Dr George Burdon

Dr George Burdon

Associate Lecturer

PhD Geography (University of New South Wales, 2022)

MSc Human Geography: Society and Space (University of Bristol, 2017)

BSc (Hons) Geography with Study in Continental Europe (University of Bristol, 2015)

UNSW Canberra
School of Science

I am a cultural geographer based in the School of Science at UNSW Canberra. I attained my PhD through UNSW in 2022 and started as Associate Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Science in February of the same year. Prior to this, I completed a BSc in Geography at the University of Bristol, UK, which involved a year studying at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and an MSc in Human Geography: Society and Space, also at the University of Bristol. I have also previously held the post of Research Assistant at the Australian National University. 

My research is informed by a sustained engagement with continental philosophy and social theory and is focussed around the following three research agendas:

1. Conceptualising affect and desire in social life

A central interest of my research lies in developing new ways of understanding the force of affect and desire in contemporary social life. This involves conceptualising how particular collective regimes of feeling and sensibility are produced and structured and evaluating their ethical and political effects. Here I am interested in how philosophical concepts drawn from authors including Baruch Spinoza and Gilles Deleuze can shed light on the processes by which human thought and action are shaped by the myriad bodily encounters and relations that we undergo in everyday life. These processes often go unacknowledged in social scientific accounts of the contemporary world but have important consequences for how we view agency, responsibility and subjectivity.

2. Understanding the cultural effects of contemporary media environments

This area of my research concerns understanding how contemporary media technologies are producing transformations to how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Intersecting with the first agenda, this involves analysing the way that media technologies such as digital streaming platforms are giving rise to new regimes of affect and attention. Drawing on recent cultural geographic understandings of affect and attention economies, my research here seeks to theorise the increasingly technically mediated nature of perception and its imbrication with capitalistic logics of valorisation.

3. Developing geographic engagements with the experimental spaces of sonic arts practices

My third research agenda consists of amplifying encounters with the performances, installations and recordings of sound art and experimental music as generative for cultural geographic thought. This agenda develops research begun in my PhD thesis, titled 'Making Inaudible Forces Audible', which developed an expressionistic mode of social scientific inquiry by staging encounters between geographic concepts and contemporary sonic artworks. The impetus here is to foreground the sonic arts as objects of research within a discipline that has a long history of engaging with the visual arts but that has paid relatively little attention to the experimental sensibilities generated through the artistic use of sonic techniques such as noise, drone, ambience, rhythm and improvisation. 

Room 334, Science North (Building 22), School of Science, UNSW Canberra, Campbell ACT 2600, Australia.
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    Burdon G, 2022, 'Against the Cynicism of Common Sense: Guattari and the Micropolitics of Expression', in Speculative Geographies, Springer Nature Singapore, pp. 205 - 217, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-0691-6_13
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Burdon G, 2023, 'Immunological atmospheres: Ambient music and the design of self-experience', Cultural Geographies, 30, pp. 555 - 568, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14744740231167604
    Journal articles | 2022
    Burdon G, 2022, 'On being affected: Desire, passion, and the question of conatus after Spinoza and Deleuze', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 47, pp. 682 - 694, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tran.12526
    Journal articles | 2022
    Williams N; Burdon G, 2022, 'Writing subjectivity without subjecthood: the machinic unconscious of Nathalie Sarraute’s Tropisms', Social and Cultural Geography, 24, pp. 1403 - 1421, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2022.2065694