Exploring Vitalised Geographies

Exploring Vitalised Geographies

What role do social and spatial relations play in enlarging our sense of what is ‘the human’, in concert with heterogeneous non-human beings and objects, both material and virtual? What role do social and spatial relations play in fixing or reducing our sense of what is ‘the human’, maybe resulting in the banishment, entrapment, re)socialisation or (non-) benign neglect of ‘othered’ humans among us? What are the ramifications of these enlargements, and reductions, for our understandings of the nature of life and death, sentience and agency, emotion and affect?


The critical interrogation of vitalised geographies stems from foundational statements made by HGRG staff from the early-2000s onwards about ‘more-than-human geographies’ and ‘new animal geographies’, enhanced by new conceptualisations of ‘monstrous geographies’ and ‘evental geographies.’ Collectively, we are asking about the many ways whereby ‘the human’ is either augmented or diminished, and with what import. Our concern is with: the role of spatial relations in enlarging our sense of what is ‘the human’, distributing its capacities and attributes alongside heterogeneous non-human beings and objects, both material and virtual; but also their role in fixing or reducing our sense of what is ‘the human’, maybe resulting in the abandonment or re-subjectification of ‘othered’ humans among us. Teasing out the linkages and disjunctures between vitalism and biopolitics, vitalism and psychoanalytic theory, and vitalism and materialism, we conduct studies of: ‘madness’, asylums and the ‘psy-‘ disciplines; missing people and loss; animal co-habitation and co-mingling; the wondrous, the perverse and the abject; and technologies of both domestic intimacy and military destruction.