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THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING! ISLAMOPHOBIA, EXTREMISM AND THE DOMESTIC WAR ON TERROR

A new book by Arun Kundnani

A razor sharp critique of the War on Terror’s new front – the domestic terrorist – and the resulting counterterrorism structures of policing and surveillance

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AVAILABLE NOW: http://www.versobooks.com/books/1512-the-muslims-are-coming

Arun Kundnani will be taking part in a number of events across the UK to talk about his new book. See below for further details.

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Jameel Scott thought he was exercising his rights when he went to challenge an Israeli official’s lecture at Manchester University. But the teenager’s presence at the protest with fellow socialists made him the subject of police surveillance for the next two years. Counterterrorism agents visited his parents, his relatives, his school. They asked him for activists’ names and told him not to attend demonstrations. They called his mother and told her to move the family to another neighborhood. Although he doesn’t identify as Muslim, Jameel had become another face of the presumed ‘homegrown’ terrorist.

The new front in the War on Terror is the ‘homegrown enemy,’ people who have become the focus of sprawling counterterrorism structures of policing and surveillance in the United States and across the UK. Domestic surveillance has mushroomed – at least 100,000 Muslims in America have been secretly under scrutiny. British police compiled a secret suspect list of more than 8,000 al-Qaeda ‘sympathisers,’ and in another operation included almost 300 children fifteen and under among the potential extremists investigated. MI5 doubled in size in just five years. However, the official accounts of ‘radicalization’ and ‘extremism’ that underpin these policies fail to grasp the real causes of political violence. Furthermore, public debate has ignored the impacts of such surveillance on ‘suspect communities’ targeted – especially young Muslims. 

Based on several years of research and reportage, in locations across the US and the UK, and written in engrossing, precise prose, this is the first comprehensive critique of counterradicalization strategies. Arun Kundnani looks at the root of our domestic anti-terror policies to expose the anxiety, intolerance, and racism that inform them. 

ARUN KUNDNANI is an Adjunct Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and teaches terrorism studies at John Jay College. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Leiden University, Netherlands, an Open Society Fellow, and the Editor of the journal Race and Class. He is the author of The End of Tolerance: Racism in 21st Century Britain. He lives in New York.

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Events:

  

March 4th, University of Huddersfield

http://www.versobooks.com/events/838-the-muslims-are-coming-islamophobia-extremism-and-the-domestic-war-on-terror

 

March 5th, University of Manchester

http://www.versobooks.com/events/852-the-muslims-are-coming 

 

March 6th, Foyles, Bristol Festival of Ideas

http://www.versobooks.com/events/827-islamophobia-extremism-and-the-domestic-war-on-terror 

 

March 7th, University of Bradford  – this is a JUST West Yorkshire event, in collaboration with the Free Talha Ahsan Campaign

http://www.versobooks.com/events/837-extradition-the-question-of-citizenship-in-the-war-on-terror 

 

March 10th, Foyles, London: a conversation with Owen Jones on the riding tide of Islamophobia

http://www.versobooks.com/events/843-the-rising-tide-of-islamophobia 

 

March 12th, Goldsmiths, University of London

http://www.versobooks.com/events/825-the-muslims-are-coming-book-launch-and-discussion 

 

March 13th, Kings College London: a discussion with Liz Fekete – Executive Director of the Institute of Race Relations – on the uses of extremism in the UK

http://www.versobooks.com/events/847-the-uses-of-extremism 

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“An important and moving investigation of the costs of the ‘war on terror’ for those who have been its targets, including the thousands of innocent Muslims who have been infiltrated, entrapped, and surveilled in the search for the radicalized terrorist among us. Kundnani gives eloquent voice to the communities that have been regulated, watched, and silenced by the national security state.”  David Cole, author of Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism

“A bold new look at the much discussed issue of surveillance, documenting how it impacts the communities most affected – American and British Muslims. With incisive reporting from across the US and the UK, combined with trenchant analysis, Arun Kundnani captures what it feels like to be a ‘suspect population.’”  Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire

