Tugging at geography heartstrings

“Spatial theorists working in the fields of social and cultural theory have demonstrated how we occupy multiple landscapes simultaneously: fragmented and multi-layered, existing in different dimensions including those of the senses and the imagination. These are ‘geographies of the possible’ (de Certeau, op. cit.), not rational nor confined to actual places, but suffused with thoughts and feelings: ‘a geography of memory as much felt in the body as seen’ (Tonkiss 2000, p.2).”

Jocey Quinn, Learning Communities and Imagined Social Capital, p86

I’ve said it a million times – literature reviews usually frustrate me so much that I want to tear out my own eyeballs. But sometimes I read things and my heart melts from the beauty of the idea or the language. Sometimes both the idea and the language. That just happened then, while reading this book for an evaluation of a Community Education program we are running out at Mt Druitt. Just the phrase “geography of memory” makes me want to drop everything and sign up to try my hand at being an official human geographer. I want to sit somewhere in the academy, in a nice ivory tower, where I can read beautiful books and spin beautiful phrases and lose myself thinking about imagined spaces. Sigh.

At times like this I need a reality check.

1. Alison – remember how frustrating you find reading about 98% of the time. That is what it would really be like!
2. Remember how relevent this book actually is for helping people in the community! be thankful that you get to do applied research! (Actually, the book is pretty relevent – but only because other researchers have done some more pragmatic work to make it all applicable!)
3. Now, spend some time reflecting on that look that 3rd year PhD students get in their eyes when they just want it all to be over.

Hmm. It’s almost working. It probably will have completely worked after about 5 more minutes of working on literature review.

One thought on “Tugging at geography heartstrings

  1. jennigan

    Hey, geography and reading and academia is awesome! I’m finding reading for Honours and PhD a lot better and more interesting than reading for undergrad. It’s even enjoyable, sometimes!


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