Category Archives: Geography

Border Walls 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago this month raised hopes of a new borderless era however in recent years the border wall has been given renewed vigour, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel-Palestine. The success of these new walls in the development of friendly and orderly relations between nations (or indeed, within nations) remains unclear. What role does the wall play in the development of security and insecurity? Do walls contribute to a sense of insecurity as much as they assuage fears and create a sense of security for those ‘behind the line’? Exactly what kind of security is associated with border walls?

Borders fences and wallsTackling these questions, Borders, Fences and Walls edited by Élisabeth Vallet, explores the issue of how the return of border fences and walls as a political tool may be symptomatic of a new era in border studies and international relations. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, it examines problems that include security issues ; the recurrence and/or decline of the wall; wall discourses ; legal approaches to the wall; the ‘wall industry’ and border technology as well as their symbolism, role, objectives and efficiency.

Élisabeth Vallet has recently been interviewed by the Courrier International and her research has informed an article in the Washington Post.

Élisabeth Vallet is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and scientific director of Geopolitics at the Raoul Dandurand Chair at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada.

Why We Eat, How We Eat recognised by food think tank

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

Why we eat How we eatWe’re delighted that Why We Eat, How We Eat has been selected by the American-based nonprofit organisation Food Tank for their Fall Reading List: 20 Great Books About Food which highlights books that entertain, inform, and reaffirm the importance of food and agriculture. Why We Eat, How We Eat, edited by Dr Emma-Jayne Abbots and Dr Anna Lavis and part of Ashgate’s Critical Food Studies series, explores how foods and bodies both haphazardly encounter, and actively engage with, one another in ways that are simultaneously social, economic, political, biological and sensorial.

‘Eating is a bundle of activities and experiences, and involves both destruction and creation. While an everyday practice for everyone, it is both complicated and complex. This book is a masterful examination of the multidimensional nature of eating in symbolic, economic, political, material and nutritional terms, and it is a must-read for anyone interested in food and eating.’    Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford, UK

‘This fascinating book is such a timely and welcome addition to the field of food studies. It sets out to destabilise and challenge what we think we know about food and eating by bringing once separate categories into intimate proximity, to touch each other and produce a sensous map of the contours of eating. Spaces between meaning and materiality, commensality and viscerality, and knowledge and bodily practices are oiled and moved into provocative “conceptual hinges”, revealing complex and layered relations of eating. This work will undoubtedly shift theoretical and applied debates about food and eating to a new level, and will have significance to those many disciplines that have a vested interest in why we eat, and how we eat.’    Megan Warin, University of Adelaide, Australia

‘This fascinating book would be of interest not only to scholars in the social sciences and humanities interested in critical food studies, but to any reader interested in the social, cultural and political dimensions of food and eating practices.’    LSE Review of Books

Argyro Loukaki’s The Geographical Unconscious – ‘absolutely fabulous’

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

The Geographical Unconscious

ARGYRO LOUKAKI’s new book, The GEOGRAPHICAL UNCONSCIOUS seems absolutely fabulous. The book is not for the meek, a tour-de-force of 400-Ashage-pages, nor for the disciplinary square. It’s a collection of SNAPSHOTS that cuts through geography, art history, philosophy, and cultural studies

says Kostis Kourelis in his enthusiastic review of this recently published book, which is also commended for its innovative style.

The author uses a great visual strategy of “free sketches.” Compared to the ambitions of the whole book, this will seem rather minor, but I think it’s important. Loukaki’s free sketches are scattered through the book to make visual arguments

Dr Argyro Loukaki, author of The Geographical Unconscious is Associate Professor at the Hellenic Open University. Her book has attracted some very positive comments from other reviewers too- you can read these and access extracts from the book here

Ireland’s 1916 Rising shortlisted for the Geographical Society of Ireland’s Book of the Year award 2014

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Irelands 1916 RisingCongratulations to Mark McCarthy, whose book Ireland’s 1916 Rising, was short-listed for the 2014 book of the year award from the Geographical Society of Ireland.

The Judges’ comments:

‘immaculately researched and a lively engagement with the key critical debates surrounding issues of memory, commemoration and historical legacies surrounding the revolutionary period in modern Irish history ‘  Nessa Cronin, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway

‘In this definitive work on the topic, Mark McCarthy traces the political, ideational, identity and iconographic impacts of the Easter 1916 Rising in Ireland… This is required reading for scholars in the field and beyond’   Pádraig Carmody, Dept of Geography, Trinity College Dublin

Mark McCarthy’s book explores why, how and in what ways the memory of Ireland’s 1916 Rising has persisted over the decades? It breaks new ground by offering a wide-ranging exploration of the making and remembrance of the story of 1916 in modern times, which is not only of historical concern, but of contemporary political and cultural importance.