“This timely and urgent analysis carefully examines the ideologies and law enforcement strategies that undergird the domestic War on Terror. What Kundnani finds is disturbing: sweeping, specious radicalization theory and racialized assumptions about the nature of Islam drive domestic counterterrorism practices. This has had devastating consequences for the rights and liberties of Muslims and the state of constitutional protections in the US and UK.”  Jeanne Theoharis, author of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

“An incisive, scholarly, bold, and convincing critique of the never-ending ‘War on Terror,’ whose roots extend far beyond the tragedy of 9/11. An important work.”  Wajahat Ali, cohost of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream and author of The Domestic Crusaders

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Hardback Original | March 2014 | ISBN: 9781781681596 | £14.99 | $26.95 | $32.00CAN | 327 pages

Also available as an eBook | ISBN: 9781781682128

To learn more about THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING! and to purchase the book visit  http://www.versobooks.com/books/1512-the-muslims-are-coming

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Domenico Losurdo

DOMENICO LOSURDO COMES TO LONDON TO DISCUSS HIS NEW BOOK – ‘LIBERALISM: A COUNTER-HISTORY’

Thursday, May 05, 2011, 7.30pm

King’s College London, Edmund J. Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS

‘Liberalism: Slavery, imperialism and exploitation’

A panel discussion and book launch for LIBERALISM: A COUNTER-HISTORYwith Domenico Losurdo, Robin Blackburn, Richard Seymour, and chair Stathis Kouvelakis.

Hosted by the KCL European Studies Department in association with Verso Books

http://www.versobooks.com/events/141-liberalism-slavery-imperialism-and-exploitation

RSVP: marketing@verso.co.uk

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DOMENICO LOSURDO is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Urbino, Italy. He is the author of many books in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. In English he has published HEGEL AND THE FREEDOM OF MODERNS and HEIDEGGER AND THE IDEOLOGY OF WAR.

ROBIN BLACKBURN is the author of THE AMERICAN CRUCIBLE: SLAVERY, EMANCIPATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS. He teaches at the University of Essex in the UK and at the New School for Social Research in New York. He is a contributor to NEW LEFT REVIEW and a member of its editorial committee.

RICHARD SEYMOUR is the author of THE LIBERAL DEFENCE OF MURDER. He lives, works and writes in London. He runs the Lenin’s Tomb website, which comments on the War on Terror, Islamophobia and neoliberalism.

STATHIS KOUVELAKIS is the author of PHILSOPHY AND REVOLUTION: FROM KANT TO MARX. He is a Reader in Political Theory at King’s College London.

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PRAISE FOR LIBERALISM: A COUNTER-HISTORY BY DOMENICO LOSURDO

‘Devastatingly exact in his dismantling of a Whiggish optimism, Losurdo thankfully avoids the historical dead-endism of postmodern critiques.’ Greg Grandin, author of FORDLANDIA

‘Anyone who thinks they know the history of liberalism will be surprised – and riveted – by this book. Every page is an experience.’ Corey Robin, author of FEAR: THE HISTORY OF A POLITICAL IDEA

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In this definitive historical investigation of the formation of liberalism from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, Domenico Losurdo overturns complacent and self-congratulatory accounts by showing that, from its very origins, liberalism and its main thinkers—Locke, Burke, Tocqueville, Constant, Bentham, Sieyès and others—have been bound up with the defense of thethoroughly illiberal policies of slavery, colonialism, genocide, racism and elitism. Losurdo probes the inner contradictions of liberalism, also focusing on minority currents that moved to more radical positions, and provides an authoritative account of the relationship between the domestic and colonial spheres in the constitution of a liberal order.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 639 4 / $34.95 / £22.00 / Hardcover / 384 pages

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For more information or to buy the book visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/960-liberalism  

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Academics based outside North America may request an inspection copy – please contact tamar@verso.co.uk

Academics based within North America may request an examination copy – please contact clara@versobooks.com  

Please check the guidelines at http://www.versobooks.com/pg/desk-copies and include all necessary information.

