Images of State and Stásis

Cartographies of the Absolute

[Talk delivered at Historical Materialism 2015, on a panel with Jason E. Smith and Jessica Whyte on The Ends of Homo Sacer]

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For fame had rumour’d that a fleet at sea, / Would cause our nation’s catastrophe. / And hereupon it was my mother dear / Did bring forth twins at once, both me and fear.
– Thomas Hobbes, Verse Autobiography

LeviathanFull

Agamben’s Stásis: Civil War as a Political Paradigm is the slim final volume of the Homo Sacer series, published, with some architectonic confusion (it is listed as II.2, originally the designation for The Kingdom and the Glory) after the compendious The Use of Bodies, which closes if not completes the series. Stásis is composed of two seminar presentations on a theme, civil war, that has coursed in and out of Agamben’s work, and in those of some of his intellectual and political comrades (namely Tiqqun and The Invisible…

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