Fighting in a Material World

“Fighting in a Material World: using and abusing the built environment” – draft MA option syllabus

Course Aims and Objectives:
Examine how the physical and material work is implicated in understanding and constructions of conflict, security and development.
Provide a historical perspective on contemporary geo-political categories.
Examine the evolving role of the built environment in securitization, politics and conflict
Introduce students to non-representational theory of affect, performativity and theories of the everyday with reference to historical and contemporary examples and applications

Week 1 – Introduction – Problematizing existing categories

Key themes:

  • Critical Geopolitics and the genealogy of the contemporary cartographic categories (Middle East; 1st, 2nd, 3rd world;  Underdeveloped/Developed)
  • The bounded nature of the nation state & borders; inside/outside; the myth of the nations state and extra-state territories.
  • Introduction to non-representational theory:  Critical Geopolitics, Affect, Performativity

Cases:  Global evolution of the state system

Exemplary sources:  (Barkawi 1999; Campbell 1998; Chandler 2008; Coward 2005; Dahlman 2005; Duffield 2007; Gregory 2004; Inayatullah 2004; Navaro-Yashin 2003; Thrift 2008)

SECTION A – BUILDING UP

Week 2 – Border zones, frontiers & the notion of the nation state

Key themes:

  • The role of the frontier in constructions of the nation state
  • Borders
  • Cross cultural approaches to empire building
  • Governmentality & Public Space

Cases:  Building America through the frontier; The security wall in Israel; Paris, Hausmann & Algeria

Sources:  (Basaran 2008; Foucault et al. 2003; Hirst 2001; Maroya 2003; Mennell 2007; Scott 1998; Turner 1986; Weizman 2007)

Week 3 – Equipment for Empire: Bunkers, Barracks and Camps

Key themes:

  • How the built environment facilitates empire building
  • The geneology of the “camp”
  • The role of the base in empire building
  • How securitization/”architectures of paranoia” foreshadow it’s decline

Cases: Post-WW2 Europe (the Atlantic Wall, the Nissan Hut); Albania; “My Cold War”

Sources:  (Agamben and Heller-Roazen 1998; Füredi 2007; Gillem 2007; Hirst 2001; Mallory and Ottar 1973; Piazza 2004)

SECTION B – LOCKING IN

Week 4 – Securing the Body/Practices of the Everyday

Key themes:

  • “Being-in” & phenomenology
  • How space is created by performance
  • How the body is politicized/secured
  • From Human Security to regimes of insurability

Cases: Derek Gregory’s “Performing Cairo”; Human Security Report 1994

Sources:  (Butler 1993; Certeau 1988; Commission on Human Security 2003; Duffield 2007; Gregory 2008; Grosz 1995; Heidegger 1977; Massumi 2002; Pupavac 2005)

Week 5 – Securing the Home/Community

Key themes:

  • The evolution of theories concerning public/private spaces
  • Gated Communities/Suburbia/Company Towns
  • Exporting the enclosure:  relationships between colonial and contemporary machinery for living
  • Surveillance/Banlieus, Ghettos/Red-lining
  • Affect; Social Production of Space

Cases:  The Gated Community in comparative perspective; the case of the bungalow; The Lives of Others/Stasiland

Sources:  (Arendt 2000; Clough and Halley 2007; Funder 2003; Harvey 1973; King 1995; Lefebvre 1991; Low 2003; Massey 2006; Raban 2006; Vale 1992; Wacquant 2008)

Week 6 – Security archipelagos

Key themes:

  • Mobility/Travel
  • Non-spaces/postmodernism/security archipelagos
  • Networks, Assemblages
  • Humanitarian Response

Cases: Contemporary Travel; Humanitarian Response

Sources:  (Auge 1995; Bauman 1998; Bousquet 2009; Davis 2000; Lisle 2006; Soja 1996; Weizman 2006)

SECTION C – TEARING DOWN

Week 7 – Urbicide, Urban warfare, and the changing face of war

Key themes:

  • War in cities
  • Urbicide

Cases: Mostar; Iraq

Sources:  (Coward ; Graham ; Hills ; Schneider)

Week 8 – Ruins & Memorials

Key themes:

  • Theories of destruction
  • Memory & Memorialization
  • Lieux de Memoires

Cases: Holocaust; Cyprus; Photos of Car Bombs from Beirut

Sources:  (Bell 2006; Butler 2006; Davis 2002; Hodgkin and Radstone 2006; Koureas 2008; Navaro-Yashin 2009; Nora and Kritzman 1998; Stoler 2008; Till 2005)

Week 9 – Reconstruction & The Infrastructure of Empire

Key themes:

  • Post crisis reconstruction
  • Natural Disasters vs. Conflict
  • Different Approaches to Planning and the evolution of response
  • Embassies & Multilateral Buildings – from High Modernism to Humanitarianism

Cases: Iraq; Rwanda; Katrina; Aceh; the UN; Lebeus Woods

Sources:  (Barakat and Wardell 2005; Bartos and Hitchens 1994; Birch and Wachter 2006; Chandrasekaran 2006; Vale and Campanella 2005)

Bibliography

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———. (2006) “Walking through Walls”. Radical Philosophy.

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