Spaces of Danger
Culture and Power in the Everyday

Edited by Heather Merrill and Lisa M. Hoffman
Foreword by Paul Rabinow

Understanding the forms of power shaping our lives

Reviews

“This impressive and rich collection of essays explores the legacies and potentials of Allan Pred’s unique critical cultural geography, resulting in very innovative approaches to the analysis of space, time, and power. The book is transdisciplinary in the best sense of the word, moving between a wide range of contemporary conflicts, from militant Muslim groups in Nigeria and the Shanghai World Expo to European racisms and the cultural and political logics of drone attacks.”
—Orvar Lofgren, coeditor of Managing Overflow in Affluent Societies

"Overall, Spaces of Danger is a fitting tribute to an original thinker in Geography. The individual essays each hold the reader's interest, but more importantly they provide an interwoven web of key theoretical, analytic, methodological and conceptual insights into some of today's most vexing problems."
—Marv Waterstone, Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography


Description

These twelve original essays by geographers and anthropologists offer a deep critical understanding of Allan Pred’s pathbreaking and eclectic cultural Marxist approach, with a focus on his concept of “situated ignorance”: the production and reproduction of power and inequality by regimes of truth through strategically deployed misinformation, diversions, and silences. As the essays expose the cultural and material circumstances in which situated ignorance persists, they also add a previously underexplored spatial dimension to Walter Benjamin’s idea of “moments of danger.”

The volume invokes the aftermath of the July 2011 attacks by far-right activist Anders Breivik in Norway, who ambushed a Labor Party youth gathering and bombed a government building, killing and injuring many. Breivik had publicly and forthrightly declared war against an array of liberal attitudes he saw threatening Western civilization. However, as politicians and journalists interpreted these events for mass consumption, a narrative quickly emerged that painted Breivik as a lone madman and steered the discourse away from analysis of the resurgent right-wing racisms and nationalisms in which he was immersed.

The Breivik case is merely one of the most visible recent examples, say editors Heather Merrill and Lisa Hoffman, of the unchallenged production of knowledge in the public sphere. In essays that range widely in topic and setting—for example, brownfield development in China, a Holocaust memorial in Germany, an art gallery exhibit in South Africa—this volume peels back layers of “situated practices and their associated meaning and power relations.” Spaces of Danger offers analytical and conceptual tools of a Predian approach to interrogate the taken-for-granted and make visible and legible that which is silenced.

Series/imprint:
Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation

Page count: 320
29 b&w photos, 2 diagrams
Trim size: 6 x 9

 



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12/1/2015

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Heather Merrill is a human geographer and professor of Africana studies at Hamilton College.

Lisa M. Hoffman is a cultural anthropologist and professor of urban studies at the University of Washington Tacoma.