Cyberplace: from fantasies of placelessness to connective emplacement

H. Halstead

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Digital memories have often been interpreted – both pejoratively and positively – as free-floating and placeless. On the one hand, digital technology is dismissed for creating a placeless sameness and meaninglessness: memories cut loose from the distinctive places in which they were formed and which gave them meaning. On the other hand, it is celebrated for creating a progressive placelessness in which memories may develop unencumbered by the restrictions, antagonisms and exclusivity of boundaries, borders and rootedness. Yet, an increasingly everted and pervasive 21st century Internet – and the rise of mobile and locative technologies – challenge the notion that place is significant to digital memory only in its absence. Digital memories are also personal and local memories, which are both marked by the contours of existing place politics and social geographies, and capable of reshaping these contours into new, heterogeneous and dynamic place-making. This is cyberplace: malleable, shifting, often disorientating; but also textured, uneven and located.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-571
Number of pages11
JournalMemory Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Digital memory
  • Internet
  • Locative technology
  • Mobile media
  • Place
  • Social media


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