Sondertermin Institutskolloquium Kulturgeographie – Di. 09.07.2019

Spectacular authoritarianism: Space and power in the spectacular cities of Asia

Prof. Dr. Natalie Koch (Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Syracuse University)

Many authoritarian states are known for their extensive use of celebratory spectacle: from grandiose parades and celebrations in monumental spaces to sporting mega-events in gleaming new stadiums. Historic and contemporary examples abound, but what explains the fact that spectacle is so commonly used by authoritarian leaders?
This talk explores this question through the case of spectacular capital city projects in Central Asia (Astana, Baku, Ashgabat), the Arabian Peninsula (Abu Dhabi, Doha), and East Asia (Naypyidaw, Bandar Seri Begawan). Through a cross-regional study, it shows how spectacle is used by different actors in each context – taking on a different meaning in the authoritarian power relations, but when successful, legitimating unequal power structures that perpetuate illiberal modes of government.

Natalie Koch is Associate Professor of Geography and O’Hanley Faculty Scholar at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She is a political geographer focused on geopolitics, nationalism, and state theory in post-Soviet Central Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Dr. Koch explores alternative sites of geopolitical analysis such as sport, spectacle, urban planning, and other allegedly positive expressions of state power. She is author of The geopolitics of spectacle: Space, synecdoche, and the new capitals of Asia (Cornell University Press, 2018) and editor of the book, Critical geographies of sport: Space, power, and sport in global perspective (Routledge, 2017).

Wann: Dienstag, 09.07.2019 um 18:15 Uhr
Wo: Hörsaal C, Kochstraße 4; 91054 Erlangen

Gesamtübersicht Kolloquiumsprogramm im Sommersemester 2019


Zukünftig werden pro Semester bis zu vier Kolloquiumsvorträge im Hörsaal C (Kochstr. 4, Innenstadt) angeboten.
Zusätzlich finden spezielle, mehr forschungsorientierte Kolloquiumsvorträge in den Seminarräumen im Institut für Geographie (Wetterkreuz 15, Erlangen-Tennenlohe) statt.

Die Teilnahme sowohl an Vorträgen in Tennenlohe als auch im Hörsaal C werden durch Abstempeln im Kolloquiumspass als Leistungsnachweis dokumentiert, dasselbe gilt  weiterhin auch für den Besuch des Geo-Cafés und der FGG-Vorträge.

Fragen zum Kolloquium?
Organisatoren Dr. Andrés Gerique ( und Dr. Christoph Mayr (