This book is concerned with the connection between the formal structure of agency and the formal structure of genocide. The contributors employ philosophical approaches to explore the idea of genocidal violence as a structural element in the world.
Do mechanisms or structures in nation-states produce types of national citizens that are more susceptible to genocidal projects? There are powerful arguments within philosophy that in order to be the subjects of our own lives, we must constitute ourselves specifically as national subjects and organize ourselves into nation states. Additionally, there are other genocidal structures of human society that spill beyond historically limited episodes. The chapters in this volume address the significance—moral, ethical, political—of the fact that our very form of agency suggests or requires these structures. The contributors touch on topics including birthright citizenship, contemporary mass incarceration, anti-black racism, and late capitalism.
Logics of Genocide will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in philosophy, critical theory, genocide studies, Holocaust and Jewish studies, history, and anthropology.
Table of Contents
Anne O’Byrne and Martin Shuster
Part I Agency and Institutions
1. Hegel and State Homogenization
2. The Friends of War and Genocide
3. The ‘Criminal’ and the Crime of Genocide
4. Genocide and Agency in the Americas: Methodological Considerations
Part II Bodies and Beyond
5. Generational Being
6. Epigenetics and Existential Reflections on Trauma
Ada S. Jaarsma
7. "We Charge Genocide": Anti-Black Racism in the United States as Genocidal Structural Violence
8. Pornographic Ways of Looking and the Logic of Disposability
Part III Time and Violence
9. Totalitarianism as Structural Violence: Towards New Grammars of Listening
María del Rosario Acosta López
10. Gendercide, Rwanda, and Post-Genocidal Violence
11. Law and Oral History: Hearing the Claims of Indigenous Peoples
Part IV Ethos and Violence
12. Violence, Right, and Righteousness: Thinking the Political with and Against Lévinas
13. Structure and Fantasy: Holocaust Perpetrators and Genocide Studies
14. Reasonable Religion, Reasonable States, and Invisible Violence
Epilogue: Theses on Our Only Possible Future
James R. Watson
Anne O’Byrne is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University. She is author of Natality and Finitude (2010), co-editor of Subjects and Simulations: Between Baudrillard and Lacoue-Labarthe (2014), translator of Jean-Luc Nancy’s Being Singular Plural and Corpus II, and author of numerous articles on politics, ontology, biology, and generational being.
Martin Shuster is associate professor of philosophy at Goucher College, where he also directs the Center for Geographies of Justice and where he is jointly appointed in the Humanities Center. In addition to many articles and book chapters, he is the author of Autonomy after Auschwitz: Adorno German Idealism and Modernity (2014), New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre (2017), and How to Measure a World? A Philosophy of Judaism (2021).