30 August, 2006

Edge of Darkness

My old college pal David Landy is organising a conference: PALESTINE AS ‘STATE OF EXCEPTION ': A GLOBAL PARADIGM.

One amusing feature of this is that it stars Ilan Pappe, an Israeli academic. Pappe has played a leading role in advocating a boycott of Israeli academia similar to that which apartheid era South Africa was subjected. So I should really boycott any talk he delivers, but instead I am signing up to hear him speak. Here is a great short article by Pappe on the Israeli legal system: 'In Court'.

I think the conference title draws on the ideas of political and social scientists like Giorgio Agamben, who talk about how it is the ability of states to suspend the normal niceties of constutional rule that defines them. Malcolm Bull reviewed Agamben's States of Exception in the LRB earlier this year: 'States don’t really mind their citizens dying (provided they don’t all do it at once): they just don’t like anyone else to kill them'.

(You'll need to be a subscriber of the London Review of Books to read those linked to articles in full)


Paul said...

That Pappe fellow has a hell of a beard. Stand back.

ian said...

He was cleanshaven yesterday. Maybe you saw an old picture, or somehow ended up with a picture of Teddy Katz, an academic protege of his. Katz has the most impressive moustache I have ever seen.

Paul said...

I saw him speak two years ago at an anti-war conference in the Royal Dublin Hotel... or so I thought. I'm starting to doubt myself now. I looked the conference up on the net, and his name wasn't listed on the ticket.

Not to worry - as long as you didn't get entangled in any beards, I'm happy.