A Rough Guide to Non-Representational Theory

Great overview for those who are interested in Thrift’s work. He is a curious figure in academe.

Experimental Geography in Practice

There is increasing interest in practice and performance in cultural geography. Attempts to move beyond issues of representation and re-focus cultural geographic concerns on performativity and bodily practices are linked to the inception of what Nigel Thrift describes as ‘non-representational theory or the theory of practices’ (Thrift 1996, 1997, 2000a, 200b). According to Thrift, the non-representational project is concerned with describing ‘practices, mundane everyday practices that shape the conduct of human beings towards others and themselves in particular sites’ (1997: 142). Rather than obsess over representation and meaning, Thrift contends that non-representational work is concerned with the performative ‘presentations’, ‘showings’ and ‘manifestations’ of everyday life (1997: 142).

While Thrift has profitably drawn on theorists such as Benjamin, Deleuze and de Certeau in an attempt to shed light on the more embodied, intangible aspects of everyday life, broader moves in cultural geography to engage ‘more actively with the heterogeneous entanglements of…

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