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Key Concepts and the Thriller: Space, Place, and Mapping


Crane, R and Fletcher, L and Leane, E, Key Concepts and the Thriller: Space, Place, and Mapping, Teaching Space, Place and Literature, Routledge, Tally Jr, R. (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 219-226. ISBN 9781138046979 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2018 selection and editorial matter, Robert T. Tally Jr.; individual chapters, the contributors

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Phil Hubbard begins his entry "Space/Place" in Cultural Geography: A Critical Dictionary of Key Ideas with an important disclaimer: individually and as a pair, these terms present a seemingly intractable problem for anyone who seeks to define them. "Though the concepts of space and place may appear self-explanatory," he states, "they have been (and remain) two of the most diffuse, ill-defined and inchoate concepts in the social sciences and humanities" (41). The fuzziness of these geocritical watchwords comes, as Tim Cresswell explains, from the pairing of place, "a word wrapped in common sense," with the "more abstract concept" of space (8, 1). From the perspective of learning and teaching in spatial literary studies, this conceptual imprecision need not make space/place into a "loose, baggy monster" in the classroom. Rather, it provides the opportunity to introduce students to the rough-and-tumble (and the fun) of tackling the conceptual difficulties at the heart of the so-called "spatial turn" in contemporary literary studies. This chapter draws on current research, as well as our teaching experience at the University of Tasmania to suggest one approach to sparking independent critical thinking about space and place in literary studies. In broad terms, it argues that the best way to provide students with a strong theoretical framework, and an associated critical lexicon, is not simply to gift them a glossary prepared in advance, but to invite them to test the value and relevance of selected terms through applied learning tasks.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:space, place, mapping, popular genre fiction, spatiality
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Popular and genre literature
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Crane, R (Professor Ralph Crane)
UTAS Author:Fletcher, L (Professor Lisa Fletcher)
UTAS Author:Leane, E (Professor Elizabeth Leane)
ID Code:117493
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-06-16
Last Modified:2018-12-03

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