The visual, the invisible, and blindness: the uncanny in self-landscape relations

Petty, Karis Jade (2020) The visual, the invisible, and blindness: the uncanny in self-landscape relations. Material Religion, 16 (4). pp. 452-470. ISSN 1743-2200

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This article examines experiences of the uncanny within woodlands of Southern England among walkers who have impaired vision. It proposes that uncanny experiences disrupt assumptions that humans actively perceive a passive landscape by approaching the landscape as an actant provoking uncanny experiences that shift senses of self–landscape relations. Optical tropes have pervaded notions of both the uncanny and conceptualizations of self–landscape relations in contemporary European intellectual thought. Here, attention to the case study of blindness reconfigures these understandings and reveals the slippery nexus of the visible and the invisible in uncanny experiences. Motifs of vision are refracted in the experiences of “phantom vision” through which people who have noncongenitally impaired vision might “see” in their “mind’s eye.” The palpable, felt, multisensorial senses of the uncanny are revealed with the presences of trees and visceral nature of darkness. Uncanny landscapes are characterized by presences, the unknown, and disjunctures, in which notions of familiarity and strangeness, known and unknown, collide.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2020 08:02
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 02:00

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