THE MISINTERPELLATED SUBJECT

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The Misinterpellated Subject

Author : James R. Martel
ISBN : 9780822373438
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 40.55 MB
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Although Haitian revolutionaries were not the intended audience for the Declaration of the Rights of Man, they heeded its call, demanding rights that were not meant for them. This failure of the French state to address only its desired subjects is an example of the phenomenon James R. Martel labels "misinterpellation." Complicating Althusser's famous theory, Martel explores the ways that such failures hold the potential for radical and anarchist action. In addition to the Haitian Revolution, Martel shows how the revolutionary responses by activists and anticolonial leaders to Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points speech and the Arab Spring sprang from misinterpellation. He also takes up misinterpellated subjects in philosophy, film, literature, and nonfiction, analyzing works by Nietzsche, Kafka, Woolf, Fanon, Ellison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and others to demonstrate how characters who exist on the margins offer a generally unrecognized anarchist form of power and resistance. Timely and broad in scope, The Misinterpellated Subject reveals how calls by authority are inherently vulnerable to radical possibilities, thereby suggesting that all people at all times are filled with revolutionary potential.
Category: Philosophy

How Not To Be Governed

Author : Jimmy Casas Klausen
ISBN : 9780739150368
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 72.4 MB
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How Not to Be Governed explores the contemporary debates and questions concerning anarchism in our own time. The authors address the political failures of earlier practices of anarchism, and the claim that anarchism is impracticable, by examining the anarchisms that have been theorized and practiced in the midst of these supposed failures. The authors revive the possibility of anarchism even as they examine it with a critical lens. Rather than breaking with prior anarchist practices, this volume reveals the central values and tactics of anarchism that remain with us, practiced even in the most unlikely and 'impossible' contexts.
Category: Political Science

Subverting The Leviathan

Author : James Martel
ISBN : 9780231511483
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 70.77 MB
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In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes's landmark work on political philosophy, James Martel argues that although Hobbes pays lip service to the superior interpretive authority of the sovereign, he consistently subverts this authority throughout the book by returning it to the reader. Martel demonstrates that Hobbes's radical method of reading not only undermines his own authority in the text, but, by extension, the authority of the sovereign as well. To make his point, Martel looks closely at Hobbes's understanding of religious and rhetorical representation. In Leviathan, idolatry is not just a matter of worshipping images but also a consequence of bad reading. Hobbes speaks of the "error of separated essences," in which a sign takes precedence over the idea or object it represents, and warns that when the sign is given such agency, it becomes a disembodied fantasy leading to a "kingdom of darkness." To combat such idolatry, Hobbes offers a method of reading in which one resists the rhetorical manipulation of figures and tropes and recognizes the codes and structures of language for what they are-the only way to convey a fundamental inability to ever know "the thing itself." Making the leap to politics, Martel suggests that following Hobbes's argument, the sovereign can also be seen as idolatrous a separated essence a figure who supplants the people it purportedly represents, and that learning to be better readers enables us to challenge, if not defeat, the authority of the sovereign.
Category: Philosophy

Love Is A Sweet Chain

Author : James Martel
ISBN : 9781135957056
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 74.75 MB
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Notions of love intersect with ideas on personal liberty, obligation, individuality, self, and difference in this study. James Martel contends that theorists' inattention to the subject has impoverished our explorations of political discourse.
Category: Political Science

Divine Violence

Author : James R. Martel
ISBN : 9781136632556
Genre : Law
File Size : 72.85 MB
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Divine Violence looks at the question of political theology and its connection to sovereignty. It argues that the practice of sovereignty reflects a Christian eschatology, one that proves very hard to overcome even by left thinkers, such as Arendt and Derrida, who are very critical of it. These authors fall into a trap described by Carl Schmitt whereby one is given a (false) choice between anarchy and sovereignty, both of which are bound within—and return us to—the same eschatological envelope. In Divine Violence, the author argues that Benjamin supplies the correct political theology to help these thinkers. He shows how to avoid trying to get rid of sovereignty (the "anarchist move" that Schmitt tells us forces us to "decide against the decision") and instead to seek to de-center and dislocate sovereignty so that it’s mythological function is disturbed. He does this with the aid of divine violence, a messianic force that comes into the world to undo its own mythology, leaving nothing in its wake. Such a move clears the myths of sovereignty away, turning us to our own responsibility in the process. In that way, the author argues,Benjamin succeeds in producing an anarchism that is not bound by Schmitt’s trap but which is sustained even while we remain dazzled by the myths of sovereignty that structure our world. Divine Violence will be of interest to students of political theory, to those with an interest in political theology, philosophy and deconstruction, and to those who are interested in thinking about some of the dilemmas that the ‘left’ finds itself in today.
Category: Law

On The Reproduction Of Capitalism

Author : Louis Althusser
ISBN : 9781781681640
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 75.28 MB
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Published for the first time in English, this influential work discusses the author's conception of historical materialism, outlining the conditions of reproduction in capitalist society and the revolutionary struggle for its overthrow and addressing questions that still haunt us today. Original.
Category: Philosophy

