The New Violent Cartography: Geo-Analysis after the Aesthetic Turn

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Samson Opondo, Michael J. Shapiro
Routledge, Jun 25, 2012 - Political Science - 312 pages
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This edited volume seeks to propose and examine different, though related, critical responses to modern cultures of war among other cultural practices of statecraft. Taken together, these essays present a space of creative engagement with the political and draw on a broad range of cultural contexts and genres of expressions to provoke the thinking that exceeds the conventional stories and practices of international relations.

In contrast to a macropolitical focus on state policy and inter-state hostilities, the contributors to this volume treat the micropolitics of violence and dissensus that occur below [besides and against] the level and gaze that comprehends official map-making, policy-making and implementation practices. At a minimum, the counter-narratives presented in these essays disturb the functions, identities, and positions assigned by the nation-state, thereby multiplying relations between bodies, the worlds where they live, and the ways in which they are ‘equipped’ for fitting in them.

Contributions deploy feature films, literature, photography, architecture to think the political in ways that offer glimpses of realities that are fugitive within existing perspectives. Bringing together a wide range of theorists from a host of geographical, cultural and theoretical contexts, this work explores the different ways in which an aesthetic treatment of world politics can contribute to an ethics of encounter predicated on minimal violence in encounters with people with different practices of identity.

This work provides a significant contribution to the field of international theory, encouraging us to rethink politics and ethics in the world today.


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The new violent cartography geoafter the aesthetic turn
Violence literary and narrative cartographies
Warring bodies and bodies politic
Continuing violent cartographies and the redistribution of the sensible

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About the author (2012)

Sam Okoth Opondo is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where he is writing a doctoral dissertation on Black Diplomacies: Colonialism, Race and the Poetics of Mediating African Estrangement. Most broadly, his research interest lies in the study of estrangement, politics of aesthetics and cultural translation in colonial and postcolonial societies.

Michael J. Shapiro is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Among his publications are Methods and Nations: Cultural Governance and the Indigenous Subject (2004), Deforming American Political Though: Ethnicity, Facticity, and Genre (2006) and Cinematic Geopolitics (2009).

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