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‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

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STATE POWER AND DEMOCRACY: BEFORE AND DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH

A new book by Andrew Kolin

Palgrave Macmillan

January 4th 2011

$85 Hardcover

ISBN 978-0-230-10935-3

Contact: Alaina Kunin, Publicist: T 646-307-5659, E alaina.kunin@palgrave-usa.com

Torture. Secret Prisons, Wiretaps on Americans. Even with a new president in the White House, daily headlines contain disturbing revelations about how theUnited Statesconducts itself in the “war on terror”. While other books have analyzed specific, shocking issues about the war on terror, there is a surprising disconnect in them: they don’t connect the actions with the George W. Bush administration to those of previous administrations. This book is the first to do that. It shows that the bush police state didn’t commence when Bush was inaugurated. It proves, instead, that the seeds of an American police state can be traced all the way back to the founding of the republic.

Praise for State Power and Democracy:

“Since the tragic events of 9/11, the United Sates has gutted its democratic ideals in the name of security while increasing its authoritarian tendencies as part of the war on terror. This book not only rigorously takes note of how the Bush administration (and increasingly the Obama government) undermined any promise of a democracy in the United Statesbut also vividly illustrates the long trajectory of authoritarian practices and punishing policies that have been deeply ingrained in American history. Andrew Kolin provides both a powerful warning and a wake-up call about the death of democratic ideals in the United States.” — Henry Giroux, Chair, English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University and author of Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror

“Andrew Kolin exposes the persistent efforts of autocrats to suppress popular democracy. His treatment is wide-ranging, historically informed, and most relevant to the police-state transgressions occurring in today’s America.” — Michael Parenti, author of God and his Demons and Contrary Notions

“This compelling book traces the assault on democracy and the rise of a police state that reached its zenith in the George W. Bush administration. From the war on communism to the war on terror, our government has used surveillance, preventive detention, torture, and a climate of fear to consolidate its power and neutralize dissent. Under the guise of nurturing democracy at home and abroad, the U.S.government has actually undermined it. Required reading for all who seek to recapture our democracy.” — Marjorie Cohn, Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Defied the Law

Growth of State Power and the Assault on Democracy * Eroding Democracy in a Time of Crisis * Accelerating the Assault on Democracy * Absolute Power at the Expense of Democracy * A Police State * Actions Taken Against Enemies of the State * Exporting An American Police State * The Future?

Andrew Kolin is a Professor of Political Science at Hilbert College. He is author of The Ethical Foundations of Hume’s Theory of Politics (1990); One Family: Before and During the Holocaust (2000); and State Structure and Genocide (2008).

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World Crisis

CANADA AND THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR

Wednesday 23 March 2011
SOAS Vernon Square Campus, Room V122
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Development Studies’ Neoliberalism, Globalisation, and States Research Cluster presents

A Clash of Principals and Interests: Canada’s role in the latest inning of the Great Game – the Global War on Terror.

Michael Skinner

To justify Canada’s role in the Global War on Terror, Canadian politicians and opinion-makers framed this world war’s first battlefront in Afghanistan in three ways: 1) as a struggle of principal to spread democracy and universal human rights; 2) as a necessary show of support for Canada’s closest ally and largest trading partner, the United States; and 3) as part of a necessary strategy to ensure national and global security. However, economic and geopolitical interests outweigh concerns for liberating Afghans or securing global peace. Despite failing to liberate Afghans or provide greater security, the Global War on Terror is liberating capital, securing investors, and fulfilling many of the strategic objectives outlined in both the US National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. In recent decades, Canadian foreign policy interests have generally converged with those of the United States within an emerging empire of capital. Aggressively pursuing these mutual interests may exacerbate conflict in Afghanistan, the Greater Central Asian region, and around the globe.

Michael Skinner Biography:

Michael Skinner is a Researcher at the York Centre for International and Security Studies, a Researcher with the Afghanistan Canada Research Group, and a doctoral candidate in Political Science at York University. He is currently researching and writing his doctoral dissertation titled Peacebuilding, State-building, and Empire-building: Interventions from Central America to Central Asia during the Empire of Capital. In 2007, Skinner and his Afghan-Canadian research partner Hamayon Rastgar travelled throughout Afghanistan where they asked Afghans from all walks of life to comment on the international intervention. Since their return, both researchers have frequently been invited by academic and activist organisations, as well as news agencies across Canada to speak about Canada’s role in the Global War on Terror. Michael Skinner has written a number of reports, academic papers, book chapters, and journalism articles about the international interventions in both Central America and Central Asia. He is also a frequent foreign affairs commentator on The Michael Coren Show broadcast across Canada on the CTS television network.

