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Tor Benjaminsen joins Political Geography


Bildet viser Tor A. Benjaminsen , Noragric , NMBU

Tor Benjaminsen

Political Geography is pleased to announce the latest addition to the editorial team: Tor Benjaminsen of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, who has joined the journal as an associate editor. Tor will be replacing James Sidaway, who is stepping aside after over a decade with the journal. James will be winding down the articles that he’s currently working on, with plans to leave the journal by the end of the year.

Tor, whose research interests range from the political drivers and impacts of soil loss in the Sahel to notions of “green governmentality” to Sami reindeer herding in Finnmark,  brings an expertise in political ecology and environment-development politics to the journal. Additionally, his fluency in French (as well as Norwegian) and his extensive research in Africa should help expand Political Geography beyond the Anglo-American tradition. We’re delighted to have him join the journal and look forward to the many contributions that he’ll be making over the coming years.

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I (Don’t) Sea: On Ocean Invisibilities


I’m presently en route to what promises to be a truly inspiring week at UC-Irvine, where Liz DeLoughrey and Lisa Paravisini-Gebertis are leading a week-long interdisciplinary seminar of ocean theorists to workshop works-in-progress on how we think of, with, on, and about the ocean as well as its human and more-than-human ecologies. In the spirit of things, I’m writing this blog post somewhere over the Atlantic, to be uploaded when I land in Newark (or later, in Irvine, if the layover is rushed).

Reading through some of the pre-circulated drafts, it appears that a central theme likely to emerge this week will be questions of ocean (in)visibility. Sight has long had a privileged role in structuring how we understand our planet and its processes, but vision of marine space is frequently confounded by the ocean’s volume as well as its darkness. Even as knowledge of earth systems and global economic flows lead us to understand the concept of a world ocean, and even as the sea remains a productive platform for envisioning futures (both of which are themes explored in a number of the working papers and supplementary articles that I’ve just been reading), the sea remains a difficult place for us to visualise in its wholeness. I’m only half way through the workshop papers, but I think it’s fair to say, at this point, that each of the contributors either writes directly about or attempts to confront the problems inherent in conceiving of the ocean as a space of vision (in every sense of the word). Continue Reading »

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Extraterritorial Adventures

flagI’m just back from a fascinating workshop at the University of Utrecht’s Law School that joined leading thinkers in international law with Israeli artists Ruti Sela and Maayan Amir. The blend of international law with art theory was right down my alley, and I presented a ‘greatest hits’ paper that re-examined several past research topics – legal ontologies of ice, seasteading, Grotius, the Mavi Marmara interdiction – with a focus on representations of extraterritory.

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New Associate Editor position at Political Geography

Political Geography polgeogis looking for a new associate editor, to begin this July. The position, made possible by James Sidaway stepping down after 12 years as associate editor, is broadly worded to cover the breadth of the subdiscipline. However we will look especially favourably on associate editor candidates with expertise in political theory and critical IR/security studies or political ecology, regardless of their disciplinary foundation, as well as candidates who expertise outside the English-language tradition.

For more details, please see the full announcement.

Please note that applications are due no later than 1 May 2016.

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Fighting Fire with Water: The Story of a Non-Story in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands

I’m wrapping up what I think is my 25th anniversary AAG meeting today (although I missed 3 or 4 of them over the years, since Miami in 1991) and its been a slightly strange one. I’m not sure if it’s because the conference has been spread across four hotels, or because I’m coming off the intense high of a week-long field trip to Jerusalem with my Territory & Geopolitics class, or because I still haven’t gotten over the 11-time-zone jet lag from the aforementioned field trip, or because San Francisco is an increasingly dystopian city, or just because I’m jaded by the AAG scene. But, for whatever reason, its been an oddly unintense conference. I’m not saying the conference has been disappointing; it’s just that, for me at least, its lacked some of the usual intensity. And this is so despite my having seen some excellent papers and my having had  some wonderful conversations with past, present, and future students, mentors, co-authors, and new friends. Continue Reading »

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Lectureship at Scott Polar

spriIn a rare UK university job announcement that explicitly calls for applicants who link human geography with polar research, the Scott Polar Research Institute, a unit of the Department of Geography at Cambridge University, has announced a new lectureship position beginning in September 2016. Applications are due 11 April.

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Volume, Depth, and the Ocean Discovery Xprize

Amidst calls for conceptualising the ocean’s depths not simply as a vertical metric but as liquid, dynamic, haptic volume, the newly announced Ocean Discovery Xprize competition is both exciting and disappointing.


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