Disoriented Geographies: undoing relations, encountering limits

Authors: David Bissell*, University of Melbourne, Andrew Gorman-Murray, Western Sydney University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Social Theory, Gender
Keywords: mobilities, negative, vulnerability, household, nonrelational
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Virginia A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper develops the concept of disorientation as a constitutive but overlooked dimension of mobile life, and it explores the significance of disorientation for geographical thought. Substantively, through reflections on research with mobile worker households in Australia, the paper expands our understanding of geographies of mobility by interrogating non-traditional but increasingly common living scenarios created by intensified mobility. Methodologically, the paper develops new modes of narrating the richly complex experiences of ‘left behind’ mobile worker partners through impressionistic interview portraits. Conceptually, the paper foregrounds disorientation as a way of drawing out overlooked nonrelational dimensions of bodily experience that manifest in experiences such as confusion, incomprehension and disintegration for mobile worker partners. Disciplinarily, the paper explains how disorientation introduces important political and ethical challenges to the discipline since it impels us to admit the nonrelational shadows of experience that are often sidelined from geographical accounts.

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