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Politics Gone Missing

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  • UserDr Graham Denyer-Willis (POLIS and Queens' College, University of Cambridge)
  • ClockTuesday 12 March 2019, 17:45-19:15
  • HouseGatsby Room, Wolfson College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Rachel E. Holmes.

Every year, 25,000 people ‘go missing’ in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. This paper examines the political production and use of ‘missing people’ as a political, but ostensibly apolitical, category. I trace the rise in disappeared people through the bureaucracies of the state, the struggles and trauma of families, in the disinterment and materiality of public and clandestine cemeteries, and via the ongoing violence of racialised policing and agentic organised crime. If politics and sovereignty are constituted by life and death as political theory widely holds, making people ‘go missing’ from politics is a widespread (but dramatically understudied) political technique, globally, which takes capitalism and inequitably valued life as its ethical flagstaff.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society talks series.

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