Maarten Meijer is a gloknos Visiting Fellow and will be in Cambridge over Michaelmas term 2021.
Maarten Meijer is a doctoral candidate at the Department of International Relations at the University of Groningen. His doctoral research focusses on the history of soil as an institution of geo-biopolitical governance, drawing on histories of infrastructure, technology, (soil) sciences, colonialism, and fascism. More broadly, he is interested in political and environmental thought, cosmologies of the end, and philosophies of translation and diplomacy. In addition to his academic work, Maarten is a co-creator of an award-winning contribution to the design contest ‘Giving a Voice to the North Sea’, organised by the Dutch NGO ‘the Embassy of the North Sea’. He currently works together with Studio Inscape on a serious game in which players negotiate on the changing future of the Oosterschelde region for the Water Disaster Museum in the province of Zeeland.
During this visiting fellowship, Maarten will be working on a chapter of his dissertation ‘Making the world of soil’. Herein, he traces the history of conceptualising soil as a natural body, the history of soil mapping in the Netherlands, and the history of the making of the UNESCO/FAO world soil map. Maarten interprets these histories in relation to questions of colonialism and geopower.
Maarten Maijer also intends to organise a one-day symposium, in which several humanities scholars working on soils will present work at the intersection of soil epistemologies, soil politics and soil diplomacies. More details will be made available in due course.