Professor Matt Hannah
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622 782
Fax: +44 (0)1970 622 659
- Advisor, International students
- Convenor, MA in Space, Time and Culture
- Co-ordinator, Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group
Module coordinator for:
- Theory And Methodology In Human Geography (GG23110)
- Territory, Knowledge And Power (GG36720)
- People, Place and NAtion (GG10110)
- Geographies of the United States (GG26210)
- Encountering Territory (GGM3020)
I have an abiding fascination with articulations between government, knowledge and the constitution of territory in the modern world. I have explored these themes through a series of extended ‘empirical meditations’ on the ideas of Michel Foucault, each aiming in a different way to develop geographical dimensions of Foucault’s provocative rethinking of the meaning of the political. Whether in research on state projects of administrative control over semi-nomadic Plains Indians in the 1870s United States, on the modernisation of the US census in the late nineteenth century, or on census boycott movements in 1980s West Germany, my focus has been on the ways in which modern governmental knowledges not only underwrite but also presuppose particular constructions of territory. Recent work on the territorial constructions underlying the Bush Administration’s ‘Global War on Terror’ has explored current transformations in modern relations between power, knowledge and space.
More intermittently, I have sustained an interest in the epistemological foundations of social theory. In a series of occasional pieces, some sole-authored, some jointly-authored with Professor Ulf Strohmayer of the National University of Ireland, Galway, I have been assembling the foundations of an argument intended to shift our understanding of the familiar impasses of social theory (structure vs. agency, being vs. becoming, etc.) onto a terrain defined by the problem of the ‘finitude of embodied thinking’. This argument departs from many current theorisations of ‘embodiment’ in its insistence on acknowledging embodiment as limitation. Ultimately I hope (in collaboration with colleagues) to develop this line of work in the direction of a new valorisation of historical-geographical materialism.
Research Supervision Interests
Especially for students thinking of coming to Aberystwyth to work with me, it may be helpful to frame the academic interests detailed in my publication list within a more personal account of what is important to me.
Although the bulk of my published work concerns relations of space, knowledge and power approached from a more or less Foucauldian direction, I am also keenly interested in the following areas: social geographies of the United States, social theory, political economy, feminism, post-socialism, and post-WWII East and West Germany. I would welcome proposals to undertake doctoral work with me on a wide range of topics, but am particularly interested in the following themes:
- New articulations between political economy, feminism and Foucauldian perspectives on social power relations
- Geographical theorizations of biopower and governmentality, in relation to new forms of empire or post-socialism
- Cultures of masculinity (particularly in the US) and their role in the making of geopolitics
- Social and historical geographies of race and ethnicity in the US
- Social movements and landscapes of power in Cold War divided Germany and post-division Germany
- Changing impacts of neo-liberalism upon geographies of everyday and institutional life
In terms of intellectual 'style', I am committed to a rather old-fashioned notion of education which embraces slow, careful reading and reflection, as well as an insistence on the necessity of linking specific research to larger, inherently interdisciplinary philosophical questions.
Poster for a May 2011 public forum in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany concerning the political significance of the 2011 German census. This is the first census to be taken in Germany since reunification. Professor Hannah was invited to discuss the new census in the light of his research on the major census controversies of the 1980s in West Germany (see publication list).
Peer Reviewed Book Chapters & Journal Articles
- Hannah, M. forthcoming 2012. Foucault’s German moment: genealogy of a disjuncture. Foucault Studies.
- Hannah, M. 2011. Biopower, life and left politics. Antipode 43(4): 1034-1055.
- Hannah, M. 2011. Review essay on the 'war on terror'. Political Geography 29: 119-122.
- Hannah, M. 2011. Forms of modern imperialism in international law. Original translation of Carl Schmitt (1933 ): Volkerrechtliche formen des modernen Imperialismus). In S. Legg (ed.), Geographies of the Nomos: Sovereignty, Spatiality and Carl Schmitt. London: Routledge: 29-45.
- Hannah, M. 2011. Großraum versus universalism. Original translation of Carl Schmitt (1939 ): Großraum gegen Universalismus. In S. Legg (ed.), Geographies of the Nomos: Sovereignty, Spatiality and Carl Schmitt. London: Routledge: 46-54.
- Hannah, M. 2011. Pastoral power. In S. Legg (ed.), Geographies of the Nomos: Sovereignty, Spatiality and Carl Schmitt. London: Routledge: 227-233.
- Hannah,M. 2010. Dark Territory in the Information Age: Learning from the West German Census Boycotts of the 1980s. Ashgate Publishers
- Hannah M. 2009. (Mis)adventures in Rumsfeld space. GeoJournal, Online: 10pp. DOI
- Hannah M. 2009. Calculable territory and the West German census boycott movements of the 1980s. Political Geography, 28: 66-75. DOI
- Hannah M. 2008. Review essay on Peter Brückner, Ulrike Meinhof und die deutsche Verhaeltnisse. Historical Materialism, 16(1): 200-215. DOI
- Hannah M. 2008. Die umstrittene Konstruktion von Vertrauen und Misstrauen in der westdeutschen Volkszählungsboykottbewegung 1983. Social Geography, 3: 11-21.
- Hannah M. 2008. Mapping the Under-scrutinized: the West German Census Boycott Movement of 1987 and the Dangers of Information-based Security. Geospatial Technologies and Homeland Security, : 301-314. DOI
- Hannah M. 2008. Spaces of exception and unexceptionability. War, Citizenship, Territory
- Hannah M. 2007. Formations of “Foucault” in Anglo-American Geography. Foucault and Geography, : 83-106.
- Hannah M. 2006. Torture and the ticking bomb: The war on terrorism as a geographical imagination of power/knowledge. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 96: 622-640.
- Hannah M. 2005. Politics in suspenso: on Antje Schlottmann´s RaumSprache. ACME: A Journal of Critical Geography, 4: 240-248.
- Hannah M. 2005. 'In full view yet invisible': on Neil Smith's American Empire. Political Geography, 24: 239-243.
- Hannah M. 2005. Representation / reality. Questioning geography, : 151-166.