The Eye of War: A Symposium

Symposium on Antoine Bousquet’s new book The Eye of War: Military Perception from the Telescope to the Drone

The Disorder Of Things

Over the coming week, The Disorder of Things will host a symposium on Antoine Bousquet’s new book The Eye of War: Military Perception from the Telescope to the Drone, published last year by University of Minnesota Press. Following today’s introductory post by the author will be contributions from Katharine Hall, Dan Öberg, Matthew Ford, and Jairus Grove before a final rejoinder from Antoine. See also The Eye of War‘s accompanying website for a visual synopsis of the book and special order discounts.

Antoine is a Reader in International Relations at Birkbeck, University of London and a long-standing contributor to The Disorder of Things. His first book was The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity (Hurst Publishers & Columbia University Press, 2009). Antoine’s visual-heavy war-centric twitter feed can be found here.

All the entries in this series will be collated here. Previous…

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Richard Polt, Time and Trauma: Thinking Through Heidegger in the Thirties – Rowman & Littlefield, March 2019

9781786610492Richard Polt, Time and Trauma: Thinking Through Heidegger in the Thirties – Rowman & Littlefield, March 2019

In this important new book, Richard Polt takes a fresh approach to Heidegger’s thought during his most politicized period, and works toward a philosophical appropriation of his most valuable ideas. Polt shows how central themes of the 1930s—such as inception, emergency, and the question “Who are we?”—grow from seeds planted in Being and Time and are woven into Heidegger’s political thought. Working with recently published texts, including Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, Polt traces the thinker’s engagement and disengagement from the Nazi movement. He critiques Heidegger for his failure to understand the political realm, but also draws on his ideas to propose a “traumatic ontology” that understands individual and collective existence as identities that are always in question, and always remain exposed to disruptive events. Time and Trauma is a bold attempt to gain philosophical insight from the most problematic and controversial phase of Heidegger’s thought.

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Books received – Bataille & Weil, Grmek, Heidegger, Cook, Theory, Culture & Society


Books received – George Bataille and Eric Weil correspondence, Mirko D. Grmek, Pathological Realities: Essays on Disease, Experiments, and History; the new translation of Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning the Thing, Deborah Cook, Adorno, Foucault and the Critique of the West, and the 2018 annual review of Theory, Culture & Society, including my review essay of Foucault’s History of Sexuality Volume 4.

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Corine Pelluchon, Nourishment: A Philosophy of the Political Body – Bloomsbury 2019

9781350073876Corine Pelluchon, Nourishment: A Philosophy of the Political Body, translated by Justin E. H. Smith,  Bloomsbury 2019

In this original and important book, Corine Pelluchon argues for nothing less than a new social contract that does justice to the biosphere, to all life, especially other animals, as well as human life, and to future generations. On the basis of a phenomenology of food and nourishment, she shows how freedom depends on the “love of life” and on sharing what nourishes with others. Pelluchon also takes up the practical challenge of reimagining democratic institutions to sustain this ethics of life. Anyone interested in questions of justice and environmental or food ethics should read this book.

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Jo van Every – About the Short Guides Series on writing and publishing

Jo van Every, About the Short Guides Series – an introduction to her series of books about academic writing and publishing. The third volume is due out soon.

As I was finalising the third volume in this series of books, my editor suggested that I might want to write a series introduction. I published the first volume, The Scholarly Writing Process in November 2016. The 2nd volume, Finding Time for your Scholarly Writing was published in April/June 2018. The ebook of volume 3, Scholarly Publishing, will be publishing on 7 January 2019 with the paperback following later that month.

There are lots more links and some discussions about writing and publishing from this site archived here.

