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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Geography 8230 - Fall 14

THE GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT is offering course 8230 in Theoretical Geography called "Thinking Space after Deleuze and Guattari" taught by Arun Saldanha for Fall 2014 Semester. Below is the course description.

Fall 2014
Geog 8230 Theoretical Geography
Thinking Space after Deleuze and Guattari
Arun Saldanha, saldanha@umn.edu
The work of Deleuze and Guattari has been steadily gaining traction in geography and elsewhere to rethink established themes such as capitalism, the body, the nation-state, technology, human-nonhuman interactions, and urban systems, as well as to introduce new ones. But what can D&G contribute to the discipline's claimed object, space itself? There is no doubt they have a keener sensitivity to spatial complexity than the theoretical traditions they critique: Marxism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, anthropology. However, it is rarely fleshed out what this sensitivity exactly consists of. Working out the formal characteristics of D&G's geography, if there is a consistent one at all, should be beneficial to anyone trying to adapt their notoriously baffling conceptual apparatus to their own intellectual or artistic output. Doing this in an interdisciplinary context furthermore allows considering the difficulties and limits of extending D&G's theories across disparate areas of knowledge and practice.
This seminar aims to collectively understand key passages from the D&G corpus. Each week corresponds to a real-world geographical problem, such as finance capital, plate tectonics, derelict urban spaces, insurrection, and depression. Each week we read an exemplary passage of Deleuze, Guattari, or D&G, alongside and at tension with a kindred more accessible text pertaining to the same spatial thematic. By the end of the semester you'll have a pretty good sense of the singular richness of the spatialities D&G offer. You'll appreciate the fact they're less baffling than they appear at first sight. The seminar therefore aims to empower students as readers of contemporary continental philosophy.
A Thousand Plateaus is the focus of the course. Additional readings will be by Rachel Carson, Charles Darwin, Manuel De Landa, Elizabeth Grosz, Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, David Harvey, Henri Lefebvre, Nicole Loraux, Doreen Massey, Brian Massumi, Richard Sennett, Baruch Spinoza, Nigel Thrift, Tiqqun, Michel Tournier, Jan Zalasiewicz, and others.