The tactile topologies of Contagion

Dixon, D. P. and Jones, J. P. (2015) The tactile topologies of Contagion. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 40(2), pp. 223-234. (doi: 10.1111/tran.12071)

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Can we reconfigure recent work on topological space, so productively brought to bear in an understanding of power in geography, to understand the spatialities of and among flesh, objects and viral life? Here we expand on topology via touch – a ‘tactile topology’ – that focuses on the material connections among mobile bodies. The engine of topological transformation thus becomes the various materials and forces that grab onto each other, interpenetrating and reassembling at various speeds and intensities, such that diverse proximities and distances, contacts and connections, are made and remade. Grounding our argument via a reading of Steven Soderbergh's 2011 film, <i>Contagion</i>, which tracks the virulent outbreak of a largely fatal zoonotic disease, we speculate on what a tactile topology might feel like, and in particular on what touch implies for the concept of topology.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dixon, Professor Deborah
Authors: Dixon, D. P., and Jones, J. P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN (Online):1475-5661
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 40(2):223-234
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
641501Art-Science Collaborations, Bodies and EnvironmentsDeborah DixonArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/I500022/1SCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES