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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Dr Oliver Belcher

Personal web page

Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41830
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: S104

Contact Dr Oliver Belcher (email at oliver.belcher@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

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.

Twitter: @darpadreaming 

Qualifications

PhD, University of British Columbia (2013)

MA, University of Kentucky (2007)

BA, University of Kentucky (2005)

Research Interests

  • 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

Publications

Journal Article

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.