Space, Race, Bodies—Geocorpographies of the City, Nation and Empire

8-10th December, 2014  |  University of Otago, New Zealand

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Denise Ferreira da Silva, Inaugural Chair in Ethics, Director, The Center for Ethics and Politics, University of London
  • Professor Joseph Pugliese, Research Director, Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University
  • Associate Professor Jacinta Ruru, Faculty of Law, University of Otago
  • Associate Professor Susan Stryker, Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies, University of Arizona

Space, Race, Bodies—Geocorpographies of the City, Nation and Empire is a forthcoming conference hosted by the Department of Media, Film and Communication (MFCO), the Postcolonial Studies Research Network (PSRN) and the Somatechnics Research Network (University of Arizona) at the University of Otago between the 8-10th December, 2014. The title of the conference is taken from Joseph Pugliese’s ground-breaking work on technologies of surveillance, law and terrorism. The conceptual merging of the corporeal body with geography—geocorpographies—draws attention to the institutional, cultural and legal forces that influence the global movement of people, capital and technology across cities and national borders.

Space, Race, Bodies is an interdisciplinary conference that invites papers to address the following questions:

  • how are racial and ethnic identities contested and/or reaffirmed through local, national and global spaces?
  • what kinds of spatial practices produce migrant and diasporic identities?
  • how do geopolitical spaces create the conditions of hospitality, violence and containment for asylum seekers and refugees?
  • what forms of ethical responsibilities do local, national and global citizens have towards ‘visiting bodies’?
  • how do media, law and politics frame space and geography in racialised ways?
  • what are the tensions between Indigenous and colonial notions of national space?
  • what are the social and cultural consequences of racialised and ethnic bodies moving across particular places?
  • how do racialised bodies intersect with public discourse around ‘right to space’ in a national context?
  • how is mobility geopolitical? how do notions of spatial mobility presuppose normative conceptions of the human?
  • how do children, animals or the elderly figure in geopolitical conceptions of space and race?
  • how do spaces of violence, war and ‘terrorism’ reconfigure citizenship in local, national and global contexts?

Space, Race, Bodies will be the first Somatechnics conference held in New Zealand. The Somatechnics Research Network (SRN) facilitates connections between a vast array of scholars and institutions producing research on bodies and technology. SRN has fostered a truly interdisciplinary field of inquiry that includes the biological sciences, sport, gender and sexuality studies, media, film and music studies and postcolonial studies.

The Postcolonial Studies Research Network (PSRN) brings together an interdisciplinary group of established and emerging scholars whose research engages with a range of aspects of postcoloniality. These include the historical cultures of empire, and the contemporary cultural politics of indigeneity, of (post)colonial settlement, and of the diasporic condition.

The conference will also accept papers under the general theme of Somatechnics research on the intersections between bodies and technologies.

The conference committee will accept abstracts on a rolling basis until September 1st. Please send abstracts and inquiries to the conference committee at: