Reviews

“In this fierce assemblage of essays, Boon, Butler, and Jefferies offer us ‘theory at the water’s edge’—a vibrant creative scholarship of roots, waves, and passages.  Designed as an archipelago, these pieces dwell on knotted issues of autoethnography through elemental perspectives, including fog, ice, and “wet ways of knowing.”  As a work of collaborative inquiry, the book delivers vibrant nonbinary perspectives on feminist geography and Newfoundland/Ktaqmkuk as unceded territory.  The authors queer archival practices, while encouraging us to put our own bodies on the line as scholars.  The result is a beautiful entanglement of decolonial thought, critical memoir, and physical embodiment that invites readers to think beyond binaries to the possibility of water.  The analysis is personal, political, and radical in its “torn cartographies,” which submerge and re-map the reader.” (Jes Battis, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Regina, Canada)

“Autoethnography and Feminist Theory At the Water’s Edge: Unsettled Islands offers an exciting and entirely new approach to writing feminist theory. Its collaborative authorial voice meditates on a range of timely critical issues such as settler colonial histories, gender embodiment,  affective memory, community identity and senses of belonging The book’s feminist insights are grounded in intimate autoethnographic details and vivid evocations of place. The reader can practically smell the salty island air and feel the fear of stepping on fragile slabs of ice! Comprising a series of “micro essays,” the book’s pleasing economy belies the depth of its historical research and the richness of its theoretical arguments. It is a beautiful and thoughtful work that deserves to be widely read and unreservedly loved. ” (Helen Leung, PhD, Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Simon Fraser University, Canada)  

“Like their subject matter itself, the short lyrical essays in this volume compel readers to new understandings of bodies and identities through encountering islands as simultaneously material and metaphor. Throughout, time and space are fluid and liminal, and theory is complex while also embodied and personal. As someone who lives on an island, I was swept into other mappings, other ways of knowing that are both grounded and able to let go, to follow ‘waves’ and ‘roots’ in a multitude of directions. Boon, Butler, and Jeffries have created provocative and beautiful essays that take readers to the ‘edge’—of, and beyond, land and sea, history and possession, belonging and longing. Here, autoethnography and critical memoir are journeys through dense and layered stories that embark us all on re/considerations of our locations and located-ness. A short and powerful collection!” (Ann Braithwaite, PhD, Professor and Coordinator, Diversity and Social Justice Studies, University of Prince Edward Island)

“It’s a dazzling, delicious project.” (Anonymous manuscript reviewer, 2017)

“Unsettled Islands brings together a diverse range of scholarly voices, engaging with recent scholarship in fluid ways that put feminist, trans, queer, posthuman, decolonial, and critical race theories into conversation with each other.” (Anonymous manuscript reviewer, 2017)

“The authors’ willingness to develop new lines of academic style and enquiry, rather than merely to rehash existing ones, strongly suggests a long shelf-life to come.” (Anonymous manuscript reviewer, 2017)

“As a reader, the micro-essay approach invites deep engagement with the themes without sacrificing breadth in the process. The text comes alive on the page in the sensory-rich style of storytelling presented in each essay. In fact, the micro-essays are a joy [to] read, calling forth various modes of being through notions of mud, fish, fog, ruins, silence, love, and roots, among other areas. …. As a reader, it is hard not to feel transported into what I imagined to be water-soaked pages, surrounded by salty, cool air with feet grounded in the dense soil of the stories. Living in a landlocked place as far from the water’s edge as I can imagine, this text invited me to consider how I might bring islands and islandness into my life and the value of this engagement.” (Anonymous manuscript reviewer, 2018)