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Challenging contemporary ecocritical place discourses: military brats, shadow places, and homeplace consumerism


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Cranston, CA 2009 , 'Challenging contemporary ecocritical place discourses: military brats, shadow places, and homeplace consumerism' , Indian Journal of Ecocriticism, vol. 2 , pp. 73-89 .

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“I have become a queer mixture of the East and West, out of place everywhere, at home nowhere” (Nehru qtd. In Young 348).

Nehru’s difficulty in situating himself in place was a problem of circumstance. He lived at the time when the East was in the process of divesting itself (with Nehru’s help) of the West (i.e., Britain). And yet Nehru’s 20th century narrative of (very real) upheaval and (very real) dislocation is rendered as he says “out of place” particularly when compared to current accounts of habituation and continuity, where settlement and stability are the preferred images of place in an increasingly unsettled, unstable economic and ecology-depleted world. This essay began as a lament to the elusive One True Place; it turned into a cry for alternative narratives of place—narratives that recognise the inhabitants of the Everywhere and Nowhere camp—where following the global shake-up of decolonisation, the legacy bequeathed millions of Military Brats is disempowerment and displacement. This investigation into the ways in which particular (coloniser) histories and (colonised) geographies, situated within an economic framework, can work for or against a mobile, military dependent’s quest for the rhetorical carrot known as the “One True Place” finds an odd bedfellow within the terms set out in Val Plumwood’s essay, “Shadow Places and the Politics of Dwelling” (2008).

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cranston, CA
Keywords: Ecocriticism; place-based criticism; British colonialism; feminism; military brats
Journal or Publication Title: Indian Journal of Ecocriticism
ISSN: 0974-2840
Additional Information:

Originally published in Indian Journal of Ecocriticism 2009

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