At nonsite, Fred Jameson responds to commentaries on his Antinomies of Realism. Here’s the bit I liked most: “I don’t for a minute believe that neuroscience will ever achieve much more than a thorough-going mapping of that lump of meat which is the brain”.
Personal and political interrogations from Andrew here, trailing his new book, The New Urban Question.
Details here (or here) of a PhD Studentship available at the University of Exeter to work with me in the broad area of ‘Geographies of Democracy’. Do please either pass this on to any likely interested candidates, or contact me with any questions. Deadline for applications is 27th March 2014. Here is the blurb:
Applications are invited for one fully funded three-year doctoral studentship in Human Geography at the University of Exeter, under the supervision of Professor Clive Barnett, commencing in September 2014.
The substantive focus of the studentship is expected to be in the broad area of Geographies of Democracy; applicants are invited to define their own focussed research project in this area. Indicative topics include research on contemporary urban politics, the politics of public space, geographies of social movement mobilisations, and the geographies of political parties and elections. The student will be a member of the Spatial Responsibilities Research Group in the Department of Geography.
Candidates must have (or be about to complete) a research Masters degree in a relevant social science or humanities discipline (e.g. Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Development Studies, Politics and International Relations), or be able to demonstrate equivalent research training. Personal qualities should include the ability to work independently and the motivation necessary to complete a PhD in three years.
The studentship is open to UK and EU students, and covers cover both full-time tuition fees at home and EU rate, and a £13,863 tax-free stipend p.a.
Closing date for applications is 27th March 2014.
Via Thomas Gregerson’s Political Theory blog, I see that Robert Dahl died last week, aged 98. Dahl is one of my favourite thinkers about democratic politics, not least because he theorised on the basis of an analysis of contemporary conditions, because he thought of democracy as a way of doing politics, and also because he had a low-level geographical imagination – from debates about community power, investigations of democracy and size, contributions to debates about the boundary problem, through to considerations of the value of representation in democratic politics. None of this was expressed in the wobbly ontological registers that have served as the medium of convergence between political theory and spatial disciplines, and nor was Dahl a political philosopher like Rawls. But Dahl’s understanding of the political dynamics of democracy’s changing forms (see Democracy and its critics) is a much better ground for critical thinking than one finds in either of those fields, which tend to either look backwards to a canon or ‘upwards’ to perfect styles of reasoning for their points of reference.