Three Figures of Geontology
1 Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, 1.
2 Darnton, Great Cat Massacre.
3 See, for example, Masco, Theater of Operations.
4 Arendt, On the Human Condition.
5 See Derrida, Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1; and Haraway, “Biopolitics of
6 Agamben, Homo Sacer.
7 See Esposito, Bios; and Campbell, Improper Life.
8 See, for comparative purposes, Chakrabarty, Provincializing Eu rope.
9 Mbembe, “Necropolitics,” 14. See also Braidotti, “Bio- Power and Necro- Politics.”
10 Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, see especially, 394–396.
11 Braidotti, “Bio- Power and Necro- Politics.”
12 I understand “concept” in the broad sense in which Deleuze and William James
approached the work of conceptualization, namely to actualize a series of quasi-
events into a threshold. See James, Pragmatism; Deleuze and Guattari, What Is
Philosophy?; and Stengers, “Gilles Deleuze’s Last Message.”
13 Thus the concepts of geontology (Nonlife being) and geontopower (the power
of and over Nonlife beings) are meant to indicate the current phase of thought
and practice that define late liberalism— a phase that is si multaneously reconsoli-
dating this distinction and witnessing its unraveling.
14 I will argue that a crucial part of what is forming this cramped space is a homol-
ogy between natu ral life and critical life as techniques, vocabularies, and aﬀective
means for creating forms of existence— a scarred homology between the drama
of natu ral life of birth, growth, and reproduction, and the death and drama of
the critical life events conatus and aﬀectus and finitude. This cramping is not