Vernon Square Campus, V122, Wed. 23 March 2011, 5-7pm
Penton Rise
London , WC1X 9EW
http://www.soas.ac.uk/visitors/location/maps/

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World Crisis

 

Awkward Digressions

NATIONAL CRITICAL LAWYERS’ GROUP CONFERENCE 2011

The State We’re In

University of Kent, Canterbury
5th – 6th March 2011

http://www.nclg.org.uk/Conference%202010/Conference%202011%20index.htm

The National Critical Lawyers’ Group is proud to present the National Critical Lawyers Conference 2011, hosted in Woolf College at the University of Kent at Canterbury by the UKC Critical Lawyers’ Group.

The conference is sponsored by Kent Law School, Social & Legal Studies.and the Haldane Society This year’s conference, entitled ‘The State We’re In’, will provide space for critical discussion of a wide range of issues including the Financial Crisis and Funding Cuts; Israel and Palestine; the war in Iraq; Disability Rights; Equality Issues; Law, Gender and Sexuality; EU & Sovereignty; Environmental Issues; Justice within Asylum and Immigration Law; Ethics of Medical Law; Corporate Governance and Capitalism; Comparative Law; Critical Legal Education; Privacy & Censorship; Housing Law and many others.

Plenary speakers include:

Courtenay Griffiths QC;

Michael Mansfield QC; 

Liz Davies;

Vera Baird MP;

Phil Shiner;

Roger Smith;

Professor Bill Bowring;

Professor Alex Callinicos;

Sir Burton Hall; and

Professor Paddy Ireland 

We encourage students, academic, practitioners, activists and anyone else with an interest in the law to attend as a means of stimulating critical legal thought and action.

We hope to provide Continuing Professional Development hours accredited by both the Bar Council and the Law Society for both speakers and attendees.

There will also be subsidised accommodation available to students. As this accommodation is limited in number, it will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Provisional Timetable

Saturday 5th March 2011

0900-1045: Arrivals & Registration (Woolf College, University of Kent)

1045-1100: Welcome address

1100-1300: Plenary Session

11300-1400pm: Lunch

1400-1530pm: Panel Session 1

1530-1600: Coffee Break

1600-1800pm: Plenary Session 2

There will be a Drinks Reception kindly sponsored by the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Kent during the evening.

Sunday 6th March 2011

0930-1100: Panel Session 2

1100-1130: Coffee Break

1130-1300: Panel Session 3

1300-1400: Lunch

1400-1600: Plenary Session 3

Panel Sessions

This year’s panel sessions include:

   · The War on Terror

   · Inequality and Property

   · EU and Sovereignty

   · Access to Justice

   · Piracy

   · Can law protect the planet ‘Aarhus Convention’

   · Ethics of Medical Law

   · International War and Law

   · Human Rights

   · Justice within Asylum and Immigration Law

   · Criminal Justice

   · Corporate Governance/Capitalism

   · Critical Look at Comparative Law

   · Legal Education/Pro-Bono

   · Equality Bill

   · Disability Rights

   · Privacy/Censorship – ‘Where are we with Article 10’

   · Housing

   · Surveillance

   · Law, Gender and Sexuality

   · Race and the Law

   · The Financial and Economic Crisis

   · World Trade and Finance

   · Israel and Palestine

   · Critical Legal Education

The National Critical Lawyers’ Group local organising committee: nclg2011@kent.ac.uk

Ian Grigg-Spall
Academic Chair
National Critical Lawyers Group
Kent Law School
University
Canterbury
CT2 7NS
Tele 01227 766233

Website http://www.nclg.org.uk ||| to subscribe go to site

‘the point is not merely to interpret the world but to change it’

‘for injustice to prevail all it takes is for good persons to do nothing’

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Alternative Culture

 

