Civil War

Oct 28, 2020 / 12:00 pm
UC Irvine

The driving question today is no longer whether this or that conflict is a civil war but what political work the notion of “civil war” is being exercised to do. States descend into civil wars when contrasting conceptions of life within them are deemed irreconcilable. Living, for a considerable proportion of the state’s inhabitants, is made unbearable. Those at least nominally controlling the state apparatus insist on obedience and deference to its way of being, on pain of erasure. Civil wars are struggles over competing ways of being in the world, over their underlying conceptions, over control of the state and its apparatuses to materialize and advance these commitments.

A critical discussion on cultures of civil warring in our times. On Wednesday, October 28, at 12:00 pm PDT, UCHRI will host a critical conversation on civil war with Elisabeth Anker (George Washington University), Adom Getachew (University of Chicago), Brad Evans (University of Bath), and Achille Mbembe (University of Witwatersrand).

Please RSVP to receive a personalized link to join the Zoom webinar.

In the background: 

Giorgio Agamben, Stasis: Civil War as a Political Paradigm

Elisabeth Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom

Walter Benjamin, “Critique of Violence

Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism

W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880

Brad Evans, Deleuze & Fascism: Security, War & Aesthetics;Histories of Violence

Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended

Adom Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination; “The Promise of Freedom: Orlando Patterson’s Modern World

David Theo Goldberg, “On Civil War

Nicole Loraux, The Divided City: On Memory and Forgetting in Ancient Athens

James Martel and Brad Evans, “Why We Should All Read Walter Benjamin Today

Achille Mbembe, Out of the Dark Night: Essays on Decolonization

Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South

Nasser Mufti, Civilizing War: Imperial Politics and the Poetics of National Rupture

Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Warsan Shire, “Home

Stephen Smith, The Scramble for Europe: Young Africa on Its Way to the Old Continent

Sophocles, Antigone