Carceral Geography conference, University of Birmingham, Tuesday 13th December 2016.

Carceral Geography conference, University of Birmingham, Tuesday 13th December 2016

Abstracts are invited for papers which address the themes of this conference: Confinement, Crossings and Conditions. These themes pertain to the nature and experience of carceral confinement, broadly interpreted; the notion of crossing of an assumed or contested boundary both between spaces of confinement and ‘other’ spaces,  and to the ways in which carceral experiences persist after periods of custody have ended – both for those confined, and for affected others. During ESRC research projects to which the conference is linked, (focused on the experience of carceral spaces) issues of absence, intimacy, choreography and the microscale emerged as significant, and prospective speakers are invited to engage with (but are by no means limited to) these notions. Papers which discuss methodological or theoretical approaches for carceral geography, and those exploring the ‘place’ of carceral geography in relation to human geography/criminology/carceral studies more generally are also welcome.

Abstracts from postgraduate and early career researchers are particularly welcome.

As well as providing a forum for dissemination and discussion of new and recent research in carceral geography, this event is intended provide a ‘springboard’ for the development of an organisational structure for this subdiscipline: there will formal and informal opportunities to discuss and plan actions and activities around this topic.

A limited number of travel and accommodation bursaries will be available for paper presenters.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please email

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Adam Kotsko’s thoughts on Dotan Leshem’s Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault

9780231177764.jpgAdam Kotsko’s thoughts on Dotan Leshem’s The Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault

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Saskia Sassen interviewed by Shamus Khan in Public Culture (requires subscription)

Saskia Sassen interviewed by Shamus Khan in Public Culture (requires subscription)

Shamus Khan talks with Saskia Sassen about some of her most influential book projects, from The Mobility of Labor and Capital and The Global City to her recent publication, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. Reading these texts together and in light of current issues, their conversation touches on topics such as how migration relates to political and economic processes, the continuously shifting landscape of global cities, and how complex systems change.

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Grandfathers, Geopolitics, and Generational Legacies

Colin Flint with news of his recently published book.


My book Geopolitical Constructs: The Mulberry Harbours, World War Two, and the Making of a Militarized Transatlantic has just been published by Rowman and Littlefield ( This book has been a long labor of love for me, requiring a number of visits over the years to the UK for archival research. It is dedicated to my grandfather who served in the Royal Signals in the war. He was a mild-mannered gentleman who taught me how to play chess. He was also partially defined by the war and his service. So were my parents, children in London during the war. It seemed to have defined them too. Hence, WWII, even though it ended 20 years before I was born, played a role in framing my identity, and that of my generation. It was this sense of post-war psychological scarring that spurred me to write the book. I was also…

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Daniel McLoughlin (ed.) Agamben and Radical Politics

9781474402637_1This looks an interesting collection: Agamben and Radical Politics, edited by Daniel McLoughlin.

Giorgio Agamben’s analysis of sovereignty was profoundly influential for critical theory as it grappled with issues of security and state violence in the wake of 11 September 2001. But what does his work have to say in an age characterised by financial crisis and political revolts? The 12 essays in this volume provide new perspectives on economy and political action by analysing Agamben’s recent work on government, his account of a non-statist politics and his relationship to the revolutionary tradition. It includes a new essay by Agamben himself, entitled ‘Capitalism as Religion’.

It’s currently hardback and e-book only.

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La grande soif de l’etat. Michel Foucault avec les sciences sociales (2016)

News of a recently published book on Foucault and the state.

Foucault News

skornickiArnault Skornicki,La grande soif de l’etat. Michel Foucault avec les sciences sociales, Les Prairies Ordinaires, 2016.
288 pages, 20 €
ISBN 978-2-35096-116-3

Michel Foucault n’est pas réputé être un théoricien de l’État, mais un penseur du pouvoir partout où il se trouve (dans l’école, la prison, la caserne, l’usine, l’hôpital). Et pourtant, il apparaît qu’il s’était lancé dans une grande généalogie de l’État moderne. Cet ouvrage se propose de dissiper ce paradoxe en démontrant deux choses.

Oui, il existe bel et bien une théorie foucaldienne de l’État : elle n’est ni systématique ni achevée, mais on peut la reconstituer tant à partir de la fabuleuse richesse des textes de Foucault qu’en le faisant dialoguer avec de grandes entreprises voisines, venues de la philosophie et des sciences sociales : le marxisme, Weber, Elias et Bourdieu, entre autres.

Oui, la généalogie est compatible avec la sociologie. Les concepts de biopolitique…

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Foucault’s History of Sexuality Vol I, 40 years on – theme issue of Cultural History

cover.gif‘Revisiting The History of Sexuality: Thinking with Foucault at Forty’, theme issue of Cultural History, guest edited by Howard Chiang. Here’s the abstract of the introduction:



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International Law and the Territorial Gains and Losses of Non-State Actors, London, 27 October 2016

I’ll be speaking at the launch event of a new project on International Law and The Territorial Gains and Losses of Non-State Actors in London on 27 October 2016, 5pm. The other speaker is Patrick Zahnd, Professor of Humanitarian International Law  at SciencesPo. Full details here.

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Books received – Holinshed, Hannigan, de Vries on Latour, Howkins, International Political Sociology


A second-hand copy of Holinshed’s Chronicles – the parts used by Shakespeare; and some books in recompense for review work for Polity and Routledge.

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Interview about Foucault’s Last Decade on New Books in Critical Theory (audio)

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Dave O’Brien of Goldsmiths about Foucault’s Last Decade for the New Books in Critical Theory series. The recording is now available as a podcast: Download (Duration: 47:54 — 21.9MB) or to stream at the series website.


Why did Michel Foucault radically recast the project of The History of Sexuality? How did he work collaboratively? What was the influence of Antiquity on his thought? In Foucault’s Last Decade (Polity Press, 2016) Stuart Elden, Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick explores these, and many more, questions about the final years in a rich intellectual life. The book combines detailed studies of Foucault’s recently collected lecture series with archival material and his publications, to give an in depth engagement with the changes and continuities in his thought during the last decade. Addressing questions associated with key terms, such as governmentality, as well as confession, the self, power, truth telling, and many other core ideas and themes, the book will be essential reading for anyone interested in this most important of Western thinkers.

My thanks to Dave for the invitation and for asking the questions.

Posted in Foucault's Last Decade, Foucault: The Birth of Power, Michel Foucault, Uncategorized | 2 Comments