SMS Faculty Josh Scannell Participates In Seminar 3: Bring Forth the Body: Biopower, Protocol, and Plagues, 11/16
Seminar 3: Bring Forth the Body: Biopower, Protocol, and Plagues
6:00 pm–8:00 pm
Nov 16, 2020
The pandemic that continues to ravage the planet’s human communities does so along largely predictable lines. Those who are made most vulnerable by ongoing processes of racialized extraction and its reliance on the twinned violences of force and neglect suffer disproportionately, while our engineered geographies of deprivation redouble as sites of concentrated misery. The overwhelming evidence of the stratified impact of our contagion has resulted in early soundbites about “equal opportunity infection,” and instead once again clarified the brute fact that the impulsion to live and let die is always and everywhere protocological.
Put differently, the virus has done the work of materializing biopolitical logics by literalizing the imperial security protocol of the latently weaponized body. Our cells are the sleeper agents now, and the multiple determined protocols of the Imperial War Machine are kicking into gear accordingly. For, even as the federal government fails to contain this particular virus, it has doubled down relentlessly on the social wars – or, to quote Hortense Spillers “the protocols of search and destroy – that are the disaster’s requisite preexisting conditions. And, in doing so, states, capital, and their allies have catalyzed an intensified collective refusal of their death-dealing.
And at the center of all this: the body and the myriad things that it can do.
Convened by Joshua Scannell, School of Media Studies, Schools of Public Engagement, The New School, the third event in the As for Protocols seminar series explores the relationships between the body, race, and technology, especially as they play out during a pandemic, with its own set of protocols, and when so much is laid waste and so much else is up for grabs.
Speakers include Anthony Ryan Hatch, sociologist and Associate Professor and Chair of the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University; Ronak K. Kapadia, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Jasbir Puar, theorist and Professor and Graduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. Artists Stephanie Misa and James Clar screen a new video that considers biopolitics and protocols of cruise ships, as they played out in the early days of the pandemic.