18 Jun 2019 | Reading and Walking

59. Deirdre Heddon and Cathy Turner, “Walking Women: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility”

As I’ve been working on this project, I’ve occasionally read things that made me stop and wonder how I’ve managed to do anything without having already read that text. One example of a text with that kind of power is Phil Smith’s book, Walking’s New Movement: Opportunities, Decelerations and Beautiful Obstacles in the Performances, Politics, […]

18 Jun 2019 | Reading and Walking

58. Tina Richardson, ed., Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography

Tina Richardson’s anthology Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography is one of the many books to which Phil Smith refers in Walking’s New Movements, his important discussion of walking as an aesthetic and political practice. I’m not a psychogeographer, but anyone who engages in what Smith calls “non-functional” walking needs to come to terms with […]

06 Jun 2019 | Reading and Walking

54. John Schott and Phil Smith, Rethinking Mythogeography in Northfield, Minnesota

Rethinking Mythogeography in Northfield, Minnesota, a collaboration between John Schott and Phil Smith, helps to explain what mythogeography (Smith’s walking practice) is, and suggests the ways that practice is still developing and changing. In that way, it’s a companion to his earlier book on mythogeography, perhaps as an example of practice to accompany that text’s […]

05 Jun 2019 | Reading and Walking

53. Clare Qualmann and Claire Hind, eds., Ways to Wander

Ways to Wander is a collection of 54 different sets of suggestions, reflections, instructions, or scores about walking, created by 54 different walkers. It also contains an introduction by Carl Lavery and copies of e-mails between the two editors. All of this material is assembled randomly, and I think that was deliberate. The list of […]

03 Jun 2019 | Reading and Walking

51. Phil Smith, Walking’s New Movement: Opportunities, Decelerations and Beautiful Obstacles in the Performances, Politics, Philosophies and Spaces of Contemporary Radical Walking

This is an important book. Phil Smith makes an argument in favour of a specific kind of walking that is both politically and aesthetically radical, drawing on psychogeography as a resource but subjecting it to a thorough critique. I can’t say that I understand all the nuances of Smith’s argument—that’s what this summary is for, […]

29 May 2019 | Reading and Walking

50. Merlin Coverley, Psychogeography

While thinking and writing about Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital this week, I realized that I needed a firmer sense of exactly what psychogeography is. Good thing Merlin Coverley’s little book on the subject was on my shelf. It’s a brief but informative look at a variety of writers–Coverley is primarily concerned with literary manifestations of psychogeography, […]

27 May 2019 | Reading and Walking

49. Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain

I’ve read Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain before, but for pleasure. It’s a beautiful book, and a powerful evocation of a specific place: the Cairngorms, a mountain range in northern Scotland. Because I wanted to write about it in the paper I’m currently working on, I had to read it again–this time, taking careful notes. Believe […]

23 May 2019 | Reading and Walking

48. Tim Ingold, “The Temporality of the Landscape”

I decided to read Tim Ingold’s essay “The Temporality of the Landscape” for two reasons. First, Doreen Massey mentioned it as an example of thinking about space and temporality, and second, in my experience, I’ve always found that Ingold has interesting things to say. It’s an odd essay, though, and while I don’t agree with […]

21 May 2019 | Reading and Walking

47. Doreen Massey, For Space

I’ve meant to read Doreen Massey’s 2005 book For Space for quite some time now. My friend Rachelle Viader Knowles, who teaches at Coventry University, has told me that For Space was very influential on her PhD work. Also, while I’m very interested in the distinction Yi-Fu Tuan makes between space and place, I’m also aware that […]

17 May 2019 | Reading and Walking

46. Ian S. McIntosh, E. Moore Quinn, and Vivienne Keely, eds., Pilgrimage in Practice: Narration, Reclamation and Healing

I think I’ve written here about the advice I’ve received from my supervisors about this project. They tell me I should be “skinning” the books I read: reading the introduction and the conclusion and skimming the chapters in between, looking for anything relevant to my project. I’m usually reluctant to do that, because you never […]

12 May 2019 | Reading and Walking

43. Simon Coleman, “Do You Believe in Pilgrimage?: Communitas, Contestation and Beyond”

“Do You Believe in Pilgrimage?: Communitas, Contestation, and Beyond,” by Simon Coleman–another in the bunch Matthew Anderson sent my way–presents an intellectual rapprochement between two texts on pilgrimage that are typically considered to be completely at odds with each other: Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture, a 1978 study by Victor and Edith Turner; and Contesting the Sacred: The […]

12 May 2019 | Reading and Walking

42. Simon Coleman, “Accidental Pilgrims: Passions and Ambiguities of Travel to Christian Shrines in Europe”

In the group of essays Matthew Anderson were a couple by Simon Coleman. You may recall him as the co-editor of Reframing Pilgrimage: Cultures in Motion, the anthology of essays on pilgrimage and motion I read last week. He is, Matthew tells me, a very influential writer on pilgrimage and currently the Chancellor Jackman Professor in the Department […]