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Special Issue: Processes of Subjectivation: Biopolitics and the Politics of Literature (2018)

Special issue on Processes of Subjectivation: Biopolitics and the Politics of Literature – open access

Foucault News

Special Issue: Processes of Subjectivation: Biopolitics and the Politics of Literature, Comparative Literature and Culture 20.4 (2018)_ Issue 20.4 (December 2018)
Ed. Azucena G. Blanco

The Eventualization of Political Thinking: From the Arab Revolutions to the Trump Era
Oscar Barroso

The Composition of History: a Critical Point of View of Michel Foucault’s Archaeology
Javier Gálvez Aguirre

“The Politics of Literature in Michel Foucault: Veridiction, Fiction and Desire”
Azucena G. Blanco

From Biopolitics to Biopoetics: a Hypothesis on the Relationship between Life and Writing
Julieta Yelin

Jewish Mysticism from Borges to Cirlot: a Transatlantic Approach to the Possibility of a Non-Subject Subjectivity
Erika Martínez

Literature of the Self in Foucault: Parrhesia and Autobiographical Discourse
Álvaro Luque

From Subjection to Dispossession: Butler’s Recent Performative Thought on Foucault’s Latest Work
Elisa Cabrera

Regaining the Subject: Foucault and the Frankfurt School on Critical Subjectivity
Miguel Alirangues

Of the Processes of Subjectivation as a…

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New issue of Critical Inquiry: Davidson and His Interlocutors (2019)

New issue of Critical Inquiry on Arnold Davidson. Includes the English translation of a 1967 lecture by Foucault on Structuralism and Literary Analysis.

Not sure all papers are open access.

Foucault News

New issue of Critical Inquiry: Davidson and His Interlocutors
Volume 45, Number 2 | Winter 2019

Open access

Articles in this issue include amongst others

David Halperin, Queer Love

Daniele Lorenzini, The Emergence of Desire: Notes Toward a Political History of the Will

Michel Foucault, Structuralism and Literary Analysis

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2018 in review – publications, talks, other academic stuff, and looking ahead to 2019

My book Shakespearean Territories was published by University of Chicago Press right at the end of the year, although it doesn’t seem to be available everywhere just yet. A journal article previewing some of the book’s arguments appeared as “Why Should People Interested in Territory read William Shakespeare?” in Territory, Politics, Governance (open access).

I also wrote a long review essay on the fourth volume of Michel Foucault’s Histoire de la sexualité, Les aveux de la chair for Theory, Culture and Society. It appeared open access on their website, and later in the Annual Review.

My book on George Canguilhem was completed this year and should appear in early 2019 with Polity. I spent much of the year researching and writing The Early Foucault, which is still in progress. Updates on this work can be found here. A number of book chapters, some written quite a long time ago, are forthcoming in collections in 2019.

I spoke on Foucault at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Goldsmiths, University of London (recording here) and the University of Sussex (recording here), and on Shakespeare at Kings College London and Queen Mary University of London (recordings here). I also took part in a discussion on urban territory with Neil Brenner at the Architectural Association (video here).

I taught both contemporary geopolitics and European political theory at Warwick, both of which were interesting for me, and I hope for the students. The biggest disappointment was not getting a visiting fellowship, which I’d really wanted.

Two researchers I co-supervised, Ari Jerroms (Monash) and António Ferrez de Oliveria (Warwick), were both awarded their PhDs. At the beginning of the year I was pleased to examine Johanne Bruun’s excellent thesis at Durham University. Congratulations to them all.

Looking ahead to 2019, I already have quite a few speaking and writing commitments. They are all on Foucault, Shakespeare and territory/terrain, which seem likely to be the focus of my work for some time to come. The three major talks are the Denis Cosgrove lecture in the Geohumanities on ‘Shakespearean Landscapes’, a keynote to the Association for Philosophy and Literature conference in Austria, and the Dialogues in Human Geography lecture at the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers annual conference. The Dialogues lecture will probably be on territory/terrain, and the APL one on Shakespeare. There are some other events in the diary, some of which are provisional. As ever, all confirmed details of future talks are here.

The academic books I liked most from 2018 are listed here; the music I enjoyed here; and the novels and biographies read here. Thanks for reading this last year. Many blogs I follow seem to be going dormant or at least much quieter, and Twitter seems to have become a much more common source of sharing/commenting. I’ve noticed a drop in visitors here too, and have posted less as well, but there seems to be enough interest to keep this site going for a while longer.

