Joshua Hagen reviews The Birth of Territory in Geographical Review

gere12034A nice review of The Birth of Territory in Geographical Review, by Joshua Hagen (requires subscription).

Here’s the concluding paragraph:

Elden is to be commended for his keen analysis that tackles rather complex issues of meaning and translation while remaining eminently readable. I also credit Elden for undertaking such an ambitious project when the incentive structures in modern academia increasingly tilt toward producing the minimal publishable unit. Upon first perusing the book, I immediately thought of Clarence Glacken’s Traces on the Rhodian Shore, an impression that was only reinforced as I read through the chapters. I was a bit frustrated the book lacked a full bibliography. The main chapters seemed to average around 250 notes, so looking up full citations was laborious. I will refrain from the rather lazy criticism that this or that should have been included in a book that covers so much ground, but I would have liked a bit more explanation about what criteria governed
the selection of source materials. Perhaps my most significant complaint would be that I do not think the title fits the book very well. The story Elden tells is less about the birth of territory than the changing relations between place and power. Elden explicitly acknowledges as much throughout the book. I believe what Elden has actually produced is much more than the birth of territory. With apologies to Glacken, I think the book would be better titled Place and Power in Western Thought from Ancient Times to the End of the Seventeenth Century. These small points do not diminish a truly impressive piece of scholarship.


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Posted in Territory, The Birth of Territory | 1 Comment

Some links on the situation in Gaza – and Verso’s The Case for Sanctions Against Israel free to download

The desperate situation on Gaza continues… some things worth reading, as something of a balance to the mainstream media

The Funambulist has had some excellent analysis, in word and image by Léopold Lambert  – clicking the map below takes to you a high-quality image. [Plus a new post on 30/7/2014]

Map Gaza

Derek Gregory’s blog Geographical Imaginations has had several good posts recently – Corpographies and Footnotes to Gaza 101, among them…

Juan Cole’s Informed Comment is a continually useful source of perspectives, on this and much else

Craig Jones’s War, Law, Space blog had some important pieces towards the beginning of this war, including a link to a work in progress entitled  ‘Frames of law: Targeting advice and operational law in the Israeli Defense Force

Critical Legal Thinking has had some good pieces too

Finally, The Case for Sanctions Against Israel – Verso’s collection of essays is now available as a free e-book

[Update: 'Isolating Gaza' at the Stanford University Press blog is also very good]

Posted in Politics, Territory | 1 Comment

Seyla Benhabib reviews Richard J. Bernstein, Violence at NDPR

Seyla Benhabib reviews Richard J. Bernstein, Violence at NDPR

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Ed Cohen on The Productive Body and La société punitive in the LARB

Ed Cohen reviews Francois Guéry and Didier Deleule’s The Productive Body and Foucault’s La société punitive in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Top ten posts on Progressive Geographies this week

Special Issue on Ranciere

What is neoliberalism?

Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 12

Bruno Latour – Some advantages of the notion of “Critical Zone” for Geopolitics

Guattari, Felix 2012 Schizoanalytic Cartographies, reviewed by Thomas Jellis

Foucault’s Last Decade

Peter Sloterdijk, You Must Change Your Life reviewed by Eduardo Mendieta

Geographies of peace

Books received – Foucault Lexicon, Lefebvre on Architecture, etc.

Articles and Chapters

Posted in Books, Bruno Latour, Eduardo Mendieta, Felix Guattari, Foucault's Last Decade, Michel Foucault, Peter Sloterdijk, Politics, Territory | 2 Comments

Bruno Latour – Some advantages of the notion of “Critical Zone” for Geopolitics

An intriguing short piece by Bruno Latour – ‘Some advantages of the notion of “Critical Zone” for Geopolitics’ – available to download from his website.

Abstract: The relatively new concept of “critical zones”, much like that of the “Anthropocene”, signals an interesting twist in the ways to approach life-sustaining systems on Earth and thus a new way to understand the prefix “geo” in geopolitics. Some advantages of the notion for political sciences are listed.

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Atlases of disease


Atlas of Epidemic Britain: A Twentieth Century Picture reviewed by Tom Koch at the Society and Space open site.

Originally posted on Society and Space - Environment and Planning D:

9780199572922Matthew Smallman-Raynor and Andrew Cliff’s Atlas of Epidemic Britain: A Twentieth Century Picture is reviewed by Tom Koch. The atlas was published in 2012 by Oxford University Press.

A selection of hi-res illustrations and maps from Andreas Vesalius and Abraham Ortelius’ atlases, which are discussed in the review, can be viewed at the online exhibition ATLASES: Poetics, Politics and Performance.

A review of Koch’s 2011 book Disease Maps: Epidemics on the Ground is available here.

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