Stuart EldenDec 18, 2020
University of Chicago Press 2018
What can Shakespeare tell us about territory, and what can territory tell us about Shakespeare?
In Shakespearean Territories (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Stuart Elden, Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick and author of the Progressive Geographies blog, explores both of these questions, drawing on his earlier work theorising territory, as well as an extensive discussion of numerous works of Shakespeare. The book considers a range of subjects associated with the concept of territory, from the geo-politics of King Lear, the idea of sovereignty in King John, and power in Richard II, to questions of the body in Coriolanus, and ideas of calculation and measurement in The Merchant of Venice. Alongside Shakespeare’s relevance for understanding territory, territory offers a framework for alternative readings of Macbeth and Hamlet, and draws attention to often neglected or even completely ignored parts of Henry V. Fascinating and wide ranging, at the intersection of geography and English literature, the book is essential reading across the humanities and social sciences.
Dave O'Brien is Chancellor's Fellow, Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Edinburgh's College of Art.