Monday, June 30, 2008

Questions for our Thursday 8pm (Chicago time) talk

While reading this, I have come across very few moments when I want to argue face to face with the author. This is unusual in theory. One of the reasons I like reading theory is that is agitates my intellectual hackles. I am not finding this dynamic while this reading. Do other folks feel the same way? I am finding an easy and pleasant melding of Agamben’s ideas with my own. But I always do have questions and here are a few to consider for our chat on Thursday at 8 pm Chicago time.

1. Agamben is a professor of aesthetics. While this writing seems clear from the point of view of legal philosophy or politics, does it take on a different meaning when considered from the point of view of aesthetics?

2. Has anyone ever seen the Hebrew letter Aleph used as a footnote before? Also, as there are other letters in the Hebrew alphabet, why always Aleph?

3. Agamben’s thesis on the slide into an easy (and I suspect we are reading our way into a theory of a constant) state of exception since WWI seems remarkably obvious. Is this perspective simply obvious once state?

4. Being outside of law and legal theory, I like the precise textual and historical format of the book. For those who know the subject, is it overly simple?

I hope these questions are helpful. Feel free to post questions or bring your own the conversation.

Talk to you soon.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Next phone time

The next phone time is Thursday night 8pm Chicago time. That is 9am Taipei time, so that works.

Can't wait to hear what questions you have.


Posted by Nef Mart

This is in response to my reading of page 2 where the judiciary becomes the law and politics becomes living. I was asking if that extends to make living life inherently political?

Re: state of exception - I think what he means on the first page is that in the relation of laws to people, there is also a state of exception for the individual actor. For example, you can shoot someone in self defense, as the law against murder is suspended - but only to the point of necessity - you can't kill them unless you fear for your life. In emergencies - some of these "exceptions" are well documented in the law, but some are not so clear.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

State of Exception

First I want to thank Katie Hargrave for recommending this book. There are remarkable connections to these ideas and people close to me. My mom, Susan Mart, writes on the Patriot Act, and has made that her speciality yet did not know this writing. My husband Tom specializes in International Constitutional law and politics and did not know this writing. I appreciate how theory has a way of crossing disciplinary boundaries.

I cannot set a phone date for chapter 2 and 3 just yet, as my schedule is still fuzzy here in Taiwan. We are going to explore some nature here, but don't know which days we will be away from technology.

So, as we currently live in a state of exception, act and live, which Agamben proposes as political (top of page 2) and enjoy your acts of legal disobedience.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New book: State of Exception


Because I am in Darmstadt doing the K[ne(e){a}d] project, I am not going to hold a closing Skype conversation about the Archive and the Repertoire.

We begin State of Exception, by Giorgio Agamben today. Read the first quarter this week and post questions ad comments to this blog.

The next Skype conversation will be Monday the 23rd at 5pm Chicago Time. I cannot do it any later, as that is midnight in Germany.

Please post if you are going to join this call, as I will sleep if no one is in for this round.

This book should prove really interesting and quite different from a book on performance and hemispheric studies. Yet, I am sure there will be overlap. There always is.

Happy reading.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Reading for the week of June 9th -16th

This is the final week for Diana Taylor's The Archive and The Repertoire. Either finish the book or find an interesting section. The next Skype discussion will be:

Wednesday, June 11th at 8:30 Chicago time.

Happy reading.