Sense of Place: A Humanistic Geographical Approach to the Themes of Place, Memory and Displacement in Bob Dylan’s Songs

Ujjwal Kr. Panda

Assistant Professor, Government General Degree College, Dantan-II, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India. Email:

Volume 9, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n1.s02

Received February 19, 2017; Revised on June 5, Accepted June 10, 2017; Published June 15, 2017.


The paper attempts to examine the themes of place, memory, displacement and placelessness in the lyrics of Bob Dylan from the point of view of postmodern humanistic geography. The term, sense of place, has been central to the understanding of the role of a place in the formation of the identity of people living in it in the sphere of humanistic geography. According to Yi-Fu Tuan, the Chinese-American humanistic geographer, place is more than a mere cartographical location as it lives in the experience and consciousness of people who render meaning to it. Dylan’s works are deeply rooted in various places he experienced in his life. His early displacement from a rural/semi-urban primary landscape and his passage to the big city of New York (secondary landscape) had given birth into him a kind of negative sense of place where there is “no direction home”. In the rapidly changing socio-political milieu of the sixties Dylan remains always an outsider with his incessant search for home.

Keywords: humanistic geography, place, memory, displacement, placelessness

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