Monday, February 22, 2010

The Sensorium and Place

Today in class we discussed the ways in which The Land of Little Rain functiosn as an analogue for the human senses (or the "sensorium" as I called it, following Diana Fuss). Austin spends a great deal of time discussing the "sense" that certain aspects of the physical environment convey. The passage we read in class today discussed the powerful and memory-inscribing smells of a certain place. I speculated that if we looked through the book closely that we might be able to locate other passages, as extensive as the one we read today, in which she considers powerful sensory delivery to other senses by aspects of the environment. Please find a passage other than the one we discussed today and comment on how it reveals the "sense-ness" of Austin's account (today we discussed smell, so look for a passage that delivers a powerful taste, touch, or sound message).

Monday, February 8, 2010


We have examined the distinctions between "space," "place," and "land" as conceptual and physical descriptors. Yet, it seems like we have the greatest difficultly distinguishing between "place" and "land." In today's class, we listened to analyses and participated in discussions of poems by Robert Frost and Wendell Berry. How did these ideas -- "place" and "land" -- come into play in these poems? Also, what benefit derives from distinguishing between these two terms? Does distinguishing simply help us to be more precise and help us to identify the physically activist from the abstractly ideological?