Remembered Belonging: Encounters with the spectral more-than amidst landscapes of decline

Milo Newman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Recent literature in cultural geography, and elsewhere, has productively applied a spectral lens to the subject of extinction, revealing its hauntological aspects. In this article I expand on this, exploring the spectral effects of the diminishments that precede extinction. This is articulated via an extinction story detailing the steep decline in numbers of arctic terns (pickies) returning to the island of Papa Westray in Orkney, Scotland, to breed. Drawing on memories of their past abundance, this narrative discloses how the spectre of these birds’ waning numbers haunts the island’s places and more-than-human inhabitants. Through the specifics of this example I develop a conceptualisation of the spectral more-than that lies at the heart of such decline, revealing how the ghosts invoked by extinction and biotic diminishment multiply across the relational complexity of local ecology.
Original languageEnglish
Journalcultural geographies
Early online date9 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: received an AHRC doctoral studentship and an additional research grant from the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, both of which supported the fieldwork detailed in this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


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