1st June, 2016, Manchester Metropolitan University
Vocal Landscapes examined the role of language within experiences of place. Referencing locations such as the Lake District and the West Yorkshire estate of Whitley Beaumont, Cooper and Crouch discussed how forms of language are used to govern, frame and re-inscribe particular places. Drawing on their individual research, the speakers also considered how place writing and visual art can expose the inherent tensions and hidden voices of landscapes, by attending to the intertextuality of place.
About the speakers:
Amelia Crouch is an artist whose work plays with words as simultaneously material and symbolic signifiers. Her work is often inspired by a particular location, and projects have included using words to describe visual images, creating an artist’s book from interviews with members of the public, and mimicking the language of public signage to inform people’s encounters with a place. She is particularly interested in the interaction of visual and verbal modes of representation, linguistic ambiguity, and bodily or spatial codes, such as shaking hands or walking in the landscape.
David Cooper is Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research focuses on literary geographies: the ways in which creative writers (primarily poets) think geographically; and how contemporary theoretical thinking on space, place and landscape can inform critical practices. Areas of interest include: post-war/contemporary British and Irish landscape writing; literary cartography and digital mapping; and the relationship between critical and creative practices. The Lake District commonly features as a testing ground for his approaches and ideas.