Walking Down, Waking Up – Travel and Place in Lockdown
8 November 2021 - 6 November 2022
In this pre-recorded lecture DR R. M. Francis, Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Wolverhampton explores his travels through the Black Country Geopark in the UK as poet in residence for the Black Country Geological Society, tracking how the physical land of a place and deep time observations of it, impacts one’s sense of place.
The Black Country is famous for its role in the Industrial Revolution; its industrial heritage forged unique and important community and culture; this, in many ways, was connected to the grounds that gave life to these cultures – the fossil rich grounds dating back to the Silurian era. Using Environmental Psychology and Psychogeography, Francis will consider how the current Covid-19 situation has enabled practice in micro travel and how this acts as a creative way of deepening our connections to our locale. He’ll consider the ways these experiments with travel help to harness and / or destabilise sense of place in the context of the 2020 Covid-19 recalibration of scale in journeying – forcing us to rethink the immediate locale and rediscover it through micro and vertical journeys.
This re-finding of place holds the potential for emancipatory awe. Kenneth White, Norman Bissell and Don McKay’s Geopoetics are grounded in an uncovering of the unseen, unnoticed and unfamiliar within the everyday or mundane. In short, seeking out the fantastic on our doorsteps and under our feet; something shared by Robert McFarlane’s observations in Underland (2019). Take an unconventional journey with poet, R. M. Francis and explore geopoetics as a means for the uncommon traveller to dig into the bedrocks of place-identity, connecting past, present and future in creative, deep-time ways.
The University of Wolverhampton offers hundreds of courses in different subject areas including taster sessions, Foundation year courses, Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees. It has over 21,000 students studying at three main teaching campuses in the Midlands (Wolverhampton, Telford, Walsall) in the UK.