I’ve been asked to give the first Neil Smith Lecture at St Andrews (where Neil was a cherished alumnus, graduating with first class honours in 1977: he always spoke with immense affection of Joe Doherty), and I’m moved and delighted in equal measure. Dan Clayton wrote to say that ‘we see this Lecture both as a fitting tribute to Neil’s considerable achievements, and as an opportunity to treat the great range and reach of his work and interests as a living critical legacy.’ That sets the bar about as high as it can go. The lecture will be in the week beginning 11 November 2013, and I’m aiming for a much more developed version of “The natures of war”, riffing off Neil’s comments on the production of nature (amongst other things). I promise to post some of my notes en route as the weeks go (or rather fly) by.
Coincidentally, this morning’s e-delivery brought news from John Morrissey, another of Neil’s good friends, of the 45th Conference of Irish Geographers at Galway last month, which included a panel on The Lifework of Neil Smith (above). It’s on vimeo but I can’t embed it here – a terse online rebuke, no doubt routed via the National Security Agency and GCHQ, tells me it’a ‘vimeo plus feature’ – but you can also can access it via Geography at NUI Galway here (which will also open up access to David Harvey‘s Keynote Lecture on – in part – what it means to be an anti-capitalist and why it is still so important: here too Neil’s indomitable spirit is ever-present).