My name is Stuart Elden and this is a site about politics, philosophy and geography, interesting books, my own writing and whatever else comes to mind.
My most recent book is The Early Foucault (Polity 2021), looking at his student days to the History of Madness. I am now working on a study of his work in the 1960s, which will complete an intellectual history of Foucault’s entire career. The two previous books Foucault’s Last Decade and Foucault: The Birth of Power were published by Polity in 2016 and 2017. On this project, with links to discussions of the research process, see this page. Shakespearean Territories was published by University of Chicago Press in late 2018; Canguilhem was published by Polity in early 2019.
The next major project will be a study of Indo-European thought in twentieth-century France, looking at both French and émigré scholars, with a particular focus on Emile Benveniste, Georges Dumézil, Mircea Eliade and Julia Kristeva. This is funded by a Leverhulme major research fellowship (2022-25). Other current interests include the way Foucault read Shakespeare throughout his career, and the relation between geopolitics and debates about earth, terrain and volume.
You can read more about the main periods of my research here.
I’m a Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick, in the Politics and International Studies department. I previously held an adjunct appointment as Monash Warwick Professor in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University as part of the Monash-Warwick Alliance, and before I rejoined Warwick in 2013 was Professor of Political Geography at Durham University, where I was one of the Directors of the Institute of Advanced Study and the Academic Director of the International Boundaries Research Unit.
Between 2006 and 2015 I was editor of the journal Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Since 2011 the editorial team have run a companion open site at www.societyandspace.org – now relaunched as a free digital magazine. I also edited a Society and Space book series with Sage though this is no longer accepting new proposals. I have also served as review editor of the Review of International Political Economy and was a founding editor of Foucault Studies. I serve on the board of Foucault Studies, Theory, Culture and Society, Geographica Helvetica and Dialogues in Human Geography.
My interests range fairly widely between philosophy, politics, geography, literature and history. My work has predominantly looked at several European thinkers, principally Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault and Henri Lefebvre, but also Georges Canguilhem, Immanuel Kant, Gottfried Leibniz, Peter Sloterdijk, Kostas Axelos and Eugen Fink; and at the question of territory – conceptually, historically and politically. I’m the author of ten books and the editor of eight.
My articles have appeared in journals in a range of disciplines, and some articles and chapters have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Turkish, Russian, Farsi, Hebrew and Korean. The Birth of Territory has been published in Chinese translation, my book on Lefebvre in Korean, and the recent books on Foucault are forthcoming in Korean, Serbian and Chinese, with other translations in discussion.
I’ve been fortunate to receive awards for some of my work. Terror and Territory won the Association of American Geographers Globe book award, the Political Geography specialty group Julian Minghi award and the Royal Geographical Society Murchison award; The Birth of Territory won the Association of American Geographers Meridian book award and was joint-winner of the inaugural Global Discourse book award. I was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2013.
You can find a list of future talks here and free downloads here. Forthcoming papers, including some preprints, are here. Some resources, including reading guides, bibliographies, a few short translations, etc. are here.
When I’m not working I enjoy cycling, watching cricket, theatre and a range of music.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions and responses is here. Please note that while I welcome comments, they need to be accompanied by a valid email address. Comments using false email addresses, false names, multiple false identities from a single IP address, etc. will not be posted. I’d rather not have to turn comments off, but I will ‘trash’ anything inappropriate. In the Middle has a moderation policy that provides a good justification for the kind of comments I would like to see here.