Taking Stock – The Space of the World project

I mentioned in the last post that I was unsure where I was going with my The Space of the World project. Part of the reason for this is that I’ve now been rejected on three grant applications to help fund it. Rejection is part of academic life, but it has definitely left me rethinking the project somewhat.

The plan was a book with six chapters that took particular empirical, political or historical questions as ways to engage with philosophies of the world. The argument was that most work on globalisation was theoretically impoverished, but much philosophical work on the ‘world’ which provides useful resources for thinking about ongoing planetary processes was somewhat detached from what was actually going on in the world. So the ‘Volume’ paper was a way of using Paul Virilio’s early work on architecture and Sloterdijk’s work on spheres to think about the politics of space in three dimensions; the ‘Fossils’ talk was to engage with Meillassoux through the history of paleontology; the ‘Earth’ idea was to pick up on themes in Schmitt, Deleuze & Guattari, etc. The other three chapter titles in my plan were ‘Violence’, ‘Wound’ and ‘Play’.

I’m committed to giving a paper with the title ‘Earth’ in Tel Aviv next year, so I’m not giving up on this entirely. And a publisher has expressed interest in the book. But I think I will refocus my attentions on the two other book-length projects I have in mind – one tentatively entitled Foucault’s Last Decade; the other is the Shakespearean Territories one – and push this down the list a bit. More on the Shakespearean Territories project in the next post.

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