A Note from the Editor
Some Thoughts on Place
Where you are seeps in somehow.
As summer deepens, many of us are also deeply immersed in travel.
Some are headed to Hawaii (fares are low); other hardy souls are planning family or even research road-trips in the continental U.S. At this moment, I’m contemplating my own upcoming travel to a writing conference in North Carolina. I’m bracing for The Unexpected—it’s a dependable travel companion. Indeed: the Unexpected shows up during every journey and at every destination. In every place.
We can plan, but we must always also adapt.
English’s move from the Language and Literature Building to Ross-Blakley Hall has been accompanied by The Unexpected. The past 1.5 years since this move have been certainly a time of re- and dis-location.
When I think of this transition, I think of how our academic selves are constantly “re-located.” Our interests change, we teach new classes, we move campus buildings or offices, we transition to new friendships or job titles. And while place is often a physical location, it is just as often an internal one. As we connect with each other—our students, our colleagues, our loved ones—we experience another worldview, another vantage point, another place. This experience teaches and moves us.
As always, in our world there is much political maneuvering over space and place. In the midst of many types of struggle, many of us seek places of community—places to make a difference. Places to rest our voices. Places to speak and act.
In this issue, we’ve employed place as a transport into not just physical locations, but into local and far-off landscapes and traditions, into established and emerging ideas, into cultural and online spaces.
Enjoy this edition, and as you read, we hope you’re inspired to think about where you’ve been, where you reside, and how your movement in different spaces has shaped and changed you.