Digital geographies – two new articles

I have two new articles broadly concerning ‘digital geographies’ at different stages in the publication process. This represents a long-held interest I have held in the various ways we can think about and study ‘the digital’. In particular, these are the first articles to come out of a strand of my research which aims to advance understandings of the materialities that underpin digital geographies. In particular, this research focuses on the emergence of what have been called ‘spatial media’, the devices and systems we increasingly use to mediate our activities and way-finding in everyday life. Conceptually, this work significantly draws on my ongoing engagement with the work of the philosopher of technology Bernard Stiegler.

The first article is in Geography Compass: ‘Beyond the screen’ addresses the different ways in which we can study ‘life online’, drawing together a range of methodological strands to demonstrate how geographical thinking can inform and enhance social scientific research concerning the internet, particularly in relation to the articulation of spatial experience and knowledge. I am grateful to my colleague Gail Davies for suggesting that I write this piece for Geography Compass, which is an excellent resource for scholars at all stages of their careers. Thus paper was published in the August 2013 issue of Geography Compass and so can be found on the journal website. I also have a pre-press version available here.

The second article will be coming out in Progress in Human Geography: ‘The Matter of Virtual Geographies’ revisits the articulation of ‘virtual’ geographies and reviews recent discussion within geography of digitally mediated activity. The aim of the article is to argue for a greater attention to the material conditions of ‘the digital’. This is achieved by articulating a theory of ‘technics’–the co-constitutive relation between the human and the technical,–and ‘transduction’–the iterative modulating and translation of a sociotechnical milieu from one state to another–through the philosophy of Bernard Stiegler. This article expands on existing work in geography, such as Kitchin & Dodge’s excellent ‘Code/space’, that is pushing for more sophisticated understandings of software, code, and the plethora of increasingly sophisticated systems and devices with which we mediate ourselves and our (spatial) experience of everyday life. I am happy to share pre-print copies of this paper, please contact me if you’re interested.

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