Discordant Place-Based Literacies in the Hilton Head, South Carolina Runway Extension Debate

Emily Cooney


In making a case for ecocomposition, Sidney Dobrin has claimed that writing, place, and environment cannot be separated. As Donehower, Hogg and Schell and Deborah Brandt might argue, literacy cannot be separated from place either. But it might sometimes be separated from environment as an ecosystem that has value distinct from, and without the influence of, humans. In the Hilton Head, SC runway extension debate, how stakeholders read, write, and speak of the land next to the airport is inherently connected to how they interact with that place and with each other. But they do not read and write of the land as a valuable ecosystem. Opposition to the runway extension has nothing to do with environmental impacts. The place is valued for economic, social, and historical reasons. As an environment, it is not much considered.