Rewriting the Atlantic archipelago: modern British poetry at the coast

Jones, Philip (2018) Rewriting the Atlantic archipelago: modern British poetry at the coast. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Despite a so-called ‘oceanic turn’, there has been relatively little attention paid to literary representations of the shoreline as a specific material and cultural site. This thesis examines how modern British poets respond to and represent the coastline in their work, with particular emphasis on notions of place and geographic scale. Whilst looking at the use of the archipelago in recent cultural and literary studies of British and Irish writing, this thesis argues for a more refined and complex sense of the archipelagic, one which responds to the needs and demands of an increasingly global and interconnected world. To better understand this relationship between text and coastal landscape, the project draws on the work of Henri Lefebvre and Doreen Massey, as well as Edward Casey’s investigations into the future of place and Philip E. Steinberg’s reconceptualisation of ocean spaces.

In engaging with ideas of place in a newly intense period of globalisation, this thesis contends that a critical desire to focus on disruptions of linear spatial and temporal scales must still negotiate residual notions of bounded communities and national identities. The archipelago emerges both as a site of rupture and interconnection. In attending to these different levels of geographic experience, the thesis also demonstrates how notions of scale must respond to more than spatial distance, becoming attentive to how a variety of emotional and psychological experiences become frayed and disrupted within the shifts between the local, national and planetary. In the poetry of Peter Riley, Wendy Mulford, Robert Hampson, Matt Simpson and Robert Minhinnick, the shore emerges as an ambivalent and fluid terrain but one, nonetheless, in possession of its own social and cultural histories.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Rounce, Adam
Vincent, Bridget
Keywords: British poetry, contemporary poetry, literary geography, coast, coastline, shore, place, belonging, scale, Peter Riley, Wendy Mulford, Matt Simpson, Robert Hampson, Robert Minhinnick
Subjects: P Language and literature > PR English literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Item ID: 51877
Depositing User: Jones, Philip
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2022 04:30

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