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New Directions in Subterranean Geopolitics (2)

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group
Organizers: Chih Yuan Woon, Klaus Dodds, Ian Klinke
Chairs: Chih Yuan Woon


This proposed session will broach the interface between the subterranean and geopolitical. Subterranean geopolitics, as a starting proposition, is one that is attentive to the material and imaginative. It builds on an interdisciplinary body of work that have sought to re-evaluate the flatness of geopolitical and cartographic imaginaries. Within geography, scholars have insisted that geopolitics needs to account for and investigate the depth dimensions of human and more-than-human life. To put it another way, they are interested in how understandings of the politics of space morph and change when depths alongside surfaces are brought into conversation. This research inquiry has opened up opportunities for the interrogation of several pertinent questions: how can we grasp and understand such (sub-surface and ‘lesser known’) spaces? How are they rendered visible and sensible as opposed to being invisible and incomprehensible? How are they being subjected to various forms of control and exploitation? Are subterranean encounters also characterised by counter-movements and resistance politics?

This session welcomes both conceptual and empirical engagements with subterranean geopolitics. Presentations can draw on a number of thematic directions such as, but not limited to:

•The constructions, representations and imaginations of subterranean geopolitics in official discourses and popular cultural mediums
•The elemental qualities (e.g. air, rocks and water) that shape and impact upon the ‘playing out’ of subterranean geopolitics
•The institutional, legal and political arrangements that govern subterranean geopolitics and the resultant resistances and challenges
•Living and experiencing subterranean geopolitics and their affective/emotional dimensions
•Methodologies to research and negotiate the complexities of subterranean geopolitics


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Ian Klinke*, University of Oxford, On the history of a subterranean geopolitics 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Marijn Nieuwenhuis*, Durham University, The Politics of Subterranean Art in China 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Chih Yuan Woon*, National University Of Singapore, The Emotional Geopolitics of Subterranean Urban Planning in Singapore 15 12:00 AM
Discussant Klaus Dodds Royal Holloway, University of London 15 12:00 AM

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