Dr Ben Anderson
I am a cultural-political geographer whose research conceptualises ordinary affective life and examines how life is now governed through affect. Before joining the Department of Geography in September 2004, I completed a PhD and MA at Sheffield University. Occasionally, I distract myself from something else I should be doing by writing down some random thoughts at @BenAndersonGeog
Recently, I have become fascinated by how emergencies are governed and how emergencies govern. Supported by the award of a Phillip Leverhulme Prize, I’m about to start a genealogy of the birth of the ‘emergency state’. Over the second half of the twentieth century, ‘emergency’ shifted from being a term applied to a limited number of events to a term used in relation to almost any event. The research aims to understand how and why this change happened, tying it to shifts in ordinary affective life and transformations in the state’s relation to futures. The research will range from the invention of ordinary emergency techniques, such as triage, to the formalisation of novel ways of responding to events, including rapid response. As such, it develops from recent ESRC, British Academy, EPSRC and RGS-IBG funded work on how new forms and practices of anticipation, such as exercises and scenarios, are being deployed by western states to anticipate and act on discontinuous futures. The below papers exemplify this strand of my work:
Closely linked to this work, I’m fortunate to lead a Leverhulme Trust International Network (2013-2015) involving a bunch of interesting people on the theme of ‘Governing Emergencies’:
The other side of my research has explored the implications of theories of affect and matter for what social and cultural geography is and does. A 2014 monograph – entitled Encountering Affect: Capacities, Apparatuses, Conditions – attempts to develop a vocabulary for describing how affective life is lived and governed (around concepts such as ‘structures of feeling’ and ‘affective atmospheres’). The open access introduction to the book can be found here:
As well as expanding on arguments set out in a paper on Affect and Biopower, the monograph extends work I have undertaken in the last three years on the politics of affect. This research departs from PhD research that focused on spaces of hope and boredom. As such, my work on affect offers a contribution to debates about what cultural geography is and does amid the now widespread concern with life and living. Together with Dr Paul Harrison, I have edited the first collection of essays on non-representational theories and human geography. The extensive introduction to which should be available here:
In addition to the non-representational theories collection, I have also co-edited special issues on, amongst other topics, ‘Future Geographies’ (Environment and Planning A with Dr Peter Adey), ‘Assemblage’ (Area 2011 with Dr Colin McFarlane), ‘Matter and Materiality’ (Geoforum 2004, with Dr Divya Tolia-Kelly) and ‘Spaces of Hope’ (Space and Culture 2008, with Dr Jill Fenton). I currently supervise nine PhD students and welcome enquiries from anyone wanting to work around the politics and practices of anticipation and/or the politics of affect and emotion, or basically anything else that might be interesting.
- Affect and Emotion, Matter and Materiality, Utopianism, Non-Representational Theories, Anticipatory Logics/Techniques
Journal papers: academic
- Anderson, B Critique and Ontological Politics. Dialogues in Human Geography. 2016;6:19-22.
- Anderson, B. & Gordon, R. Government and (Non)Event: The Promise of Control. Social and Cultural Geography. 2016.
- Anderson, B. Neoliberal Affects. Progress in Human Geography. 2016.
- Anderson, B. Boredom, excitement and other security affects. Dialogues in Human Geography. 2015;5:271-274.
- Anderson, B. Governing Emergencies: The Politics of Delay and the Logic of Response. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2015;41:14-26.
- Adey, P., Anderson, B. & Graham, S. Introduction: Governing Emergencies: Beyond Exceptionality. Theory, Culture and Society. 2015;32:3-17.
- Anderson, B. What kind of thing is resilience?. Politics. 2015;35:60-66.
- Anderson, B. Affect and Biopower: Towards a Politics of Life. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2012;37:28-43.
- Adey, P. & Anderson, B. Anticipating Emergencies: Technologies of Preparedness and the Matter of Security. Security Dialogue. 2012;43:99-117.
- Anderson, B. & Adey, P. Governing Events and Life: 'Emergency' in UK Civil Contingencies. Political Geography. 2012;31:24-33.
- Anderson, B., Kearnes, M., Mcfarlane, C. & Swanton, D. Materialism and the Politics of Assemblage. Dialogues in Human Geography. 2012;2.
- Anderson, B. Matters of Life (A Commentary on Jane Bennett's Vibrant Matter). Dialogues in Human Geography. 2012.
- Anderson, B., Kearnes, M., McFarlane, C. & Swanton, D. On assemblages and geography. Dialogues in Human Geography. 2012;2:171-189.
- Anderson, B. & Adey, P. Affect and Security: Exercising Emergency in Uk Civil Contingencies. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2011;29:1092-1109.
- Adey, P., Anderson, B. & Lobo-Guerrero, L. An Ash Cloud, Airspace and Environmental Threat. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2011;36:338-343.
- Adey, P. & Anderson, B. Anticipation, Materiality, Event: The Icelandic Ash Cloud Disruption and the Security of Mobility. Mobilities. 2011;6:11-20.
- Anderson, B. & McFarlane, C. Assemblage and Geography. Area. 2011;43:124-127.
- Adey, P. & Anderson, B. Event and Anticipation: UK Civil Contingencies and the Space-Times of Decision. Environment and Planning A. 2011;43:2878-2899.
