The Landscape Space Place Research Group

Place, Language, & Translation

Wednesday 28th October 2015 (15:00-16:00)

We are excited to announce that our first reading group session of the year--'Place, Language & Translation'--will be led by Felix De Montety, a PhD student from the School of Geography:

I am interested in the spatialisation of Central Asian languages by European explorers in the 19th century, which I would like to connect to the wider issue of the production and appropriation of place through language, from the standpoint of historical geography. Starting from the following readings and subsequent input from participants, we will look at a few examples from geographical, anthropological, linguistic or literary perspectives to highlight some of the linguistic issues we face when we talk about place and space.

The first article by Yi-Fu Tuan is a great basis to begin with and delve into the various processes associated with place naming, landscape description and translation of scientific and artistic spatial discourses. Depending on everyone’s interests, we could discuss further issues such as the learning and teaching of geographical vocabulary, the question of linguistic relativity as stereotypically portrayed by the infamous “eskimo words for snow” example, or attempt to understand the ontology of landscape categories through a case study on an indigenous Australian language.

  • Yi-Fu Tuan, 'Language and the making of place', Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 81.4 (1991), 684–696
  • Gregg Madeleine and Diane Carver Sekeres, 'My word! Vocabulary and Geography Learning', Journal of Geography, 105.2 (2006)
  • Laura Martin, 'Eskimo Words for Snow: A Case Study in the Genesis and Decay of an Anthropological Example', American Anthropologist, 88.2 (1986)
  • David M. Mark and Andrew G. Turk, 'Landscape Categories in Yindjibarndi: Ontology, Environment, and Language', Spatial Information Theory. Foundations of Geographic Information Science, 2825 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 28-45

    Session readings will be circulated in advance to those on the mailing list.

    All students and staff welcome!

    Centre for Regional Literature and Culture

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    University of Nottingham
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