Territory from Shakespeare to Geo-politics - Public Lecture with Professor Stuart Elden

When:10 Mar 2015, 4pm - 6pm
Venue:John Goodsell 221/223, UNSW
Who:Professor Stuart Elden
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This lecture will introduce the work I have been doing on the question of territory over the past several years, leading to two books on the subject – Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty (2009) and The Birth of Territory (2013). It will try to outline the different registers of the question of territory which are examined in those works – while it is an obviously political and geographical question, it has multiple aspects: economic, strategic, legal and technical. This talk will illustrate those different registers with examples from a range of Shakespeare’s plays. In this way the lecture will relate to an ongoing project on how Shakespeare’s work can help elucidate the question of territory. But it will also introduce another register that I have perhaps been guilty of underplaying in the past – the physical, material. Here, drawing on the famous map scene in Henry IV, Part I, I will talk of rivers, dams and land, of geo-engineering and dynamic territories. This is the basis for another future project, thinking about the question of terrain, the geophysics of geopolitics.

Stuart Elden is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at University of Warwick, and Monash Warwick Professor, Faculty of Arts at Monash University. He is one of the editors of the journal Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. He is author of five books, including, most recently, The Birth of Territory (University of Chicago Press, 2013), which won the Association of American Geographers Meridian book award for outstanding scholarly contribution. He is currently writing a book for Polity Press entitled Foucault’s Last Decade and runs a blog at www.progressivegeographies.com


by email to Matthew Kearnes on m.kearnes@unsw.edu.au

This event is supported by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales, and coordinated by the Environmental Humanities Research Group and the Biopolitical Studies Research Network.

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