Steve Pile The Open University, UK
My research is primarily concerned with the relationship between place and the politics of identity. For example, I have undertaken a series of investigations into the relationship between the city, everyday life and the spatial constitution of power. This work has found outlets in projects such as City A-Z and also a sole authored book, Real Cities: modernity, space and the phantasmagorias of city life. This book makes a case for taking seriously the more imaginary, fantasmatic and emotional aspects of urbanism. Drawing inspiration from the work of Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Georg Simmel and various psychogeographers, Real Cities explores the dream-like and ghost-like experiences of city life.
A further strand of work has been to intervene in how Geography, as a Discipline, is conceived in terms of its practices, content and approaches. My main contribution has been to promote the legitimacy of a psychoanalytic approach to Geography, as first set out in The Body and the City. However, this project has also involved a more cultural take on Geography itself. This can be seen in both the Handbook of Cultural Geography and Patterned Ground.
The work I am conducting over the next few years, however, focuses on the body. This project is tentatively titled Fantastic Bodies. It is expected that the final outcome will be a sole authored book.