Vancouver Institute for Social Research: Geoff Mann

April 6, 2015

Geoff Mann – Sovereignty in a Warming World


What might sovereignty come to mean as climate change challenges societies around the world? Widespread “progressive” support, even desperate hope, for global “agreements” might seem to suggest that the promised land of modern governance is a (“democratic”) planetary sovereign, at least in the carbon realm. However unlikely such arrangements actually are, the prospect of the uneven degradation of the planet as a global public good cannot help but put turn a magnifying glass on the content and form of modern sovereignty, even if we choose not to look through it. When we do, we find a fraught, contradictory, and unsettled set of dynamics, full of peril, but also, perhaps, full of possibility–some of which might point beyond sovereignty itself.


The Vancouver Institute for Social Research (VISR) is an independent, para-academic, graduate-level, theory-based free school that began in Feb. 2013. Our intent is to move beyond the borders of the traditional university and to open up a more accessible platform in the city for the engaged discussion of critical theory.


The Institute’s fourth session will be organized around the theme of “Sovereignty,” and is being held from March 2 to April 27, 2015.


Once a week on Monday evenings from 7-9 pm at the Or Gallery (555 Hamilton Street), professors, grad students, and local activists will be presenting on topics of their choice. The seminar will be free to the public and advance readings will be distributed through our WordPress site. Videos of past classes can be found here.


Venue is wheelchair accessible

Participant Bios

Geoff Mann teaches in SFU’s Geography Department.