Introduction. On Meaningful Worlds
1. Among this ﬁrst generation of black novels are Frank J. Webb’s The Garies
and Their Friends (1857), Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig (1859), and Martin Delany’s Blake
(1859 – 62).
2. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, 152.
3. The term “invention” is influenced by the rhetorical analysis of Kendall Phil-
lips, “Spaces of Invention,” 329.
4. Thadious Davis, Southscapes, 14.
5. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 115.
6. It seems ﬁtting that the English word “space” derives from the Latin words
spatium, meaning an interval or an expanse of time, and ex- spatiari, similar to
wander or digress. Both roots connote a sense of directionless motion, a decen-
tering eﬀect. See the gloss on ex- spatiari in F. Ryland, Johnson’s Life of Milton, 146.
Also see “expiate” in T. R. Hoad, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. A
similar etymology for “space” can be found in Mervyn Sprung, Explorations in Life
7. Yi- Fu Tuan, Space and Place, 3 – 6.
8. Paul Dourish, “Re- Space-ing Place.” See also Steve Harrison and Deborah
Tatar, “Places,” 99. Dourish’s work, in particular, signals a movement in the ﬁeld
of informatics that advocates for a more phenomenological, place- forward ap-
proach to space, a kind of placial primacy.
9. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, 102 – 4.
10. Anthony Giddens writes: “Place is best conceptualized by the idea of locale,
which refers to the physical settings of social activity as situated geographically. . . .
The advent of modernity increasingly tears space away from place by fostering re-
lationships between absent ‘others,’ locationally distant from any given situation
of face to face interaction” (The Consequences of Modernity, 18).
11. Tuan, Space and Place, 4.
12. Erica Carter, James Donald, Judith Squires, Space and Place: Theories of Identity
and Location, xii.