Skip to Main content

Geography Professor Reflects on Reading

February 26, 2021

Geographer Rob Briwa hasn’t let the trials of the last year impede on his research, recently publishing the article, “Bird Watching with The Peregrine: Towards Literary Geographies of Comfort Reading.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly re-shaped human life and made new demands on day-to-day activities, including reading literature. “Bird Watching with The Peregrine,” reflects on reading as a therapeutic activity and proposes that the concept of “comfort reading”—loosely defined here as a creative practice readers use to gain a sense of health of well-being from engagement with texts—demonstrates a moment where literary texts overspill their boundaries and occur as spatial events.

Briwa explains, “I develop this argument through reviewing relevant literatures in literary, medical, and cultural geographies and by re-casting comfort reading as a spatial event. This latter goal is achieved through an autobiographical narrative that documents how my comfort reading of J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine reflects and demonstrates the theoretical notion of “expansionary literary geographies”.”

“Bird Watching with The Peregrine: Towards Literary Geographies of Comfort Reading,” appears in a special 2020 issue of the open-access journal Literary Geographies.