Thinking Through Violence

A new series beginning in May, 2011.Based on a panel convened in 2009 under the auspices of the Humanities Initiative at New York University, the essays in this dossier move away from the assumption that to treat violence as an enduring phenomenon in its own right, with its productive and repressive qualities, is to endorse it. Rather, observing both its persistence and its specificity across varied contexts, the authors ask what kind of work violence does, and how diverse readings of violence, including the act of naming it, are necessary in attempting a counter-intuitive genealogy of the phenomenon and its implications for politics.Dossier edited by Elena Bellina, J. Martin Daughtry, Crystal Parikh, Arvind Rajagopal and Magdalena Sabat. Transcription by Magdalena Sabat. Essays by Arvind Rajagopal, Allen Feldman, Banu Bargu, Drucilla Cornell, and Mary Louise Pratt.


Social Text Collective

  Hannah Arendt noted in 1969 that Georges Sorel’s remark in 1906 — that “the problems of violence still remain very obscure” remained true.[1]Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence, “Introduction to the First Publication” (1906), New York, Collier Books, 1961, p. … Continue reading “Introduction”

Politics of Grieving

drucilla cornell

  In my work, I have defended a nonviolent ethic through Derrida and Levinas, which begins with the commandment, “thou shall not kill.” But this ethic certainly does not end there. My book The Philosophy of the Limit gives us … Continue reading “Politics of Grieving”

Violence and Language

mary louise pratt

  If you work on Latin America then you know that there is a field of study there called “violentology,” and there are specialists whom you call violentólogos, particularly in Colombia, where the question of violence has become a kind … Continue reading “Violence and Language”


Social Text Collective

  Michel Foucault observed that, although the head of the king had been cut off, in political theory the king remained in his place.[1]I would like to thank my co-editors, Elena Bellina, J. Martin Daughtry, and Crystal Parikh, for their … Continue reading “Afterword”