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Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics

Michael Ekers (Editor), Gillian Hart (Editor), Stefan Kipfer (Editor), Alex Loftus (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3971-0
376 pages
December 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics (1444339710) cover image


This unique collection is the first to bring attention to Antonio Gramsci’s work within geographical debates. Presenting a substantially different reading to Gramsci scholarship, the collection forges a new approach within human geography, environmental studies and development theory.

  • Offers the first sustained attempt to foreground Antonio Gramsci’s work within geographical debates
  • Demonstrates how Gramsci articulates a rich spatial sensibility whilst developing a distinctive approach to geographical questions
  • Presents a substantially different reading of Gramsci from dominant post-Marxist perspectives, as well as more recent anarchist and post-anarchist critiques
  • Builds on the emergence of Gramsci scholarship in recent years, taking this forward through studies across multiple continents, and asking how his writings might engage with and animate political movements today
  • Forges a new approach within human geography, environmental studies and development theory, building on Gramsci’s innovative philosophy of praxis


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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors vii

Abbreviations of Works by Antonio Gramsci ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Framings 1

“A Barbed Gift of the Backwoods”: Gramsci’s Sardinian Beginnings 3
Michael Ekers, Gillian Hart, Stefan Kipfer, and Alex Loftus

How to Live with Stones 6
John Berger

Introduction 13

1 Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics 15
Michael Ekers and Alex Loftus

Part I Space 45

2 Traveling with Gramsci: The Spatiality of Passive Revolution 47
Adam David Morton

3 “Gramsci in Action”: Space, Politics, and the Making of Solidarities 65
David Featherstone

4 City, Country, Hegemony: Antonio Gramsci’s Spatial Historicism 83

5 State of Confusion: Money and the Space of Civil Society in Hegel and Gramsci 104
Geoff Mann

Part II Nature 121

6 The Concept of Nature in Gramsci 123
Benedetto Fontana

7 Space, Ecology, and Politics in the Praxis of the Brazilian Landless Movement 142
Abdurazack Karriem

8 On the Nature of Gramsci’s “Conceptions of the World” 161
Joel Wainwright

9 Gramsci, Nature, and the Philosophy of Praxis 178
Alex Loftus

10 Difference and Inequality in World Affairs: A Gramscian Analysis 197
Nicola Short

11 Gramsci and the Erotics of Labor: More Notes on “The Sexual Question” 217
Michael Ekers

Part III Politics 239

12 Cracking Hegemony: Gramsci and the Dialectics of Rebellion 241
Jim Glassman

13 Gramsci at the Margins: A Prehistory of the Maoist Movement in Nepal 258
Vinay Gidwani and Dinesh Paudel

14 Accumulation through Dispossession and Accumulation through Growth: Intimations of Massacres Foretold? 279
Judith Whitehead

15 Gramsci, Geography, and the Languages of Populism 301
Gillian Hart

Conclusion 321

16 Translating Gramsci in the Current Conjuncture 323
Stefan Kipfer and Gillian Hart

Index 345

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Author Information

Michael Ekers is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough. In addition to his interests in Gramsci, his research focuses on urban unemployment and rural relief projects in Depression-Era British Columbia, and questions of masculinity, race, and the social contribution of the unemployed.

Gillian Hart is Professor at the University of California Berkeley and Honorary Professor at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. She is currently working on a companion volume to Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2002).

Stefan Kipfer is Associate Professor at York University, Toronto. His research deals with comparative urban politics and the role of the urban in social and political theory, particularly in Marxist and counter-colonial traditions. He is the co-editor (with Kanishka Goonewardena, Richard Milgrom, Christian Schmid) of Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre (2008).

Alex Loftus is a Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research focuses on the political ecology of water and the political possibilities within urban ecologies. He is the author of Everyday Environmentalism: Creating an Urban Political Ecology (2012).

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“As can be inferred from my opening remarks, my brief comments on the overall purpose of this collection, and my even briefer comments on individual chapters, this is an important contribution to the urgent critical work of recovering, appropriating and recontextualizing Gramsci’s concepts, methods and analyses, and, above all, ‘translating’ them for the current conjuncture, in which issues of political ecology as well as political economy are ever more critical to human flourishing.”  (Antipode, 1 November 2013)


'This well-crafted volume pushes the boundaries of current debates on Gramsci. Highlighting spatial and geographical relations, the diverse contributions all share detailed attention to Gramsci’s writings while opening an array of contemporary issues including struggles in Brazil, Nepal, India and South Africa, discussions of gender, class, race and ecology class, and engagements with theoretical work of Laclau & Mouffe, Lefebvre, David Harvey, Hardt & Negri and Subaltern Studies. The contributors have set a hallmark in scholarship that will be very influential across many fields from critical geography and international relations to political theory, development studies and postcolonialism.'—Peter Ives, Department of Politics, University of Winnipeg, Canada

 'From the backwoods to the frontlines, Gramsci’s geographical imagination receives here the thoroughgoing exploration it has always deserved. With deep and nuanced attention to Gramsci’s spatial historicism, this collection foregrounds the profoundly geographical nature of Gramsci’s critical consciousness and what it offers for thinking space, nature and politics relationally. As beautifully considered as its cover, this book is alive to the ‘earthliness of thought’ and its political possibilities.'—Cindi Katz, Earth and Environmental Sciences & Environmental Psychology Programs, The City University of New York

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