Professor Stuart Elden, BSc (Hons); PhD; PGCert, DLitt
Stuart Elden's research is at the intersection of politics, philosophy and geography.
In 2011 he was given the Royal Geographical Society Murchison Award for work judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding years for 'publications in political geography'. In 2013 he was awarded a DLitt on the basis of publications post-PhD. His book Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty won the Association of American Geographers Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography and the Political Geography Speciality Group Julian Minghi Outstanding Research Award.
He joined the Department of Geography as a lecturer in 2002, was promoted to Reader in 2005, and to Professor in 2007. Before arriving at Durham he studied for a BSc (Hons) in Politics and Modern History (1994) and a PhD in Political Theory (1999), both from Brunel University. Between 1999 and 2002 he was a lecturer in the Politics and International Studies department of the University of Warwick.
He is the editor of Society and Space (Environment and Planning D), having previously served on the editorial board. He has also been the review editor of the Review of International Political Economy, and was one of the founding editors of Foucault Studies. At Durham he is the Social Science Director of the Institute of Advanced Study and the Academic Director of the International Boundaries Research Unit.
He has held visiting posts at the Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia; School of Philosophy, University of Tasmania; Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles; Department of Sociology, New York University; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore; Department of Geography, University of Washington; as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London; and as a visiting fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University. From 2013 he has been working with Al Quds Bard Honors College in Palestine as an International Scholar as part of the Open Society Institute's Academic Fellowship Program.
More on his background can be found in these interviews:
The Birth of Territory
Between 2008 and 2011 he was funded by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to work on a history of the concept of territory. A substantial research monograph entitled The Birth of Territory is the outcome of this work. This provides a detailed account of Western political thought from the perspective of the relation between power and place. The book offers an account of the emergence of territory; but in doing so also provides an alternative history of the the modern state from the perspective of its territory.
There is a page on the Progressive Geographies site which links to all the online material relating to this project - video and audio recordings; comments on each of the chapters; and related articles.
The book will appear with University of Chicago Press in August 2013.
Earlier work had a focus on three key thinkers - Heidegger, Foucault and Lefebvre. Books were written on each of these thinkers. Each provided a close textual and contextualised reading, seeking to situate these thinkers in their time and place and to make arguments about the applicability of their work to other problems. An interest in all three thinkers continues, particularly in terms of newly published writings and lecture courses of Heidegger and Foucault.
Other work on this theme included three co-edited and/or co-translated books of Henri Lefebvre's writings for Continuum and University of Minnesota Press; edited a book on the work of Peter Sloterdijik; and co-edited collections of essays on the geographical thought of Michel Foucault and Immanuel Kant.
He is currently working on three projects -
1. A book under the working title of Shakespearean Territories, reading a number of Shakespeare's plays to examine different aspects of the question of territory - conceptually, historically, and politically. The argument is that while Shakespeare only uses the words 'territory' and 'territories' rarely, the concept is not marginal to his work. A number of his plays are structured around related issues of exile, banishment, land politics, spatial division, contestation, conquest and succession. Shakespeare was writing at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century: a time when the modern conception of sovereign territory was emerging. He therefore helps us understand its variant aspects, tensions, ambiguities and limits. In using these plays I hope to illustrate the multi-faceted nature of territory as word, concept and practice, and to shed light on the way we understand territory and territorial disputes today.
2. A study of the last decade of Foucault's work, in order to outline an intellectual history of his final project on the history of sexuality.
3. A project trying to rethink the notion of the ‘geo’ in geopolitics, to make this connect to land, earth and the world as an alternative to the globe and globalisation. It builds on earlier work on theorisations of the world in Lefebvre, Axelos, Fink, Sloterdijk, Badiou and Meillassoux. The idea is to put these philosophies of the world into dialogue with empirical concerns.
- International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU)
- Politics - State - Space (PSS)
- Social / Spatial Theory (SST)
- The history of geographical thought
- The history of the concept of territory
- The territorial aspects of the 'war on terror'
- European political theory and philosophy
- Western Marxism
- The politics of calculation
- Concepts of the world
Journal papers: academic
- Elden, S. Bodies, Books, Beneath: A reply to Adey and Bridge. Political Geography. 2013;32.
- Elden, S. How should we do the history of territory?. Territory, Politics, Governance. 2013;1:5-20.
