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Stephen Legg

Professor of Historical Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Research Summary

For more information see my personal website at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/~lgzwww/contacts/staffPages/stephenlegg/profile.htm

September 2014 saw the publication of Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities and Interwar India (Duke University Press). This consists of a multi-scalar analysis of the regulation of prostitution in India between the wars. it combines detailed case studies of Delhi, national legislation, the campaign of the Associations for Moral and Social Hygiene, and the influence of the League of Nations. Its aim is to explain the shift from policies favouring the segregation of brothels and prostitutes to the advocacy of suppressing brothels in the hope of reducing traffic in women and children.

Selected Publications

Past Research

My past research has used Michel Foucault's recently translated governmentality lectures to analyse the landscapes of colonial ordering in interwar Delhi. These studies examined the spatial politics of Delhi as capital of the British Raj. Residential segregation, policing, and urban improvement were studied as ways of exploring the nature of colonial urban rule in Spaces of Colonialism: Delhi's Urban Governmentalities (2007). Further papers explored the biographies of British reformers, a comparison of planning ideologies, the postcolonial legacies of colonial governmentalities, and the translatability of Foucault's work to South Asia. These were followed by a project based around the writings of Carl Schmitt, focused on an edited book entitledSpatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt: Geographies of the Nomos: (2011). The chapters consider Schmitt's 1950 work The Nomos of the Earth, which explored the role of law in appropriating, producing and distributing space. My chapter considers Schmitt's condemnation of the League of Nations as the harbinger of the collapse of European imperial order.

Future Research

My future research will focus on anti-colonial social and political movements in interwar Delhi. It will complement my earlier work on the Indian National Congress party in the city with comparative studies of different political geographies of the city. These will consider more fully the impact of the Muslim League, Communist and Trade Union organisations, student groupings, and Hindu Nationalists. Other ongoing research interests address south Asian governmentalities, subaltern theory and the scalar sovereignty of constitutional reform in interwar India.

The summer of 2015 will see the launch of a major AHRC funded project. Running for four years, "Conferencing the International: a cultural and historical geography of the origins of internationalism (1919-1939)" will study liberal, radical and imperial forms of internationalism as manifested in their conference spaces in the years between the wars. Jake Hodder, as a full time post-doctoral research assistant, will work with me as Principal Investigator and Professor Mike Heffernan as Co-Investigator.

School of Geography

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telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5428
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