1st Edition

Resisting Biopolitics Philosophical, Political, and Performative Strategies

Edited By S.E. Wilmer, Audronė Žukauskaitė Copyright 2016
    318 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    318 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The topic of biopolitics is a timely one, and it has become increasingly important for scholars to reconsider how life is objectified, mobilized, and otherwise bound up in politics. This cutting-edge volume discusses the philosophical, social, and political notions of biopolitics, as well as the ways in which biopower affects all aspects of our lives, including the relationships between the human and nonhuman, the concept of political subjectivity, and the connection between art, science, philosophy, and politics. In addition to tracing the evolving philosophical discourse around biopolitics, this collection researches and explores certain modes of resistance against biopolitical control. Written by leading experts in the field, the book’s chapters investigate resistance across a wide range of areas: politics and biophilosophy, technology and vitalism, creativity and bioethics, and performance. Resisting Biopolitics is an important intervention in contemporary biopolitical theory, looking towards the future of this interdisciplinary field.

    Introduction Audronė Žukauskaitė and S. E. Wilmer  Part I: Politics, Biopolitics, and Biophilosophy  1. From the State of Control to a Praxis of Destituent Power Giorgio Agamben  2. Posthuman Affirmative Politics Rosi Braidotti  3. Rethinking Biopolitics: The New Materialism and the Political Economy of Life Thomas Lemke  4. From Biopolitics to Biophilosophy, or the Vanishing Subject of Biopolitics Audronė Žukauskaitė  Part II: Life, Bioethics, and Bioart 5. Chimerism and Immunitas: The Emergence of a Posthumanist Biophilosophy Margrit Shildrick  6. Resisting Biopolitics, Resisting Freedom: Prenatal Testing and Choice Catherine Mills  7. Biophilosophy for the 21st Century Eugene Thacker  8. The Biopolitics of Life Removed from Context: Neolifism Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr  Part III: Surveillance and Digital Technologies  9. Questioned by Machines: A Cultural Perspective on Counter-Terrorism and Lie Detection in Security Zones  Mark Maguire  10. Data Doubles and the Specters of Performance in the Bit Parts of Surveillance James Harding  11. Digital Biopolitics: The Image of Life F.J. Colman  12. The Object of Desire of the Machine and the Biopolitics of the Posthuman Matthew Causey  Part IV: Societies of Control  13. At the Systemic Edge: Expulsions Saskia Sassen  14. From the "Bio" to the "Necro": The Human at the Border Andrés Fabian Henao Castro  15. Biopolitics in the Laundry: Ireland’s Unwed Mothers S. E. Wilmer  16. Israel/Palestine: State of Exception and Acts of Resistance Ronit Lentin


    S.E. Wilmer is Professor Emeritus and former Head of the School of Drama, Film and Music at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and Research Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

    Audronė Žukauskaitė is Senior Researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute.

    "This extremely diverse collection of essays attempts a conversation between the life sciences, biotechnology, political philosophy, digital culture, social– political analysis, and literary and cultural studies...it undertakes a critical examination of the body as a political site, whereby the definition of the body is problematized and critically expanded, taking into account not only the individual human body but also the relationship between humans and non-humans, individuals and collectivities, citizens and non-citizens. Since the search for strategies of resistance is a guiding question throughout the book, the arts in general, and theatre and the performing arts in particular, assume a significant role in offering imaginative instances of a quest for resisting the biopolitical."—Sruti Bala in Theatre Research International

    "Resisting Biopolitics… moves debates forward within the theatre and performance studies that hinge on biopolitical concerns regarding surveillance, health, embodiment and the lived structures of daily life. Consequently, the book will not only be of interest to scholars working in theatre and performance studies, but also those in political theory, philosophy, science and technology studies"—Luna Dolezal in Performance Research

    "As the most up-to-date representation of the state of biopolitical research, from a wide array of disciplines and contemporary interventions in arts and culture, the editors of this volume have chosen to err on the side of the sheer diversity of methodological approaches and polarities that define the reception history of Foucault's original concept. They should be applauded for the pedagogical clarity in reviewing the history of scholarship and the breadth of the contributions, including new materialist and post-humanist approaches that also belong to our biopolitical episteme, revealing a concerted effort to escape the consistuent and humanistic determinations of the subjects of politics and life in favor of an entangled field of forces that would also include the in-human and non-human as new forms of resistance."—Gregg Lambert, Syracuse University, USA

    "Resisting Biopolitics provides a diverse array of thought within the biopolitical canon, with several driving themes: There is a vital force of ‘life’, energy or matter that brings with it the potential for political resistance; common biopolitical concepts such as ‘bare life’ often disregard the ways in which this force can be utilized as a means of resistance; and the State and the economy have reached new heights of surveillance, data collection, violence and oppression. While resistance is difficult to imagine in the age of biopower, this collection attempts to carve out a vision for what this resistance might entail... the ideas proposed in this collection offer a complex exploration into the potentials of biopolitical resistance, i.e. resistance to oppressive forms of biopower in these otherwise dire times."—Jacob Chamberlain, Clark University, Massachusetts, USA