Stephen is a Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Nottingham. He studies the spatial politics of late-colonial India and is the author of Spaces of Colonialism: Delhi’s Urban Governmentalities (Blackwell, 2007) and Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities and Interwar India (Duke University Press, 2014). He is also the co-editor of two recent volumes, Subaltern Geographies: Subaltern Studies, Space and the Geographical Imagination (with Tariq Jazeel) and South Asian Governmentalities: Michel Foucault and the Question of Postcolonial Orderings (with Deana Heath).
Stephen’s research on internationalism emerged out of an empirical interest in the League of Nations and its reception in colonial India, and in the writings on international law of Carl Schmitt. He is currently working on the Round Table Conference of 1930-32 between India and Britain as a contested example of an imperial internationalism. He is the PI on the four-year AHRC-funded project “Conferencing the International: A cultural and historical geography of the origins of internationalism,1919-1939”, working alongside Co-I Professor Mike Heffernan and Research Fellow Dr Jake Hodder. The project examines liberal, imperial and radical forms of internationalism as manifested in their conferencing spaces between the wars. Drawing from archives across three continents, the project reconstructs the local, national and global geographies of three important groups of interwar conferences: the Round Table Conference; the Pan-African Congresses; and the International Studies conferences organised by the League of Nations’ International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC). Often articulating emergent South Asian and black internationalisms, each of these conferences provided a public commentary on the interwar political world and the prospects of a new international order which it was seen to make possible. This project re-assembles and re-interprets the dispersed archives of these conferences through an analysis of their infrastructures, materials and performances.