COMMONALITIES CONFERENCE

Please join us for “Commonalities: Theorizing the Common in Contemporary Italian Thought,” a conference sponsored by the journal diacritics. The event, to be held at Cornell University on September 24-25, 2010, will bring together a number of leading thinkers around the theme and question of the common. Participants will include Kevin Attell, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Remo Bodei, Bruno Bosteels, Cesare Casarino, Roberto Esposito, Ida Dominijanni, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri (by video conference), and Karen Pinkus. More information can be found at the conference website (www.commonconf.com) or by contacting Professor Timothy Campbell (tcc9@cornell.edu)

Il manifesto
For the better part of a decade the position of Italian thought in the Anglo-American academy has increasingly grown in importance. From issues as far ranging as bioethics and bioengineering, to euthanasia, to globalization, to theorizing gender, to the war on terror, works originating in Italy have played a significant, perhaps even the dominant, role in setting the terms and conditions of these debates. Indeed it might well be that no contemporary thought more than Italian enjoys greater success today in the United States. If twenty years of postmodernism and poststructuralism were in large measure the result of French exports to the United States — Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault — today a number of Italian philosophical exports are giving rise to a theoretical dispositif that goes under a variety of names: post-Marxist, posthuman, or most often biopolitical. Yet the fact that Italian thought enjoys such enormous success in the United States and elsewhere begs an important question, one put to me polemically recently by a prominent Italian philosopher. Is there really such a thing as contemporary Italian thought? And if there is what in the world do its proponents have in common?

By way of responding, it might be useful to recall some details about the recent reception of Italian thought in the American academy. In the aftermath of the end of the postmodern — which a number of American observers savored as spelling the end of the use and abuse of philosophy by large numbers of literary critics — two works appeared in English within a span of three years: Giorgio Agamben’s ‘Homo Sacer’ and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s ‘Empire’. Stepping into the void left by the departure of what in the United States was known as “theory,” these works made a number of bold theoretical claims about the relation between political power and individual life (Agamben) and globalization and collective life (Hardt and Negri), claims that uncannily – sometimes almost prophetically – addressed some of the most pressing issues in our current state of affairs. Equally a number of important works of Italian feminism appeared over roughly the same period. Works by Adriana Cavarero and Rosi Braidotti, among others, deeply influenced a whole generation of American theorists in fields like gender studies, political philosophy, and law. Looking back it’s difficult to overestimate the influence of all these figures when accounting for the intellectual success of Italian thought today. Certainly it became possible for other voices to be heard, Paolo Virno, and more recently Franco Berardi, Roberto Esposito, and Maurizio Lazzarato among others.

But to take up again the question at hand: what do authors as seemingly different as Agamben and Negri, Berardi and Esposito, Braidotti and Bodei, or Cavarero and Virno have in common outside of the mere fact of writing in Italian? Beyond a common language, is there, for example, such a thing as a common Italian philosophical tradition of which they are all a part? Some, most notably, Mario Perniola, would say yes, one found in the elements of repetition, transmission, mixture, and body that together forged an Italian philosophical culture over the last 300 years. Deleuze and Guattari would have said no, arguing that Italy has historically “lacked a milieu” for philosophy. For them the reason for this lack could be found in Italy’s proximity to the Holy See, which continually aborted philosophy across the peninsula, reducing Italian thought to mere rhetoric, philosophy’s shadow, and allowing only for the occasional “comet” to briefly light up the philosophical sky. Yet what if Italian thought today does in fact enjoy a milieu? What “event” or “events” in the recent past might have fashioned a milieu for the emergence of Italian thought? What would the features of that milieu look like?

Undoubtedly, the decade-long Italian 1968 would have played the decisive role. The votes on abortion, the emergence of counterculture and student and feminist movements, and changes in labor and production all deeply changed the space in which politics — as well as philosophy – was practiced. Indeed one of the central features of the Italian 1968 was precisely the emphasis on politics as philosophy and philosophy as a form (among others) of politics. We can see this in the place 1968 and 1977 awarded political militancy; in the increasing prominence given to questions of subjectivization; and more broadly in the birth of new forms of social and political life separated from those that had previously dominated.

