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Introduction: Agamben and Colonialism

Chapter


Abstract


  • Although Giorgio Agamben is concerned with the ongms and

    development of Western political and legal thought and the ways in

    which it supports exclusionary structures of sovereign power and

    governance, he does not explore the ways in which the geopolitical

    entity of 'the West' emerged as such through its imperial domination

    of others. And while he carefully explicates erudite aspects of

    the determining political thought of the Greeks, with the formal

    separation of bios and zoe defining the capacity of some subjects

    to live as citizens, he does not dwell on how this was predicated on

    the fact of slavery as a condition for the realisation and operation

    of the polis. Agamben's references to slavery are made merely in

    passing - chiefly in the context of his analysis of messianic time

    and klesis in his discussion of Paul's Letter to the Romans - and

    they do not reflect upon its material conditions or imperial causes

    (for example, Agamben 2005b: 12-14, 19ff.; 2004: 37). Likewise,

    he makes only swift and oblique reference to colonisation and to

    colonial prison camps (Agamben 1998: 166). His essay Metropolis

    (2006) describes Agamben's most focused engagement with tropes

    of colonial and postcolonial analysis, but here, too, he is not

    overtly concerned with concrete histories of colonisation and the

    material legacy of colonial violence on colonised peoples. Italy's

    own colonial history, which in the 1930S involved the internment

    and genocide of the Cyrenaican nomads according to a particular

    colonial logic of political and legal exception that characterised

    Italian rule in Libya, is nowhere acknowledged or interrogated in

    the work of this Italian philosopher.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Bignall, S. & Svirsky, M. G. 2012, 'Introduction: Agamben and Colonialism', in S. Bignall & M. G. Svirsky (eds), Agamben and Colonialism, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. pp. 1-14.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9780748643936

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84882309345

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/108

Book Title


  • Agamben and Colonialism

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 14

Place Of Publication


  • Edinburgh

Abstract


  • Although Giorgio Agamben is concerned with the ongms and

    development of Western political and legal thought and the ways in

    which it supports exclusionary structures of sovereign power and

    governance, he does not explore the ways in which the geopolitical

    entity of 'the West' emerged as such through its imperial domination

    of others. And while he carefully explicates erudite aspects of

    the determining political thought of the Greeks, with the formal

    separation of bios and zoe defining the capacity of some subjects

    to live as citizens, he does not dwell on how this was predicated on

    the fact of slavery as a condition for the realisation and operation

    of the polis. Agamben's references to slavery are made merely in

    passing - chiefly in the context of his analysis of messianic time

    and klesis in his discussion of Paul's Letter to the Romans - and

    they do not reflect upon its material conditions or imperial causes

    (for example, Agamben 2005b: 12-14, 19ff.; 2004: 37). Likewise,

    he makes only swift and oblique reference to colonisation and to

    colonial prison camps (Agamben 1998: 166). His essay Metropolis

    (2006) describes Agamben's most focused engagement with tropes

    of colonial and postcolonial analysis, but here, too, he is not

    overtly concerned with concrete histories of colonisation and the

    material legacy of colonial violence on colonised peoples. Italy's

    own colonial history, which in the 1930S involved the internment

    and genocide of the Cyrenaican nomads according to a particular

    colonial logic of political and legal exception that characterised

    Italian rule in Libya, is nowhere acknowledged or interrogated in

    the work of this Italian philosopher.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Bignall, S. & Svirsky, M. G. 2012, 'Introduction: Agamben and Colonialism', in S. Bignall & M. G. Svirsky (eds), Agamben and Colonialism, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. pp. 1-14.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9780748643936

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84882309345

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/108

Book Title


  • Agamben and Colonialism

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 14

Place Of Publication


  • Edinburgh