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Title: Surfing Haïti, and a new wave of travel writing
Author: Bleakley, Sam
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 0243
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London and Falmouth University
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis aims to develop an intermodal surf travel writing through the exploration of, and engagement with, Haïti’s coastline. Actor-network-theory (ANT) provides the methodological and theoretical framework to explore and explain how the key topics - surf, travel (Haïti) and writing - are brought into productive conversation through translation across persons, artefacts and ideas as an expanding network. Fieldwork is structured and informed by postmodern ethnography as the primary research method of ANT approaches. The entire coastline of Haïti is explored through four research trips, where potential surfing locations are mapped, bringing together my practices as writer, traveller and surfer, theorised through ANT. Engagement with Haïti operates at two levels: the macro level is the rhythm and cycle of anabasis (moving from coast to interior) and katabasis (interior to coast); and the micro level is the activity of surfing and mapping of surf breaks, offering tropes for writing with surfing in mind. The resultant intermodal writing is also a means though which Haïti is both represented and celebrated. The core areas of study - surf, travel (Haïti) and writing - afford equal status (in correspondence with the methodological framework of ANT), as do the roles of geography, ethnography and writing. My holistic approach to research and writing is guided by the literal definition of both geography (‘writing out the earth’) and ethnography (‘writing out culture’). Both the practice based and discursive elements of the thesis also claim equal status. This research attempts to contribute original work to the subgenre of surf travel writing and its critical discourses, and writing on Haïti - each activity drawing on (and making particular contributions to) geography, and an ethnography that explicitly aims to ‘write out’ and celebrate Haïti’s coastscape (coastal landscape, seascape and culture).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cultural Geography ; Tourism, Transport and Travel ; Journalism