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Geographies Of Belonging In The Nottinghamshire Coalfield: Affect, Temporality And Deindustrialisation

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posted on 16.04.2019, 14:10 authored by Jay D. Emery
This thesis investigates the affective-temporal processes of belonging among mining families in the Nottinghamshire coalfield, examining how affective histories and memories of deindustrialisation and the coal industry mediate belongings. Literatures on the post-industrial working-class have noted how processes of deindustrialisation and industrial ruination have dismantled previous formations of belonging based around work, community and place. Research has also highlighted ways that the past emerges and surfaces in the present to unsettle and disrupt contemporary belongings. Analysis prescribed around specific methods belies the relationalities of discursive, embodied and sensorial textualities and distorts from how the past in the present is lived. Further, fundamental to understanding and recognising the past in the present is an attentive reading of those pasts from an historical perspective. Relatedly, social scientists have identified how affective class histories transfer intergenerationally and dispose working-class bodies to industrial forms of life that no longer exist. I suggest that the relationalities between belonging and memory, lived experience and intergenerational transferences need to be understood as one affective-temporal process. Drawing on weak theory, Anderson’s ‘analytics of affect’ and the genealogical method, I propose a multi-modal methodology emphasising attunement to the embodied, reflexive and more-than-representational modes that the past emerges, as well as a nuanced tracing of place pasts. Through this methodological and analytical framework, I conceive the Nottinghamshire coalfield as a set of temporal and affective enfolded blendings conditioning the capacities of residents to belong and resist alienation. I begin by documenting the affective genealogies of belonging in the Nottinghamshire coalfield from 1850s until the present, examining the atmospheres and embodiments of the mining community over time, apprehending previous means of belonging or not and how these conditions have been transmitted and transformed. I argue that the intergenerationality of working-class bodies and spaces is discernible in forms of behaviour, sensibilities, atmospheres and embodiments.



Bennett, Katy; Martin, John; Gunn, Simon; Snell, Keith

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Department of Geography

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University of Leicester

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