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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.65, No.3, 391 ~ 409, 2019
Spatial Literary Studies versus Literary Geography?
Robert T. Tally Jr.
Scholars have long examined the relationship between literature and space, place, or mapping, but formal methods or disciplines for such work have only recently come into being. Particularly after what has been called the “spatial turn” in the humanities and social sciences, researchers from various academic and artistic disciplines have developed work in connection to such terms as literary geography, imaginative geography, geocriticism, geopoetics, the spatial humanities, geohumanities, and spatial literary studies, to name a few. Understandably, there would be a great deal of overlapping interest among these emerging practices or subfields, even if the aims and methods of each may vary, and practitioners of one form may find it desirable to distinguish their field from other related ones. Recently, a leading proponent of literary geography has sharply criticized the conflation of that field with spatial literary studies, an ostensible rival primarily associated with the work of Robert T. Tally Jr., among others. In this essay, Tally responds to this criticism, first by explaining his use and understanding of the terms spatial literary studies and literary geography, then by attempting to create a working definition that would delineate the boundaries between these practices while leaving open the possibilities for future collaboration and mutual influence.
Key Words
Spatiality, literary geography, geocriticism, critical theory, interdisciplinarity
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