I gave a version of ‘The Birth of Territory’ talk to the dept of geography at the University of Oregon. Some good discussion and some very nice meetings with faculty and grad students. It’s a strong department with some interesting people. Alec Murphy was my host – we’d shared an office when we were both visitors at Queen Mary in London, and it was great to have some time with him and his colleagues.
The talk was arranged at this time becasue I was also attending the Radical Philosophy Association conference on ‘Violence‘. This was very patchy. Enrique Dussel was giving one of the keynotes but they moved this to the first evening because he had to leave early (apparently to pick up an award from Hugo Chavez), and as a consequence I missed it (I was out with the geography department). There was a good ‘author meets critics’ session on his Politics of Liberation book (first volume out in English very soon), so I did at least get to hear him talk. Some of the other sessions were case studies of how not to give academic talks – rambling, incoherent, poorly prepared, read as if the author had never read them before, no attempt at planning to the time slot or keeping to time, read at breakneck speed, etc. Not all papers were like that, of course, and some were very good.
The session I was in was with Peter Gratton and Marie-Eve Morin, who were both great. We felt the papers worked together well and it was really good to meet them and have some time to talk. My paper took a little bit of a detour through the ‘violence’ of the student protests in London last week. I wish I’d see this first though (via John Protevi on APPS).
I met a good number of interesting people, and it was great to see Bill Martin from DePaul again, especially since we just talked about cycling and music which was probably no bad thing at a conference like this.