- Elden, S. Leibniz and Geography: Geologist, Palaeontologist, Biologist, Historian, Political Theorist and Geopolitician. Geographica Helvetica. 2013.
- Elden, S. Secure the Volume: Vertical Geopolitics and the Depth of Power. Political Geography. 2013;32.
- Elden, S. The Geopolitics of King Lear: Territory, Land, Earth. Law and Literature. 2013;25.
- Elden, S. טריטוריה. Mafte’akh: Lexical Review of Political Thought. 2011;4:3-30.
- Elden, S. Author Response (Book Review forum on Terror and Territory). Dialogues in Human Geography. 2011;1:259-62.
- Elden, S., Gregory, D. & Sevilla Buitrago, A. Espacios del pasado, historias del presente: en torno a los rastros de la historia especial. Revista Urban. 2011;1:91-116.
- Palin, M., Earle, S., Livingstone, D., Elden, S., Lowe, J. & Owen, L. Honouring geographers and contemporary exploration: from the archive to the ocean at the RGS-IBG Medals and Awards Ceremony 2011. The Geographical Journal. 2011;177:279-287.
- Elden, S. Response to Antonsich: The role of history. Progress in Human Geography. 2011;35:426-429.
- Elden, S. Society and Space: Writing its History. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2011.
- Elden, S., Gregory, D. & Sevilla-Buitrago, Á. Spaces of the Past, Histories of the Present: An Interview with Stuart Elden and Derek Gregory. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 2011;10:313-339.
- Elden, S. Territory without Borders. Harvard International Review. 2011.
- Elden, S. The Space of the World. New Geographies. 2011;4:26-31.
- Elden, S. What's Shifting?. Dialogues in Human Geography. 2011;1:304-307.
- Elden, S. Land, Terrain, Territory. Progress in Human Geography,. 2010;34:799-817.
- Elden, S. Reading Schmitt Geopolitically: Nomos, Territory and Großraum. Radical Philosophy. 2010;161:18-26.
- Brenner, N. & Elden, S. Stato, Spazio e Territorio. Dialoghi Internazionali. 2010;14:140-67.
- Elden, S. Thinking Territory Historically. Geopolitics. 2010;15:757-761.
- Elden, S. Thinking Territory Politically. Political Geography. 2010;29:238-241.
- Elden, S. & Mendieta, E. Being-With as Making Worlds: The ‘Second Coming’ of Peter Sloterdijk. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2009;27:1-11.
- Brenner, N. & Elden, S. Henri Lefebvre on State, Space, Territory. International Political Sociology. 2009;3:353-377.
- Elden, S. Place Symbolism and Land Politics in Beowulf. Cultural Geographies. 2009;16:447-463.
- Elden, S. Reassessing Kant's Geography. Journal of Historical Geography. 2009;35:3-25.
- Elden, S. & Williams, A. The Territorial Integrity of Iraq, 2003-2007: Invocation, Violation, Viability. Geoforum. 2009;40:407-417.
- Elden, S. Aspects territoriaux de la «guerre à la terreur». Espaces et sociétés. 2008;134:99-114.
- Elden, S. Dialectics and the Measure of the World. Environment and Planning A. 2008;40:2641-51.
- Elden, S. Eugen Fink and the Question of the World. Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy. 2008;5:48-59.
- Dodds, K. & Elden, S. Thinking Ahead: David Cameron, the Henry Jackson Society and the British Neoconservatives. British Journal of Politics and International Relations. 2008;10:347-363.
- Elden, S. Blair, Neo-Conservatism and The War on Territorial Integrity. International Politics. 2007;44:37-57.
- Elden, S. Governmentality, calculation, territory. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2007;25:562-580.
- Bialasiewicz, L., Campbell, D., Elden, S., Graham, S., Jeffrey, A & Williams, A. J. Performing security: The imaginative geographies of current US strategy. Political Geography. 2007;26:357-82.
- Elden, S. Rethinking Governmentality. Political Geography. 2007;26:29-33.
- Elden, S. Terror and Territory. Antipode. 2007;39:821-45.
- Elden, S. There is a Politics of Space because Space is Political: Henri Lefebvre and the Production of Space. Radical Philosophy Review. 2007;10:101-116.
- Holden, A. & Elden, S. 'It cannot be a Real Person, a Concrete Individual': Althusser and Foucault on Machiavelli’s Political Technique. Borderlands. 2006;4.
