Inspired by a US Joint Forces Command report from 2008 that labeled Mexico a state in risk of “rapid and sudden collapse,” in this talk, Dr. Amaya will use a discourse analysis of the concept of “failed state” to illuminate the connections between this concept, violence, and order. These connections are highly troubling. They reveal that contemporary ideas about orderly states and state failure cannot be understood without reference to the genealogy of order and its political economy. Order is not simply a normative value, but the outcome of particular ways of organizing political power and the economy. In the histories this talk engages, these particular ways of organizing political power and the economy are intertwined with the histories of colonialism and the racial and ethnic ideologies this colonialism depended on.
Hector Amaya is Professor and Chair of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and the Infosys Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at Princeton, NJ. His research engages with the philosophy of communication from a subaltern perspective and his areas of specialization include Latin American film and media, comparative media studies, and Latinx media studies. His current project, Publicity’s Other: Violence, Ethnicity, and the Undoing of U.S. America, examines new forms of violence, harm, and aggression afforded by digitation and Internet technologies and evaluates them against normative ideas about publicity and intersubjectivity. Publicity’s Other will be his fourth single-authored book. His other books are Screening Cuba: Film Criticism as Political Performance During the Cold War (University of Illinois Press, 2010), Citizenship Excess: Latinas/os, Media and the Nation (New York University Press, 2013) and, forthcoming with Duke University Press, Trafficking: The Violent Restructuring of Mexico and USA Publicity.
CARGC will host a cocktail reception for those attending the lecture in the Forum from 5:30 - 6:00 pm.