I’m delighted to say that the Susanne Schmitt and Sara Schroer’s edited collection, Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically, has been published today. The book is a great collection of explorations of atmosphere, adding much needed detail to the conceptual discussions of this concept that have circulated in social science circles in recent years. It offers a good interdisciplinary range of articles by anthropologists, sociologists and artists, as well as my contribution from geography!
I contribute a chapter on atmospheres of pubs, in conversation with George Orwell’s fascinating essay The Moon Under Water. It’s a topic I’ve long been interested in and I’m glad to add Orwell’s conceptualization of atmosphere, as described in his essay, to the discussion of the topic. The framework he offers starts with the premise that:
“If you are asked why you favour a particular public-house,
it would seem natural to put the beer first, but the thing that most appeals to me
about the Moon Under Water is what people call its atmosphere” ( Orwell 1946 ).”
I use Orwell’s conceptualization of atmosphere to explore my own ethnographic data, and I hope that it might encourage others to look at his essay for a framework for considering atmosphere.