September 16, 2014

The Act of Killing

Richard K. Sherwin, New York Law School, has published Law in the Flesh: Tracing Legitimation's Origin to 'The Act of Killing', in No Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice (June 2014). Here is the abstract.

The founding moment of political and legal investiture haunts the baroque and neo-baroque mind, from Shakespeare’s 'Hamlet' to Joshua Oppenheimer’s highly unsettling film, 'The Act of Killing' (2012). In the former, Hamlet finds the resources to act in the face of injustice; in so doing he precipitates a transformative political event that renews the rightful basis for state legitimacy. In 'The Act of Killing', by contrast, restless stasis remains unaltered from beginning to end. It is a state of affairs well suited to contemporary neo-baroque conditions – a time of distracted paralysis, when the availability of the cultural and psychological resources needed to go beyond terror and its purgatorial aftermath remains uncertain.
The exploration of post-secular possibilities requires new experiential sources, new interpretive and critical methods, and new interdisciplinary alliances. Phenomenology, psycho-theology, political theology, and visual jurisprudence are just some of the emerging categories (or perhaps re-emergent fields) that present themselves to us for further consideration.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

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