Finishing with Foucault, working on Shakespeare and now a holiday

I’ve now finished work on Foucault: The Birth of Power – the corrections to the proofs have been sent off. In the past several weeks I’ve been working hard on Shakespeare, and have got several chapters into draft state. I’m going to have to take a break from this work in the autumn-winter, with teaching and several talks on different topics, so I’d like to get this manuscript to a point where I can leave it without too many loose ends. This doesn’t mean it’s nearly finished, indeed far from it, but I want it to be at a point where I can put it aside and return, at some point, with fresh eyes and hopefully new energy and ideas.

I’ve put a new page on this site with more information on the Shakespeare project. This supersedes the older page, and more accurately reflects the current shape of it.

Foucault: The Birth of Power is now available to pre-order from Polity’s distributor, Wiley, as well as online bookstores. It is currently projected for February publication. The cover isn’t yet up, but the book’s description is.

Now for a holiday.

Posted in Books, Foucault: The Birth of Power, Michel Foucault, Shakespearean Territories, William Shakespeare | 3 Comments

Books and journals received – Shaw, Italiano, Hall, Dixon, Braverman

A pile each of books and journals, recently received. The books are mainly the second instalment of ones in recompense for review work, along with Ian Shaw’s Predator Empire, sent by the publisher.



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David Beer, Metric Power

9781137556486David Beer’s Metric Power is now out. A great shame about Palgrave’s prohibitive price for this – hopefully a paperback will appear at some point, but there is no justification for a £50 e-book.

This book examines the powerful and intensifying role that metrics play in ordering and shaping our everyday lives. Focusing upon the interconnections between measurement, circulation and possibility, the author explores the interwoven relations between power and metrics. He draws upon a wide-range of interdisciplinary resources to place these metrics within their broader historical, political and social contexts. More specifically, he illuminates the various ways that metrics implicate our lives – from our work, to our consumption and our leisure, through to our bodily routines and the financial and organisational structures that surround us. Unravelling the power dynamics that underpin and reside within the so-called big data revolution, he develops the central concept of Metric Power along with a set of conceptual resources for thinking critically about the powerful role played by metrics in the social world today.

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Louise Amoore on ‘Cloud geographies: Computing, data, sovereignty’ in Progress in Human Geography

Louise Amoore on ‘Cloud geographies: Computing, data, sovereignty’ in Progress in Human Geography (requires subscription).

The architecture of cloud computing is becoming ever more closely intertwined with geopolitics – from the sharing of intelligence data, to border controls, immigration decisions, and drone strikes. Developing an analogy with the cloud chamber of early twentieth century particle physics, this paper explores the geography of the cloud in cloud computing. It addresses the geographical character of cloud computing across two distinct paradigms. The first, ‘Cloud I’ or a geography of cloud forms, is concerned with the identification and spatial location of data centres where the cloud is thought to materialize. Here the cloud is understood within a particular history of observation, one where the apparently abstract and obscure world can be brought into vision and rendered intelligible. In the second variant, ‘Cloud II’ or the geography of a cloud analytic, the cloud is a bundle of experimental algorithmic techniques acting upon the threshold of perception itself. Like the cloud chamber of the twentieth century, contemporary cloud computing is concerned with rendering perceptible and actionable that which would otherwise be beyond the threshold of human observation. The paper proposes three elements of correlative cloud reasoning, suggesting their significance for our geopolitical present: condensing traces; discovering patterns; and archiving the future.

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Interview with Mark Blyth at E-IR

Mark-Blyth-Wall-Shot-700x394Interesting interview with Mark Blyth at E-IR on international political economy, the uses of theory, ‘Brexit’, austerity and other contemporary politics. The interview ends with a strident answer to the question ‘What is the most important advice you could give to young scholars of international relations and political economy?’

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Brian Jordan Jefferson – Policing, Whiteness, and the Death-Wage

The second commentary on Black Lives Matter at the Society and Space open site.

Society and space

Editors’ note – This is the second commentary in an ongoing series on Black Lives Matter solicited for this site. See also Deborah Cowen and Nemoy Lewis’ Anti-blackness and urban geopolitical economy: Reflections on Ferguson and the suburbanization of the ‘internal colony’.

Photo by author. Photo by author.

Recent videos of racialized police killings and the uprisings mounted in response have shaken the field of US politics to its core. During the past two years, at least 1,431 Black Lives Matter demonstrations have occurred across the country and beyond. What is more, the spectacle of these extraordinary mobilizations has been amplified by equally impassioned defenses of police executions, which has provided rallying cries for entire communities, and platforms for upcoming national elections. In times of such turbulence, the entire fields of public discourse and political rhetoric are upset. So too are the habits of the critical analyst.

During ordinary times, the analyst…

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Books received – Extraterritorialities, Dunleavy, review work for Routledge, Shakespeare

IMG_1657I’ve done three manuscript reviews for Routledge this summer, and this is the first instalment of books in recompense. Also in the pile, a copy of Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds, in which I have a chapter; an inspection copy of Dunleavy’s Authoring a PhD; and a second-hand copy of the Cambridge As You Like It.

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In Phenomenological Reviews, a look at an Edited Collection on the Black Notebooks

A good review of the recent edited volume on Heidegger’s ‘Black Notebooks’


Jeff Malplas and Ingo Farin edited the collection, which contains a cast of many well-known Heidegger specialists. It is, on the whole, more sympathetic to Heidegger (or what is culled down as his real thought, rather than the anti-semitism) than I expected: Ingo Farin, Jeff Malpas (Eds.): Reading Heidegger’s Black Notebooks 1931-1941 – Phenomenological Reviews

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Urban Cultural Studies: Call for abstracts – AAG in Boston April 5-9, 2017

Urban Cultural Studies: Call for abstracts – AAG in Boston April 5-9, 2017


The AAG session on Urban Cultural Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the culture(s) of cities.

In recent years, cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social science disciplines, but there has been relatively little real dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. On the one hand, social science fields that use urban studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close-readings of the representation of cities in individual novels, music albums/songs, graphic novels, films, videogames, online ‘virtual’ spaces, or other artistic and cultural products. On the other hand, while there is increasing discussion of urban topics and themes in the humanities, broadly considered, there are very few venues that are open to these new interdisciplinary directions of scholarship. Driven by a methodology that links urban geography and cultural studies work, this session features applied and theoretical papers focusing on urban spaces the world over.

Abstracts will ideally address both an individual city itself and also its cultural representation. We are particularly interested in abstracts that achieve some balance between discussing an individual (or multiple) cultural/artistic product(s) in depth and also using one of many social-science (geographical, anthropological, sociological…) urban approaches to investigate a given city. Specific topics vary, but emphasis is placed on geo-humanities approaches and representational/spatial practices. This session is also linked to the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (,id=225/) and its accompanying blog at

The format will be an interactive short-paper session of 10-14 brief presentations of research (5 minutes each) followed by lengthy audience discussion.

Please submit abstracts of a maximum of 250 words to Benjamin Fraser (, Executive Editor of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies at East Carolina University.

Posted in Conferences, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Uncategorized, urban/urbanisation | 1 Comment

Ray Milefsky, 1949-2016 – tributes from Martin Pratt and Phil Steinberg

Ray Milefsky, who worked with the US State Department’s Office of the Geographer and Global Issues has died. I only met Ray briefly at Durham’s International Boundaries Research Unit events. He was a regular tutor at IBRU workshops, and a strong supporter of its work. There are good tributes from Martin Pratt and Phil Steinberg.

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