2012 talks

One of the things I’ve been working on since I got back is the schedule of talks for early 2012. I’d already agreed to give a couple of talks on ‘volume’ (part of The Space of the World project) in March in Kentucky and May in Nottingham; and had agreed a couple of dates earlier in the year (at King’s College London and Cambridge) and a talk at Università Roma Tre in early March. There were a couple of other provisional things in the diary – Istanbul to teach a mini-course in early February; and the Association of American Geographers in late February. I’ve also just been invited to give a talk in Moscow in late January.

I’ve been trying to work out what I can feasibly do for each of these, scheduling travel around Durham commitments in a way I’ve not had to do for some time; balancing a wish to give new talks as much as possible with a sense of what’s possible in terms of writing new material; and trying to link talks with things I have to (or want to) write for other purposes.

Unfortunately this meant I had to decline the invitations to Moscow and Istanbul – both places I’ve never been but wanted to go for years. But realistically I neither have the time to make those trips worthwhile – to actually see something of the place rather than just the airport/hotel/conference venue/restaurant – nor the time to write the papers. 

I debated long and hard about the AAG. A plan to organise a major lecture there didn’t work out, and I’d declined several panel invitations because of the sense that would be my main commitment. I did provisionally agree to be part of the translator-meets-critics session on Pierre Macherey’s Hegel or Spinoza, but felt that was not enough to justify the trip alone. So I considered not going; then decided that the best way forward – and which would allow me to be part of the Macherey session – was to organise a session on ‘German Philosophy and Geography’ in which I could give a paper on Leibniz as a geographer alongside some other papers on Heidegger, Hegel and Kant. I wanted a chance to talk about Leibniz to a geographical audience, and this seems like the best way to do that. I’m not sure it would work well as part of a visiting speaker seminar series.

Most of the invitations I get at the moment seem to want me to talk on territory. I’m about done with that topic, so the plan is to give a talk entitled ‘Outside Territory’ at King’s – a version of the paper for the Exterritory project in late December – and to use this as the basis for the Rome lecture too. The Cambridge talk will either be around this or on something else I’ve done on territory. In a way a paper with the title of ‘Outside Territory’ is an appropriate coda to the work I’ve been doing on this topic. As I said in the Berkeley and Tucson lectures:

Territory, for me, is not a universal. Indeed, contrary to how my interest in territory might appear, I do not think territory is that central or even general a category of geography; I have no wish to see all problems through a territorial lens; and while it is certainly of fundamental importance in the modern period, I do not think territory historically is the key concept of political theory and its relation to place.

This entry was posted in Conferences, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Gottfried Leibniz, Pierre Macherey, Territory, The Space of the World, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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