Yet Italy’s long 1968 wasn’t enough on its own. It was only with 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall that politics and philosophy truly begin to pass intensely into each other, to stay with the language of Deleuze and Guattari. Although it may seem less the case for those writing in Italy, when seen from the outside 1989 was experienced as trauma more in Italy than in the rest of Europe. The result forced a number of thinkers to re-examine the fundamental political and philosophical categories that had underpinned decades if not centuries of thought: what meaning would the end of a certain form of common life have for politics, for philosophy, for culture? Such a calling into question of the previous understanding of the common had the effect of reterritorializing politics and philosophy under new terms and new problematics, one of which will be “life,” broadly speaking. It is only when 1968 is considered as the motor for deterritorialization of the common in political theory and philosophy and 1989 as the turn toward its reterritorialization as newly mapped by (among other things) biopolitical theory that something like a milieu is constructed for contemporary Italian thought.

This is not to say that proponents of Italian thought share the same understanding of the common or even celebrate it. Clearly they do not. Yet the centrality of the common raises a number of questions about Italian thought and Italian public life today. What does it mean to be or have in common in 2010? What are the effects of questioning the weight of shared life and what possible futures are there for the common? How might singularities be thought together so as to create new forms of life and what kinds of co-habitations or contaminations might reinforce these new forms of life? These kinds of questions are ones Italian thought, in all its diversity, has placed at the forefront of contemporary theory, questions that in turn raise fundamental questions about the nature of relationality and of a politics that would seek to strengthen relations and to extend them in order to create yet further relationality. Such is the force of Hardt and Negri’s discussion of the capacity for love near the end of Commonwealth, though one can well imagine others, including a capacity for play, for attention, and for compassion too.

Yet the relationality implicit in these new forms of shared life doesn’t only lead to greater and more positive capacities for relationality among singularities. The deterritorialization of the common as biopolitics, the posthuman or even insurrection by no means conjures away the specter of power; thus with greater capacity on the one hand comes the possibility of more intense and invasive forms of power on the other. The question then becomes: how are new forms of the common that are being forged today — shared singularities, mirror neurons, impersonality – also being reterritorialized and recontained, and by whom? Is it possible that more intense forms of relationality might signal a return to the very terms that earlier critiques of the common had attempted to uncover? On the one hand the recent success of social networking sites like Facebook suggests that new forms of virtual relations involving vast numbers of “friends” are not only possible but involve ever greater exposure to others. On the other hand such exchanges continue to be premised on the notion that my body and my opinions belong to me, what the Invisible Committee unforgetably characterized as treating “our Self like a boring box office,” using whatever prosthesis is at hand “to hold onto an I.” In such a neo-liberal scenario, the circulation of information, of goods, of persons, of persons as goods is taken to mean a return to a common mode of being-together. It’s a film we’ve seen countless times before: the common’s reinscription in contexts less open to affect that are continually based upon a conflation of connnectivity with more open modes of relating.

These questions among others will be the foundation for a two-day conference sponsored by the journal Diacritics to be held on the campus of Cornell University on September 24-25, 2010. The conference, titled “Commonalities: Theorizing the Common in Italian Thought,” will bring together a number of Italian voices so as to think together not only the relation between Italy and the common but to consider emerging forms of the common and common life today as well as consider the efficacy of a term like the common for a progressive (bio)politics. Equally, the event, the first of its kind of recent memory in the United States, is an occasion to register the state of Italian thought today. When seen from the other side of the Atlantic, no other contemporary thought more than Italian seems better suited today to offer what Foucault called an ontology of the present. At a minimum, and pace my doubting Italian philosopher, the editorial and intellectual success of Italian thought merits a closer look.

Featured at the conference will be some of the leading philosophical figures from Italy today, including Franco Berardi, Remo Bodei, Cesare Casarino, Ida Dominjanni, Roberto Esposito, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri. The conference will be transmitted over the internet at http://www.commonconf.com. A number of Cornell students will be blogging the conference live over the two days.

