University of Bath

Beyond elisions of militarised violence and Empire: 'Made in the Royal Navy'

This seminar focuses on the Royal Navy’s recent recruiting campaign and how it might be critically analysed using Foucault’s concept of heterotopia.

12 Feb 20191.15pm
to
12 Feb 20192.05pm
Free
British warship displaying its Union Jack flag
How far is Foucault's concept of heretopia used to obfuscate the violence of the Royal Navy?

In this seminar, Professor Paul Higate focuses on the Royal Navy’s recent recruiting campaign Made in the Royal Navy. He considers how far and to what extent Foucault’s concept of heterotopia is used to obfuscate the violence at the heart of the Royal Navy as a branch of the armed forces.

In particular, Paul argues that heterotopias demand resilience from those who experience these spaces that are couched – in the current substantive focus – as superior to those of civilian life, as life changing in regard to the transformations they engender, and as profoundly self-actualising. In sum, the space of the ship (Foucault’s exemplary heterotopia) is shown to be a deeply political and violent space rooted in Empire and conquest.