- Elden, S. Contingent Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and the Sanctity of Borders. SAIS Review of International Affairs. 2006;29:11-24.
- Elden, S. Discipline, Health and Madness: Foucault's 'Le pouvoir psychiatrique'. History of the Human Sciences. 2006;19:39-66.
- Elden, S. Heidegger's Animals. Continental Philosophy Review. 2006;39:273-91.
- Elden, S. Introducing Kostas Axelos and 'The World'. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2006;24:639-642.
- Elden, S. National Socialism and the Calculation of the Political. Social and Cultural Geography. 2006;7:753-769.
- Elden, S. Some are Born Posthumously: The French Afterlife of Henri Lefebvre. Historical Materialism. 2006;14:185-202.
- Crampton, J. & Elden, S. Space, Politics, Calculation: An Introduction. Social and Cultural Geography. 2006;7:681-685.
- Elden, S. Spaces of Humanitarian Exception. Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography. 2006;88:477-485.
- Elden, S. & Bialasiewicz, L. The New Geopolitics of Division and the Problem of a Kantian Europe. Review of International Studies. 2006;32:623-644.
- Bialasiewicz, L., Elden, S. & Painter, J. 'The best defence of our security lies in the spread of our values': Europe, America and the question of values. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2005;23:159-164.
- Elden, S. Contributions to geography? The spaces of Heidegger's Beiträge. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2005;23:811-827.
- Elden, S. Genealogy, Ontology and the Political: Three Conceptual Questions to Engin Isin. Political Geography. 2005;24:355-359.
- Elden, S. Missing the point: globalization, deterritorialization and the space of the world. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2005;30:8-19.
- Elden, S. Mondialisation without the World: Interview with Kostas Axelos. Radical Philosophy. 2005;130:25-28.
- Elden, S. Reading Logos as Speech: Heidegger, Aristotle and Rhetorical Politics. Philosophy and Rhetoric. 2005;38:281-301.
- Elden, S. Territorial integrity and the war on terror. Environment and Planning A. 2005;37:2083-2104.
- Bialasiewicz, L., Elden, S. & Painter, J. The Constitution of EU territory. Comparative European Politics. 2005;3:333-363.
- Elden, S. The Place of the Polis: Political Blindness in Judith Butler's Antigone's Claim. Theory and Event. 2005;8.
- Elden, S. The Problem of Confession: The Productive Failure of Foucault's 'History of Sexuality'. Journal for Cultural Research. 2005;9:23-41.
- Elden, S. Between Marx and Heidegger: Politics, Philosophy and Lefebvre's 'The Production of Space'. Antipode. 2004;36:86-105.
- Elden, S. Certains naissent de façon posthume: la survie d'Henri Lefebvre. Actuel Marx. 2004;36:181-198.
- Elden, S. La Peste, el Panóptico y la Policía. Nueva Doctrina Penal. 2004;2004/B:509-525.
- Elden, S. To Say Nothing of God: Heidegger's Holy Atheism. The Heythrop Journal. 2004;45:344-348.
- Elden, S. Another sense of Demos: Kleisthenes and the Greek division of the Polis. Democratization. 2003;10:135-156.
- Elden, S. Plague, Panopticon, Police. Surveillance and Society. 2003;1:240-253.
- Elden, S. Taking the measure of the Beiträge: Heidegger, National Socialism and the Calculation of the Political. European Journal of Political Theory. 2003;2:35-56.
- Elden, S. The importance of history: A reply to Malpas. Philosophy and Geography. 2003;6:219-224.
- Elden, S. 'Es gibt eine Politik des Raumes, Weil Raum Politisch ist.' Henri Lefèbvre und die Produktion des Raumes. An Architektur. 2002;1:27-35.
- Elden, S. The War of Races and the Constitution of the State: Foucault's «Il faut défendre la société» and the Politics of Calculation. Boundary 2. 2002;29:125-151.
- Elden, S. Through the eyes of the fantastic: Lefebvre, Rabelais and intellectual history. Historical Materialism. 2002;10:89-111.
- Cowan, S. & Elden, S. Words, desires and ideas: Freud, Foucault and the hermaphroditic roots of bisexuality. Pli: Warwick Journal of Philosophy. 2002;13:79-99.
- Brenner, N. & Elden, S. Henri Lefebvre in contexts: An introduction. Antipode. 2001;33:763-768.
