Recent and future work is on these projects.


The Early Foucault was published in June 2021. It looks at the period from the late 1940s until History of Madness in 1961. Foucault’s Last Decade was published in April 2016 and Foucault: The Birth of Power in January 2017, all by Polity Press. You can read more about the books on a dedicated page here, which has part of the proposals, links to updates on their writing, some recordings of talks and links to interviews and discussions.

I have recently completed a final book on 1962-69, The Archaeology of Foucault, due to be published in December 2022. There are a series of updates on the research for this book here. I was funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme small grant to conduct archival work for these books.

A side project on Georges Canguilhem led to a book in Polity’s Key Contemporary Thinkers series, published in early 2019 (more details here).

Indo-European Thought in Twentieth-Century France

Now the final Foucault book is complete, 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. The project is funded by a Leverhulme major research fellowship to run from 2022 to 2025. I am also editing a critical edition of Dumézil’s Mitra-Varuna: An Essay on Two Indo-European Concepts of Sovereignty for HAU books – a bit more detail here.

Other current and recent interests include the following:

Shakespearean Territories

Shakespearean Territories was published by the University of Chicago Press in late 2018. It uses a number of plays to think through various aspects of the question of territory. Early versions of the chapters on King Lear and Coriolanuswere published separately, and I gave lectures on most other parts of the book, including on Hamlet, King John, Richard II, Henry V, and Henry IV, Part I. More details including links to online material here.

I have also been writing some papers on Foucault and Shakespeare, including published pieces on ceremony and madness, and as yet unpublished lectures on contagion, landscape and the oath.

Geopolitics and Terrain

Some other work has been rethinking the notion of the ‘geo’ in geopolitics, to make this connect to land, earth and the world as an alternative to the globe and globalisation. It builds on earlier work on theorisations of the world in Lefebvre, Axelos, Fink, Sloterdijk, Badiou and Meillassoux, and links to some work I’ve been doing around ideas of volume and the volumetric, geometrics and the notion of terrain. Some of this work relates to The Project on Indeterminate and Changing Environments: Law, the Anthropocene, and the World (the ICE LAW Project), led by Phil Steinberg at Durham University. I led the Territory sub-project, and workshops were held in Amsterdam on 12 May 2017 (report here) and at Warwick on 1 December 2017 (report here). A final conference for the project was held in Durham in April 2019.

I gave the Dialogues in Human Geography lecture, at the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) annual conference in London in August 2019, on the theme of ‘Terrain, Politics, History’. It is now published in the journal, along with responses by Deborah Dixon, Gastón Gordillo, Bruno Latour, Kimberley Peters and Rachael Squire, and a reply by me (see here; most pieces open access).

9 Responses to Projects

  1. Pingback: Forthcoming talks | Progressive Geographies

  2. Pingback: Stuart Elden’s Shakesprearean Territories audio | Thinking culture

  3. Pingback: Boko Haram, Shakespeare and Territory – talks at L.S.E. and Aberystwyth | Progressive Geographies

  4. Pingback: On writing books | Progressive Geographies

  5. Pingback: Fionnuala O’Neill response to my The Geopolitics of King Lear | Progressive Geographies

  6. Pingback: 2013 in review – Progressive Geographies stats | Progressive Geographies

  7. Pingback: Explaining ISIS/ISIL – a roundup of things to read | Progressive Geographies

  8. Pingback: Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 21: a second book on The Birth of Power | Progressive Geographies

  9. Pingback: “Foucault and Shakespeare: Ceremony, Theatre and Politics”, abstract for workshop at Theatre, Performance, Foucault!, King’s College London, 4 July 2015 | Progressive Geographies

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