Dr. Jamie Carr

Associate Professor

Office Location:
Dunleavy Hall, Room 320


I have long been intrigued by what Sven Birkerts, in his book The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age (1994), says about what we experience when we are immersed in a good story: that we "hand over our groundedness in the here and now in order to take up our new groundedness in the elsewhere of the book" (81). Literature, that is, creates a 'sense of place,' an 'elsewhere' in our minds that we visit for a short while, and that leaves us changed in some way.

My most recent teaching and research interests explore the relation of literature to place�real or imagined, natural or built environment. What aspects of literature speak to people�s experiences of place? How do our own experiences of place differ from others due to historical, cultural, gender, race, socio-economic, or other factors? And how might our connections to place foster our responsibility to it?

I am fortunate to live and work in an environment that millions are drawn to each year�and that writers have 'created' for centuries -- Niagara Falls.

I examine this cultural heritage in my manuscript, COMPOSING NIAGARA: A LITERARY TOUR OF THE FALLS, which is under advance contract with SUNY Press.

In my classes, students encounter opportunities to explore and encounter the relation between �literature and place,� whether through reading works that elicit such reflections; in writing; on excursions to physical places in the city and landscape of Niagara Falls; or, through work on our art and literary journal, the Aquila.