Tarak Barkawi (Cambridge)

hey robbie

good to hear from you. hope things are going well. sorry i haven’t gotten to that paper yet but been a busy year.

one of the things i’d like to tell you about re: the below is all my experiences teaching fanon to british and american military (and todorov and some others). fanon makes a big impression on the smart ones, they can’t get over his anger but learn a lot about how it all looks from the natives’ point of view and start thinking through their wartime experiences in iraq and afg through that lens. (my all time favorite that way is a guy whose last job in AFG was to interview failed suicide bombers who gave an impromptu todorovian reading of his encounter with difference and how he worked through it in dealing with these characters). i know these pedagogical moments aren’t quite what you’re getting at below but nonetheless.

the same course, war and society in world politics, mobilizes foucault’s society must be defended to think about ‘small war’.

on the research front, i’m working on a paper called ‘power/form/knowledge’ about the military/academic enounter in ‘small war’ and how power puts knowledge to use by putting it in ‘utile forms’ (e.g. database, fact sheet, field manual, smart card), and that these knowledge forms have specific effects, among them the erasure of reflexivity. paper’s almost done for a conference next week, and i will send. but it’s more foucault meets the colonies stuff.

anyways, lots more to say. i’m certainly interested in your direction of travel so keep me in the loop.

take care


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