Spinoza and new materialist cultural/political theory I am interested in the concept of affect as figured through the philosophy of Spinoza and the way in which it has been and can be turned to political and social analysis. My PhD research focused primarily on recent theoretical developments concerned with embodiment, politics, affect and materiality, and as such considered a politics of the body through an engagement with Spinoza and his relation to critical theory. The thesis engaged with the sociality of the body and the connections between lived experience and social relations, explored through ethnographic research on long-distance walking in Britain. In particular, I explored the sociological concept of the social imaginary through a Spinozist materialism in order to propose an account of experience-production that could supplement a Foucauldian account of subjectivation.
Postfoundational approaches to authority; spaces and aesthetics of authority I work on the concept of authority in classical social theory and its rethinking after poststructuralism. In collaboration with other members of the Authority Research Network, I explore postfoundational accounts of authority-production through a politics of immanence, engaging with the classical work on authority of Weber and Arendt, as well as postfoundational thinkers such as Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, Michel Callon and Michel Foucault. More recently I have begun to think about developing a fuller account of the relationship between power and experience through a focus on the experience of authority.
The making of the common My research on authority has led me to think about the production of the common as a means of understanding alternative political subjectivities to neoliberal individualism. This interest spans the historical and imaginary understandings of the “commons”, the idea of the common in contemporary philosophy, particularly through Jean-Luc Nancy, and the material production of common life through practice.
Spatiality and materiality Through my concern with Spinozist and new materialist thought, I have worked towards an account of materiality and spatiality that responds to poststructuralist and posthumanist critique. This is part of an ongoing project in collaboration with archaeologists at Cambridge and Durham Universities.
Cultural Geographies of embodied practice, performance and landscape Through feminist theory, especially feminist perspectives on gender as performance and as a lived embodied relation, I explore ways in which recent geographies of embodied practice inspired by phenomenology can encounter corporeal difference. I have also contributed to the development and critique of nonrepresentational theory in geography through a Spinozist approach to the body that emphasises the sociality of the embodied response.