#4: Ethics 6/12/18



Thursday 6 December | 5 - 6.30pm | LHRI | All welcome 

For our fourth session of the year, we will be reading the second chapter of Precarious Life (2004), 'Violence, Mourning, Politics' alongside 'Precarity Talk' - a roundtable discussion of the topic between Butler and several other leading theorists. 


In 'Violence, Mourning, Politics,' Butler develops a theory of nonviolent ethics stemming from the acceptance that it is our vulnerability, and vulnerability to death and violence in particular, which connects us as humans. Adopting a relational view of the self, she reconfigures grief as a public, social experience which could and should be harnessed as a force for transformation, particularly in rethinking notions of community and international relations. State violence, she argues, is a consequence of the fact that modern nation states are founded on the principle of denying such vulnerability. Citing the US's military violence in the Middle East as an example, she demonstrates how this denial causes some forms of grief to be nationally amplified and legitimised, whilst others are diminished to the point of erasure; some lives are counted as liveable and grievable whilst others are derealised and hence cannot be grieved because they are not counted as lives. The pdf can be downloaded here. 

In 'Precarity Talk', a virtual roundtable, Butler debates the key ethical, critical and political implications of precarity with theorists Lauren Berlant, Bojana Cvejic, Isabell Lorey, Jasbir Puar, and Ana Vujanovic. The pdf can be downloaded here. 


We look forward to hearing your thoughts next week! 

Thursday 6 December | 5 - 6.30pm | LHRI | All welcome 

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