The Right to Maim: States of Debility/Capacity/Disability
A Talk by Jasbir Puar
American Studies (Barnard/Columbia) event, cosponsored by IRWGS
ABOUT JASBIR PUAR
Jasbir K. Puar is Associate Professor of Women's & Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She has also been a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Performance Studies at NYU and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999 and an M.A. from the University of York, England, in Women's Studies in 1993.
Kelly Oliver is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of over 100 articles, thirteen books, and ten edited volumes. Her authored books include, most recently, Hunting Girls: Sexual Violence from The Hunger Games to Campus Rape, forthcoming from Columbia University Press (2016); Earth and World: Philosophy After the Apollo Missions, 2015 also with Columbia. Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishmentcame out with Fordham in 2013; Knock me up, Knock me down: Images of Pregnancy in Hollywood Film was published by Columbia in 2012; Animal Lessons: How They Teach us to be Human in 2009; Also, Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex and the Media (2007); The Colonization of Psychic Space: A Psychoanalytic Theory of Oppression (2004); Noir Anxiety: Race, Sex, and Maternity in Film Noir(2002); and perhaps her best known work, Witnessing: Beyond Recognitionpublished with Minnesota in 2001.
She has published in The New York Times, and has been interviewed on ABC television news, various radio programs, and Canadian Broadcasting network. Her work has been translated into seven languages. Most recently, she has written two novels in the Cowgirl Philosophy Series, forthcoming.
Sponsored by The South Asian Institute, The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, The Department of English, The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and Global Cultural Studies.
First published in 1986, Lila Abu-Lughod’s Veiled Sentiments has become a classic ethnography in the field of anthropology. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Abu-Lughod lived with a community of Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt for nearly two years, studying gender relations, morality, and the oral lyric poetry through which women and young men express personal feelings. The poems are haunting, the evocation of emotional life vivid. But Abu-Lughod’s analysis also reveals how deeply implicated poetry and sentiment are in the play of power and the maintenance of social hierarchy. What begins as a puzzle about a single poetic genre becomes a reflection on the politics of sentiment and the complexity of culture.
This thirtieth anniversary edition includes a new afterword that reflects on developments both in anthropology and in the lives of this community of Awlad 'Ali Bedouins, who find themselves increasingly enmeshed in national political and social formations. The afterword ends with a personal meditation on the meaning—for all involved—of the radical experience of anthropological fieldwork and the responsibilities it entails for ethnographers.
In Geontologies Elizabeth A. Povinelli continues her project of mapping the current conditions of late liberalism by offering a bold retheorization of power. Finding Foucauldian biopolitics unable to adequately reveal contemporary mechanisms of power and governance, Povinelli describes a mode of power she calls geontopower, which operates through the regulation of the distinction between Life and Nonlife and the figures of the Desert, the Animist, and the Virus. Geontologies examines this formation of power from the perspective of Indigenous Australian maneuvers against the settler state. And it probes how our contemporary critical languages—anthropogenic climate change, plasticity, new materialism, antinormativity—often unwittingly transform their struggles against geontopower into a deeper entwinement within it. A woman who became a river, a snakelike entity who spawns the fog, plesiosaurus fossils and vast networks of rock weirs: in asking how these different forms of existence refuse incorporation into the vocabularies of Western theory Povinelli provides a revelatory new way to understand a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalism but now becoming visible much further beyond.
Panel Discussion with Joao Biehl (Princeton), Vanessa Agard-Jones and Anupama Rao; co-sponsored by Heyman Center, Anthroplogy, ISERP and IRWGS