I am a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Swansea University and before moving here in January 2016, I was Senior Lecturer (2015-16) and Lecturer (2007-2015) in the Geography Department at Durham University. I specialise in Political and Cultural Geographies. I have a PhD (2008) and MRes (2003, Distinction) in International Relations from Keele University, a Masters Degree in Gender Studies from the London School of Economics (2002, Distinction) and BSc in Political Studies from Aberystwyth University (2001, First Class Honours). I am the author of The Persistence of Nationalism: from imagined communities to urban encounters (Routledge, 2013), the co-editor of Terrorism and the Politics of Response, and I have published articles in leading journals including Cultural Geographies, International Political Sociology, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Citizenship Studies and Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. I have presented my work across the UK and Europe as well as in the US, Kenya and Japan. I am Assistant Editor for the journal, Citizenship Studies.
More about me
My interdisciplinary training informs both my research and teaching work. I have summarised my research and teaching interests into six key themes below. My teaching is very much informed by my research, by what I’m reading and working on at the time, as well as by events unfolding in the world around us. I find working with students extremely valuable in helping me develop other ways of seeing the world and in reminding me of what is at stake politically. I am responsible for the Political Geographies course at Swansea University Geography Department and a member of the teaching team for the Berlin fieldtrip. If you would like to attend a class as an auditor, please get in touch by email. If you are a former student of mine enquiring about a reference, please make sure that you send me a full CV including academic results for particular courses.
You can access my publications via ‘Cronfa’ (Swansea University’s Research Repository); www.academia.edu or by emailing me. You can follow me on twitter via @angharadcloss
Research and teaching themes:
The Politics of Nationalism
I have a longstanding interest in trying to understand the dynamics, histories and geographies of nationalism. My book unpacks what I describe as a ‘nationalist imaginary’ and its persistence in framing how we read and engage with the political world. Using examples from the political landscape of the War on Terror and various attempts at confronting the imaginative geographies of ‘us’ and ‘them’, it offers a study of the difficulties of thinking beyond nationalism.
The Politics of Affect and Atmospheres
More recently, I have been engaging the question of nationalism by drawing on literatures in cultural and feminist studies, the politics of emotion, and human geography on affects, moods and atmospheres with the aim of asking how we experience nationality as a set of feelings circling in the air. I am particularly interested in how national affects become heightened in times of ‘crisis’ or through particular events. I have developed this work through an article on the London 2012 Olympic Games titled ‘The Affective Atmospheres of Nationalism’.
Citizenship and the politics of crisis
I have an interest in examining political responses to ‘terrorist’ events across Europe, and in particular, how nationalist and cosmopolitan discourses, as well as ideas about strangers and foreigners circulate through such events. This work began with an article responding to the London bombings on 7 July 2005, a co-edited book titled Terrorism and the Politics of Response with Dr Nick Vaughan-Williams and has recently included writing on the 10 year anniversary of those events. I convened a series of responses to the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris on 7 January 2015, bringing scholarly insights to this contemporary political event.
Citizenship and cities
I find writings about cities and the urban experience – both creative and academic – extremely fruitful in presenting us with alternative ways of thinking about political community and subjectivity – through their emphasis on cosmopolitanism and living with strangers. I have drawn on such ideas in writing about London, New York and Berlin. Most recently, I have written a short article titled: ‘Urban Atmospheres: Feeling like a city?’ for a forum titled ‘Global/Urban/Politics’ in International Political Sociology (March 2015) convened by Dr Jennifer Bagelman and Dr Delacey Tedesco.
Questions of geographical imaginations are developed most fully in my book, and in a special issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2012) that I guest edited (with Dr Vicki Squire) on the subject of ‘Citizenship without Community’. I have experimented with other models for imagining political community e.g. through a web, through the site of the city, and as an ‘affective atmosphere’. I have contributed to the Welsh Dictionary of Key Concepts, Yr Esboniadur, on this topic – ‘Daearyddiaeth Dychmygedig’ (Imaginative Geographies).
Creative geographies and social/spatial theory
Across my work, I engage Political Geography through the realm of the creative arts including art installations, performance, films, novels and other creative writings. I feel that creative works often offer accounts of political change that are more attuned to the ambiguities and uncertainties of everyday experience. This is in contrast to the ways in which we are often taught Politics – as ‘decisions’, ‘actions’, ‘leadership’, and so on. In terms of social theory, at the moment I’m drawing on the works of Lauren Berlant, Kathleen Stewart, William Connolly and Achille Mbembe; I have a longstanding interest in the works of Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Derrida and Homi Bhabha. At Durham University Geography Department, I convened the Politics-State-Space research cluster (2014-16). Previously, I was co-convenor of the British International Studies Association Poststructural Politics Working Group (2007-11).
If you are interested in working on any of the above themes for a Masters by Research or a PhD, do get in touch. Swansea University Geography Department provides a collegiate and supportive environment for a research project and is situated within walking distance of good coffee and the sea!
Rwy’n siarad Cymraeg ac yn gallu arolygu prosiectau ymchwil yn Gymraeg neu yn Saesneg. Mae gen i ddiddordeb mewn meddwl am sut mae termau ôl-strwythurol yn trosi i’r Gymraeg ac mewn datblygu iaith, geirfa a chystrawen i drin a thrafod Gwleidyddiaeth yn Gymraeg mewn ffyrdd newydd ac adfywiol.