Combining critical reflections from scholars around the globe as well as experiential records from some of the world’s most tenacious explorers, this book interrogates the concept of the ‘frontier’ as a realm of transformation, exploration and adventure.

We discover the affective power of social, physical, spiritual and political frontiers in shaping humanity’s abilities to change and become. We collectively unpack the enduring conceptualization of the frontier as a site of nation-state identity formation, violent colonization, masculine prowess and the triumph of progress. In its place, this book charts a more complex and subtle emotional geography amidst an array of frontiers: the expanding human psyche that is induced under free-diving narcosis and tales of survival on one of the most technically difficult mountains in the world, ‘The Ogre’. Chapters consider solitude in the Sahara, near-death experiences in Tibetan Buddhism, the aftermath of a volcanic eruption in Bali, the Spanish Imaginary, snatched moments of sexual curiosity, and many more.

This book will be of upmost importance to researchers working on theories of affect, the Anthropocene, frontier theory and human geography. It will be vital supplementary reading for undergraduates and postgraduates on courses such as Heritage Studies, Human and Cultural Geography, Anthropology, Tourism Studies and History.

chapter |14 pages


Rethinking frontiers: transformation, exploration and adventure
ByHayley Saul, Emma Waterton

part I|67 pages


chapter 1|15 pages

Taboo desires?

James Baldwin, African Americans, homo-eroticism and the frontiers of mind/place/race and sex
ByRussell Staiff

chapter 2|18 pages

The Spanish Imaginary

A trilogy of frontiers
BySteve Watson, Emma Waterton

chapter 3|16 pages

Under a volcano

A journey through ruin and regeneration in Bali
ByDenis Byrne

chapter 4|17 pages

Facing a new frontier

Defining nature and culture within dinosaur parks in Europe
ByRoss J. Wilson

part II|47 pages


chapter 5|9 pages

The Ogre 1

ByCBE Doug Scott

chapter 6|10 pages


ByOBE Robin Hanbury-Tenison

chapter 7|15 pages

‘Challenging demoniacal beings’ 1

Extinction, materialities and the mortal frontiers in Alexandra David-Neel’s journeys in the Himalayan highlands
ByHayley Saul

chapter 8|12 pages

Everest and the Himalaya

The evolution of mountain travel and exploration
ByTim Macartney-Snape

part III|71 pages


chapter 9|17 pages

Free-falling the water column

Raptures and ruptures of the deep
ByFelicity Picken

chapter 10|17 pages

Women mountaineers and affect

Fear, play and the unknown
ByJenny Hall

chapter 11|14 pages

‘Frontier climbing’ in the wild, wild East

ByEsther Bott

chapter 12|22 pages

On the trail of the new frontier

Doing things the hard way in Australian overland travel
ByRosemary Kerr