Posted in Canguilhem, Georges Canguilhem, Michel Foucault, Shakespearean Territories, terrain, Territory, The Early Foucault, Uncategorized, William Shakespeare | Leave a comment

Novels and biographies read in 2018

These are the books I read as a break from standard academic reading, though the line gets blurred with some of the biographies. I read more of those this year than previous years, including the three volumes of Isaac Deutscher’s epic study of Trotsky.

For lists from previous years see here, and for some responses to questions asked about my novel reading see here.

  1. Maja Lunde, A History of Bees
  2. Alex Danchev, Georges Braque: A Life (biography)
  3. Ian McEwan, Nutshell
  4. Frida Beckman, Gilles Deleuze (biography)
  5. Thomas Flynn, Sartre: A Philosophical Biography
  6. Zadie Smith, White Teeth
  7. Mark Mason, Walking the Lines: The London Underground, Overground
  8. Graham Greene, The Quiet American
  9. Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep(non fiction)
  10. Jon McGregor, Reservoir 13
  11. Jean-Paul Sartre,War Diaries: Notebooks from a Phoney War 1939-1940
  12. Damion Searls, The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test and the Power of Seeing
  13. John Banville, The Blue Guitar
  14. Elisabeth Roudinesco, Jacques Lacan: An Outline of a Life and History of a System of Thought (biography)
  15. Sarah Painter, Beneath the Water
  16. Pat Young, Til the Dust Settles
  17. Anthony McCarten, Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought us Back from the Brink (biography)
  18. Naomi Klein, No is Not Enough (non fiction)
  19. Robert MacFarlane, Landmarks (non fiction)
  20. Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding
  21. Alma Katsu, The Hunger
  22. Cara Hunter, Close to Home
  23. Matthew Richardson, My Name is Nothing
  24. Paul Trynka, Starman: David Bowie (biography)
  25. Lisa Appignanesi, Simone de Beauvoir (biography)
  26. Jane Harper, The Dry
  27. Robert Harris, Conclave
  28. Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing
  29. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879-1921(biography)
  30. Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold
  31. Heather Morris, The Tattooist of Auschwitz
  32. Graeme MacRae Burnet, The Accident on the A35
  33. Madeline Miller, Circe
  34. Elizabeth Day, The Party
  35. Val McDermid, Beneath the Bleeding
  36. Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent
  37. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky, 1921-1929 (biography)
  38. Belinda Bauer, Snap
  39. Jason Powell, Jacques Derrida: A Biography
  40. John le Carré, The Constant Gardener
  41. Penelope Fitzgerald, The Bookshop
  42. Elizabeth Strout,Anything is Possible
  43. Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun (non-fiction)
  44. Val McDermid, Forensics (non-fiction)
  45. Clare Mackintosh, Let Me Lie
  46. Laura Marshall,  Three Little Lies
  47. Andy Weir, Artemis
  48. Yann Moulier Boutang, Louis Althusser, une biographie: La formation du mythe 1918-1945: La matrice
  49. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  50. Yann Moulier Boutang, Louis Althusser, une biographie: La formation du mythe 1945-1956: Ruptures et plis
  51. Mohsin Hamed, Exit West
  52. Michel Surya, Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography
  53. Victoria Helen Stone, Jane Doe
  54. Stuart Kendall, Georges Bataille (biography)
  55. Simeon Wade, Foucault in California (memoir)
  56. Naomi Alderman,The Lessons
  57. Scott Hamilton, The Crisis of Theory: EP Thompson, The New Left and Postwar British Politics (biography)
  58. Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects
  59. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky, 1929-1940 (biography)
  60. Shirley Jackson, We have Always Lived in the Castle
  61. Ray Monk, Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude 1872-1921 (biography)
  62. Sarah Vaughan, Anatomy of a Scandal
  63. Jane Harper, Force of Nature
  64. John le Carré, A Small Town in Germany
  65. A.S. Byatt, The Children’s Book
  66. Ben Okri, The Famished Road


Posted in Novels read, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My favourite academic books of 2018

