Spatial Ecologies

BookSpatial Ecologies

Spatial Ecologies

Urban Sites, State and World-Space in French Cultural Theory

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 21


April 13th, 2012

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Spatial Ecologies takes a new look at the “spatial turn” in French cultural and critical theory since 1968. Verena Andermatt Conley examines how Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, Jean Baudrillard, Marc Augé, Paul Virilio, Bruno Latour and Etienne Balibar reconsider the experience of space in the midst of considerable political and economic turmoil. The book considers why French critical theorists turned away from questions of time and looked instead toward questions of space. It asks what writing about space can tell us about life in late capitalism. Conley links this question to the problematic of habitality, taking us back to Heidegger and showing how it informs much of French theory. Building on the author's acclaimed earlier study Ecopolitics, Spatial Ecologies argues, through the voices of the authors taken up the eight chapters, for recognition of the virtue of spatial theory and its pragmatic applications in the global milieu. It will be required reading for scholars of literary and cultural theory, and twentieth- and twenty-first century French culture.


'This is a working of wide-ranging and deep scholarship which brings together a range of important French thinkers for the first time within a critical, comparative argument. Spatial Ecologies makes a passionate and lucidly argued case for a renewed ecological thinking and a transformative critical practice.'
Ian James

'Spatial Ecologies is a tour de force analysis of all the major theorists/theories of space/spatiality in the contemporary era. It will become the new benchmark for work on space in critical and cultural theory.'
Ian Buchanan

'A novel explanation by a perceptive critic, wherein Conley ponders the 'spatial turn' in French critical theory from 1968 to 2012, and from Henri Lefebvre and Paul Virilio to Etienne Balibar. Assessing the postmodern experience of space and politics, economics and time, this book is an extraordinary reflection on questions of space in the epoch of late capitalism.'
John Armitage, Times Higher Education

Author Information

Verena Conley is Visiting Professor of Literature and Comparative Literature and of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, and the author of Ecopolitics: The Environment in French Poststructuralist Thought (Routledge, 1996); and Hélène Cixous: Writing the Feminine (University of Nebraska Press, 1991).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title page4
Copyright page5
Introduction: Space as a Critical Concept10
Chapter 120
Chapter 238
Chapter 356
Chapter 471
Chapter 587
Chapter 6104
Chapter 7121
Chapter 8136
Conclusion: Future Spaces154