Cultures of the Atlantic Edge
Author: Nicholas Allen,Nick Groom,Jos Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Literary Collections
View: 436In all the complex cultural history of the islands of Britain and Ireland the idea of the coast as a significant representative space is critical. For many important artists coastal space has figured as a site from which to braid ideas of empire, nation, region, and archipelago. They have been drawn to the coast as a zone of geographical uncertainty in which the self-definitions of the nation founder; they have been drawn to it as a peripheral space of vestigial wildness, of island retreats and experimental living; as a network of diverse localities richly endowed with distinctive forms of cultural heritage; and as a dynamically interconnected ecosystem, which is at the same time the historic site of significant developments in fieldwork and natural science. This collection situates these cultures of the Atlantic edge in a series of essays that create new contexts for coastal study in literary history and criticism. The contributors frame their research in response to emerging conversations in archipelagic criticism, the blue humanities, and island studies, the essays challenging the reader to reconsider ideas of margin, periphery and exchange. These twelve case studies establish the coast as a crucial location in the imaginative history of Britain, Ireland and the north Atlantic edge. Coastal Works will appeal to readers of literature and history with an interest in the sea, the environment, and the archipelago from the 18th century to the present. Accessible, innovative and provocative, Coastal Works establishes the important role that the coast plays in our cultural imaginary and suggests a range of methodologies to represent relationships between land, sea, and cultural work.