Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 402526
Title Topographies/topologies of the camp: Auschwitz as a spatial threshold
Author(s) Giaccaria, P.; Minca, C.
Source Political Geography 30 (2011)1. - ISSN 0962-6298 - p. 3 - 12.
Department(s) Cultural Geography
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) holocaust - politics - space
Abstract This paper, largely inspired by Giorgio Agamben’s conceptualization of the camp, reflects on the relationship between the ‘topographical’ and the ‘topological’ in reference to Auschwitz–Birkenau and its spatialities. After having discussed the concept of soglia (threshold), we briefly introduce the ways in which the historiographical literature on the Holocaust treats the relationship between modernity, rationality, and Nazism. The second part of the paper is dedicated to an attempt to read ‘geographically’ the entanglements between the camp, Nazi spatial planning, bureaucratic rationalities, and the Holocaust. The notion of the camp-as-a-spazio-soglia is central to this interpretation. Auschwitz, conceived as a metaphorical and real space of exception, is contextualized within the broader regional geography planned by the Nazis for that part of Poland; while ‘Mexico’, a specific compound within the camp, is described as a key threshold in the reproduction of those very geographies. The aim is to show how the topological spatialities of the camp were a constitutive element of the overall biopolitical Nazi project of ‘protective custody’ and extermination and that, for this reason, they deserve further investigation and need to be discussed in the relation to the crude calculative and topographical aspirations of that same project
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