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Title: On heterotopia
Author: Johnson, Peter Graham
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 375X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2010
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Despite, or perhaps because of, the brevity and sketchiness of Foucault's accounts of heterotopia, the subsequent uses of the notion have been profuse as well as startling in their range and diversity. Many studies have tended to identify heterotopia with features of a particular era or a specific site, text or project. In contrast, this thesis starts by situating the concept within Foucault's overall spatial analyses. The thesis makes a thorough investigation into the various uses of space across Foucault's early works. It is argued that although involving marginal or minor texts, the concept of heterotopia nevertheless provides an important key to understanding Foucault's strategic wider use of space, a certain spatial way or play of thinking. Secondly, the thesis draws an important distinction between the concepts of heterotopia and utopia. The thesis outlines how heterotopias formulate and apply utopias in a potent mix of the ideal and real, without postulating any anticipatory hope. Thirdly, the thesis examines various sites in terms of what Foucault calls `heterotopology', investigating the possibility of a systematic description of these different spaces, using as examples the spatio-temporal features of the garden and the cemetery. Fourthly, the thesis explores how the mutative and adaptable qualities of heterotopian sites are particularly suited to various ways of governing people. The moral geography of the modem cemetery is used to illustrate clearly the broad application of a utilitarian philosophy as well as the diversity and breadth of techniques of governance in England during the first half of the nineteenth century. Fifthly, the thesis also argues that the spatio-temporal ambiguities and the connectivity of these spaces make them particularly productive dispositifs, both actual devices of government and tools for analysing specific cultural and historical practices. Finally, the thesis analyses contemporary cemeteries as particularly concentrated forms of heterotopia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available