Upcoming Presentations and Public Lectures

'Geographical Imagination, Genealogy, and Geopolitics  in Who Do You Think You Are? ' at the (Em)placing the Popular in Cultural Geography workshop at Coventry University, UK (12 January 2022)

Responding to the call for social and cultural geography to more fully imbricate popular culture with legitimate questions in academe and the need to expand explorations of racialisation by combining biological and cultural discourses with heritage, place, and space, my paper examines the phenomenon of mediated genealogical research through the prisms of race, postcolonialism, tourism, and popular culture. Employing close readings of three episodes of the popular genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? - specifically episodes from the American (Emmitt Smith) and South African (Jabulani Tsambo/HHP) adaptations, as well as the original British series (Naomie Harris) - this intervention interrogates the ways in which power and privilege in Britain and Anglophone settler colonies are unpacked through carefully-curated spatial narrations of celebrities’ private pasts meant for popular consumption.Using approaches drawn from geographical imagination, tourism geopolitics, and more-than-representational geography , I interrogate WDYTYA’s seemingly ‘individual’ performances of (celebrity) genealogy as instead affect-inducing ‘collective’ journeys through places of pain, prejudice, and power(lessness) that flag up the importance of geopolitics in everyday lives. In the conclusion, I reflect on the larger ramifications of such mass-mediated lineage work by exploring how divisive issues of race and racism in multicultural societies manifest through popular, affective, and spatially-inflected media products such as Who Do You Think You Are?
'(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.

Past Events

'Screening Geopolitics in Norden:  Televisual Representation(s) of the Post-Cold War Order' at the Fourth Nordic Challenges Conference: Reconsidering the Nordic Models in an Age of Polarization, hosted by Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World (ReNEW) at Boston University (5 November 2021)
'Space and Place in the Nordic Imaginary', invited talk at the Department of Built Environment, Aalborg University-Copenhagen (24 September 2021)
'Perilous Visions of the North: Screening the Anthropocene in Nordic Television Drama', Nordic Anthropocene Screen Media, Aarhus University, Denmark (20 September 2021)
'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)
'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)
'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)
'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)
'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)