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Capturing the multiplicities of resilience through popular geopolitics: Aesthetics and homo resilio in Breaking Bad

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kyle Grayson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


In this article, Grove and Adey’s (2015) call to capture the multiplicities of resilience through aesthetics is advanced by engaging with the first two seasons of the television series Breaking Bad. This engagement demonstrates that the relationality of geopolitics and mobility is important for resilience. To capture dynamics generated by the interplay of geopolitical contexts and resilient subjectivities through popular geopolitics, Jacques Rancière’s aesthetics and the concept of the aesthetic subject are deployed. The emergence of homo resilio as a political subject within an imagined American heartland is presented to contextualise the aesthetic reading of Breaking Bad that follows. The character Walter White is presented as a paradigmatic example of homo resilio to map the geopolitics of this subject position. The paper concludes that race and gender feature at the intersections of homo resilio, geopolitics, and cultural criticism, reiterating the importance of popular geopolitics for capturing the multiplicities of resilience.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Grayson K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Political Geography

Year: 2017

Volume: 57

Pages: 24-33

Print publication date: 01/03/2017

Online publication date: 30/11/2016

Acceptance date: 23/11/2016

Date deposited: 24/11/2016

ISSN (print): 0962-6298

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5096

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.11.013


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