Dr Oliver Belcher
My research is at the intersection of war, technology, and theories of experience.
My projects include:
(1) theorizing the materialities of military violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, the destruction and reconstruction of cities and villages, as well as narrating the spaces of war in fiction and non-fiction;
(2) the role of computing and database technologies in facilitating population control in the Vietnam War;
(3) theories of “worldliness” in the works of Agamben, Arendt, Benjamin, Fanon, Heidegger, Lefebvre, and Sloterdijk.
Currently, I am conducting research into the uses of digital geospatial technologies for monitoring, preserving, and reproduction (with 3D-printing technologies) of cultural heritage sites destroyed by military and insurgency groups in Iraq and Syria. My concern is with the appearance of history, how contemporary technical and material practices can produce novel relationships to cultural memory, and the status of the artefact in the age of digital producibility.
PhD, University of British Columbia (2013)
MA, University of Kentucky (2007)
BA, University of Kentucky (2005)
- Geographies of violence
- Histories of computing in the US military
- Insurgencies, counterinsurgencies, and political violence in Middle East and Central Asia
- Cultural heritage in conflict zones, particularly digital geospatial technologies for monitoring and preservation
- Theories of violence and worldliness in the works of Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Franz Fanon, Fredric Jameson, Henri Lefebvre, and Peter Sloterdijk
- Belcher, O, Martin, L & Tazzioli, M "Border Struggles: Epistemologies, Ontologies, Politics". Darkmatter Journal: In the Ruins of Empire. 2015;12:1-12.
- Belcher, O & Tazzioli, M "Postcolonial Theory Now: an Interview with Ann Laura Stoler". Darkmatter Journal: In the Ruins of Empire. 2015;12.
- Belcher, O "Staging the Orient: Counterinsurgency Training Sites and the U.S. Military Imagination". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 2014;104:1012-1029.
- Belcher, O & Martin, L "Ethnographies of Closed Doors: Conceptualizing Openness and Closure in US Immigration and Military Institutions". Area. 2013;45:403-410.
- Belcher, O "The Best-Laid Schemes: Postcolonialism, Military Social Science, and the Making of US Counterinsurgency Doctrine, 1947-2009". Antipode. 2012;44:258-263.
- Belcher, O "The Occupied Palestinian Territories and Late-Modern Wars". Human Geography. 2011;4:1-11.
- Belcher, O, Martin, L, Secor, A, Simon, S & Wilson, T "Everywhere and Nowhere: The Exception and the Topological Challenge to Geography". Antipode. 2008;40:499-503.
- Belcher, O "Fatal Distraction: The Violent Materialities of Guantanamo Bay". Human Geography. 2008;1:106-117.
- Belcher, O "The Ability to Look". disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory. 2008;17:42-43.
Chapter in book
- Belcher, O "Peacekeeping". In: Richardson, D, Castree, N, Goodchild, M, Kobayashi, A, Liu, W & Marston, R The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Wiley-Blackwell; 2017.
- Belcher, O "Data Anxieties: Objectivity and Difference in Early Vietnam War Computing". In: Amoore, L & Piotukh, V Algorithmic Life: Calculative Devices in a Digital Age. Routledge; 2016:127-142.
- Samers, M, Bigger, P & Belcher, O "To Build Another World: Activism in Light of Marxist Geographical Thought". In: Aitken, S & Valentine, G Approaches to Human Geography. Sage; 2015:344-360.
- Belcher, O "Tribal Militias, Neo-Orientalism, and the U.S. Military's Art of Coercion". In: Bachmann, J, Bell, C & Holmqvist, C War, Police, and Assemblages of Intervention. Routledge; 2015:109-125.