Doreen Massey

31 03 2010

We thought that we should mention that we were delighted to receive an e-mail from Doreen Massey a few weeks ago in response to our request to use her phrase “place beyond place” as the title for the symposium – luckily, she gave her approval!

Speaking of which, we have recently been reading Massey’s 2005 book, For Space.  The chapter on “The Elusiveness of Place” is particularly relevant to the ideas that we hope to explore in the symposium.  Within this chapter, Massey describes place as a collection of “stories-so-far”:

“One way of seeing ‘places’ is as on the surface of maps: Samarkand is there, the United States of America (finger outlining a boundary) is here. But to escape from an imagination of space as surface is to abandon also that view of place.  If space is rather a simultaneity of stories-so-far, then places are collections of those stories, articulations within the wider power-geometries of space.  Their character will be  a product of these intersections within that wider setting, and of what is made of them.  And, too, of the non-meetings-up, the disconnections and the relations not established, the exclusions.  All this contributes to the specificity of place.” (130:2005)