Upcoming and Recent Presentations and Public Lectures

'(Be)longing to/for the Past: Negotiations of Time, Space, and Identity in Beforeigners ', In/between Spaces of Power - SF Geographies of Bodies in Troubled Times at the Swiss Geoscience Meeting (SGM), University of Geneva, Switzerland (19-20 November 2021)

Popular culture – as a form of representation, a space of affect, and an instrument of identity production – is a growing force in shaping perceptions of and views on international immigration. While geographers have examined the ways in which films, documentaries, and social media engage with the so-called ‘migrant crisis’ in Europe, there has been little work on the medium of television drama as a force in world-building and place-making against the chimera of ‘unchecked migration’. Building on recent research on televisual interventions into the issues of migration, borders, and securitisation, this article interrogates HBO Europe’s Norwegian-language sf series Beforeigners. With a focus on fantastical constructions of spatiality against temporality, the primary focus of this article is on the ways in which near-future science fiction engages with contemporary debates around integration, xenophobia, and territorial belonging. This is accomplished by applying analytical tools drawn from the ‘temporal turn’ in cultural geography which are then applied to a time-travel drama that denies agency to those ‘migrants’ it screens (while also removing the issue of ‘race’ from the debate). Recognising television series’ contributions to cultural, social, and political transformations that are of geographical significance, this essay seeks to expand and complicate scholarship on the suasive power of migrant representation on the small screen.
'Perilous Visions of the North: Screening the Anthropocene in Nordic Television Drama', Nordic Anthropocene Screen Media, Aarhus University, Denmark (20 September 2021)

Drawing on recent research on the Anthropo(s)cene, a burgeoning interdiscipline that examines and critiques the ways in which anthropogenic impacts on planet are performed, imagined, and represented (cf. Chaudhuri 2015, Lorimer 2017, Matless 2017), this paper focuses on the visual rhetoric, soundscapes, and narratives of Nordic television drama when addressing issues related to so-called 'Human epoch'. Using Scandinavian and Icelandic TV series as a critical lens, I explore the tension between Nordic Europe’s reputation as a pioneer in responsible and sustainable approaches to the environment and the effects of neoliberal forces on the region that ultimately result in harm to local ecologies and the planet-at-large. Elucidated via vignettes from several recent series (Thin Ice, Katla, Twin, and White Wall), this intervention begins with a brief contextualisation of the effects of the Human epoch on Europe's Far North, before shifting to an examination of televisual approaches to the Anthropo(s)cene. I then move on to an tentative analysis of how Nordic screen cultures interrogate the tension between the region as a global model for the so-called ‘good Anthropocene’ and the darker realities of resource exploitation, economic development, and tourism.
'A Broken World (Politics): Dark Visions of American Foreign Policy in the Late Anthropocene ', Performing Anthropo(s)cenes: Politics of/with(in) Popular Culture section at European International Studies Association's 14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, 'Power Politics of Nature', in Msida, Malta (14 September 2021)

During the Cold War, American and British speculative fiction served a trenchant medium for imagining the impact of a full-scale nuclear exchange between the superpowers of the US and USSR. Indeed, the first generation of such works, including On the Beach (1957), Alas, Babylon (1959), and Canticle for Leibowitz (1959), shaped popular conceptions of the as-yet-unrealised threat of mutually-assured destruction (MAD). In the new millennium, cli-fi has occupied a similar space, assessing what a future system of International Relations (IR) might look like as the Earth heats up, sea levels rise, millions of species die off, resources become scare, and the global neoliberal system collapses. Employing two recent cli-fi novels as tools to think with – Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (2009) and Omar El Akkad’s American War (2017) – this paper engages with the already-present impact of the so-called Anthropocene and the challenges it presents to American (geo)power. Operationalising planetary thinking as a mechanism for remapping contemporary geopolitics, I transpose Bacigalupi and El-Akkad’s respective built-worlds – both of which feature an American ‘rump state’ grappling with catastrophic climate change and a collapsing world system - onto our current system of world politics. Reflecting on the hereness of the Anthropocene, I contrast these contemporary US-centric treatments with older Europe-centric cli-fi (The Death of Grass [1956], The Drowned World [1962], etc.), which dispensed with the notion of a working system of world politics. Reflecting upon these dark visions of a world to come (or one that’s already here), I am interested in assessing new ways of thinking and being that could partially mitigate collapse of IR in the coming century.