- Anderson, B. Facing the Future Enemy: US Counterinsurgency Doctrine and the Pre-Insurgent. Theory, Culture and Society. 2011;28:216-240.
- Anderson, B. Population and Affective Perception: Biopolitics and Anticipatory Action in US Counterinsurgency Doctrine. Antipode. 2011;43:205-236.
- Anderson, B. Shame, Paranoia and other affects (A Commentary on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick). Progress in Human Geography. 2011;35:127-130.
- McFarlane, C. & Anderson, B. Thinking with Assemblage. Area. 2011;43:162-164.
- Anderson, B. Morale and the Affective Geographies of the 'War on Terror'. Cultural Geographies. 2010;17:219-236.
- Anderson, B. Preemption, Precaution, Preparedness: Anticipatory Action and Future Geographies. Progress in Human Geography. 2010;34:777-798.
- Anderson, B. Security and the Future: Anticipating the Event of Terror. Geoforum. 2010;41:227-235.
- Anderson, B. Affective Atmospheres. Emotion, Space and Society. 2009;2:77-81.
- Anderson, B. & Wylie, J. On Geography and Materiality. Environment and Planning A. 2009;41:318-335.
- Anderson, B. & Holden, A. Affective urbanism and the event of hope. Space and Culture. 2008;11:142-159.
- Anderson, B. & Fenton, J. Spaces of Hope. Space and Culture. 2008;11.
- Anderson, B., Kearnes, M. & Doubleday, R. Geographies of nano-technoscience. Area. 2007;39:139-142.
- Anderson, B. Hope for nanotechnology: Anticipatory knowledge and governance of affect. Area. 2007;19:156-165.
- Anderson, B. 'Transcending Without Transcendence': Utopianism and an Ethos of Hope. Antipode. 2006;38:691-710.
- Anderson, B. Becoming and being hopeful: towards a theory of affect. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2006;24:733-752.
- Anderson, B. & Harrison, P. Questioning Affect and Emotion. Area. 2006;38:333-335.
- Anderson, B. Practices of Judgement and Domestic Geographies of Affect. Social and Cultural Geography. 2005;6:645-660.
- Anderson, B., Morton, F. & Revill, G. Practices of Music and Sound. Social and Cultural Geography. 2005;6:639-644.
- Anderson, B. & Tolia-Kelly, D.P. Matter(s) in social and cultural geography. Geoforum. 2004;35:669-674.
- Anderson, B. Recorded music and practices of remembering. Social and Cultural Geography. 2004;5:3-20.
- Anderson, B. Time-stilled space-slowed: how boredom matters. Geoforum. 2004;35:739-754.
- Anderson, B. A Principle of Hope: Recorded Music, Listening Practices and the Immanence of Utopia. "Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography". 2002;84:211-227.
- Anderson, B. Encountering Affect: Capacities, Apparatuses, Conditions. Ashgate; 2014.
- Anderson, B. & Harrison, P. Taking-Place: Non-Representational Theories and Geography. London: Ashgate; 2010.
Essays in edited volumes
- Anderson, B. Affect. In: Castree, N et al The Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography. Wiley-Blackwell; 2014.
- Anderson, B. & Ash, J. Atmospheric Methods. In: Vannini, P. Non-representational methodologies. Routledge; 2014.
- Anderson, B. Emergency/Everyday. In: Elias, A. & Burges, J. Time: A Vocabulary of the Present. NYU Press; 2014.
- Anderson, B. Affect and Emotion. In: Johnson, N et al A Companion to Cultural Geography. 2012.
- Anderson, B. Affect. In: Cloke, P. Crang, P. & Goodwin, M. Introducing Human Geographies. Hodder Arnold; 2012.
- Anderson, B. Targeting Affective Life from Above: Morale and Airpower. In: Adey, P., Whitehead, M. & Williams, A. From Above: Verticality, Violence and Visual Culture. Hurst; 2012.
- Anderson, B. Recorded music and Remembering. In: Rojek, C. Popular Music. London: Sage; 2011.
- Anderson, B. Modulating the Excess of Affect: Morale in a State of Total War. In: Gregg, M. & Seigworth, G. The Affect and Cultural Theory Reader. London: Duke University Press; 2010.
- Anderson, B. & Harrison, P. The Promise of Non-Representational Theories. In: Anderson, B. & Harrison, P. Taking-Place: Non-Representational Theories and Geography. Farnham: Ashgate; 2010:1-36.
- Anderson, B. Entries for: Affect, Emotional Geographies, Non-representational Theory. In: Gregory, D. The Dictionary of Human Geography. 2009.
- Anderson, B. Domestic Geographies of Affect. In: Greco, M. & Stenner, P. Emotions. A Social Science Reader. London: Routledge; 2008:201-205.
- Anderson, B. Doreen Massey 'For Space' (2005). In: Hubbard, P., Valentine, G. & Kitchin, R. Key Texts in Human Geography. London: Sage; 2008.
- 2014: Governing Emergencies (£76910.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
- 2014: Philip Leverhulme Prize (£70000.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
- 2010: Data and decision in UK emergency preparedness (£12000.00 from County Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service)
- 2009: STAGING AND PERFORMING EMERGENCIES (£48077.24 from ESRC)
- 2005: HOPE AND CULTURAL REGENERATION (£7442.00 from The British Academy)
- 2005: IMAGINING THE NANOSCALE (£2121.00 from Royal Geographical Society)