature, 1870-1940  (London: Continuum, 2010)
  • Marco de Waard (ed.), Imagining Global Amsterdam: History, Culture and Geography in a World City (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012)
  • Lieven Ameel, Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature: Urban Experiences in Finnish Prose Fiction 1890-1940 (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2014)
  • Rosa Mucignat, Realism and Space in the Novel, 1795-1869: Imagined Geographies (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013)
  • James Wilkes, A Fractured Landscape of Modernity: Culture and Conflict in the Isle of Purbeck (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
  • Mark Storey, Rural Fictions, Urban Realities: A Geography of Gilded Age American Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Jon Hegglund, World Views: Metageographies of Modernist Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)


Contact book review editor David Cooper for more information

call for book reviewers

July 2, 2014

The new online open-access journal Literary Geographies is looking for book reviewers. Contact the book review editor David Cooper if you are interested!

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.