Humanities2015, 4(4), 523-534; doi:10.3390/h4040523 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present article analyses Zadie Smith’s short story “The Embassy of Cambodia” (2013) as a narrative that contributes to the decolonization of trauma studies. In the introduction I will lay out briefly the state of affairs in trauma studies and the relevance of trauma in Smith’s work as represented in White Teeth and NW. For the purpose of this paper, I will provide a close reading of “The Embassy of Cambodia” and I will rely on Michael Rothberg’s theory of multidirectional memory to illustrate how the history of genocide in Cambodia and the history of the protagonist of the story, which is effectively one of slavery, conflate in Smith’s text to bring to the fore silenced histories in a more ethical manner that seeks to put an end to competition and hierarchies within traumatic histories and trauma theory. This paper will explore the different juxtapositions that the story offers between individual and collective experiences of trauma and, in its explorations of multidirectional memory, the juxtaposition of collective histories of suffering.
Humanities2015, 4(4), 506-522; doi:10.3390/h4040506 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper analyses Paul Valéry’s theories relating to his stated goal of poetic production: the attainment of “resonance” and a “singing-state”. My intention is to defend Valéry’s theory as a valid and consistent model of the creative process in poetry. To that end, I will draw support from T. W. Adorno’s claim that Valéry’s manner of reflective journalising in his Notebooks can furnish us with what he calls “aesthetic insight”. The consistency of Valéry’s theory will be supported by comparisons with the inferentialist understanding of semantics. Valéry proves to be a reliable exemplar of what might be called a “practice-led” aesthetics.
Humanities2015, 4(4), 500-505; doi:10.3390/h4040500 - published 24 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This Special Issue aims to explore the complex and contested relationship between trauma studies and postcolonial criticism, focusing on the ongoing project to create a decolonized trauma theory that attends to and accounts for the suffering of minority groups and non-Western cultures, broadly defined as cultures beyond Western Europe and North America. [...]
Humanities2015, 4(3), 476-499; doi:10.3390/h4030476 - published 23 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article offers a textual “deep map” of a series of experimental commutes undertaken in the west of Scotland in 2014. Recent developments in the field of transport studies have reconceived travel time as a far richer cultural experience than in previously utilitarian and economic approaches to the “problem” of commuting. Understanding their own commutes in these terms—as spaces of creativity, productivity and transformation—the authors trace the development of a performative “counterpractice” for their daily journeys between home and work. Deep mapping—as a form of “theory-informed story-telling”—is employed as a productive strategy to document this reimagination of ostensibly quotidian and functional travel. Importantly, this particular stage of the project is not presented as an end-point. Striving to develop an ongoing creative engagement with landscape, the authors continue this exploratory mobile research by connecting to other commuters’ journeys, and proposing a series of “strategies” for reimagining the daily commute; a list of prompts for future action within the routines and spaces of commuting. A range of alternative approaches to commuting are offered here to anyone who regularly travels to and from work to employ or develop as they wish, extending the mapping process to other routes and contexts.
Humanities2015, 4(3), 457-475; doi:10.3390/h4030457 - published 18 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: With reference to a hybrid ethnographic project entitled Glas Journal (2014–2016), this article invites readers to reflect on the cultural mapping of spaces we intimately inhabit. Developed with the participation of local inhabitants of Dún LaoghaireHarbour, Ireland, Glas Journal seeks to explore the maritime environment as a liminal space, whereby the character of buildings and an area’s economic implications determine our relationship to space as much as our daily spatial rhythms and feelings of safety. Deep mapping provides the methodological blueprint for Glas Journal. In order to create a heteroglossic narrative of place and belonging, I will contextualise the project with references to seminal works in the visual arts, literature, film and geography that emotionally map spaces. Chronotopes of the threshold will be used to elaborate on spatial and cultural phenomena that occur when crossings from public to private and interior to exterior take place. Touching upon questions such as “What is a space of protection?”, “Who am I in it?”, and “Who is the Other?”, this article traces forms of liquid mapping that do not strive to conquer but rather to gain insight into the inner landscapes that are reflected in outer space.
Humanities2015, 4(3), 436-456; doi:10.3390/h4030436 - published 11 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: No map fully coincides with the territory it represents. If the map and territory do not coincide, what can the map capture of the territory? According to Bateson, the answer is its differences. Drawing from Gregory Bateson’s ideas, we can envision an ethnographic representation of the city through which we can represent the urban territory through the different ways its inhabitants perceive it. In this article, I describe the process that led me to build a map of post-apartheid Cape Town from Long Street. I took inspiration from Bateson’s book Naven and compared it with the District Six Museum map in Cape Town with the objective of representing post-apartheid Cape Town through its differences.