- Elden, S. Politics, philosophy, geography: Henri Lefebvre in recent Anglo-American scholarship. Antipode. 2001;33:809-825.
- Elden, S. The constitution of the normal: monsters and masturbation at the Collège de France. Boundary 2. 2001;28:91-105.
- Elden, S. The place of geometry: Heidegger's mathematical excursus on Aristotle. The Heythrop Journal. 2001;42:311-328.
- Elden, S. Rethinking the Polis: Implications of Heidegger's Questioning the Political. Political Geography. 2000;19:407-422.
- Elden, S. Heidegger's Hölderlin and the Importance of Place. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology. 1999;30:258-274.
- Elden, S. Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 2009.
- Elden, S. Speaking Against Number: Heidegger, Language and the Politics of Calculation. Edinburgh.: Edinburgh University Press; 2006.
- Elden, S. Understanding Henri Lefebvre: Theory and the Possible. London: Continuum; 2004.
- Elden, S. Mapping the Present: Heidegger, Foucault and the project of a spatial history. London: Continuum; 2001.
- Elden, S., Thrift, N., Barnes, T.J., Peck, J., Batty, M., Langley, P. A. & Bennett, R. J. Environment and Planning. Sage/Pion; 2012.
- Elden, S. Sloterdijk Now. Cambridge: Polity; 2012.
- Elden, S. & Mendieta, E. Reading Kant's Geography. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press; 2011.
- Brenner, N. & Elden, S. State, Space, World: Selected Essays / Henri Lefebvre. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 2009.
- Crampton, J. & Elden, S. Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2007.
- Elden, S., Moore, G. (translators) & Henri Lefebvre, Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. London: Continuum; 2004.
- Elden, S., Lebas, E. & Kofman, E. Henri Lefebvre: Key Writings. London: Continuum; 2003.
- Elden, S. Worlds, Engagements, Temperaments. In:Elden, S. Sloterdijk Now. Polity; 2012:1-16.
- Elden, S. Lefebvre on Moments. In: van der Pol, B., Firth-Eagland, A. & Urban Subjects Momentarily: Learning from Mega-Events. Western Front; 2011:24-29.
- Elden, S. Reading Schmitt Geopolitically: Nomos, Territory and Großraum. In: Legg, S. Spatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt: Geographies of the Nomos . Routledge; 2011:91-105.
- Elden, S. Reintroducing Kant's Geography. In:Elden, S. & Mendieta, E. Reading Kant's Geography. State University of New York Press; 2011:1-15.
- Elden, S. Territory Part I. In: Agnew, J.A. & Duncan, J.S. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2011:260-70.
- Elden, S. Interview with Stuart Elden. In: Ennis, P.J. Post-Continental Voices: Selected Interviews. Ropley: Zero Books; 2010:35-47.
- Elden, S. Blair, Neoconservatism, and the War on Territorial Integrity. In: Dodds, K. & Ingram, A. Spaces of Security and Insecurity: New Geographies of the War On Terror. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2009:21-42.
- Elden, S. Entries on “anti-humanism”, “biopolitics”, “disciplinary power”, “episteme”, “genealogy”, “governmentality”, “heterotopia”, “panopticon”, “philosophy”, “production of space”, “rhythmanalysis” and “territorial integrity”. In: Gregory, D., Johnston, R., Pratt, G., Watts, M. & Whatmore, S. Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford: Blackwell; 2009.
- Elden, S. Philosophy and Human Geography. In: Kitchin, R. & Thrift, N. International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography. Oxford: Elsevier; 2009:145-150.
- Elden, S. Space. In: Kitchin, R. & Thrift, N. International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography. Oxford: Elsevier; 2009:262-267.
- Brenner, N. & Elden, S. State, Space, World: Henri Lefebvre and the Survival of Capitalism. In: Brenner, N. & Elden, S. State, Space, World: Selected Essays / Henri Lefebvre. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 2009:1-48.
- Elden, S. Why is the World Divided Territorially?. In: Zehfuss, M. & Edkins, J. Global Politics: A New Introduction. London: Routledge; 2009:192-219.
- Elden, S. Lefebvre and Axelos: Mondialisation before Globalisation. In: Goonewardena, K., Kipfer, S., Milgrom, R. & Schmid, C. Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre. New York: Routledge; 2008:80-93.
