Whither Justice?

Originally posted on Gukira:

On Saturday, September 20, Mr. Tony Mochama, a columnist with Kenya’s Standard Group, Secretary of PEN Kenya, and holder of a Morland Writing Scholarship, sexually assaulted a woman during a gathering of Kenyan and international poets. Mr. Mochama is a well-known figure in Kenya’s literary circles: he has hosted open mics, promotes literary culture in his work for PEN Kenya, and travels abroad regularly as an ambassador for Kenyan literature. Beyond his own accomplishments and labor, Mr. Mochama represents us. An us that encompasses all Kenyan literary workers, cultural producers, and cultural administrators. Quite simply: he is one of Kenya’s faces.

What are we to do when one of our collective faces commits sexual assault? How do we face that aspect of ourselves?

Kenyan philosopher John Mbiti argued that the African sense of self could be found in the formulation, “I am because we are.” Extrapolating from…

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Staring Into the Abyss

Originally posted on synthetic_zero:


Radiolab HOST Brooke Gladstone follows up on her conversation with Jad Abumrad and Eugene Thacker to explore our longstanding fascination with nihilism: why it’s popular today, and whether that’s always been the case..


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michael titlestad on the south african apocalypse

Originally posted on settler colonial studies blog:

Michael Titlestad, ‘South African end times: Conceiving an apolcalyptic imaginary’, Tydskrif vir Letterkunde 51, 2 (2014).

The future of South Africa has most commonly been conceived as a prospective apocalyptic upheaval in which the nation fractures along race lines. This expectation preceded, but informed the rise of apartheid, and has accompanied its demise. This article argues that catastrophic prediction—the trope of a looming racial Armageddon—is like a worn coin: familiar currency so often spent. Nonetheless, we need to conceive how this particular political theology settled into our polity; why it has proved so adaptable (through and despite the “miraculous” transformation of 1994); and, how its tenacity—which is politically anodyne at best and fascist at worst—might be challenged. The article conceives of a study (comprising nine essays) which sets out to analyze aspects of this history of fear, without simply taking its existence and persistence for granted. Keywords: South African apocalypse…

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“hands up, don’t shoot”

Originally posted on Gukira:

We all know that hands raised in the air at a moment of conflict indicate surrender. They say, “I’m unarmed” or “I’ve laid down my arms” and “please, do not harm me” and “I am in your power.” At least, those of us who watch tv and films, read cartoons and novels, track newspapers and magazines. This “I surrender” sign is a global vernacular, taught and circulated by children’s cartoons. (We might need to ask why children’s cartoons teach this vernacular.) And so, what is striking about “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as a chanted slogan and as printed words on handmade, often homemade, signs is that it indexes the failure of this bodily vernacular when performed by a black body, by a killable body. Blackness becomes the break in this global bodily vernacular, the error that makes this bodily action illegible, the disposability that renders the gesture irrelevant.

Blackness, after…

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michael morden on non-indigenous mobilisation in canada and settler colonialism

Originally posted on settler colonial studies blog:

Michael Morden, ‘Across the Barricades: Non-Indigenous Mobilization and Settler Colonialism in Canada’, Canadian Political Science Review 8, 1 (2014).

Recently, a new body of scholarship on “settler colonialism” has emerged with the goal to analyze the non-Native dimension of Indigenous-settler relations, in Canada and other settler states. This paper will identify two shortcomings of the new literature: first, a tendency to conflate mass-level non-Natives with the state itself; and second, an erroneous, primordial presentation of non-Native norms and identity. The paper examines two case studies of settler political mobilization in opposition to Indigenous peoples, in the contexts of the Indigenous occupations at Ipperwash/Aazhoodena in the early- to mid-1990s, and Caledonia/Kanonhstaton in 2006. The cases reveal consistency in how the mobilization is framed by non-Native participants – as a defense of abstract procedural principles like equality before the law and public order. This normative framework does not resonate with settler colonial…

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Two sides of the Caribbean’s buggery law debate

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:

downloadMaurice Tomlinson will challenge the constitutionality of Jamaica’s buggery law before the country’s Supreme Court in November. He has also been granted leave by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to sue the governments of Trinidad & Tobago and Belize for the expression of their own anti-gay laws within their Immigration Acts, on the basis that these laws contravene free movement rights of CARICOM nationals within the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.

The former University of Technology lecturer fled Jamaica in 2012 when news of his marriage to a Canadian man hit local press, resulting in several death threats both from within the campus and among his fellow Jamaicans. And while he’s now openly gay, and today is one of the Caribbean’s leading gay rights activists, few are aware that he once sought out a Christian group in an attempt to cure his homosexuality.

Fewer know that he was actually…

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Dominican Republic Commits to Defending Whales

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:


A Greenpeace delegation is now in the Dominican Republic asking the country to join the campaign to ban the slaughter of whales. Although the Environment Ministry states that it is truly committed to defending the humpback whales, it admits that it still owes the membership in the International Whaling Commission.

The Environment Ministry warned Friday that Dominican Republic will defend in any arena the humpback whales that migrate every year to Navidad and La Plata banks, near Puerto Plata and Samana, to halt their continued hunt, although minister Bautista Rojas admitted that the country owes the world regulatory agency.

A Greenpeace delegation is currently in the country and asks Dominicans to join the campaign to ban the slaughter of whales and rebuke those nations that still do so, citing, Greenland and Denmark. “We sympathize with Greenpeace’s efforts and foresee that as Government we will do everything within our reach to halt…

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Forgive me Father for I have Thinned: surveilling the bio-citizen through Twitter (2014)

Originally posted on Foucault News:

Szto, C., Gray, S.
Forgive me Father for I have Thinned: surveilling the bio-citizen through Twitter
(2014) Qualitiative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, . Article in Press.

The Biggest Loser (TBL) is a reality weight-loss television show that aims to address the notion of an ‘obesity epidemic’ by instructing viewers about how to be responsible for their own health. The popular American show, produced by the National Broadcasting Company, has become a televised confessional for contestants, whereby participants are asked to reflect on their health struggles and express general disgust, disappointment and/or hope about their changing physical state. This study observes that many viewers take their cue from the contestants and use social media to confess their own health sins and ask for redemption. The goal of this study was to provide insight into how viewers of TBL make sense of and interact with the information (re)produced…

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Usages de Foucault entre la psychanalyse et le marxisme. Discours de la résistance et pratiques de l’intervention intellectuelle en société (2014)

Originally posted on Foucault News:

Oleg Bernaz, Usages de Foucault entre la psychanalyse et le marxisme. Discours de la résistance et pratiques de l’intervention intellectuelle en société, Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy, Vol. VI, no. 1, June 2014: 241-265.

Full PDF (in French)


In this paper I analyze two distinct contemporary perspectives on the Foucauldian concept of power and resistance, namely the perspectives enlightened by Judith Butler’s La vie psychique du pouvoir and by Stéphane Legrand’s Le marxisme oublié de Foucault. Although these two approaches are interesting ways of discussing the Foucauldian concept of resistance and power, they fail to take into account the role that intellectuals play in practices of social emancipation. Instead I develop the concept of “specific intellectual” in order to explore in more depth the Foucauldian concept of resistance and social innovation.

Keywords: Power, Resistance, Specific Intellectual, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, Institution, Michel Foucault

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