Broadcast: Events

Erewhon: the Impossibility of Being Nowhere

Monday 3 February 15:00 until 17:00
Sussex Humanities Lab, SILVERSTONE SB211, Arts Road
Speaker: Sally Jane Norman (University of Victoria, Wellington)
Part of the series: SHL SEMINAR SERIES SPRING 2020

Sally-Jane Norman University of Victoria, Wellington

Samuel Butler's Erewhon, or Over the Range, anonymously published in 1872, was largely written and set in the mountainous South Island outback of Aotearoa-New Zealand. Like all utopias, this anagrammatic "nowhere" was necessarily staged and authored somewhere. Mapping that is integral to Butler's - or anyone else's - storytelling produces places and reference locations required to secure our vantage points as readers: it is impossible for humans to be nowhere. But beyond this impossibility, we have become increasingly reliant on affordances enabling us to be anywhere or everywhere, to simultaneously deploy our presence and ideas across multiple kinds of spaces and temporalities. I propose to discuss this tension, and our parallel human need to constantly tune to the specific resonances of deeply diverse places.


By: Kate Malone
Last updated: Tuesday, 14 January 2020

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