More about Ireland’s 1916 Rising

SOAS Food Studies Centre books launch

The SOAS Food Studies Centre is hosting a launch event today to mark the publication of eight books authored or edited by centre members including Why We Eat, How We Eat edited by Emma-Jayne Abbots and Anna Lavis published by Ashgate. The event, which is open to the public, is being held in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS in London from 5.30pm-8.00pm on Monday 19th May. Commentary is being provided by Peter Jackson, Professor of Geography at The University of Sheffield and Francesca Bray, Professor of Social Anthropology at The University of Edinburgh. Commissioning Editor Katy Crossan is attending the event.

Why we eat How we eatPraise for Why We Eat, How We Eat:

‘This book is a masterful examination of the multidimensional nature of eating in symbolic, economic, political, material and nutritional terms, and it is a must-read for anyone interested in food and eating.’   Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford, UK

‘This work will undoubtedly shift theoretical and applied debates about food and eating to a new level, and will have significance to those many disciplines that have a vested interest in why we eat, and how we eat.’   Megan Warin, University of Adelaide, Australia

‘This fascinating book would be of interest not only to scholars in the social sciences and humanities interested in critical food studies, but to any reader interested in the social, cultural and political dimensions of food and eating practices.’   LSE Review of Books

Why We Eat, How We Eat is part of the Ashgate Critical Food Studies series. We are actively looking for innovative and original new books which further critical food research and writing . If you have an idea or proposal for a book which might be suitable for the series please contact Commissioning Editor Katy Crossan or Series Editor Professor Michael K. Goodman.

Recent reviews by the LSE Review of Books

The LSE Review of Books regularly features Ashgate titles. It’s a fantastic site for book reviews in general, and covers a wide range of social science topics, including sociology, politics and IR, architecture, planning, gender studies, to name just a few.

Recent reviews of Ashgate books include:

Dynamics of Political Violence: A Process-Oriented Perspective on Radicalisation and the Escalation of Political Conflict, edited by Lorenzo Bosi, Chares Demetriou and Stefan Malthaner

Unconventional Warfare in South Asia: Shadow Warriors and Counterinsurgency by Scott Gates and Kaushik Roy

The Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design, by Phillip James Tabb and A. Senem Deviren

Media and the Rhetoric of Body Perfection: Cosmetic Surgery, Weight Loss and Beauty in Popular Culture by Deborah Harris-Moore

The Impact of Racism on African American Families: Literature as Social Science by Paul C. Rosenblatt

The Greening of ArchitectureUnconventional warfare in south asiaThe impact of racism on african american familiesDynamics of political violence

For more reviews visit the LSE Review of Books

Ayona Datta on The Intimate City: Violence, Gender, and the ‘Descent Into The Ordinary’ in Delhi

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

Ayona Datta, author of The Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi Squatter Settlement , will be giving the Urban Geography Plenary Lecture at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida next week (8-12 April 2014).

Her lecture, The Intimate City: Violence, Gender, and the ‘Descent Into The Ordinary’ in Delhi draws on the accounts of men and women facing the immanent violence of demolition of their homes in Delhi slums to ask what their stories of gendered and sexualized violence within the slums tell us about the ways that violence might be conceived in the city. Ayona will also discuss how the intimate and the urban are linked during the protests across Indian cities after the brutal gang rape of a student in Delhi in 2012  and how the intimate city can be made a part of a wider agenda of urban geography.

The Illegal City was honoured at the Geographical Perspectives on Women Speciality Group (GPOW) book event and nominated for the AAG Meridian Book Award in 2013. Discounted copies will be available for purchase from the Ashgate stand in the conference book exhibition.

The Illegal CityPraise for The Illegal City:

‘At its core, it is an immensely scholarly work that adds substantive and methodological value to urban development studies. It is rich with insights and observations that may lead to further work…’    Times Higher Education

‘This compelling analysis sheds new light on interstices of vulnerability that are often hidden from view or simply neglected and attributed to the “normality” of life among the poor. The Illegal City is immensely smart and will appeal to a wide readership.’    Cecilia Menjivar, Arizona State University, USA

‘The Illegal City is a thought provoking study of the double nature of law as both threat and hope in the lives of people in squatter settlements in a city. Paying close attention to the processes of governmentality through which space is categorized and acted upon, Datta produces an excellent ethnographic account of the fine workings of power and domination that are reproduced within the slum. Especially interesting is the way she tracks the manner in which gender folds into other differences and produces the uneven subjectivities through which law is encountered. This book is theoretically bold and ethnographically well anchored in the lived experiences of the poor.’    Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Ayona Datta is Senior Lecturer in Citizenship and Belonging at the University of Leeds and currently co-chair of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association, UK. Read more about her work on gender, citizenship and urban life on her blog, The City Inside Out.