[SydPhil] [UWS seminar] Marcelo Svirsky: After Israel: On Subjectivity and Profanation

Philosophy@UWS Philosophy at uws.edu.au
Mon Sep 9 14:53:09 AEST 2013

Philosophy Seminars 2013
The Writing and Society Research Centre and Philosophy at UWS present:

Marcelo Svirsky
University of Wollongong

TITLE: After Israel: On Subjectivity and Profanation

DATE/TIME: Wednesday 18 September, 3.30 pm - 5.00 pm

PLACE: University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus, Building 3, Room 3.G.54  [How to get to Bankstown Campus]<http://www.uws.edu.au/campuses_structure/cas/campuses/bankstown>

Analyses of colonial events such as the event of Israel in Palestine are inclined to engage with political solutions, as if sophisticated conceptualisations of sovereignty and exchanges of land and borders will save us. But no political solution can provide the cultural marrow utterly necessary to substantiate a thorough transformation of ways of life - without which colonial domination reproduces itself. Forget then, about two-states or one-state. Disabling colonial domination, I argue in this presentation, is first and foremost about the transformation of colonial subjectivities. However, to rescue the study of subjectivity from the traps of the dark sides of power, processes of subjective constitution need to be read through the lens of profanatory action. In this philosophical undertaking Giorgio Agamben's notion of profanation and his call to profane the sacred - our own subjectivities - in the most desacralised forms proves beneficial if conceived as a process of becoming. As a corollary, after Israel means profaning the complicity between the subject of theory and the Zionist subject; namely, it is about disarming the resonance between the prioritisation of the political paradigm over the cultural paradigm on the one hand, and the colonial subject that this prioritisation reproduces on the other hand.

Marcelo Svirsky is a Lecturer in International Studies at the School of History & Politics in the University of Wollongong. He has recently published Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel/Palestine (Ashgate, 2012), Agamben and Colonialism (Edinburgh University Press, edited with Simone Bignall, 2012), and a special issue of Deleuze Studies, Deleuze and Political Activism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh university Press, 2010). His forthcoming books are: After Israel - Towards Cultural Transformation (Zed Books, 2013), and Collaborative Struggles in Settler-Colonial Societies (ed.), Settler Colonial Studies, Special Issue (Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group, 2014).

For the entire 2013 program of the Philosophy seminar series at UWS please visit: http://www.uws.edu.au/philosophy/philosophy@uws/events/research_seminars_2013

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Mariana Fragueiro
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University of Western Sydney
Bankstown Campus Building 5
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Penrith NSW  2751
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