While in the belly of the biggest bird in the world over the Atlantic on Sunday night, I read Ursula Heise’s quite wonderful book Sense of Place, Sense of Planet, and was very struck by what she had to say about “deterritorialization,” a term she gets from recent theorists of the global (Giddens, Beck, Appadurai, theorists of the cognate term “cosmopolitanism” inc Appiah, Nussbaum, etc). She also derives some of her thinking from DeLilo, esp Underworld, though she writes, quite interestingly, about White Noise.
No time to think through these things before breakfast in Prague, but I found on the Times website today this op-ed about a more literal form of deterritorialization, which is about to affect island nations in the Pacific as sea levels rise. It’s an interesting reminder that some of the hybrid or decentered values that are dear to intellectuals can also be uncomfortable, impractical, and also painfully real.
Jeffrey Cohen says
I’ll be on the A380 between LA and Melbourne on Sunday. I am most looking forward to the “always open” snack bar.
I’ve also just finished Heise’s book, which I loved. You’ll see its impress on my contribution to Prismatic Ecologies when I circulate the abstracts later today.