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The political rationalities of island geography: Preliminary thoughts on the ideological freight of island metaphor

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Harwood, A and Hay, P, The political rationalities of island geography: Preliminary thoughts on the ideological freight of island metaphor, 15th Islands of the World Conference 2017, 2-7 July 2017, Kangaroo Island, Australia (2017) [Conference Extract]


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Abstract

There are routine appraisals of the centrality of the island metaphor within western culture. John Gillis, for example, has claimed that "Western culture not only thinks about islands, but thinks with them" (2004: 1). Likewise, the contradictory status of island geography is well subscribed within island studies: prison and paradise; isolated and connected; radical other to and microcosm of the mainland. In this paper we report on preliminary investigations into the diverse political rationalities that are taken to flow from these assessments. Note, for example, the oppositional metaphoric meanings arising from John Donne’s ‘no man is an island’ to the isolation trope as a metaphor for the heroic, stand-alone individual. Where the political implications of the latter are deeply libertarian, the political implications of the Chaucerian metaphoric tradition are collectivist. Building on and bringing together previous work, we conduct our analysis through a review of island studies literature and reflections on governance in the island-state of Tasmania.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Islands, islandness, geography, politics, governance, metaphor
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Human Geography
Research Field:Social and Cultural Geography
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and Politics
Objective Field:Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
Author:Harwood, A (Dr Andrew Harwood)
Author:Hay, P (Dr Peter Hay)
ID Code:118669
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-07-18
Last Modified:2017-07-18
Downloads:0

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