On Violence: A Reader

Duke University Press

This anthology brings together classic perspectives on violence, putting into productive conversation the thought of well-known theorists and activists, including Hannah Arendt, Karl Marx, G. W. F. Hegel, Osama bin Laden, Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, Thomas Hobbes, and Pierre Bourdieu. The volume proceeds from the editors’ contention that violence is always historically contingent; it must be contextualized to be understood. They argue that violence is a process rather than a discrete product. It is intrinsic to the human condition, an inescapable fact of life that can be channeled and reckoned with but never completely suppressed. Above all, they seek to illuminate the relationship between action and knowledge about violence, and to examine how one might speak about violence without replicating or perpetuating it.

On Violence is divided into five sections. Underscoring the connection between violence and economic world orders, the first section explores the dialectical relationship between domination and subordination. The second section brings together pieces by political actors who spoke about the tension between violence and nonviolence—Gandhi, Hitler, and Malcolm X—and by critics who have commented on that tension. The third grouping examines institutional faces of violence—familial, legal, and religious—while the fourth reflects on state violence. With a focus on issues of representation, the final section includes pieces on the relationship between violence and art, stories, and the media. The editors’ introduction to each section highlights the significant theoretical points raised and the interconnections between the essays. Brief introductions to individual selections provide information about the authors and their particular contributions to theories of violence.

With selections by: Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Osama bin Laden, Pierre Bourdieu, André Breton, James Cone, Robert M. Cover, Gilles Deleuze, Friedrich Engels, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Mohandas Gandhi, René Girard, Linda Gordon, Antonio Gramsci, Félix Guattari, G. W. F. Hegel, Adolf Hitler, Thomas Hobbes, Bruce B. Lawrence, Elliott Leyton, Catharine MacKinnon, Malcolm X, Dorothy Martin, Karl Marx, Chandra Muzaffar, James C. Scott, Kristine Stiles, Michael Taussig, Leon Trotsky, Simone Weil, Sharon Welch, Raymond Williams

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About the author

Bruce B. Lawrence is the Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor of Religion at Duke University. He is the author of The Qur'an: A Biography; New Faiths, Old Fears: Muslims and Other Asian Immigrants in American Religious Life; and Shattering the Myth: Islam beyond Violence. He is the editor of Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden and Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip-Hop (with miriam cooke).

Aisha Karim is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Saint Xavier University. She is a coeditor of Poetry and Protest: A Dennis Brutus Reader.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Dec 6, 2007
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Pages
578
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ISBN
9780822337690
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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