Book Announcement: The Question of Space


The Question of Space: Interrogating the Spatial Turn between Disciplines

Edited by Marijn Nieuwenhuis and David Crouch


Rowman & Littlefield International

The spatial turn has been deeply influential across the humanities and social sciences for several decades. Yet despite this long term influence most volumes focus mainly on geography and tend to take a Eurocentric approach to the topic. The Question of Space takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how the spatial turn has affected other disciplines. By connecting developments across radically different fields the volume bridges the very borders that separate the academic space. From new geographies through performance, the internet, politics and the arts, the distinctive chapters undertake conversations that often surprisingly converge in approach, questions and insights Together the chapters transcend longstanding disciplinary boundaries to build a constructive dialogue around the question of space.


Marijn Nieuwenhuis is currently Teaching Fellow in World Politics at the University of Warwick. His research is at the intersection of geography, philosophy and politics. His current research focuses on the ‘politics of the air’ and the political imagination of sand. He studies these two broad themes in relation to questions over the link between environmental reality and political matters concerning technology, pollution, security, territory and governance.

David Crouch’s research and writing crosses a number of fields of cultural geography, social anthropology, cultural and visual studies and art theory. These theoretical areas are engaged through an attention to contemporary cultural change, identity, human creativity, life and space encounters and relations, through ethnographies around landscape, everyday life/leisure and tourism, community involvement and the work of artists. This work includes an interest in space and gentle politics, belonging, disorientation and cultural identity, and human poetic expression in diverse forms of creativity.

Prelude: Playing with Space, Marijn Nieuwenhuis and David Crouch /
1. Space, living, atmospheres, affectivities, David Crouch /
2. ‘Knowing one’s place’ – mapping landscapes in and as performance in contemporary South Africa, Awelani Moyo /
3. Vocalic space: socio-materiality and sonic spatiality, George Revill /
4. bell hooks’ Affective Politics of Space and Belonging, Yvonne Zivkovic /
5. As Tenses Implode: Encountering Post-Traumatic Urbanism in Ghassan Kanafani’s ʿĀʾid ila Hayfā, Ghayde Ghraowi /
6. ‘Place’ in an Inverted World? A Japanese Theory of Place, Atsuko Watanabe /
7. The Invisible Lines of Territory: an Investigation into the Makeup of Territory, Marijn Nieuwenhuis /
8. Two Internet Cartographies: Google Maps and the Unmappable Darknet, Andrei Belibou /
9.Space is no one thing: luring thought through film and philosophy, Philip Conway / 10.Mayday – a letter from the Earth, Martin Gren / Postlude: And… And… And…, Marijn Nieuwenhuis and David Crouch /

Space has long been a key concept in the social sciences and humanities, but it is frequently dismissed as too abstract as a descriptor of our worldly entanglements. This book demonstrates the continuing importance of spatial thinking for contemporary scholars, and the power of space and spatiality as plastic concepts for opening out our worlds.
—Peter Merriman, Professor of Human Geography, Aberystwyth University, UK

The Question of Space is a thought-provoking collection of original essays intended to shed light on how the concept of space influences contemporary scholars across disciplines. More than simply focused on the subject of space the volume casts space as a dynamic, shifting and unstable web of relations, making the spatial dimensions of our thinking explicit. Flirtatious, performative, affective, sensuous, imaginative, and political The Question of Space is not afraid to rupture existing conceptualizations of space and be playful along the way.
— Phillip Vannini, Professor of Communication and Culture and Canada Research Chair at Royal Roads University, Canada

This deeply reflective interdisciplinary collection interrogates disciplinary expertise even as it leverages the same to insist on spacing as a matter of making singular, thoroughly shared, worlds that live and breathe. This ambitious and often lyrical effort gives us worlds that are wonderfully felicitous, but also facilitative of debates on violence and marginalisation, decolonisation and solidarity.
— Deborah Dixon, Professor of Geography, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK

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