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Along with my fellow members of the M.E.D class of 2011, I’ve been working hard to organize Fugitive Geographies, a graduate student symposium that investigates the built environment as both accomplice and obstacle to the criminal fugitive; as a protean landscape that offers concealment one moment and prevents escape the next. Fugitive Geographies gathers speakers from philosophy, history, art, media theory, and architecture to discuss the elusive and transitory condition where both subject and context exist in a precariously unstable state, where boundaries and borders are unclear, and where the criminal takes new agency over the environment. Paper topics include border investigations, drug dealers & urban depredation, War Prisons & Military Detention, detectives, a taxonomy of escape, crime & herman melville, and other explorations of the fugitive condition.

The symposium will open on March 24th with the David W. Roth and Robert H. Symonds Memorial Lecture, “Topographies of Elusion,” a keynote address by Thomas Y. Levin, Associate Professor at Princeton University. Levin teaches media and cultural theory and serves on the executive committee of Princeton’s Program in Media and Modernity. His areas of enquiry include philosophy, aesthetic theory, technology, and the politics of surveillance.

Fugitive Geographies is organized by the Yale School of Architecture Master of Environmental Design class of 2011 to complement the M.E.D. research colloquium Space, Crime, & Architecture, in which students explore how the criminal act degrades conventional readings of designed environments to expose the sinister latencies of architecture.

For more information, or to register for the symposium, please visit fugitivegeographies.com

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