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Forms and Scenes of Attachment: A Cultural Geography of Promises

Anderson, B.

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Abstract

Attachment is everywhere and nowhere in contemporary cultural geography. Cultural geography is full of relations which look like attachments. But attachment as a concept is mostly absent, used interchangeably with association, connection or simply relation per se. In this paper I respond to dissatisfaction with the flattening effects of the relational turn by arguing for a cultural geography orientated to attachments. Engaging with the work of Lauren Berlant and other feminist and queer theory in dialogue with actor-network theory, I conceptualise attachments as enduring trajectories which ‘bring closer’ something which comes to feel necessary to a way of life. This means that ‘objects’ of attachment – whether a person or a place, a song or a nation, or anything else – come to be encountered as promises. To understand the (de/re)composition of attachments, the paper offers two concepts. Forms of attachment are arrangements which make available promises to be attached to. They channel the optimism of attachment. The presence of the promissory object intensifies in scenes of attachment – everyday space-times of limited duration which give an affective push to forms of attachment. The result of orientating inquiry to forms and scenes of attachment is a cultural geography of promises.

Citation

Anderson, B. (2022). Forms and Scenes of Attachment: A Cultural Geography of Promises. Dialogues in Human Geography, https://doi.org/10.1177/20438206221129205

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 12, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 21, 2022
Journal Dialogues in Human Geography
Print ISSN 2043-8206
Electronic ISSN 2043-8214
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/20438206221129205

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