An excursion in the environmental humanities: some thoughts on fieldwork, collaboration, and disciplinary identity following a day trip to the Island of Lundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

In summer 2018, members of the University of Bristol’s Centre for Environmental Humanities made a day trip to the Island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel. In this collectively produced article, participants from this trip reflect on the encounter with the island, the experience of excursing with colleagues, and the questions that both processes have raised in relation to our scholarly identities. In keeping with recent scholarship in the environmental humanities (EH), we make a case for the importance of visiting the places we study, even for just a short period of time. But we also recognise the limitations of fieldwork within the EH and suggest that the process of community building is often just as important as the additional insights gained from visiting a place. Our trip to Lundy involved the double excursion of geographical and disciplinary travel from home. Without really intending it, our choice of an island location helped to create connections between the physical and intellectual elements of our journey. Going to Lundy encouraged us to reflect on questions of boundedness and connectedness; identity and belonging; isolation and community; and how disciplinary habits both frame and unsettle our responses to a new place. This might be characterised as an exercise in provocative dislocation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalGreen Letters
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Animals
  • culture
  • environment
  • nature writing
  • wilderness

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