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Durham e-Theses
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The absence of absence: a (geographical hi)story of the landscape of Blackpool

Shires, Kate (2008) The absence of absence: a (geographical hi)story of the landscape of Blackpool. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Throughout the past decade contemporary human geography has seen a decisive move away from the structuralist analysis of the New Cultural era, to a more fluid, deconstructed and poststructuralist approach, perhaps best encapsulated within the nonrepresentational movement. Yet throughout this 'performative turn' - which has done much to change social and cultural geography, and in particular landscape studies - there has never been so much as a fleeting glance towards the nonpresent. Invanably the lost, decayed, damaged or distorted have remained absent, and so, in response to this, this research aims to rectify the 'absence of absence’. The narrative begins by looking towards the development of 'landscape' within social and cultural geography, contemplating the dominance of 'presence' over 'absence' and the recent emphasis upon doings, encounters, beings and becomings. Through a sustained critique of this, I begin to draw out various themes, considering how the problem of absence itself may be manipulated and incorporated into narrative form. Through the development of a 'typology of absence' I propose that absence is composed of three broad dimensions; its capacity, temporality and affective resonances, by and through which it is able to permeate into all vistas of the landscape; past, presence, present and absent. Expounding this idea of the triple dimension of absence, I draw upon series of creative methodologies, developing the typology into a hybrid form of auto-ethnographic montage narrative which develops and forms an extended typology of absence, allowing the accounts themselves to be permeated and distorted with series of infinite nonpresences. Finally, by drawing out these methodologies, I offer several creative encounters with the landscape of Blackpool; merging time frames, distorting and breaking narratives, allowing story lines to be permeated with endless absences and disappearances.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:34

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