St Andrews has just posted the video of my Neil Smith Lecture on “The Natures of War” online here, and I’ve also embedded it below. We lowered the lights so that the slides would pop, so it may seem a little dim (or perhaps I do) at the start, but each of the slides has been spliced in separately and they are crystal clear.
I started out by talking about Neil’s work and, as you’ll see, lost it; it’s never happened to me before, but then I’ve never given a lecture named after a close friend before. I’d intended to return to Neil and the ‘production of nature’ at the end, but decided to leave that for the long-form version so I could at least carry on through the Q&A. The focus is on ‘nature’ not as an arena on which military violence is staged, the trigger for resource wars and conflict commodities, but as a medium through which military violence takes place. I develop the argument through three case studies: the Western Front of World War I, the Western Desert of World War II, and the rainforest of Vietnam.
My warmest thanks to everyone at St Andrews, and especially to Joe Doherty, who opened the event with a moving account of Neil’s career and contributions (as you can see above, this is included in the video), and to my good friend Dan Clayton for putting everything (including me) together so well.