Antonio Negri

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Ralph Miliband

LESSONS OF RWANDA AND DARFUR

Lessons of Rwanda and Darfur: Some Questions for Human Rights Activists

Special Ralph Miliband Public Lecture

Date: Monday 10 May 2010
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics

Speaker: Professor Mahmood Mamdani
Chair: Professor Mary Kaldor

Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1974 and specializes in the study of African history and politics. His works explore the intersection between politics and culture, a comparative study of colonialism since 1452, the history of civil war and genocide in Africa, the Cold War and the War on Terror, and the history and theory of human rights. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Mamdani was a professor at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania (1973-79), Makerere University in Uganda (1980-1993), and the University of Cape Town (1996-1999). He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being listed as one of the “Top 20 Public Intellectuals” by Foreign Policy (US) and Prospect (UK) magazine in 2008. From 1998 to 2002 he served as President of CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa). His essays have appeared in the New Left Review and the London Review of Books, among other journals.

He is the author of Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror (Pantheon, 2009), Scholars in the Marketplace: The Dilemmas of Neo-Liberal Reform at Makerere University, 1989-2005, (CODESRIA, Dakar, 2007), Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Origins of Terror (Pantheon, 2004), When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and Genocide in Rwanda (Princeton, 2001) and Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton, 1996) and ten other books.

He teaches courses on: major debates in the study of Africa; the modern state and the colonial subject; the Cold War and the Third World; the theory, history, and practice of human rights; and civil wars and the state in Africa.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk

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Political Moment

IMAGE POLITICS

Image Politics – To see is to Destroy 

Seminar April 10 & 11 2010, Folkets Hus (The People’s House), Copenhagen 

Since September 11 a new visual landscape has emerged following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a part of the so-called War on Terror a visual bombardment threatens to leave us with still fewer counter-images and resistance-strategies. Censorship of the media and control of the public sphere has become the order of the day. But the images from the Abu Ghraib prison show that despite a tightly managed visual regime – images that disturb the tightly managed control of representation of the war do still appear.

The seminar’s main focus will be the image politics during the War on Terror combined with an attempt to pick up on new modes of resistance and production of counter images emerging from subcultural groupings around the world. 

Speakers include: Iain Boal/Retort (US/Ir), O.K. Werckmeister (Ger), AW (DK), Curatorial Action (DK), Madeleine Bernstoff (Ger) and more to be confirmed.

Organised by associate professor Mikkel Bolt (art historian), University of Copenhagen, Professor Nils Norman (visual artist), The Royal Academy of Copenhagen, and professor Jakob Jakobsen (visual artist), Funen Art Academy in collaboration with a group of students.

Venue:

Folkets Hus
Stengade 50,
Nørrebro, Copenhagen

Time:
Saturday April 10 at 10am to 6pm – food/social in the evening
Sunday April 11 at 11am to 6 pm.

Info and schedule:
http://billedpolitik.dk/sem.html

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Noir

Noir

FILM NOIR, AMERICAM WORKERS AND POSTWAR HOLLYWOOD

 

New Noir Book:

“Busts This Town Wide Open”: Film Noir, American Workers and Postwar Hollywood

Dennis Broe, University of Florida Press

Order now for a 40% Discount with Code Listed Below

Ever since French critics began using the term film noir in the mid-1940s, a clear definition of the genre has remained elusive. Broe’s interdisciplinary examination is a cogent argument for the centrality of class in the creation of film noir, demonstrating how the form itself came to fruition during one of the most active periods of working-class agitation and middle-class antagonism in American history.

In the 1940s, both radicalized union members and protagonists of noir films were hunted and pursued by the law. The book details how, after World War II, members of the labor movement who waged a series of strikes that paralyzed American industry, including Hollywood, were forced to use extralegal means because of pressure applied by new legislation such as the Taft-Hartley Act. In the same way the film noir protagonist moves further and further outside the law in this period until the films become a lament for a change hoped for but not achieved. The book then marks the sharp distinction between noir and the police procedural where the working class cop, now shorn of his or her radical sympathies, becomes the subject of the film.

A coda describes noir under Reagan and Bush (“A Thousand Points of Dark”) and post-9/11 noir which alternately resists and validates the replaying of the Cold War as the War on Terror.