Masculinity And The Trials Of Modern Fiction

Author : Marco Wan
ISBN : 9781134843879
Genre : Law
File Size : 41.27 MB
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How do lawyers, judges and jurors read novels? And what is at stake when literature and law confront each other in the courtroom? Nineteenth-century England and France are remembered for their active legal prosecution of literature, and this book examines the ways in which five novels were interpreted in the courtroom: Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Paul Bonnetain’s Charlot s’amuse, Henry Vizetelly’s English translation of Émile Zola’s La Terre, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. It argues that each of these novels attracted legal censure because they presented figures of sexual dissidence – the androgyne, the onanist or masturbator, the patricide, the homosexual and the lesbian – that called into question an increasingly fragile normative, middleclass masculinity. Offering close readings of the novels themselves, and of legal material from the proceedings, such as the trial transcripts and judicial opinions, the book addresses both the doctrinal dimensions of Victorian obscenity and censorship, as well as the reading practices at work in the courtroom. It situates the cases in their historical context, and highlights how each trial constitutes a scene of reading – an encounter between literature and the law – through which different forms of masculinity were shaped, bolstered or challenged.
Category: Law

Vulnerability In Resistance

Author : Judith Butler
ISBN : 9780822373490
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 77.51 MB
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Vulnerability and resistance have often been seen as opposites, with the assumption that vulnerability requires protection and the strengthening of paternalistic power at the expense of collective resistance. Focusing on political movements and cultural practices in different global locations, including Turkey, Palestine, France, and the former Yugoslavia, the contributors to Vulnerability in Resistance articulate an understanding of the role of vulnerability in practices of resistance. They consider how vulnerability is constructed, invoked, and mobilized within neoliberal discourse, the politics of war, resistance to authoritarian and securitarian power, in LGBTQI struggles, and in the resistance to occupation and colonial violence. The essays offer a feminist account of political agency by exploring occupy movements and street politics, informal groups at checkpoints and barricades, practices of self-defense, hunger strikes, transgressive enactments of solidarity and mourning, infrastructural mobilizations, and aesthetic and erotic interventions into public space that mobilize memory and expose forms of power. Pointing to possible strategies for a feminist politics of transversal engagements and suggesting a politics of bodily resistance that does not disavow forms of vulnerability, the contributors develop a new conception of embodiment and sociality within fields of contemporary power. Contributors. Meltem Ahiska, Athena Athanasiou, Sarah Bracke, Judith Butler, Elsa Dorlin, Başak Ertür, Zeynep Gambetti, Rema Hammami, Marianne Hirsch, Elena Loizidou, Leticia Sabsay, Nükhet Sirman, Elena Tzelepis
Category: Social Science

How To Read African American Literature

Author : Aida Levy-Hussen
ISBN : 9781479838141
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 82.96 MB
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How to Read African American Literature offers a series of provocations to unsettle the predominant assumptions readers make when encountering post-Civil Rights black fiction. Foregrounding the large body of literature and criticism that grapples with legacies of the slave past, Aida Levy-Hussen’s argument develops on two levels: as a textual analysis of black historical fiction, and as a critical examination of the reading practices that characterize the scholarship of our time. Drawing on psychoanalysis, memory studies, and feminist and queer theory, Levy-Hussen examines how works by Toni Morrison, David Bradley, Octavia Butler, Charles Johnson, and others represent and mediate social injury and collective grief. In the criticism that surrounds these novels, she identifies two major interpretive approaches: “therapeutic reading” (premised on the assurance that literary confrontations with historical trauma will enable psychic healing in the present), and “prohibitive reading” (anchored in the belief that fictions of returning to the past are dangerous and to be avoided). Levy-Hussen argues that these norms have become overly restrictive, standing in the way of a more supple method of interpretation that recognizes and attends to the indirect, unexpected, inconsistent, and opaque workings of historical fantasy and desire. Moving beyond the question of whether literature must heal or abandon historical wounds, Levy-Hussen proposes new ways to read African American literature now. Instructor's Guide
Category: Literary Criticism

The One And Only Law

Author : James Martel
ISBN : 9780472120505
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 77.92 MB
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Walter Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence,” widely considered his final word on law, proposes that all manifestations of law are false stand-ins for divine principles of truth and justice that are no longer available to human beings. However, he also suggests that we must have law—we are held under a divine sanction that does not allow us to escape our responsibilities. James R. Martel argues that this paradox is resolved by considering that, for Benjamin, there is only one law that we must obey absolutely—the Second Commandment against idolatry. What remains of law when its false bases of authority are undermined would be a form of legal and political anarchism, quite unlike the current system of law based on consistency and precedent. Martel engages with the ideas of key authors including Alain Badiou, Immanuel Kant, and H.L.A. Hart in order to revisit common contemporary assumptions about law. He reveals how, when treated in constellation with these authors, Benjamin offers a way for human beings to become responsible for their own law, thereby avoiding the false appearance of a secular legal practice that remains bound by occult theologies and fetishisms.
Category: Political Science