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Title: The Crime of Indistinction?
Authors: Han-yu Huang
Issue Date: Mar-2012
Publisher: 英語學系
Department of English, NTNU
Abstract: The undead is a crime against the religious and the sacred; it always troubles our received topologies and distinctions between body and soul, life and death, culture and nature, the human and the nonhuman, animate and inanimate,organic and inorganic, etc. It has always been preoccupying, or haunting, writers and thinkers in the fields of philosophy, ethics, theology, and literature. Especially in contemporary biopolitical discourse, where the conditions andessence of life are fervently debated, problematized, and rethought, the undeadcomes to the fore and calls for our critical attention. This paper begins with abrief critical review of Hannah Arendt’s contribution to biopolitical discourse.By way of some psychoanalytic perspectives, I explicate how the “strangelogic of the undead” works in such signature Agambenian categories as the“threshold” and “zone of indistinction,” and in the context of the saturation oflife in the political field. Then, I turn to the homo sacer and the Muselmannwho, as figures of the undead, inhabit the threshold of political life and barelife, and embody the zero degree of humanity as beings that have beendeprived of human communitarian and identitarian registers, while opening asite where new ethical material might appear. The last part of this papercarries the logic of the undead a step further in order to address Agamben’sintervention in contemporary theological theories, and his contribution to thepolitics of emancipation and redemption through his revitalization of Paul andmessianic thinking.
Other Identifiers: D00130BD-1AEF-9E6D-59D8-73A04E474162
Appears in Collections:Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics

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