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A Virtual Island Journey: Place and Place Writing in Lockdown

Moran, J (2021) A Virtual Island Journey: Place and Place Writing in Lockdown. Cultural Geographies, 29 (1). pp. 115-128. ISSN 1474-4740

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The Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 led many people to reassess their relationship to places. This article attempts, during this time of restricted movement, to imaginatively deep-map an island in the mouth of the Shannon in west Clare where my grandmother was born and raised. My deep-mapping of the island is by necessity virtual, assembled piecemeal from memories, daydreams, family recollections, historical fragments and that powerful, semi-enchanted sense of co-presence that can be found online. Unable to make a physical journey, I rely on the accretive and associative techniques of contemporary place writing. The article uses montage, juxtaposition, thick description, dense detail, imaginative reconstruction, and the essayistic blending of undisciplined bits of knowledge, all of which do some of the work of conventional linear argument. As in place writing, the micro-study of a small, special place becomes a way of thinking more widely about our relationship to the earth in a time of environmental and public health emergency. The article is both my own experiment in place writing and an argument for the fresh perspectives that place writing can bring to cultural geography.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1604 Human Geography, 1608 Sociology, 2002 Cultural Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 13:36
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 15:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/14744740211029288
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15102
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