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Staff Profile

Mr Craig Whittall

Doctoral Research Student in the School of Government and International Affairs

Contact Mr Craig Whittall (email at


Craig gained his MA (by research) in political theory at SGIA, graduating in 2010. His thesis argued for structural similarities between the concept of 'bare life' in the work of Giorgio Agamben and the concept of 'alienated labour' in the traditional Marxist canon.

Craig chose to return to SGIA to complete a part-time PhD project, commencing in October 2013.

Craig's current research 'Biopolitics and Exclusion in the British Empire: Two Case Studies' seeks to demonstrate the value of Michel Foucault's and Giorgio Agamben's renderings of the concept of biopolitics in providing a novel and coherent account of distinct processes of exclusion (as a prelude to assimilation) practised within the wider British Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Conference Papers

This Wandering Law: The role of British approaches to vagrancy in the creation of colonial India's 'Criminal Tribes'
Out of Place: Vagrancy and Settlement
Centre for Metropolitan History, Senate House, London
Thursday, 7 December 2017.

Primitive Accumulation, Today: Developments in Biotechnology and the Privatisation of Life.
Manchester Workshops in Political Theory
The University of Manchester.
Thursday, 8 September 2016.

Lectures and Talks

Giorgio Agamben and Modern Biopolitics – an Introduction.
Undergraduate Lecture (3rd year module, 'Political theory since 1918').
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
Thursday, 23 March 2017.

Life and Power: An Introduction to the Field of Biopolitics.
Guest Lecture (public).
Wednesday, 28 October 2015.

A Mask of Liberty: Agamben and Arendt on the Pyrrhic Victory of Modern Freedoms.
Centre for the History of Political Thought
Durham University
Monday, 18 May 2015.

Biopolitics and Exclusion in Colonial Spaces.
Guest Lecture (public).
Wednesday, 10 December 2014. 

Memberships and Affiliations

Political Studies Association of Great Britain
Member, 2014-present
Specialist Groups:
Political Thought

Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society
Member, 2015-present

Research Interests

  • Biopolitics
  • British Empire
  • Comparative Legal History
  • Political Theory


Journal Article

  • Whittall, Arthur C. (2012). The Elephant in the Room: Agamben's 'Bare Life' and Marxist Biopolitics. Studies in Marxism 13.

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