Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Urbicide reviewed

Monday, October 18th, 2010

My book Urbicide: The Politics of Urban Destruction is reviewed in the latest issue of Global Discourse I have supplied a introduction outlining the basic argument of Urbicide as well as a response to the reviewers.

You can find my introduction, the reviews and my response, here: http://global-discourse.com/contents/urbicide-by-martin-coward/

As with all research, the monograph represents a snapshot of thought about this variety of urban violence, rather than the last word on it. Reflecting on that snapshot, I think there is much I still agree with, but there are also things I would change. This has thus been a valuable opportunity to reflect on my argument about the widespread and deliberate destruction of urban fabric and to highlight what I think its key contributions are as well as to ponder some of its limitations.

My thanks to the reviewers for their thoughts as well as to the editors of Global Discourse for both the original invitation and their work compiling and publishing the review section.

Divided Cities

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Divided Cities Book Cover

In March, Cambridge Review of International Affairs published my review of Jon Calame and Esther Charlesworth’s book Divided Cities: Belfast, Beirut, Jerusalem, Mostar, and Nicosia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). I was busy teaching  this spring and so forgot to write about it at the time – but I have returned to thinking about some of these themes in the wake of recent riots in Belfast. (more…)

The Future of Academic Journals in a Digital Age*

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
Dinosaur

Over the past few months I have been part of an ad hoc working group with colleagues from Newcastle and Durham Universities that has been exploring the future of academic publishing. Two problematics framed our analysis: how are changes initiated by the digital economy affecting academic journals and how might the editorial team of a top flight journal in the social sciences respond to these challenges? As previously posted–here and here–our initial conclusions have been that current models of academic journal publishing that rely on limiting access to research through pay-walls are no longer sustainable.
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Imagining urban cataclysm

Monday, November 16th, 2009
On Thursday and Friday (19th & 20th November) I will be at the World Politics and Popular Culture conference organised by Newcastle University Politics staff Simon Philpott, Matt Davies and Kyle Grayson. The conference will explore the manner in which

popular culture become[s] a series of sites at which political meaning is made, where political contestation takes place and where political orthodoxy is reproduced and challenged

I will be giving a paper entitled Zombies and flesh eaters: imagining urban cataclysm in the era of metropolitanisation.

The paper will discuss the relation between the politics of global urbanisation and representations of urban cataclysm in the film 28 Days Later, video game Resident Evil; and Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. I argue that novels, films and games are textual artefacts embedded in complex assemblages of things, signs, meanings and affects. As such they are mutually imbricated with the dynamics of delineation and contestation we refer to as ‘politics’.

The paper discusses two particular ideas arising from a reading of these texts:

28 Days Later Poster
The Road

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Chasing Dragons Review & Response

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

A while ago I was asked to review Kyle Grayson’s excellent Chasing Dragons: Security, Identity, and Illicit Drugs for the on-line journal Global Discourse. The journal has recently published the review as part of a forum alongside another review by Andrés Perezalonso (Newcastle University) and a response from Kyle himself.

You can read the forum here (html) or download my review here (pdf) and Kyle Grayson’s response here (pdf).

For those interested in reading further, google books has a limited preview of Chasing Dragons. You can read Kyle’s blog here.