What the Critics are saying:

‘[This is] an intriguing study of U.S. film noir as a left-wing cultural formation. Broe makes an informative and convincing case for the repressed, often overlooked working class determinants of early noir, and his discussion of individual films is consistently insightful. This is an important addition to the literature on the subject.’ James Naremore, author of More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts

‘With keen insight and a deep appreciation of the politics of film noir, Broe has broken new ground in the interpretation of cinema itself. With this book film noir has found its most astute and informed critic.’ Gerald Horne, author of Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-50

‘Broe puts the red back in the black. His book contours amidst the shadows of film noir those battles and tussles of the laboring classes that have too often been written out of film history, as out of the authorized narrative of U.S. history. Through wonderfully synthetic overviews and deft extended readings, a panoply of films is shown to chart in devious and overt ways the ups and down of union power and working class perspectives.’ Esther Leslie, author of Walter Benjamin and Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-Garde

‘[The book is] a bracing alternative history of how noir represented the roiling state of American culture in the 1940s … His categorization scheme will carry great weight in all future discussion of noir’s thematic landscape.’ Donald Malcolm, Noir City Sentinel

For a special 40% discount, until October 1, 2009, call toll free 800-226-3822, or order online at: http://upf.com/book.asp?id=BROEXS07 with discount code NOIR9.

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Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror

 

Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London, presents:

Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror
By Mahmood Mamdani

 

Mahmmod Mandani will present his recently published book Saviors and Survivors at SOAS, as part of this UK tour. The book is the first account of the Darfur crisis to consider events within the broad context of Sudan’s history, and to examine the efficacy of the world’s response to the crisis.

Wednesday 03 June 2009
5.30pm, Room G3
SOAS
All welcome

SOAS
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

 

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Rethinking Democracy Promotion in the Post-Bush Era

 

Symposium

‘Rethinking Democracy Promotion in the Post-Bush Era: Lessons from Political Theory’

International Politics Department, Aberystwyth University

21st May, 2009

9am-4pm

 

An event organised by ‘Political Economies of Democratisation’ – a project funded by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme, 2007-2013

 

By framing and justifying many contentious policies during ‘the War on Terror’ in reference to the defence and extension of democracy, the actions of the Bush administration had negative consequences for the larger democracy promotion agenda. The concerted effort by President Obama to break with the policies of his predecessor now opens up space for a rethinking of democracy promotion practices. In considering and responding to recent problems, it is necessary to go beyond policy calibration, however, and address more fundamental issues. Specifically, there is a pressing need to reconsider the concept of ‘democracy’ in democracy promotion. Yet, it is curious that while debate continues to rage in political theory over what democracy does, can and should mean, such questions are largely ignored when it comes to democracy promotion.

 

This symposium will bring together a number of leading thinkers in international relations and political science to discuss how political theory and thought on radically different models or visions of democracy can be integrated into the consideration and practice of democracy promotion. The symposium seeks to reconsider the role of the currently dominant liberal-democratic tradition of thought in democracy promotion, as well as explore other possible democratic models and alternatives in relation to the idea of democracy promotion. The distinguished speakers at the event include: Prof. John Keane, Prof. Magnus Ryner, Dr. Beate Jahn, Prof. Heikki Patomaki, Prof. Robin Hahnel (in absentia), Prof. Michael Foley and Prof. Howard Williams.

 

Attendance is free but attendees are asked to email Milja Kurki (mlk@aber.ac.uk) to inform the organisers of intent to attend. Please note that all views expressed by the contributors and participants at the event are those of the individuals who express them and may not correspond to the views of the European Community.

 

Preliminary programme:

 

9.00-9.15 Introductory comments – Milja Kurki

 

9.15-10.45 Session 1. Liberal democracy and liberal democracy promotion (re)considered – Dr. Beate Jahn, Prof. Howard Williams, Christopher Hobson

 

11.00-12.30 Session 2. Lessons from alternative traditions of democratic thought – Prof. Magnus Ryner, Prof. Heikki Patomaki, Prof. Robin Hahnel

 

13.30-15.00 Session 3. Transformations of democracy since 1945 and the future of democracy – Prof. John Keane, Prof. Michael Foley

 

15.10-4.00pm Concluding session. Democratic theory and democracy promotion today – reflections on future directions

 

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