Spectacle Geographies and Everyday Geopolitics

Authors: Vincent Del Casino*, University of Arizona, Jacob Miller, University of Arizona
Topics: Political Geography, Social Theory, Social Geography
Keywords: geopolitics, urban geography, tourism geography, spectacle, geographic theory
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Studio 3, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Over the past several decades, geographers have expanded how they theorize geopolitics as a more mundane set of practices opening up new analytic spaces to geopolitical inquiry. This turn is also taking place with greater attention toward the affective and nonrepresentational politics of everyday life, a theoretical maneuver that suggests a move away from the discursive and representational politics of spectacle. It is here that we want to intervene by arguing that the work of spectacle is not only situated within a discursive and representational space; it should remain central to how geographers can and should think about everyday geopolitics, particularly for those geographers engaged with affective and nonrepresentational geographies. We make this argument by re-engaging with the work of Richard Smith, who argued in 2003 that the nonrepresentational turn led by Nigel Thrift in geography shunted aside a core group of social theoretical scholars whose work can help us think through nonrepresentational theory, affect, and spectacle in new and important ways. Indeed, Smith effectively argues that geographers might be better situated to theoretically engage that we might call nonrepresentational theory if they take more seriously the work of Baudrillard along with the poststructuralist work of Derrida. If we take this take this intervention seriously, and take up the lines of flight enabled by the work of Baudrillard and Derrida, among others, it is possible, we believe, to better understand the current geopolitical context in which the everyday performances of spectacle are enlivened.

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