Geographies of nature in the making



Publication Details

Castree, N. (2003). Geographies of nature in the making. In K. Anderson, M. Domosh, S. Pile & N. Thrift (Eds.), Handbook of Cultural Geography (pp. 168-183). London: SAGE.


My task is an unenviable one: to think the history of thinking about the relations between 'culture' and 'nature', all the while keeping sight of the latter's elusive materiality. The difficulties of undertaking such a task are legion. To begin, there's the legendary problem of fixing the meaning of my two 'keywords', which is why they hang so precariously between scare quotes. As Raymond Williams famously noted, the terms 'culture' and 'nature' are formidably polysemic or, if you prefer, semantically promiscuous. This immediately makes any discussion of the relation between the two unstable. Unable to pin down their cognitive content, one is forced to use signifiers whose meaning is constantly shifting. The result, potentially at least, is a form of argumentative sea-sickness.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.