Tag Archives: visiting fellow

Visiting fellow: Yasmine Willi

We are pleased to inform you that Yasmine Willi will be joining us as a visiting fellow during March and April 2018. She will be working together with Joost Jongerden (RSO) and Martijn Duineveld (GEO). Yasmine introduces herself below:

My name is Yasmine Willi and I am a Human Geographer working as a PhD candidate in the Economics and Social Sciences Research Unit at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, in Zurich, Switzerland. Last October, I participated in the SUSPLACE Autumn School taking place at Aveiro University, Portugal, where I met assistant-coordinator Anke de Vrieze who told me about the Centre for Space, Place and Society at Wageningen University. I immediately became interested in the Centre and after reading more about it, it’s members and the ongoing research projects, I would like to get to know the Centre myself.

I am very interested in joining the Centre in order to get to your research in more detail, learn about your projects and research approaches first hand, and of course exchange results and ideas with you and your colleagues. My thesis research aligns with the research of the Centre – especially with the theme ‘the Politics of Space and Place’ – in several ways. In my thesis, I focus on the governance of regional development, particularly on the decision-making processes necessary to realize national development policies on the regional level. In particular, I am interested in the interplay between public administrations, politicians, entrepreneurs and societal actors and how this leads to the design and implementation of regional development strategies. I thus would be delighted to exchange views on the topics of citizenship and participation, inclusion/exclusion, democratic planning and strategic behavior in public decision-making processes.

As a Visiting Fellow, I would welcome the opportunity to not only share my results in an international setting, but also to connect with researchers abroad and broaden my scientific network. During my stay, I plan to work on the finalization of my PhD thesis (date of completion: 31 July 2018). I would also be most interested to contribute to your team by giving a presentation of my research, organizing a workshop, and/or other collaborations. 

Visiting fellow and annual lecture: Erik Swyngedouw

We are happy to announce that we have confirmed Erik Swyngedouw to give our annual lecture. Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography at Manchester University. His research interests include urban political-ecology, hydro-social conflict, urban governance, democracy and political power, and the politics of globalisation. His was previously professor of geography at Oxford University and held the Vincent Wright Visiting Professorship at Science Po, Paris, 2014. He recently co-edited (with Nik Heynen and Maria Kaika) In the Nature of the City (Rotledge, and (with Japhy Willson) The Post-Political and its Discontents: Spectres of Radical Politics Today (Edinburg University Press, 2014) and is author of Social Power and the Urbanization of Nature (OP 2004) and Liquid Power (MIT 2015), a book that focuses on water and social power in 20th century Spain. His forthcoming books are Promises of the Political (MIT 2018) and, co-edited with H. Ernstson, Urban Political Ecology in the Anthropo-obscene (Routledge 2017)

The annual lecture is scheduled on 7 June 2018, and the preliminary title of the talk is “Interrupting the Anthropo-Obscene: The De-politicized Politics of the Anthropocene as Immuno-biopolitical Fantasy”. More information can be found in the abstract below. Erik Swyngedouw will also be our visiting fellow and will participate in PhD courses and other events. We look forward to welcoming him to Wageningen!

Interrupting the Anthropo-Obscene: The De-politicized Politics of the Anthropocene as Immuno-biopolitical Fantasy

Erik Swyngedouw

In the presentation, we shall use ‘the Anthropocene’ to denote the proposed new geological era during which humans have arguably acquired planetary geo-physical agency, a term increasingly mobilized by both geologists and Earth Systems scholars. While recognizing a wide-ranging and often contentious debate (see e.g. Castree 2014a, 2014b, 2014c; Hamilton, Bonneuil and Gemenne 2015), we hold that the Anthropocene is a deeply depoliticizing notion that off-stages political possibilities. This off-staging unfolds, we contend, through the creation of what we refer to as ‘AnthropoScenes’, the mise-en-scene of a particular set of narratives that are by no means homogeneous, but which broadly share the effect of off-staging certain voices and forms of acting. Our notion of the Anthropo-obScene then, is our tactic to both attest to and undermine the performativity of the depoliticizing stories of ‘the Anthropocene’.

First, we examine how the AnthropoScenes can be viewed as a set of stages that have constructed and engaged the signifier ‘Anthropocene’. While internally fractured and heterogeneous — ranging from those promoting geo-engineering and Earth System science as an immunological prophylactic to our situation to interlocutors developing more-than-human and object oriented ontologies in search of a new politics — there is an uncanny effect of placing things and beings, human and non-human, within a particular relational straightjacket that does not allow for a remainder or constitutive outside. Second, building on post-foundational political thought, we shall articulate in theoretical terms what is being censored and rendered obscene, and how foregrounding this may hold possible paths toward re-politicization. We mobilize theoretical perspectives that have attempted to cut through the last decades of pervasive de-politicization. These views understand the political in terms of performance and, in an Arendtian manner, as constituted through a space of appearance, a performative public acting-in-common that politicizes subjects and spaces (Arendt 1958: 199). From this perspective, the political is understood as forms of acting subtracted from what is gestured to hold socio-ecological constellations together. In other words, the political is manifested in forms of excessive or supernumerary acting that exceeds the internal relational assemblage from which it emerges.




Visiting fellow: Ariadne Collins

We are pleased to inform you that Ariadne Collins will be joining us as a visiting fellow during the academic year of 2017-2018.


Ariadne Collins is particularly interested in climate change governance and politics. Her research adopts post-structural approaches to interrogating the intersection of power, development and neoliberalism in global efforts to conserve tropical rainforests. Her doctoral research focused on the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative in Guyana and Suriname. Ariadne was awarded a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Policy (Summa Cum Laude) in May, 2017 from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She also holds a Masters in Research (MRes) in International Environmental Policy and Politics from the University of Westminster, London and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Guyana. Her current work draws on Foucauldian governmentality to explore relationships between economic growth and environmental sustainability by analyzing global efforts to govern tropical rainforests through REDD+.