shawn bodden

Hi! I’m a PhD researcher in geography at the University of Edinburgh. I use ethnographic, collaborative and arts-based methods to study community experiences of social and political problems and the projects people get up to to fix them.


What should we do?

Studying practical and interactive processes of decision-, evaluation- and judgement-making. In particular, I’m interested in the ways that people formulate and set about working on moral and political projects, ways of working on and responding to large and abstract issues here-and-now.

And here I talk about methods, theories, what I mean by talking about it in terms of spatialities/geographies/landscapes:

Blum & McHugh + Self-Reflection + geographies of worth +

“Where “ethics” ... cannot be about a realm of normative moral obligations but rather about thick, impure, involvement in a world where the question of how to care needs to be posed”.

Maria Puig de la Bellacasa
Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds

A concrete example:
public signs

and post-it geographies of everyday life.
Signs offer a fantastic perspective into the expressive effort of moral direction and well-being. They can show people try to take care of themselves and others. While signs are most often topics of study as part of a repressive discourse, attention to their use and materiality opens up a broader topic for analysis.
[publications and reports]
paper signs as a specific example of what I mean: it is not just their semiotic content, but also the social act of their posting, their posting here, in this way, in the quick and to-purpose medium of ink on paper--it tells us about the everyday experience of making a space work for its visitors and residenrs because that’s exactly what it was designed to do as a useful addition to the landscape by its everyday creator.