Emergencies

In a single word, this is my current research.

The concept itself came into my life through multiple lines, forming a somewhat scattered, and yet surprisingly linear genealogy: the atmosphere of the post-9/11 US (which I experienced as a PhD student in upstate New York); works of Giorgio Agamben and Brian Massumi on states of emergency and preemptive mentality of governance (respectively); emergency measures employed in New Orleans after Katrina; and finally the catastrophic two-year period state of emergency in Turkey.

And yet, as a research project, it only sprung to life in the Winter of 2017, when Specters of Fascism Free School came to a conclusion, and when I was preparing my five-minute closing remarks on what could be done about rising authoritarianisms, which I responded by having the need to resuscitate the figure of Dostoyevsky’s idiot, Prince Myshkin.  The snippet of an argument turned into a talk at the VISR by the invitation of Am Johal, and at the moment it is on its way of becoming a chapter in a future book, of which I could see only its event-horizon.  (If you are interested, please find the podcast of the talk in Brynn McNab’s blog.  You need to scroll down a bit.)

In addition to resisting emergencies through idiot, I just finished a chapter in what is to become an edited book composing of the talks at Specters of Fascism Free School, edited by Samir Gandesha, Stephen Collis, and Max Kristen.  There I started to delve into the notions of the void, the zone, and their conceptual and historical links with emergencies. No doubt the trip into the Chernobyl exclusion zone this summer, and China Miéville’s The City and the City partially extended their influence into the formation of a new concept of emergency read through zones and voids.  And yet, the chapter remains to be an effort to invite Agamben and Barad on a blind date on the concept of the void.