Atmospheres : Aesthetics of emotional spaces[Review]

Mitchell, Peta (2015) Atmospheres : Aesthetics of emotional spaces[Review]. Social and Cultural Geography, 17(1), pp. 141-143.

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More problematic than his avoidance of recent geographic scholarship is his treatment of indigenous, ethnographic and postcolonial perspectives on island life. Not only is much of this scholarship absent, the bits that are there are mostly derided. He slams Kamau Braithwaite and his concept of ‘tidalectics’ as ‘unpackable’ (p. 20) and also claims that Greg Dening’s approach to islands as having ‘permeable cultural boundaries’ has ‘intellectual costs’ (p. 23). In a section of the book on ‘Naming and Sovereignty’, instead of an in-depth examination of the processes of decoding and recoding that goes on in indigenous island landscapes under colonialism (as could be discussed at length if Shell chose to examine Aotearoa, Hawaii, or hundreds of other places) we are instead presented a vignette about his childhood street fights with other kids over the naming of a hometown island in Canada, as well as ruminations about what Herman Melville and Ellen Semple thought of islands in the nineteenth century. In short, if you want to know what dead Caucasians like Shakespeare, Melville, Kant, Mackinder, More, and ancient Athenians thought about islands, then this book is a good resource. If, however, you are looking for information about what islands are like today – and what they mean to the people who live on and interact with them – then you will have to look elsewhere.

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ID Code: 86712
Item Type: Review
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2015.1072918
ISSN: 1470-1197
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Social and Cultural Geography (160403)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300) > Phenomenology (220310)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Digital Media Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Deposited On: 21 Aug 2015 01:43
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2017 00:16

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