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Dreamlands: stories of enchantment and excess in a search for lost sensations

Dickens, Luke and Edensor, Tim (2021) Dreamlands: stories of enchantment and excess in a search for lost sensations. cultural geographies. p. 147447402110536. ISSN 1474-4740

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Abstract

This paper reflects on the search for a lost, obscure piece of experimental architecture that appeared on the west coast of Scotland in the late 1960s. Encouraged by cultural geography’s efforts to recuperate storytelling as a valid mode of inquiry and to adopt a more enchanted, affirmative disposition to our endeavors, we develop a geographical story intended to draw out how enchanted experiences gained through curiosity and an openness to contingencies can serve as a vital force for sustaining geographical ways of being, doing and knowing with the world. This account focuses on our encounters with various research sites that we identify as ‘dreamlands’ to express the idiosyncratic, unregulated, unexpected sensations of wonder and delight that such places evoked, the excessive materialities they revealed and the imaginative processes they elicited. We argue that such dreamlands are not as superfluous as might be assumed by their uncanny absence from the polished end-products of scholarship, and instead, allude to the latent forces of enchantment to which geographers might become better attuned when conducting and crafting their research.

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