Imagined Landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian Spatial Narratives

Imagined Landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian Spatial Narratives

Imagined Landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian Spatial Narratives

Imagined Landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian Spatial Narratives

Synopsis

Imagined Landscapes teams geocritical analysis with digital visualization techniques to map and interrogate films, novels, and plays in which space and place figure prominently. Drawing upon A Cultural Atlas of Australia, a database-driven interactive digital map that can be used to identify patterns of representation in Australia's cultural landscape, the book presents an integrated perspective on the translation of space across narrative forms and pioneers new ways of seeing and understanding landscape. It offers fresh insights on cultural topography and spatial history by examining the technical and conceptual challenges of georeferencing fictional and fictionalized places in narratives. Among the items discussed are Wake in Fright, a novel by Kenneth Cook, adapted iconically to the screen and recently onto the stage; the Australian North as a mythic space; spatial and temporal narrative shifts in retellings of the story of Alexander Pearce, a convict who gained notoriety for resorting to cannibalism after escaping from a remote Tasmanian penal colony; travel narratives and road movies set in Western Australia; and the challenges and spatial politics of mapping spaces for which there are no coordinates.

Excerpt

Yet there is no use in pretending that all we know about time and
space, or rather history and geography, is more than anything
else imaginative

—SAID, Orientalism 55

This is a book about imagined landscapes and imaginative geographies, about the ways in which narrative fiction or spatial stories—films, novels, and plays—continually shape and reshape the contours of our geography and our history. in Imagined Landscapes, we work from the premise that narrative fiction intersects with experiences of and ideas about landscape, identity, and the development of a sense of place such that spatial storytelling makes a strong contribution to geographic and historical awareness. Cultural representations of landscapes, as Christopher Tilley observes, form “a signifying system through which the social is reproduced and transformed, explored and structured” (34). Representations of landscape, therefore, do far more than frame the environment as a background against which narrative action plays out; they generate symbolism and produce cultural meaning. Such narratives, we argue, form and inform perceptions of space and place as they represent and communicate spatial concepts and cultural and environmental issues. As Tilley claims, places “may be said to acquire a history, sedimented . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.