THE PRODUCTION OF SPACE — Spring 2015 Graduate Seminar

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Spring 2015 Graduate Seminar:


Henri Lefebvre & historical-geographical materialism

Thursdays 5-8pm @ MU222

Instructor: Scott Kirsch email:



If it is no longer remarkable to speak of space, nature, and landscapes as “socially produced” it is largely a reflection of the extent to which contemporary spatial and geographical thought has been transformed in its encounter with historical materialism, and in particular the ideas of the late French Marxist philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre. This graduate seminar is designed as a close study of Lefebvre’s signature book and theoretical concept, The Production of Space, situating the work in terms of Lefebvre’s corpus, its reception in Geography and related fields, and the currency of its concepts in and for contemporary research.  Additional key texts will include Lefebvre’s just published Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment and State, Space, World; selections from his Critique of Everyday Life; Sociology of Marx, The Urban Revolution; and The Survival of Capitalism, along with contributions from Neil Brenner, Stuart Elden, Kristen Ross, Neil Smith, Andy Merrifield, and others.


Format and Requirements

Close reading and discussion of texts.  Participants will take turns leading discussions. In addition, two short papers are required: a review essay; and an effort, perhaps highly speculative, to think through your own research interests using Lefebvrian categories.  Some will want to combine these into a single full-length paper.