- Elden, S. Reconstituting Iraq. In: Cowen, D. & Gilbert, E. War, Citizenship, Territory. New York: Routledge; 2008:147-176.
- Elden, S. Strategies for Waging Peace: Foucault as collaborateur. In: Dillon, M. & Neal, A. Foucault: Politics, Society, and War. London: Palgrave; 2008:21-39.
- Elden, S. The Convalescent: Geographies of Health and Illness. In: Hicks, S. & Rosenberg, A. Reading Nietzsche at the Margins. Ashland: Purdue University Press; 2008:205-218.
- Crampton J. & Elden S. Introduction – Space, Knowledge, and Power: Foucault and Geography. In: Crampton J. & Elden S. Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2007:1-16.
- Elden, S. Sorveglianza, Sicurezza, Spazio. In: Cometa, M. & Vaccaro, S. Lo sguardo di Foucault. Rome: Meltemi; 2007:110-33.
- Elden S. Strategy, Medicine and Habitat: Foucault in 1976. In: Crampton J. & Elden S. Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2007:67-81.
- Elden, S. The State of Territory Under Globalization: Empire and the Politics of Reterritorialization. In: Margaroni, M. & Yiannopoulou, E. Metaphoricity and the Politics of Mobility: Figures of Displacement in Contemporary Literature, Arts and Politics. Amsterdam: Rodopi; 2006:47-66.
- Elden, S. 'Räumen ist Freigabe von Orten': Place, Calculation and Politics in Hemming’s Postmodernity’s Transcending. In: De Maeseneer, Y. God out of Place? A Symposium on L.P. Hemming’s Postmodernity’s Transcending: Devaluing God. Utrecht: Ars Disputandi; 2005:39-47.
- Elden, S. Henri Lefebvre. In: Harrington, A., Marshall, B. & Müller, H.-P. Encyclopaedia of Social Theory. London: Routledge; 2005.
- Elden, S. Henri Lefebvre: Marxist Philosopher. In: Murray, C. J. Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought. Fitzroy Dearborn; 2004:410-413.
- Elden, S. Kostas Axelos and the World of the Arguments Circle. In: Bourg, J. After the Deluge: New Perspectives on Postwar French Intellectual and Cultural History of Postwar France. Lanham: Lexington Books; 2004:125-148.
- Elden, S. Rhythmanalysis: An Introduction. In: Elden, S. & Moore, G. Henri Lefebvre: Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. London: Continuum; 2004:vii-xv.
- Elden S. & Lebas, E. Introduction: Coming to terms with Lefebvre. In: Elden S., Lebas, E. & Kofman, E. Henri Lefebvre: Key Writings. London: Continuum; 2003:xi-xix.
- Elden, S. Reading Genealogy as Historical Ontology. In: Rosenberg, A. & Milchman, A. Foucault/Heidegger: Critical Encounters. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 2003:187-205.
Departmental working papers
- Elden, S. Die Enstehung des Territorium. Erlanger Beiträge zur Kulturgeographie. 2011;1.
Edited works: journals
- Elden, S., Mendieta, E. & Thrift, N. The Worlds of Peter Sloterdijk. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27 (1): 2009.
- Elden, S. Rethinking Governmentality. Political Geography, 26 (1): 2007.
- Crampton, J. & Elden, S. Space, Politics, Calculation. Social and Cultural Geography, 7 (5): 2006.
- Brenner, N. & Elden, S. Henri Lefebvre in Contexts. Antipode, 33 (5): 2001.
- Durham Research Online - Open Access Texts
- Environment and Planning D: Society and Space - publisher site
- Environment and Planning D: Society and Space - supplementary site and blog
- Progressive Geographies - blog
- 2011: Visiting Fellowship, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University
- 2009: Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London
- 2009: Distinguished Visiting Scholarship, Ben Gurion University, Israel
- 2008: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Visiting Scholarship, National University of Singapore
- 2007: Kant's Geography (British Academy Conference Grant, £2000)
- 2007: Kant's Geography (Leverhulme Research Fellowship, £22,048)
- 2006: The Geometry of the Political: A History of the Concept of Territory (Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, £113,151 - to run from 1 February 2008 to 31st January 2011)
- 2005: International River Boundaries Database (RGS-IBG Small Grant, £2750)
- 2005: The Territorial Integrity of Iraq: Preservation, Sovereignty, Viability (Nuffield Foundation, £5771)