Past Events

'IR in Ruins: Imagining Global Power in the Coming Apocalypse', Cosmologies of the End workshop at the 7th European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece (2 July 2021)
'Marcella as "London Noir": Transplanting the (Bio)Politics of Nordic Noir into the Dark Heart of Neoliberalism’ (with Gabriella Calchi Novati), DETECt 2021: Detecting Europe in Contemporary Crime Narratives: Print Fiction, Film, and Television, Link Campus University, Rome, Italy (21 June 2020)
'Nordic Whereabouts in Times of Trouble', opening address at [t]ERROR ON TOUR: Nordic Whereabouts - Straying through Erratic tERRitORies, Institute for Urban Research (IUR), Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden (9 June 2021)
'ICYMI: How the Russian International Broadcaster RT Attempts to Influence Young People in the Anglophone "West"' (with Rhys Crilley and Precious Chatterje-Doody), Workshop on Youth, News, and Democratic Engagement, Southern Denmark University, Odense, Denmark (20 November 2020)
'Towards an Aural Cosmology of the Anthropocene: Ways of Listening to and Learning from "Nonlife"' (with Gabriella Calchi Novati), Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present and Future at British Museum/ SOAS University of London/Royal Geographical Society, London, UK (September 18, 2020) - on Vimeo
'The False Hope of the ‘Green Place’: The Political Ecologies of the Ruined Landscape in Contemporary Apocalyptic Cinema',  Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference (DOPE 2020) at University of Kentucky (February 28, 2020)
'Screening the Nordic City: The Politics of Place and Space in Contemporary Crime Series',  hosted by MEDEA and Institute for Urban Research (IUR) , Panora, Malmö, Sweden (December 10, 2019)
'Sounding the Anthropo(s)cene: The Passion of the Geos in Contemporary Planetary Politics', with Gabriella Calchi Novati, Touching Sound: Passion and Global Politics, Aga Khan University, London, UK (October 11, 2019)
'The Political Culture(s) of European Crime Series: Place, Power, Identity', EURONOIR: Producers, Distributors and Audiences of European Crime Narratives, Aalborg University, Denmark (October 2, 2019)
'Effigial Representation, Ritual & Resistance: Connecting the Mind and Body to Everyday IR', with Rhys Crilley, European International Studies Association meeting, Sofia, Bulgaria (September 13, 2019)
'Sensing the Future of IR, or Call for a Sensorial Turn in the Discipline', IR and Discourse Re-visited in Light of the Turns workshop, European Workshops in International Studies, Kraków, Poland (June 26-29, 2019)
'Screening the "Crisis": European Television Fiction, Geographical Imagination and Mediated World-Building', 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting, Trondheim, Norway (June 18, 2019)
'Radio Free Sweden: Satirical Anti-Feminism, Danish National Identity and the Very Un-PC (Geo)Politics of Jonatan Spang', invited keynote at Comedy and International Relations: The Rise of Humour in the Global Public Sphere, University of Warwick, UK (May 8, 2019)
'A Critical Analysis of the Political Geographies of Black Panther', invited keynote at Headington College and Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability workshop, University of Oklahoma (March 26, 2019)
'Nordic Television Drama, Screened (Geo)Politics and the Refugee Crisis', Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (March 8, 2019)
'Extending the Katechon: Religio-Civilizational Vectors in Russia’s Intervention in the Levant', Striking from the Margins Conference: State, Disintegration and Devolution of Authority in the Arab Middle East , American University of Beirut, Lebanon (January 17, 2019)
'Pissing on the Past, or the Urinal as a Space of Effigial Resistance', with Rhys Crilley (Open University, UK) at the Millennium Conference on Revolution and Resistance in World Politics, London, UK (October 27, 2018)
'Who Gets to Imagine the Community in Cyberspace? A Reflection on the Past(s), Present, and Future(s) of Digital Nationalism' at the Nations in Cyberspace conference, hosted by the Nationalism Studies Program, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary  (June 28, 2018)
'Screening the North: A Call for Geocriticism in Critical Television Studies',  Visual Perspectives on the North and the Arctic, part of The Changing Environment of the North project, at Tampere University, Finland (June 15, 2018)
'#Geopolitics: Diplomacy in the Age of Twitter', School of International Relations at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia (April 27, 2018)