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Spatial power: Theorizing and exploring the making of space (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Timon Beyes

Einzeltermin | Di, 24.10.2023, 14:15 - Di, 24.10.2023, 17:45 | C 5.325 Seminarraum
Einzeltermin | Di, 07.11.2023, 14:15 - Di, 07.11.2023, 17:45 | C 5.325 Seminarraum
wöchentlich | Dienstag | 14:15 - 17:45 | 21.11.2023 - 12.12.2023 | C 5.325 Seminarraum
Einzeltermin | Di, 09.01.2024, 14:15 - Di, 09.01.2024, 19:45 | C 40.153 Seminarraum | work-in-progress session
Einzeltermin | Di, 23.01.2024, 14:15 - Di, 23.01.2024, 19:45 | C 40.153 Seminarraum | Research exhibition

Inhalt: The seminar aims to provide students with an understanding of ‘space’ as central analytical category of cultural and social theory. Working with selected, relevant approaches to spatial analysis, the students will learn to critically examine the everyday production of space, its effects, power dynamics and possibilities. Interviewed by geographers in 1976, Michel Foucault expressed his irritation: How could space, he asked, be treated as “the dead, the fixed, the undialectical, the immobile”, while time would be seen as “richness, fecundity, life, dialectic”? Since then, things have changed. The question of space – space as ‘alive’, as fecund, multiple, diverse, contested, ever in movement – has become a primary matter of concern in social and cultural thought. The seminar zooms in on important conceptual strands of such spatial thinking, and it endeavours to try out and ‘test’ their empirical applicability and potency by way of explorative fieldwork. The first half of the course is dedicated to conceptual work. The philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre’s serves as main point of reference – indeed, Lefebvre’s The Production of Space is widely regarded as key text of the turn (back) to the spatial. From here, the seminar covers different understandings of ‘spatial power’, such as Foucault’s notion of ‘heterotopia’ (and its uses), Doreen Massey’s notion of spatial multiplicity, Nigel Thrift et al.’s turn to the affective and atmospheric constitution of space, and recent thought on feminist and queer spaces. In the second half of the seminar (and after some corresponding methodological exercises), the students will be asked to conduct fieldwork on the everyday production, appropriation and atmospherics of space, and to reflect upon their findings through spatial theories and concepts. The students’ findings will be presented in a concluding ‘research exhibition’.