My favourite academic books of 2018. As with previous years – 2013, 2014, 2015, 20162017 – these are shaped by my interests, books that are sent to me, ones from publishers I review for, etc. etc. I’ve not read all the 2018 books I’ve bought or been sent, so while there are doubtless many other good books published this year, I can at least say that these are all worth reading.

books of 2018.png

  1. Chris Barrett, Early Modern English Literature and the Poetics of Cartographic Anxiety (OUP)
  2. Miguel de Beistegui, The Government of DesireA Genealogy of the Liberal Subject (Chicago)
  3. Andrea Mubi Brighenti and Mattias Kärrholm (eds.) Urban Walls: Political and Cultural Meanings of Vertical Structures and Surfaces (Routledge) – which I endorsed
  4. Georges Canguilhem, Œuvres complètes Tome V : Histoire des sciences, épistémologie, commémorations 1966-1995, edited by Camille Limoges (Vrin)
  5. Terrell Carver, Marx (Polity)
  6. Deborah Cook, Adorno, Foucault and the Critique of the West(Verso) – which I endorsed
  7. Jacques Derrida, Geschlecht III: Sexe, race, nation, humanité, edited by Geoffrey Bennington, Katie Chenoweth and Rodrigo Therezo (Seuil)
  8. Klaus Dodds, Ice: Nature and Culture (Reaktion)
  9. Verena Erlenbusch, Genealogies of Terrorism: Revolution, State Violence, Empire (Columbia) – which I endorsed
  10. Frantz Fanon, Alienation and Freedom, edited by Jean Khalfa and Robert J.C. Young (Bloomsbury)
  11. Michel Foucault, Les Aveux de la Chair, edited by Frédéric Gros (Gallimard) – review here
  12. Michel Foucault, Patrice Manglier and Dork Zabunyan, Foucault at the Movies, translated and edited by Clare O’Farrell (Columbia) – see my thoughts here
  13. Stefanos Gerolanos and Todd Myers, The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War (Chicago)
  14. Kélina Gotman, Choreomania: Dance and Disorder (OUP)
  15. Emilio de Ipola, Althusser: The Infinite Farewell, translated by Gavin Arnall (Duke)
  16. Caren Kaplan, Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime from Above (Duke)
  17. Mark Kelly, For Foucault: Against Normative Theory (SUNY Press) – which I endorsed
  18. Matthew Longo, The Politics of Borders: Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/11 (CUP)
  19. Julia Reinhard Lupton, Shakespeare Dwelling: Designs for the Theatre of Life (Chicago)
  20. Jeff Malpas, Place and Experience A Philosophical Topography, second edition (Routledge) -– which I endorsed
  21. Doreen Massey, The Doreen Massey Reader, edited by Brett Christophers, Rebecca Lave, Jamie Peck, Marion Werner (Agenda)
  22. Derek P. McCormack, Atmospheric Things: On the Allure of Elemental Envelopment (Duke)
  23. Catherine Mills, Biopolitics (Routledge)
  24. Katharyne Mitchell, Making Workers: Radical Geographies of Education (Pluto)
  25. Kimberley Peters, Philip Steinberg, and Elaine Stratford (eds.), Territory beyond Terra (Rowman International) – I wrote the preface
  26. Steven Seegel, Map Men: Transnational Lives and Deaths of Geographers in the Making of East Central Europe (Chicago)
  27. Veronica Strang et al. eds., From the Lighthouse: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Light (Routledge) – which I endorsed
  28. Laura Vaughan, Mapping Society: The Spatial Dimensions of Social Cartography (UCL Press – open access pdf available)
  29. Francesco Vitale, Biodeconstruction: Jacques Derrida and the Life Sciences (SUNY)
  30. Maja Zehfuss, War and the Politics of Ethics (OUP)

I’d also like to mention David Beer, The Data Gaze, and Ross Exo Adams, Circulation and Urbanizationwhich are in the Society and Space series I edit for Sage.

Posted in Boundaries, Doreen Massey, Frantz Fanon, Georges Canguilhem, Jacques Derrida, Jeff Malpas, Karl Marx, Louis Althusser, Maja Zehfuss, Michel Foucault, Philip Steinberg, Society and Space, Uncategorized, William Shakespeare | 1 Comment