Video abstract – Federico Ferretti talks about '“They have the right to throw us out”: Élisée Reclus’ New Universal Geography'

We had quite a bit of anarchism on the site late last year with Simon Springer, Anthony Ince, Jenny Pickerill, Gavin Brown and Adam Barker’s special issue of the journal, ‘Anarchist Geographies’, and their excellent introductory video (see here and here). Here’s a bit more for the new(ish) year – the University of Geneva’s Federico Ferretti talking about his paper, ‘“They have the right to throw us out”: Élisée Reclus’ New Universal Geography‘, which will be in print in Antipode 46(1) and is available online now.

Elisee ReclusIn his paper, Federico explores the anarchist and geographer Élisée Reclus’ encyclopaedic Nouvelle Géographie Universelle (NGU). He argues that the nature of Reclus’ argument and its representations of Europe, otherness and colonialism are today contested; it’s unclear what insights it might offer to contemporary students of colonialism and post-colonialism. Engaging with two emblematic cases – British rule over India and French occupation of Algeria – as they are presented in the NGU, and considering Reclus’ analysis of imperialism and his novel critique of colonial power, Federico demonstrates that far from being conventional, the NGU is a radical and interesting resource for those struggling to construct a critical discourse on Europe, otherness and colonialism.